Triumph Factory Tour...and a cheap feel of the new Rocket 3 TFC Engine!

Discussion in '2.5 Litre Rockets' started by R-III-R Turbo, Mar 18, 2019.

  1. R-III-R Turbo

    R-III-R Turbo Warp Speed: ENGAGE

    Messages:
    1,262
    Featured Threads:
    27
    Media:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1,906
    Trophy Points:
    223
    Location:
    Ireland
    Ride:
    '10 Supercharged Carpenter'd Roadster, 04 Hayabusa
    Ok so following on from here, Mrs R-III-R Turbo took me on a "reconnaissance" mission to the Triumph factory in Hinckley UK yesterday for St Patrick's Day.

    I had prepared to film the whole 1.5 hour tour in 4K @ 60fps on a GoPro for you guys but they wouldn't allow cameras inside the factory, even phones :(

    But we did get a few photos in the lobby area, and picked up some trivia from the tour, and

    and

    and

    and,,,,,

    I copped a cheap feel of the new Rocket III TFC engine :laugh::laugh::laugh:

    To say I was like a fat kid in a chocolate factory is an understatement.

    upload_2019-3-18_16-6-58.png

    Some engines on display;
    upload_2019-3-18_16-7-51.png

    upload_2019-3-18_16-8-21.png

    Triumph motorcycle museum;
    upload_2019-3-18_16-10-16.png

    That's the original Bonneville LSR streamliner in the background;
    upload_2019-3-18_16-10-43.png

    765 Moto2 engine development prototype;
    upload_2019-3-18_16-11-16.png

    Tom Cruise's Speed Triple from Mission Impossible II;
    upload_2019-3-18_16-11-48.png

    And the factory door beyond which no cameras allowed;
    upload_2019-3-18_16-13-56.png


    So.. some non-photographed sights & trivia from the tour;

    ■ Rocket 3 TFC engine is a completely new block & head etc.

    ■ Rocket TFC is indeed a 2.5L according to the tour guide (no info known on exact cc, or anything else), but I could see the engine is in fact noticeably slimmer than the outgoing 2.3L

    I spotted some cylinder heads in a large cardboard box so sneaked off tour line like a bold boy, they were rather large ones which I thought initially were Rocket III heads, but then realised they were way too slim/narrow, and possibly longer,,,
    They were tagged "Y Series Cylinder Heads. I didn't know what they were from. But later on it became apparent they were Rocket 3 TFC heads.

    ■ Rocket 3 TFC upper crankcase sleeve bores are around 2cm wider than originals - this is purely a guess as I had no way of measuring other than I know I can just about fit my fist into the sleeve bores in the old 2.3L crankcase, and in the 2.5L my fist was falling around.
    Now the sleeves could of course be thicker than the old ones, and bore still 101.6mm, and it's a longer stroke that gives the 2.5L, I don't know, but the bores sure do "look" a lot bigger.

    So the new Rocket engine is stronger more powerful and larger displacement but much much leaner/trimmer on the outside

    ■ There were 30 mated pairs of Rocket 3 TFC engine crankcases there on trolleys.

    ■ The Rocket 3 TFC upper crankcase part number is 1168822

    ■ There was a red over grey primer painted original 2.3L upper crankcase near the TFC cases, but with no serial number on it

    ■ Apparently, all new parts are developed in Hinckley, and these days are all 3D printed for stage 1 prototypes for rudimentary fitment & function tests - exactly like I'd done with the 6th gear kit.

    ■ Cranks and camshafts are all cast in India & Thailand, but every single one gets machined down to spec in Hinckley and case hardened

    ■ Crankcases and cylinder heads are all cast in India/Thailand again, but are final machined in Hinckley

    ■ 7mm depth on hardening for crank and camshafts

    ■ 12 hours it takes for hardening of cranks

    ■ 4 secs hardening time on camshafts because they are done by induction heat

    ■ There are 3 models assembled in Hinckley, the Speed or Street Triple, Tiger 1200 and some other mid sized popular bike I can't remember....

    All Rockets were assembled in Hinckley... until 2016 when the last one was made.

    ■ Cam and crankshafts are designed in Hinckley and prototyped in house there too (other engine parts are made in UK machine shops) and then go into production in Thailand where they are cast pressed and twisted. Then every single one goes through Hinckley to be cut down to spec, oil channels drilled and journals polished

    ■ About 2000 bikes are on racks in a warehouse there (they call it Aladdin's cave), ~95% are wrapped in orange plastic wrap, as they were assembled in Thailand, the rest are Hinckley assembled and get green wrap. Ones in cardboard go to China. Maybe 5% were in cardboard.

    ■ The Triumph factory in Thailand is a sister site to the Hinckley one

    ■ Parts that get inspected and passed on the lines get the little green or orange dot on them, you may have noticed on your bike

    ■ Bikes after assembly are "programmed to run once" and have a drop of petrol in them so they can go on dyno so guy checks brakes and tranny shifting and power etc. Then ECU blanked before shipping and only dealers with the list of passwords can program them - this is an anti-theft measure.
    The bikes are ran until they conk out from lack of juice, they can't ship them with petrol in them.

    ■ They can't ship them with batteries in them either, so the test rider who dyno checks them has his own seat with built in battery and crocodile clips to hook up to the bike under test to start it.
    Apparently, only after the bike is tested and passed is the final seat/saddle fitted - this way you know the only other man's arse to touch your saddle on your new bike is you :roll:

    ■ The single sided swingarms are also casted elsewhere and are all final machined in Hinckley
    There were closed boxes of single sided swingarms there, they were labelled "V series" swingarms on them.. possibly TFC rocket ones.

    ■ Crankcase pairs and cam ladders & cylinder head pairs are machined there in mated pairs because "you cannot cut a perfect circle in halves".
    This is why you can't buy them individually as spares from Triumph. They are mated and machined together.

    ■ There is one guy, who does every single wheel stripe paint job, on every single bike made in Hinckley, and he won't let anyone else do it, he's there since 1990 when John blood took over, and nowadays he brings the paint stylus home because apparently people on tour etc might adjust it on him :roll:

    ■ Triumph don't hire cleaners for the assembly lines. Each area/station has it's own cleaning kit and the team of that station are responsible. They get a £5000 bonus at end of year if they keep it up to spec

    ■ Triumph are up to around 950,000 bikes made and aim to hit the 1 Million mark mid this year,, apparently they make around 65,000 bikes a year

    ■ About 900 people work there, around 400 of which are behind a big black wall that we're not allowed into, that's where the R&D etc goes on

    ■ Shavings from crankcases and heads are recycled as beverage cans and ambulance badges... so someone, somewhere is drinking a beer from a can made from Rocket III engine leftovers :laugh:
     
    tribal, Claymore, Big boy and 27 others like this.
  2. R-III-R Turbo

    R-III-R Turbo Warp Speed: ENGAGE

    Messages:
    1,262
    Featured Threads:
    27
    Media:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1,906
    Trophy Points:
    223
    Location:
    Ireland
    Ride:
    '10 Supercharged Carpenter'd Roadster, 04 Hayabusa
    And the bar in the Jury's Hinckley where we stayed;

    upload_2019-3-18_17-43-59.png

    upload_2019-3-18_17-44-24.png

    upload_2019-3-18_17-44-45.png

    upload_2019-3-18_17-45-23.png
     
    Tal, R3TK, Michael_G and 9 others like this.
  3. sonny

    sonny Living Legend

    Messages:
    6,571
    Featured Threads:
    115
    Likes Received:
    11,583
    Trophy Points:
    823
    Location:
    Henryetta Oklahoma
    Ride:
    rocket three x
    Would love to go there. :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  4. Boydster

    Boydster .040 Over

    Country:
    United States
    Messages:
    78
    Featured Threads:
    1
    Media:
    1
    Likes Received:
    81
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    Glen Burnie, MD, 21061
    Ride:
    2006 R3, TFC on deposit
    Wow, how very cool. Thanks for all the details. Anxious to see more on the RIIITFC, and am glad someone as experienced as yourself got to look at it.
     
  5. Navigator

    Navigator Living Legend

    Country:
    United States
    Messages:
    2,524
    Featured Threads:
    19
    Likes Received:
    2,799
    Trophy Points:
    823
    Location:
    Banner, WA
    Ride:
    2009 Rocket Touring
    Moat excellent report. It appears to be tour destination.
     
  6. jake shaw

    jake shaw Turbocharged

    Country:
    Canada
    Messages:
    532
    Featured Threads:
    14
    Likes Received:
    430
    Trophy Points:
    73
    Location:
    Prince Edward Island, Canada
    Ride:
    2014 Rocket Touring
    Thanks for sharing
     
  7. Dr.D

    Dr.D Octane Boost

    Country:
    United States
    Messages:
    1,577
    Featured Threads:
    13
    Likes Received:
    2,825
    Trophy Points:
    323
    Location:
    Tazewell TN
    Ride:
    Indians and the R3 2014 Roadster
    Nice tour review. So is it true that the ECUs are locked and can not be tuned?
     
  8. R-III-R Turbo

    R-III-R Turbo Warp Speed: ENGAGE

    Messages:
    1,262
    Featured Threads:
    27
    Media:
    85
    Likes Received:
    1,906
    Trophy Points:
    223
    Location:
    Ireland
    Ride:
    '10 Supercharged Carpenter'd Roadster, 04 Hayabusa
    Oh yes, but we had that figured out a while ago, it was just a question I asked on the tour for further verification.

    It was March 2013 I believe they started it. Bikes and also spares ECUs are blank and locked coming from Triumph.
    Only Triumph dealers (and cowboys like yours truly) can unlock and upload a map/tune or "calibration" as they call it so the bike or more specifically the ECU can be used.
    After this unlock you can play about all you want with 3rd party map editors like TuneECU and TuneEdit (TuneBoy).
     
    ThingKing and Dr.D like this.
  9. skydog1000

    skydog1000 Living Legend

    Country:
    United States
    Messages:
    2,223
    Featured Threads:
    19
    Likes Received:
    1,393
    Trophy Points:
    823
    Location:
    Oklahoma
    Ride:
    2009 RIII Classic 1980 Yahama XS1100
    Someone with enough money should be able to bribe someone for the password :eek::p:roll:
     
  10. Dr.D

    Dr.D Octane Boost

    Country:
    United States
    Messages:
    1,577
    Featured Threads:
    13
    Likes Received:
    2,825
    Trophy Points:
    323
    Location:
    Tazewell TN
    Ride:
    Indians and the R3 2014 Roadster
    I had a dream about this bike the other day. it had HC pistons, air cleaners and cams and put out 240 hp and 190 tq to the wheel at 7000rpm. And costed $50,000.00 USD to get that way.:eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:

    Oh I'm talking rear wheel measured on a dyno not manufactures claims.
     
    TURBO200R4 likes this.
Loading...
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice