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Technology Triumph TT 600 and presentation of the Triumph Bonneville

Four and against

Triumph ?? up to now the name has stood for strong character and very successful three-cylinder. With the TT 600, the British are now entering the super sports class and entering the Japanese mainstream with a four-in-line.

Exuberance is not his thing. John Bloor guards against exaggeration like the Queen against bareheadedness. That’s why you have to listen carefully when the Triumph boss speaks. "The TT 600 significantly expands our model range" is not an empty sentence, but a sentence with weight. Even if Bloor dictates it to his MOTORRAD visitors with the same restrained gestures, the same facial expression in the notebook as those who simply want to add to the market. So it’s not that wild?
Certainly not. Because the fact is: With the TT 600, Triumph is leaving the self-created niche of the typical "triple" of British character. With the TT 600, Triumph is also saying goodbye more than before to the previously favored modular strategy, in which an engine or frame has to be used for very different models. “No other motorcycle is planned with this engine,” says Bloor. And it cannot be drilled out either.
So why a TT in this form when many would have favored an independent three-cylinder, packaged in a graceful tubular space frame? The answer from Triumph’s press department is clearer than the boss’s cautious statements: In order to compete with the best machines in this class, it is even better to beat them! So that is what is meant by "decisive". The English want to prove their competence. What better way to do this than to challenge the Japanese manufacturers in their very own field, that of the super sporty 600 series.
So you just copy a Japanese 600. At least that’s the impression after the first pictures of the TT. And they took the class leader CBR 600 from Honda as a model. Given the similarities, this conclusion is as close as John Bloor rejects it. Because the fundamental development of the TT, according to Bloor, began in 1996. At a time when the CBR did not even exist in its current form. “When the Honda came, we were surprised, ”says Bloor. And immediately commissioned cosmetic retouching. Another cockpit, another window? But nothing could be changed about the basic silhouette. Just as little as with the concept of the four-in-line.
At least outwardly, the TT engine, whose exhaust gases are cleaned by a U-Kat, is also very similar to that of the Honda CBR 600. The most important features such as the unit of the upper part of the housing and the cylinders, a joint between the upper and lower part of the housing and thus the position of the The crankshaft and the two gear shafts in one plane, the lateral position of the timing chain and the location of the alternator directly on the crankshaft show a close relationship. But at least in the mixture preparation, the Triumph Triebling differs from all other current 600 super sports cars. An injection system from the French manufacturer Sagem with comparatively large throttle valve housings with an intake manifold diameter of 38 millimeters signals that the designers are serious about competitiveness.
This is also evident when dissecting the engine. Although the valve train with the two overhead camshafts driven directly by the crankshaft via toothed chains and valves actuated by bucket tappets is still standard, the plate diameters alone make one sit up and take notice. The 28.6 millimeters of the intake valves surpass the previous class leader, the Kawasaki ZX-6R, by 1.6 millimeters, while the exhaust valves are the same size at 22.6 millimeters. Only the unusually short-stroke design of the motor creates the space for such generous dimensions. The shortest stroke of 41.3 millimeters in its class also results in the largest cylinder bore of 68 millimeters. Thanks to the support of the Formula 1 forge Cosworth in the design of the intake tract and the combustion chambers, it should be possible to achieve the output of 110 hp that is common in the 600s without any problems.
All these indications point to an involvement in the Supersport World Championship, but at least for the coming season John Bloor excludes a works assignment, but can imagine the support of private teams.
They can then look forward to some unusual technical solutions during dismantling. The cylinders are inserted into the engine housing as nikasil-coated, wet liners, a repair-friendly, but also cost-intensive solution. The forged pistons transfer the forces via piston pins with a diameter of 15 millimeters to the crankshaft via the connecting rod, which is also forged, and with its 30 millimeter thick crank pin and main bearings, it looks very filigree. In general, the designers attached great importance to low friction. The location of the alternator on the crankshaft contributes to this. The technicians accept the larger overall width of the engine, whereby the alternator turned out to be narrower than competing products due to a special magnetic iron.
The primary drive takes place? via a straight toothing on the outer crank web? on the multi-plate oil bath clutch. The transmission input shaft drives the water and oil pumps on a common shaft via a chain behind the clutch. The development team also paid great Warning to the shifting of the six-speed gearbox in order to achieve even more perfect gear changes compared to previous models.
Is that together with a thoroughly conventional suspension mix a perspective for the future? Is the TT 600 a step into a new, larger market? In any case, John Bloor believes in it and has already set up a new workshop near the old factory that went into operation in 1988 on a site four times the size of more than 160,000 square meters. The man just has visions. But he wouldn’t be a good Englishman if he weren’t also a traditionalist. In September celebrates the new B.onneville premiere (see box). "Besides, we haven’t forgotten the three-cylinder." This is what someone who believes in his success speaks. And who has been right so far.

Triumph Bonneville

Imagine you are a test driver for a well-known motorcycle manufacturer, and you move top secret prototypes that are not camouflaged on public roads every day? and nobody notices. Can not be? It could be, as the employees confirm in the endurance test of Triumph’s newest Erlkonig, the Bonneville. Because the new one is like the original Bonneville from 1965 like one egg to another. Not coincidence, but full intention is hidden behind this philosophy, and it seems to be working. At least as far as the testers’ experience is concerned. Mostly middle-aged men stand enthusiastically in forehead of the supposedly old Bonneville and go into raptures. Exactly the clientele that John Bloor wants to reach with the new Bonnie. »Old boys like me who want a classic motorcycle with modern technology. Or returners, ”he sees as future customers. When asked about strong parallels to the Kawasaki W 650, John Bloor frankly admits: “When we saw the motorcycle for the first time, we were amazed. If we had known the Kawasaki beforehand, the Bonneville might not have been made. ”But even if the Bonneville is conceptually very similar to the Far Eastern retro bike, at least the paper version has advantages to offer. According to this, the air / oil-cooled, 800 cm3 parallel twin makes 60 hp, that is, the ten horse strengths that you would want in the Kawasaki W 650. Two balancer shafts are supposed to keep the inertia forces of the two pistons oscillating up and down at the same time in check and thus ensure smooth running. In general, the engine has a modern interior. Two overhead, chain-driven camshafts operate four valves per cylinder via bucket tappets. The primary drive on the current Bonnie is via gears. The switch box, which, based on its ancestors, looks at least like a separate housing, is integrated into the motor housing. In the mixture preparation, on the other hand, the designers did without modern injection and paid tribute to the classic look with Keihin carburetors. Only an unregulated catalytic converter cleans the exhaust gases. Of course, modern components are used in the chassis with the double loop frame and the disc brake in the front wheel, which were also used in the late Bonneville of the 1970s. On the other hand, the housing cover of the engine and the add-on parts are different: the lamp housing, the tank including paintwork, the heart-shaped side cover and the cover of the primary drive, the seat and the exhaust system strictly adhere to the formal requirements of the original from the sixties. Even details such as the perforated cover of the air filter, the emblems on the tank and side cover, the brackets for the mudguards and the rear light corresponds exactly to the original. Only on the fork are the previously characteristic bellows omitted ?? the designers got the upper hand here. Ergonomically, the new Bonnie also copies the old generation. The half-height handlebars with a moderate width and the footrests, which are traditionally positioned relatively far forward, allow a relaxed sitting position. Other attributes such as the weight of around 210 kilograms with a full tank, the narrow tires and the engine, which, thanks to the moderate liter output, suggest a gentle development of power, should ensure overall relaxation during driving. One can only hope that the legitimate successor to the Bonneville will keep what the guidelines promise. Then the chances are not bad that there will be supporters not only in the Anglophile faction, but also among those who mourn a Yamaha XS 650, for example.

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