PB’s ride on Tri­umph’s Moto2 en­gine mule proves the Bri­tish firm’s long-awaited Day­tona 765 is the right­ful heir to the mid­dleweight sports­bike throne

Performance Bikes (UK) - - CONTENTS - Words John McAvoy | Pho­tog­ra­phy Tri­umph/Gareth Har­ford

An af­ter­noon on the 765 en­gine mule re­veals much about the Day­tona 765 road bike.

TRI­UMPH’S CHIEF EN­GI­NEER, STU­ART Wood freely ad­mits their in­volve­ment in Moto2 from next sea­son, was op­por­tunis­tic, and in­cred­i­bly for­tu­nate from a tim­ing point of view. Just as the 675cc triple en­gine was be­ing con­signed to the his­tory books thanks to ever-stricter emis­sions regs, three sep­a­rate and un­re­lated events took place.

The Day­tona 675 would no longer be a vi­able op­tion for race teams in the FIM Su­per­sport class, the Dorna con­tract to be en­gine sup­plier for the Moto2 class came up for ten­der, and Tri­umph had just com­mit­ted at board level to re­plac­ing the out­go­ing 675cc mo­tor with a cleaner 765cc three-cylin­der plat­form on which to keep a pres­ence in the lu­cra­tive mid­dleweight naked road bike sec­tor. Prob­lem: No pos­si­bil­ity of get­ting the FIM rules changed for triples in su­per­sport rac­ing, thus no longer any pres­ence on race tracks. So­lu­tion: Do a deal with Dorna to sup­ply Moto2 with the new 765cc mo­tor. Ac­tion re­quired: Add a fourth state of tune to the de­vel­op­ment pro­gram of the newly pro­posed 765cc mo­tor, on top of the three al­ready pro­posed for the Street Triple range. Bingo. Thus the de­vel­op­ment of the Moto2 en­gine took place along­side the Street Triple S, R, and RS mo­tors at the same time, with power fig­ures set by Dorna. Stu­art picks the story up. “In many ways the Moto2 en­gine was the eas­i­est to de­velop be­cause we were able to achieve Dorna’s power fig­ure with­out any bother at all,” he said. “We even went back to them and said we could com­fort­ably pro­duce more power with the same re­li­a­bil­ity, but they weren’t in­ter­ested.” From Dorna’s point of view there is a logic to this. Moto2 bikes’ lap times must never get even into the same post­code as those of Mo­toGP bikes. Po­lit­i­cally, even if the last man on the Mo­toGP grid’s lap times are be­ing nipped at by the likes of Bag­naia, Mar­quez and Oliv­era, it’s a bit of a PR dis­as­ter for Mo­toGP.

Stu­arts claim that the power fig­ure was eas­ily achieved is cred­i­ble, when you con­sider that al­most

sin­gle com­po­nent in­side the en­gine is taken straight from the Street Triple. The valves are ti­ta­nium in the Moto2 en­gine. The only other dif­fer­ences are the valve springs are stiffer, first and sec­ond gears are taller, the al­ter­na­tor is a low out­put item for re­duced in­er­tia, the en­gine cov­ers are slightly dif­fer­ent to re­duce the phys­i­cal width, and the sump is slightly deeper. The crank­shaft, con rods, pis­tons, gear­box, oil and wa­ter pump are iden­ti­cal to the Street Triple’s. The cylin­der head is the same, but with mod­i­fied in­let and ex­haust ports for bet­ter gas­flow. Tri­umph sup­ply Dorna with the en­gine, an air­box, a slip­per clutch from FCC, and the throt­tle bod­ies and throt­tle grip from a Street Triple. The only other spec item is the Mag­neti Marelli ECU which Marelli sup­ply sep­a­rately to Dorna, who in turn sup­ply the teams with the com­plete pack­age, all sealed. The rules per­mit teams to use their own ex­haust and in­takes.

As with the Honda CBR600RR en­gines used pre­vi­ously as Moto2’s con­trol mo­tor, a sep­a­rate com­pany takes care of the main­te­nance in line with Tri­umph’s guide­lines, but once Dorna takes de­liv­ery of all the hard­ware, that’s where Tri­umph’s in­volve­ment ends. It’s per­fect in many ways for both par­ties. Tri­umph get all the cor­po­rate ben­e­fit of be­ing as­so­ci­ated with a grid full of sweet sound­ing three-cylin­der en­gines with TV au­di­ences that Su­per­sport can only dream of. Mean­while, Dorna get a unique sound­track to their Mo­toGP feeder class, as op­posed to the soul­less, uni­ver­sal sound of the in­line four en­gine Moto2 cur­rently has. If there was ever a good ex­am­ple of be­ing in the right place at the right time, this is it. Tri­umph get to go rac­ing, de­spite not ac­tu­ally hav­ing a sports­bike in their range, let alone one that’s within the FIM rules, Dorna get an en­gine sup­plier, and the fans get the sound­track.

Tri­umph’s test bike fea­tures up­rated K-Tech sus­pen­sion front and rear

Ad­justable steer­ing damper keeps ev­ery­thing in line on track

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