Daytona in racing

Have you ever been to a World Endurance race? no? well then throw a couple of food cans, a six pack ,your tent in your bag pack, go into first and follow me....
get ready for a sleepless week end  :o)

This section will be under construction as the races happen, but I would like to introduce you to a team racing a Triumph Daytona in the World Endurance championship, called STRIKE MOTO.

The "Strike Moto team" has decided to enter a Triumph Daytona to prove this bike can be competitive in high level racing and because the lads are really "Triumphoolics" !
I really want to emphasize the fact that I received a warm welcome from the whole team as soon as they knew Triumph fans had an interest in them racing, all the technicalities were explained and all questions answered, nothing to hide, no magic behind their machine, just a bunch of lads having a ball racing, all that in spite of the obvious pressure a race team is under when racing at that level.
Strike moto is an official Triumph dealer located near Lyon, and believe me they know their stuff, if you are around, don't hesitate to pop in to have a look at the bike, or to get yours serviced:

Strike Moto
36 avenue du General Sarrail
01500, Ambérieu en Bugey
Tel: 0474381772

The team is made up of many members, the main ones being Eric L'HERBETTE, shop owner and chief mechanic for the team, Daniel MATHIEU, team manager, and riders, Jean Paul LEBLANC, Michel HUIN, and
Sebastien DISS.

Eric is not a first timer in racing Triumphs, and has worked years to offer his customers various solutions trialed in racing over the week ends: Specific shock absorbers, racing camshafts, purpose built racing exhausts etc... Most of these parts thus not advertised, are up for sale in his shop (the exact same parts he's using himself), give him a buzz, and you can be sure you'll have the very best for a reasonnable price. eg: custom made exhaust 442 Euros; full race fairing (including seat and fender) 457 Euros; and a ground breaking shock absorber (pity I have my Ohlins on already) 915 Euros

The motorbike I am about to introduce you to has specificities associated to Endurance racing, but generaly speaking, not many things have been modified at engine level, on the other hand, the frame needed to be modified to cater for the needs to be competitive in case of a spill. (Modularity and the capacity to swap parts quickly is vital in Endurance).

Please clic on the pics to get the full size.

Before the race. A snapshot of the Delcamp shock absorber. 7 different patents are pending concerning this piece of art,the internal valves being adjustable from the outside! Way better than an Ohlins, WP or Penske unit, this groundbreaking unit comes from Delcamp Energie, a tiny company near Lyon. Remember this article, the concept its using is very likely to be used in the near future for all shocks!
The rear subframe is hacked off just passed the rear fixing screws, dropping weight, the need to support a pillion being useless. The ECU and all the bike electrics are located in a "drawer" placed inside the subframe. Being removable, it allows a bent/broken sub-frame to be swapped without unplugging any of the electrical components...
Another picture of the Delcamp shock. The blue and red trims allow rebound and compression damping adjustments, while the smaller bolts in between allow slow/fast speed shock behaviour by adjusting the valves inside the unit. You can also spot the red quick release system for the rear braided brake line, allowing a component swapping without the need to bleed the system.
These 2 pictures show in details the rear brake system and the Delcamp., if you wanna some proper braking, ditch the useless Nissin setting for an opposite pistons Brembo caliper.

Another mod concerning the cycle part, the Beringer front braking system.The team trust blindly this manufacturer as it provide excellent equipment for Endurance racing (and road use). The thickness of the discs (3mm) and of the wheel quick release system means lower and upper clamps had to be built in a piece of alloy to increase the forks width. The front wheel is a magnesium marchesini to minimize non suspended weight, offering a quicker steering in the twisty bits.

The Beringer calipers have magneted pistons to keep the pads apart while changing the front wheel. They pinch steel Aeronal discs, the reference in Endurance. Check out the pin for quick pads changing
The stock rim is used at the back and a quick release retaining pin is added. You can see here the Brembo caliper biting the stock disc.
No100 was chosen to celebrate the centenary. In spite of what the Torque mag said, this bike is not a centenary model, but a late 2001, with a T595 SSSA fitted to it.
This arm was fitted to maximize rear wheel swapping (quick)

When the Jap bikes enjoy qualification engines with parts coming straight from the superbike versions, team Strike Moto fights with only a pair of home made camshafts and a custom pipe! The bike produce the exact same output in qualification and race trims (156 BHP at the crank) competing with bikes producing 30 BHP more in race configuration (at least 40 in qualification!)
Yet, the dynamic qualities of this bike allow it to be quick in the twisty bits leaving the more powerful (harder to control) Jappies behind, in spite the struggling in terminal speed.
If only Triumph could provide Eric's team with a qualification engine...

Another angle. The catch tank is the smallest (lightest) as possibe. No antifreeze here (forbidden in racing) but simple mineral water is enuff, the system being flushed after each sessions.

A picture I wish I didn't have to show. The rider coming straight from the mobile hospital on the track. Broken ankle, wrist and finger. he highsided the bike in a chicane after that another bike had an off and brought gravels on the track. Get well soon Jean Paul (told ya you'd be on the internet ;)

The second picture shows the team having a chat.

The bike is brought back into the pit after the warm up (rainy). Qualified 40th out of 64 bikes, The Daytona was 23rd and kicking ass when the accident happened on saturday night:(

The bike ready just before the start.

Invited for a coffee in the team's lair, had to show off my T595 cap ;)

The AMB transponder location (not present on this pic). This part provided by the organisors allows the laps to be counted electronically over 24 hours.

You can also spot the front brakes quick release system (in red).

Another 2 shots showing in details the braking system and the drag link/SSSA assembly of the rear suspension. Experts will notice there is no mods in the geometry, the stock items being ok if the shocks adjustable in length

Exhaust system clears the SSSA (high level for quick access to the wheel).
This system was hand built by a small company making custom pipes called "Bobopot" from an area calculation made by the team. Available to customers, this pipe can be bought. ;)

Clutch cover and the actuating arm.
Left side. The frame is painted black. This snapshot proves the engine cases haven't been modified in anyway. The engine is stock, except for the cams.
Global view, with the Bobopot pipe.

This picture is showing the serious of the team when it comes to making custom parts. The forks are stock (honest), only mods are modified valves, and a Nitride coating on the stock tubes.

You can clearly see the clamps (serious stuff) designed and cut off a block of alloy. The steering damper's in place also.

The "Zenith" quick fillers, absolutely mandatory in Endurance racing.The tank is the stock one, made out of nylon fibers, but modified to host the Zeniths.

Extra venting was necessary to fill up quickly the tank

There you go, hopefully I'll get more information concerning the future evolutions of the bike, the next one will be available for the Bol d'Or in September 2002, but the team asked me to keep it "secret" at least until then, all I can say is that it aims to increase the power in qualifying's about fuel, that's enuff.....;)

Please, please, support this team if you attend any Endurance race, the lack of help from Triumph means they don't know if they can carry on racing the bike next year, so cheering them could make them decide to keep the triple on the track!