FIRST RIDE ! ! ! !
TRIUMPH MOTO2 PROTOTYPE RACER TEST
* Hands-on introduction to Triumph’s prototype Moto2 engine project via a brief ride on their 765RS-based development mule on the short Stowe circuit at Silverstone
* Complete background to how the British manufacturer beat Honda, KTM etc. to be appointed Dorna’s supplier for Moto2 control engine from 2019 onwards
* One-on-one interview with prominent Triumph executive Steve Sargent explains how the project evolved, and what Triumph’s objectives are in pursuing it
* Full technical details of how the new-for-2017 three-cylinder 765cc Street Triple engine was modified to deliver a powerful but hopefully hyper-reliable Moto2 engine package
* Strong likelihood of Triumph returning to sportbike sector with a Daytona 765 model using this engine tune
* Engine delivers ‘over 135 bhp’ at 14,000 rpm versus street 765RS’s 123bhp at 11,700 revs, with 80Nm of torque at 13,500 rpm versus 77Nm at 10,800 rpm on the RS
* Broad spread of linear power matched to flat, fat torque curve delivers good rideability, with RBW throttle well mapped for response from a closed throttle
* Keihin 765RS street ECU fitted, but future dedicated Moto2 Magneti Marelli ECU will give enhanced engine management with more electronic aids including traction control and autoblipper – only powershifter for upward changes on test bike, and no TC
* Muscular midrange torque delivers benefits of twin with revs of a four
* Comparisons drawn with Triumph’s last factory three-cylinder racer, Chaz Davies’s 2010 World Supersport Daytona 675 which I was able to test riode during that season
* British-built triple will greatly enhance Moto2 racing next season – especially at race starts with the glorious sound from the unsilenced Arrow exhaust of 30-plus bikes!
HISTORIC RIDE ! ! ! !
1929 BMW R11 ROAD TEST
* Road test of Germany’s – and BMW’s – first large-scale production motorcycle, the R11 750cc side-valve Boxer twin introduced exactly 90 years ago in September 1928
* Exactly 7,500 such motorcycles were built from 1929 to 1934, many for use by the Wehrmacht German army with sidecar attached carrying up to three soldiers
* Innovative but 10kg heavier pressed steel rigid frame resolved problems of tubular steel frame cracking when a sidecar was fitted
* ‘Square’ 78 x 78 mm 745cc side valve Boxer engine delivers 18 bhp/13.4kW at 3,400 rpm, but with much better low down torque than its costlier ohv 736cc R16 sister, as well as reduced manufacturing costs as the Depression leading to Hitler’s 1933 advent hit hard
* Three-speed gearbox with hand-shift uses BMW’s trademark shaft final drive fitted with a curious transmission brake with 37mm shoes, matched to 200mm SLS front drum
* Trailing-link fork is also composed of steel pressings, with the six-leaf laminated spring constituting the front suspension operated by a tubular steel loop running from the axles
* 183kg dry weight has a forward-looking 53/47% frontal weight bias, though top speed never exceeded 100 km/h/62mph during its five years of production
* BMW’s vibration-free flat-twin engine noted for its smoothness and refinement made the side-valve R11 one of the most popular large-capacity motorcycles of its time in Germany
* Art Deco styling with black paint scheme and white pin-striping is a head turner – both then as well as now