Inspiration: Interview

Triumph Moto 2 testing in Spain

Exclusive: Behind the scenes at Moto2 test

First shots and verdicts of new engine

The deafening roar of the Moto2 2019 season engine test bike making its final circuit brings involuntary smiles from pit engineers and engine testers despite industrial strength ear defenders clamped to their heads.

It might be the unspoken hope of a celebratory evening cerveza or the camaraderie of passionate people wanting to see a job well done that are contributing to the air of positivity.

Knee down pushing the new Triumph engine through its paces

Decibel-busting

More likely though it’s the intoxicating sound of Triumph’s new 765cc triple engine that’s making the smile muscles ache as the critical testing day at Spain’s Aragon Motorland draws to a close.

Not even the best health and safety gear can detract from the decibel-busting Triple at full tilt, which leaves you wondering what 20 of them would sound like.

This week’s Triumph shakedown at the 5.344km track just west of Barcelona is another major step on the development journey following months of bench, prototype and rolling road testing at the manufacturer’s Hinckley headquarters. And early indications suggest that when it comes to power, torque and durability, it’s exceeding expectations.

Aragon, which hosted the track outing for the engine that Triumph will be supplying exclusively to the FIM Moto2TM Championship for three years from the 2019 season, saw excellent results, with the bike delivering good, consistent and competitive lap times.

Endurance and durability

The targets for track test rider, former 125cc World Championship champion and Moto2 runner up Julian Simon, were to test the engine at high speed, to push its endurance and durability and, crucially, to evaluate its torque and power delivery across the rev range in a live racing environment.

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Julian Simon feeding back on the new powerplant

Based on the new 2017 Street Triple powerplant, the Triumph Moto2TM 765cc triple engine has been developed and tuned for a major step up in power and torque by allowing the engine to breathe more freely and rev harder than the production bike, increasing overall performance.

It’s a significant development of the race-winning Daytona 675R powerplant that has powered supersports wins at the Isle of Man TT, Daytona 200 and British Supersports Championships in 2014 and 2015.

Julian put it through its paces under the watchful gaze of the Triumph engine development team and Trevor Morris, ExternPro’s Technical Director, who has been responsible for the final supply of all Moto2 engines for the last five years.

The new Moto2 Engine up close

The new engine features a new cylinder head with revised inlet and exhaust ports for optimised gas flow, titanium valves and stiffer valve springs for increased rpm and a taller first gear ratio.

Julian’s Verdict:

“I can see there has been a big improvement with the latest engine, giving a great feeling. There’s a lot of power and the gearing is fantastic, and for the sound, this is also fantastic. To me, it’s fun.”

The experienced rider’s instinctive and more detailed verdict on the all-round performance of the engine that will shape the next chapter in Triumph’s 110-year racing history will now form a major part in any further modifications needed before its next outing.

Triumph are currently midway through the engine’s testing programme, with the findings from Aragon due to further inform whether changes need to be made ahead of the handover in June next year.

Once the data has been analysed the testing programme will be taken to its conclusion so that the finished engine will be ready for its first competitive run-out in Valencia in November next year.

Steve Sargent, Chief Product Officer for Triumph Motorcycles, said; “At this stage of the development programme we are in a good place. We are very pleased with the pace that Julian is showing with the latest engine and his feedback has been very positive. We have confidence that we will deliver an engine that the teams will enjoy racing with and a spectacle and sound that will excite the fans.”