The 2018 season will be the last year that Honda powers the Moto2 World Championship, with the intermediate grand prix series set to use Triumph’s 765cc three-cylinder engine from 2019 onward.
This should be cause for quite a shakeup in Moto2, with the British brand making a stronger effort in recent time to be part of the racing scene. That effort will be ancillary though, because the real magic in the Moto2 class comes from the various chassis-builders.
As such today, we get to see the first completed Moto2 machine for 2019, and it shouldn’t surprise us to see that it is a Kalex.
Want a better look at the new Triumph Speed Triple that debuted today for the 2018 model year? Don’t you worry, Asphalt & Rubber has you covered.
Revamping the 1050cc platform, the 2018 Triumph Speed Triple S and 2018 Triumph Speed Triple RS represent Triumph’s ongoing evolution to its modern motorcycle lineup, with the Street Triple, Tiger 800, and Tiger 1200 models also seeing mild refreshes for 2018.
A bike that literally created the streetfighter segment for production motorcycles, the Speed Triple has fallen behind to offerings like the KTM 1290 Super Duke R and Aprilia Tuono V4 1100 RR, and its dual-headlight aesthetic being not the only thing that has remained constant on the three-cylinder sport bike.
The British brand hopes to change that with this latest iteration of the Speed Triple, which includes IMU-powered electronics (RS model) and a modest 13hp power increase.
That might be a tall order for this iconic model, but it at least propels the Triumph Speed Triple lineup into the 21st century.
Always a popular machine with street riders, Triumph at the very least has given two-wheeled enthusiasts a reason to consider the Speed Triple S and Speed Triple RS, when considering the purchase of a dank-whoolie monster for their garage.
Back in 1994, Triumph created the streetfighter segment with the Speed Triple. But, the bike of 20 years ago is very different from the one debuting today, however the basic ethos remains: an aggressive sport bike for the city streets.
In this time span though, the streetfighter segment has changed. Brands like KTM and Aprilia rule the roost, with high-horsepower bikes that come competently packed with high-tech electronics.
Hoping to stay relevant with the same basic 1050cc platform, the British marque shows us now the 2018 Triumph Speed Triple RS – which boasts over 100 “new” parts just in the engine alone.
The changes are subtle to the outgoing model though, but the highlights do stand out.
Yamaha really hit on something when it made the MT-07 and MT-09 motorcycles – two machines that still offer plenty of features and fun, while enjoying the benefit of not emptying the bank account.
Similarly, we have already seen that the Yamaha MT-07 makes a convincing track bike, especially when you change out the lower-spec components and add a full set of fairings.
Today, Oberdan Bezzi imagines a similar treatment for the Yamaha MT-09, with a slant toward endurance racing duties, which we find very appealing.
We have already seen the Yamaha Niken at the Tokyo Motor Show, the Tuning Fork brand putting a name to its leaning three-wheeler, but little was said about this radical machine.
Now ready to talk about the future of sport riding at the EICMA show in Milan, Yamaha sees a future where riders will want the added stability and handling that comes from a leaning multi-wheeled vehicle.
At the core of the Yamaha Niken is an Ackerman steering design, which uses two sets of upside down front forks, held along a parallelogram brace that attaches to the front of the motorcycle.
This allows the Yamaha Niken to corner with serious lean angle, up to 45° degrees according to the Japanese brand. Of course, with the two 15″ wheels at the front, this cornering is done with a lot more confidence that a normal motorcycle at such a lean.
Triumph wants you to know that it’s getting ready for the 2019 Moto2 Championship, where the British company’s three-cylinder engine will power the intermediate grand prix racing class.
Testing the engine, Triumph has mated the 765cc lump to its supersport machine, making it a Triumph Daytona 765. Getting some help from Moto2 rider Julian Simon, Triumph has been testing at Aragon, looking to evaluate the performance and durability of its middleweight engine.
“At this stage of the development program we are in a good place,” said Steve Sargent, Chief Product Officer for Triumph Motorcycles.
“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.”
Yesterday we showed you the MV Agusta RVS #1, the first creation from the Italian marque’s Reparto Veicoli Speciali program, which is making limited run machines out of MV Agusta models.
Reparto Veicoli Speciali comes straight out of the Castiglioni Research Center, MV Agusta’s design studio, and this division will focus solely on making dedicated bikes for special customers. One bike, one customer, is the premise.
The RVS #1 might bear familiar lines to the MV Agusta Brutale 800, but this machine is hand-built and features the most powerful three-cylinder engine in MV Agusta’s lineup, with 150 hp coming from the 350 lbs (and Euro IV compliant) machine.
The intrigue is finally over in regards to MV Agusta’s new “Reparto Veicoli Speciali” or “RVS” program, with the Italian marque debuting its first creation from this special vehicle development unit.
An intersection between the designers and engineers at MV Agusta’s Castiglioni Research Centre, RVS is what happens when you let designers be free with their imaginations, and you let engineers create those ideas unfettered – at least, so says MV Agusta.
The result for this fist iteration is a very unique looking MV Agusta Brutale 800, which has a bevy of custom pieces on it that make it look like a café racer / scrambler type of machine.
As had been trailed since the start of this year, Triumph have finally been announced as the official engine supplier to the Moto2 class from 2019 onwards.
The deal with Dorna will see Triumph supply a specially modified version of the 765cc triple, which powers their new Street Triple range of production bikes.
The engine has been modified to produce more power and torque, and to be a little narrower. A modified cylinder head and inlet and exhaust ports provide better breathing, titanium valves and stiffer springs allow the engine to rev more freely, and make it more reliable under braking.
A higher first gear replaces the normal street ratio, and the use of a race alternator and racing clutch make the covers narrower. The engine will produce 133hp and 59 lbs•ft of torque in the first instance.
As expected, today we get to see the 2017 Triumph Street Triple, with its new engine capacity: 765cc. The new engine displacement comes from both an increase in bore and stroke on the iconic three-cylinder motor, with Triumph using a new crank, pistons, and barrels in its construction.
Three flavors of Triumph Street Triple will be available for 2017, with S, R, and RS-spec (above) machines being available, with obvious performance differences existing between the trim levels.
As such, peak horsepower will be 113hp (S), 118hp (R), and 123hp (RS) – a notable boost over the 675cc machine’s 105hp. Meanwhile, peak torque has been improved from 50 lbs•ft, now to 53 lbs•ft (S) and 56 lbs•ft (R & RS).
All the models tip the scales at 166kg (dry) according to Triumph, which is a 2kg reduction over the outgoing model.
The future of the Moto2 class looks secure. Reports from the UK and Austria are suggesting that Triumph has finalized a deal to supply the Moto2 class when the current deal with Honda concludes at the end of 2018.
From 2019, Triumph will supply a new three-cylinder engine, probably based on the new, larger sports triple they are building for release in 2017.
There had been uncertainty over the future of the Moto2 engine supplier since the beginning of this year.
Honda had extended the deal to supply CBR600RR engines until the end of the 2018 season, but as the Japanese manufacturer was stopping production of its middleweight sports bike, it was clear that a replacement would have to be found.