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UFO ’95: South Bay Triumph/Luftmeister Triumph Daytona 1200 Turbo

This article was originally published in the October 1995 issue of Sport Rider.

let’s get to know it.

South Bay Triumph/Luftmeister Triumph Daytona 1200 Turbo

Capri was forced to leave the Triumph’s innards basically stock due to time constraints and the lack of available aftermarket parts. The only internal change was the replacement of the stock pistons with four remachined Triumph Trophy pistons and a thicker copper head gasket lowering com­pression to 9.2:1.

What gives this “stocker” its steam is one IHI 450 cfm (cubic feet per minute) turbocharger, capable of turning out between 5 and 15 pounds of boost. Another trick piece on the Daytona is a fully programmable, closed-loop RSR electronic fuel-injection system. Wanna make it a little richer? Just plug in the computer and make the change.

 

Luftmeister turbo Triumph above 200 mph at HPCC.

 

A tired Bob Behn looks for more power by studying the software for the RB Racing fuel-injection system mounted on Luftmeister’s mean yellow Triumph.

Due to teething problems, Capri and company were only able to produce a docile five pounds of boost for our Blum Ranch street ride. Outfitted with a Luftmeister exhaust system, the sound emanating from the tail of the Triumph was like a turbocharged deer whistle gone mad, audible from a half-mile away.

The Triumph felt a bit softer than the stocker (due to its lower compression) during normal street use—until the tach needle swept past seven grand and the turbo kicked in. Then the turbo built a mild rush of acceleration that was cut short by the rev limiter just past its 9500 redline. Throttle response from the fuel injection was excellent. In the future, we’d like to see some serious weight chopped off the Triumph since Capri’s bike feels just as tanklike in the twisties as a stock 1200.

 

Blown brit bomber – Luftmeister Triumph Daytona 1200 Turbo

When the procession convened at LACR for the 440-dash, Capri had high hopes for the Triumph: high nines to be exact. Unfortunately, the Daytona was only producing ten pounds of boost. A tall first gear and a healthy dose of turbo lag off the line made it hard to keep the revs up on the Triumph, and a 10.65-second run at 134.2 mph was the best it could muster.

 

Braking action from the Triumph Super Three six-piston calipers was amazing—exactly what’s needed to slow a motorcycle as big and heavy as the Daytona. Triumph should think about offering these on all models.

At the test track, the Triumph’s premium suspension components, abundant cornering clearance and excellent Super Three six-piston calipers helped lug the 1200’s weight around to a respectable 1:58.4-minute lap time, slightly faster than the Mr. Turbo ZX-11. The Hyper-Cycle GSX-R, Orient Express CBR900RR Turbo and Lee’s Cycle Service’s ZX-7/9R were simply in a different league, running five seconds faster per lap.

 

The IHI turbo hides discreetly behind the Triumph’s stock fairing;
the kit is available through South Bay Triumph. Capri hopes to put a larger Turbonetics turbo on soon, claiming that in current form the Triumph was “down 100 horsepower.” Typical UFO talk.

Regardless of how much each venue meant to the competitors, the angst-filled crews were most eager when the sun edged over the horizon at Honda’s 7.5-mile oval test track. Top speed. It was then that Capri removed the after-market exhaust—and finally found the 15 pounds of boost he’d been promising.
It seems the Luftmeister canister was restricting the turbo’s output more than Capri had expected. After a few initial runs experimenting with fuel mixture and gearing, Ienatsch cranked out a 191-mph run, noting afterwards the Day­tona’s amazing high-speed stability. The Triumph still had its stock black box regulating a 9700 rpm redline, so terminal velocity would be engine- and gearing-limited.

The long tubes running down either side of the motorcycle feed cool, dense air to the engine from the intercooler—which is mounted where the headlights normally reside in an attempt to get a ram-air cooling effect. Compressed air heats up, losing density and causing a drop in horsepower. The intercooler simply cools the air before it enters the engine. The knob just beneath the instruments adjusts boost pressure.

After another fuel mixture adjust­ment, Jason Black and the Yellow Bus boomed through the traps with a scorching 202.703 mph. Then Holst backed it up with another run at the exact same speed—to the thousandth mph. When SR staffer-for-a-day Steve Mikolas tried for a three-peat, the stock clutch couldn’t take any more and finally retired, slipping through the traps at 192 mph.

We must admit that we never figured the Triumph would go 200—and keep running the whole time. It was a day of firsts: The first time a new-generation Triumph had gone over 200 mph; the

High
Low

User-friendly street manners
Engine is sluggish any time it’s off boost

Super-stable high-speed handling
Heavy enough to be two bikes

Passenger seating
High amount of turbo lag

ENGINE

  • Triumph Trophy pistons remachined and ringed by Russ Collins of RC Engineering; thicker copper gasket lowered compression to 9.2:1
  • RSR closed-loop, programmable electronic fuel injection with Lucas injectors
  • IHI 450 cfm turbocharger
  • Luftmeister exhaust system with BLACK HOLE muffler that reduces noise and claims zero backpressure
  • Torco oil
  • NGK spark plugs
  • Braided stainless steel brake lines

CHASSIS

  • Triumph Super Three six-piston brakes
  • Bridgestone Battlax tires
  • PIAA projector beams
  • RK chain
  • Sprocket Specialists sprockets

 

Top Speed:
202.703 mph

Test Track Lap Time:
1:58.40

1/4-Mile Time and Speed:
10.65 sec. @134.2 mph

Check out the other UFOs of ’95:

Hyper-Cycle-Suzuki GSX-R1205
Lee’s Cycle Kawasaki ZX-7/9R
Orient Express Honda CBR900RR Turbo
Mr. Turbo Kawasaki ZX-11 Turbo