Triumph to Provide Engines For Moto2 From 2019

Triumph 765cc Triple to power Moto2 racebikes to help riders transition better to MotoGP

triumph 765cc racebike engine details
Triumph 765cc Triple EngineCourtesy of Triumph

Paddock rumor has become fact. For a long time the talk has been that Dorna wanted a bigger, higher-torque engine next in Moto2, to provide up-and-coming riders with experience closer to MotoGP.

The engine now in use, a tuned version of Honda's CBR600RR, has been Moto2's powerplant since the class was created in 2010.

VIDEO: Introducing the Triumph Moto2 765cc Triple Engine

Here it is, from Triumph's release; "Today, Triumph Motorcycles is announced as the exclusive engine supplier to the Moto2 Championship from the 2019 season onward."

The new Moto2 engine will be based on the "all-new 2017 Triumph Street Triple engine."

Why didn’t Dorna simply step up to one of the many Japanese 750cc fours? Two good reasons;

  1. The Triumph Street Triple's design centers upon strong torque for acceleration – not peak power at super rpm, which was the design goal of 600 and 750 fours.
  2. Since World Superbike became 1000cc in 2003, development of 750 fours has received reduced.

Julian Simon, second in the 2010 Moto2 Championship, had this to say after his development testing of the new engine at Aragon, in Spain: “The engine feels strong and in particular the midrange is very impressive. The feel between the throttle and the rear wheel is very direct and controllable.”

triumph 765cc triple moto2 engine details
Triumph 765cc Triple EngineCourtesy of Triumph

Throttle-steering is an essential skill in MotoGP, requiring high torque to spin the tire. Four-cylinder 600s, by contrast, make their power more through high revs.

Stock output of the new 765cc Triple is 121 hp @11,700, up from the 105 @ 11,850 of the previous 675 version. Among “the more than 80 new parts” distinguishing the new engine are a new crank (longer stroke), new pistons and connecting rods (larger bore), Nikasil plated cylinders, new balance shaft, and revised gearbox.

Triumph’s press release tells us that their Moto2 race engines will be “…tuned for a major step up in power and torque” (a look at the numbers suggests 140 hp as likely). They will have a modified head with improved intake and exhaust flow, titanium valves with race valve springs, a low-output (because no headlight load) race alternator with a smaller, lower-inertia rotor, a taller first gear (no two-up riding or uphill stoplights on the track), tunable slipper clutch, Marelli-developed race ECU, altered engine covers to cut width, and a deep “dagger” oil sump on the left to provide exhaust pipe clearance.

triumph 765cc triple moto2 engine details
Triumph 765cc Triple EngineCourtesy of Triumph

This is an attractive modern liquid-cooled triple with Hy-Vo-style chain-driven DOHC, four narrow-included-angle valves per cylinder, and the gear-driven engine-speed balance shaft necessary to quell the 3-cylinder rocking motion that would otherwise exist. The engine is commendably short, front-to-back, thanks to its vertically-stacked six-speed gearbox, allowing forward placement and use of a long swingarm. Steeply downdraft intake ports are served by Keihin fuel-injection throttle bodies.

Those who had hoped in MotoGP’s first year, 2002, for a return to the beloved megaphone symphony of the four-stroke Gileras, MVs, and Hondas of the classic 1950s and ’60s will be pleased by the sound of these Triples. There is no exhaust sound as musical as that of a Triple.

triumph 765cc triple moto2 engine details
Triumph 765cc Triple EngineCourtesy of Triumph

One feature that will present a special problem to Moto2 chassis constructors is the locations of the 765’s engine mounts. The rear pair are conventionally located at the rear top and bottom of the gearbox, but the forward pair are high on the cylinder head. In MotoGP, by contrast, forward engine mounts have moved down to crankcase or cylinder base height in the interest of allowing some millimeters of elastic lateral motion of the steering head. This, it is found, helps to keep front-end feel and tire hook-up workable even on un-smooth pavement.

We can hope that this change in Moto2 engine character will, by easing rider transition to MotoGP, assist the flow of new riders. It has been Dorna’s plan to maintain a highly competitive racing series whose excitement promotes worldwide motorcycle sales, motivating steady participation by major manufacturers. Much of this year’s MotoGP action so far has come from top riders lately promoted from Moto2, indicating its importance.

triumph 765cc triple moto2 engine
Triumph 765cc Triple EngineCourtesy of Triumph
triumph 765cc triple moto2 engine details
Triumph 765cc Triple EngineCourtesy of Triumph
triumph 765cc triple moto2 engine details
Triumph 765cc Triple EngineCourtesy of Triumph
triumph 765cc triple moto2 engine
Triumph 765cc Triple EngineCourtesy of Triumph