Triumph is already past midway in their first season of supplying engines to Moto2 teams.
The engines have held up well despite the abuse.
Since then we’ve seen records smashed and closer racing.
The story of Triumph in Moto2 has been a success so far after more than halfway into their inaugural season.
Triumph began supplying engines to Moto2 teams this year, taking over from Honda who powered the bikes for the last nine seasons. In a way, it’s Triumph’s first Grand Prix season since the brand’s start 121 years ago in 1898.
This year, we’ve seen multiple Moto2 records fall and racing is a lot closer (behind Alex Marquez, that is). Then news came of Nicolo Bulega going past 300 km/h during practice at the Italian Grand Prix.
Hitting that speed in the engine’s first season is an amazing feat all by itself.
Breaking the 300 km/h barrier 💨💨💨
What further history will be made in the 2019 season? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/OALKdE5Q75
— MotoGP™ 🇦🇹 (@MotoGP) June 27, 2019
The engines began as the 765cc three-cylinder from the new Street Triple, then prepared and maintained by ExternPro. ExternPro also prepared the Honda CBR600 inline-Four engines previously. The engine received some upgrades for racing, but the overall architecture and most parts are the same as the road bike’s.
A three-cylinder engine produces more low-end and midrange torque than an inline-Four of equal displacement. But the 765’s larger displacement already provides more grunt, anyway. That’s why we kept seeing riders catching back up after making a mistake.
The factory has since learned much from their Moto2 venture. For example, how the riders trash the powerplant. The engine has a 14,000 RPM limiter on upshifts, but there’s no limiter on the downshift side. That’s why they regularly saw revs exceeding 15,200 RPM during aggressive downshifts.
Steve Sargent, Triumph’s Chief Product Officer revealed that the riders who abuse the engines aren’t the top guys. Data from those leading the championship such as Alex Marquez and Thomas Luthi showed that they don’t overrev the engine and are much smoother in their operation.
On the other hand, the abusive riders assume they’re riding hard by downshifting even when the throttle was pinned fully open.
ExternPro receives all the data from the bikes and flags the offenders. The company then talks to the riders caught doing so. But habits die hard, so ExternPro imposed downshift RPM limiters beginning Brno, Czech Republic. Riders who continue to exceed the limiter will be fined.
The engines have held up amazing well, despite all the abuse.
Trevor Morris of ExternPro continued, “We’ve done 100 engine rebuilds and the gearboxes don’t even look like they’ve be run in. The Nikasil-coated cylinders look brand new when we strip each engine after 1500 km (every three rounds).”
1500 km are peanuts for roadbikes, but roadbike engines don’t reside in the redline all the time.
There was no mechanical breakdown so far, lending a solid testament to the engine’s steadfast reliability.
Triumph’s Moto2 project hopes to bring the experience into developing their future line-up of motorcycles. While it’s natural that racing begets sportbikes, the data obtained could serve to develop designs, components, parts, etc. that will provide more performance and reliability to owners.
Of course, many hoped that it will result in a new range of sportbikes, but the Hinckley-based manufacturer had stopped producing the Daytona for a number of years now, as the sportbike market had shrunk tremendously. On the other hand, the factory announced the 2020 Triumph Daytona Moto2 765 Limited Edition recently. The engine is still based on the Street Triple’s but will be upgraded for more performance.
It’ll be revealed at the British MotoGP round on 25th August. We can’t wait to see it!