T160 first ride

Shelby-Right

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Jan 28, 2022
Messages
355
Country flag
I'll add my 2p s worth having owned all the main triple variants (Rocket 3, X75, T150 and T160) but by no means any kind of expert .
Advising someone to cure a flatspot by spending, what, £2500?, on a bike he's not even sure he likes, seems a bit , er, drastic! I'd love a Beadling big bore kit on my bike, but at that price (and I'm not quibbling with it's quality or end result) I'd need to be pretty sure I was keeping the bike!

I always found my T160 quite pleasant, but pretty gutless acceleration wise, partly due to the weight of course. This was in the '90s when triple knowledge wasn't quite as widespread as it is now. I tried an earlier datebox airfilter , which made little difference, and current knowledge is the standard blackbox airfilter isn't that restrictive, though Les Williams did (I believe) drill some surreptitious holes in the Bike magazine test bike that did the oft-quoted 126mph.

What IS now common knowledge is ALL T160s had the valve-timing retarded by 2/3 tooth, either for emissions or to avoid warranty claims, dependent on who you quote. It's worth checking on all variants, vital on a T160. The non-race shop prepared press bikes in UK and US did about 110mph flat out. There's a well documented procedure searchable on Triples Online forum, needs a bit of time and two dial gauges.

My current R3 benefits from a gas flowed cylinder head by someone who learnt from the guy who did the factory press and IOM Marshall bikes. The porting on many earlier heads was woeful as standard, including mine, T160s are much better but can still benefit. That cost me £200.
With less weight and less restrictive standard inlet and exhaust systems compared to the T160, my R3 will hit a GPS verified 110mph sitting up (if only it could stop!)

Flatspot hinted his commando was smoother, and I agree, so is mine, but triples can vary, blueprinting/balancing the heavy clutch can help massively, it did with my X75 Hurricane.

None of my more recent triples have had that flatspot, and I run the R3 on T160 needles and jetting as per Richard Darby/3d Motorcycles advice, so maybe it's a restrictive silencer thing along with that cam timing?

Finally, Elephant Foot adjusters (as per VW/Porsche design) are available, I believe, from Dave Madigan, and are highly recommended to reduce guide wear (a weakspot like most Triumphs). The Norman Hyde variant (which I have in my R3) are Mushroom head adjusters, simpler, cheaper, help, but not in the same league I would suggest?

Having said all that, if I had to choose one brit bike to actually ride it's be my Commando, but nobody said any of this was

Both my 150v and My 850 MkII are mildly leaned on. The Trident seems to have greater acceleration when flogged. Mind that the 150 is a 850 with a flowed head and fake 1971 silencers that are straight through. All in all the Norton is the better all arounder.
So with cam specs , are the older T150 and newer T160 , duration and lift the same ? They just have a different rev counter worm /position ? It's just that with cam timing , it's different to ignition timing. I:E , if as mentioned the cam was "retarded" this will make the valve events happen later and move the power up a little and vice a versa . Cheers
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2014
Messages
137
Country flag
Correct, cams are the same apart from rev counter worm.

It's the inlet that was retarded. The "emissions" viewpoint is, in doing this, the overlap was reduced which reduces exhaust emissions. You are also correct that correcting this tends to fill the mid-range more than top end. I've never seen a before and after dyno but people do swear it's very noticable. I'm guessing top end might be reduced slightly, but probably net result is a much sweeter engine. Here's a quote from Richard Darby (3D motorcycles) from the Triples Online forum, but the whole cam timing optimisation started within the factory race shop. The methodology I mentioned in the previous reply for setting cam timing revolves around getting a specific lift figure at TDC, hence Richard's quote.

"I find that # 4 throttle slide is preferable as it is slightly leaner and gives a much crisper throttle response. As regards cam timing, I said that the T160 inlet tended to be 1/3 tooth retarded compared to the standard factory figure (approx 0.135" @ TDC) or 2/3 tooth compared with the optimum setting of 0.150" @ TDC. Hope this helps".

I also understand that Jack Shemans and/or Les Williams used to recommend setting tappet clearances a couple of thou wider which would achieve a similar thing (with even more valve train noise!)? Search tool on Triples Online is your friend!
 

Fast Eddie

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Oct 4, 2013
Messages
18,744
Country flag
Gotta love a Triumph triple.
T160 first ride
 
Last edited:

worntorn

VIP MEMBER
Joined
Dec 22, 2006
Messages
7,062
For modern Triumph triples I still like the old 955 Daytona.
220 pounds lighter than the new R3 and faster thru the 1/4, although not much.
A seasoned motorcycle drag racer on a new stock R3 managed 10.7 sec and 124 mph.
The best time I've seen for the old 02-07 Daytona 955 was 10.2 seconds and 134 mph.
The new Speed Triple must be in there somewhere as well. It is also quite light, similar to the Daytona 955 or a bit less. Triumph is always trimming.
Even the hefty new R3 is about 80 pounds lighter than the first gen version.

All plenty fast, but who really wants to ride a 640 pound dry weight motorcycle. Not me.
Don't even want to push one around the shop.

Glen
 

Onder

VIP MEMBER
Joined
May 11, 2010
Messages
3,623
Country flag
Back to the cam timing: the cam shaft has three cutouts so you can move the camwheel and change the timing. I found it impossible to get to 150. No doubt the cam wheels and the cam itself are not made precisely the same. CNC had not arrived in blighty yet.
 
Top