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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all, I have searched high and low across several forums for a decent answer to this question but it seems that most threads are from 5+ years ago and most people recommended against a 1050 swap because of the faulty cranks (08'?).

I have a 2001 Speed Triple that I'm at a crux with - either sell or dump money into it. The bike runs strong for 48,000 miles on the odo but burns 1qt+ per 1,000 miles and I can't stand this being more of a tourer than weekend rider.

I looked into rebuilding this engine but came to the conclusion that swapping an ebay motor in is the best choice. I don't necessarily need more power or more torque, I just need the engine to not burn oil.

With this in mind, what year engines were the most reliable? I'm not opposed to doing the work involved in a 1050 swap, but are the 02-04 955 engines as good as people reminisce about?

Here's my baby.. I've done everything on her from midnight rides up Big Sur to 800 mile days on backroads.

 

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....................but are the 02-04 955 engines as good as people reminisce about?
This is only an opinion, but I believe they are. I have had 2 04 models and 4 1050's, and the 04 motors, while not as powerful as the 1050's, were as sweet as any motor I ever ridden. Smooth and totally reliable (except for their regulator/rectifiers).
 

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They’re all finicky for their separate reasons. Pick your poison. I had a ‘07, ‘10 and a ‘16 and the common denominator for breakdowns were electronics. And no model year failed to let me down on electronics.
Mechanically, I have nothing but great things to say about all of them.
Now, relays and starting System issues all around I’d say. Bottom line: Positively no speedie I owned ran trouble free.
Reliability it’s measured on counting on it to start and run in my opinion.
The sump leaking oil in all models is an engineering oversight. Not sure if it was fixed after ‘10 since I had tighten the screws on my ‘16 just in case.
 

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....................but are the 02-04 955 engines as good as people reminisce about?
I don't know about 'reminiscing' about them but people like myself who have had a variety of Triumph triples certainly hold them in high regard.

In my opinion the '02 - '04 Speed Triple 955i and the '02 - '06 Daytona 955i engines are the best iteration of the series, the Daytona even more so.

Charging issues aside (stators and reg/recs) they are bullet proof, smooth, powerful, torquey and ridden accordingly, economical. Sprag clutch issues are always a result of people 'stabbing' at the start button many times when the battery is less than optimum. Even then replacing the sprag is easy, certainly not the major job it is on your series of engine.

I won't list all the Triumph triples I've had over the last 20 years suffice to say I currently have a 2007 1050 Speed Triple and a 2005 Speedtona (a Speed Tripled Daytona 955i) and a 2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT. (The KTM was a rebuild after the original owner had a stack on it in the first month of ownership and will be sold soon). The Speedtona is just so nice to ride. The engine characteristics are perfect. I can discern no appreciable difference in low and mid range torque to the 955i or indeed to the 1050 and yet if you want to avail yourself of it's 11,500rpm redline so releasing its much higher hp then it is a weapon in the right hands. I rode a 2018 Speed Triple out of curiosity since they've now upped the redline on the 1050 engine to 11,000rpm but in all honesty I still reckon the Daytona engine is the better example of the genre.

And (to get back to your original question) I see so many Daytonas with over 100.000kms on the odo and they're still running sweetly. They tend to be well cared for examples so that suggests the owners are good at maintenance. A replacement camchain (camchain only, rarely seen a need for sprockets/guides) at about 60.000km, together with a fresh spring in the tensioner assy, and you're good.

I had a '99 Sprint RS sometime ago with your series of engine so I can appreciate how some Triumph fans wax lyrical about the 'raw' nature of that engine but if you're happy with the bike but not the engine I'd say go for the change. Should be a straightforward swop as long as yours has the MC1000 Sagem ECU. I guess you can live with the analog instrument cluster but you will need the newer airbox assembly. Whether it'll fit under your tank or not I don't know.

Let us know what you end up doing. :thumbsup
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
I don't know about 'reminiscing' about them but people like myself who have had a variety of Triumph triples certainly hold them in high regard.

In my opinion the '02 - '04 Speed Triple 955i and the '02 - '06 Daytona 955i engines are the best iteration of the series, the Daytona even more so.

Charging issues aside (stators and reg/recs) they are bullet proof, smooth, powerful, torquey and ridden accordingly, economical. Sprag clutch issues are always a result of people 'stabbing' at the start button many times when the battery is less than optimum. Even then replacing the sprag is easy, certainly not the major job it is on your series of engine.

I won't list all the Triumph triples I've had over the last 20 years suffice to say I currently have a 2007 1050 Speed Triple and a 2005 Speedtona (a Speed Tripled Daytona 955i) and a 2017 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT. (The KTM was a rebuild after the original owner had a stack on it in the first month of ownership and will be sold soon). The Speedtona is just so nice to ride. The engine characteristics are perfect. I can discern no appreciable difference in low and mid range torque to the 955i or indeed to the 1050 and yet if you want to avail yourself of it's 11,500rpm redline so releasing its much higher hp then it is a weapon in the right hands. I rode a 2018 Speed Triple out of curiosity since they've now upped the redline on the 1050 engine to 11,000rpm but in all honesty I still reckon the Daytona engine is the better example of the genre.

And (to get back to your original question) I see so many Daytonas with over 100.000kms on the odo and they're still running sweetly. They tend to be well cared for examples so that suggests the owners are good at maintenance. A replacement camchain (camchain only, rarely seen a need for sprockets/guides) at about 60.000km, together with a fresh spring in the tensioner assy, and you're good.

I had a '99 Sprint RS sometime ago with your series of engine so I can appreciate how some Triumph fans wax lyrical about the 'raw' nature of that engine but if you're happy with the bike but not the engine I'd say go for the change. Should be a straightforward swop as long as yours has the MC1000 Sagem ECU. I guess you can live with the analog instrument cluster but you will need the newer airbox assembly. Whether it'll fit under your tank or not I don't know.

Let us know what you end up doing. :thumbsup



Thank you for the input. One question that has struck me while researching this topic is whether 955i Daytonas with the alloy liners suffer similar oil consumption as the triple with cast iron liners. Every post on this subject mentions that the alloy liners are better, but generally only in context to forged pistons and higher HP figures. AFAIK the 1050's are on cast iron liners and most do not drink oil like 99-01 sprints/s3/tigers. The increased redline and power of a Daytona has little appeal for me - straights are the only place I let off throttle on the road, and that's where HP matters.

Did your 02-04 bikes use oil?

Cast iron liners have been used forever, so the real question is which material Triumph did a better job manufacturing.
 

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I cannot fault my 1999 955i speed triple, never given me any trouble and does not use a drop of oil. Had a 1050 tiger sport 5 years ago, but after 3 years of ownership I sold it as I preferred my 955. I have ridden every version of the 1050 S3 and don't think any of them are as good as my 1999 955i so I will keep it for as long as I can ride, but I will test the new 1150 version when it comes out.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm pretty content to continue ownership of this bike, so if anyone has more input on the topic of pre/post 02' engines I'd like to hear what you have to say.

I've found a totaled low mileage 03' sprint that I can buy all the necessary parts off for about $700.

I'm also looking for a renntec rack and center stand if anyone has either laying around.
 

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I cannot fault my 1999 955i speed triple, never given me any trouble and does not use a drop of oil. Had a 1050 tiger sport 5 years ago, but after 3 years of ownership I sold it as I preferred my 955. I have ridden every version of the 1050 S3 and don't think any of them are as good as my 1999 955i so I will keep it for as long as I can ride, but I will test the new 1150 version when it comes out.
check your inbox
 

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02-04 955s. Cheap , not quite as agricultural as a 99-01. 1050 has a bit more poke and torque but more of a chore to change out with the required electronics. The newer 1050 is much smoother and will leave the rest in the mirrors. I love my 17s3. Liners make no difference except in weight. Plasma arc is for lower drag resistance and weight same as nakasil. Go new you won’t regret.
 

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It's an 18 year old bike, brother.

I'd recommend one of two options: sell it as is. Or if you have a good shop, pull the lid off and determine why it's letting so much oil get by. I think buying an unknown engine off anyone including eBay is too much of a risk for the possible reward. If it were my bike and (yours is a beauty) I wanted to keep the whole package I'd pull the head off and see what needs some love. You're just buying another Lotto ticket with another engine.
 

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+1.
Lot of sense in what BalancePoint just said. Might just need a set of rings and your chassis/engine number combo remains original.
 

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I had a '12 and I put 54,000 on it in only four years. I changed the oil (Motul full synthetic only) frequently and just rode the snot out of it. That's it. 48,000 over eighteen years is only 2,600 per year. It might need to be ridden more, but if you need rings you can get them. Sounds reliable enough to me. You won't get anything for it on a trade-in, but the new Speeds have come so far since 2001.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I'll be sourcing an ebay engine and pulling mine apart once its out. With some diligence it's easy to determine why an engine has been separated from a bike and ultimately it's no different than buying a used bike other than no test ride. I've had nothing but good experiences with ebay/paypal buyer protection if it arrives and runs anything other than as advertised.

Flyfisher, my question wasn't in regards to why this engine burns oil. I can guarantee that running the engine more will not reduce oil consumption moving forward and speculations on the past are of less help than an oil recommendation.
 

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I'll be sourcing an ebay engine and pulling mine apart once its out. With some diligence it's easy to determine why an engine has been separated from a bike and ultimately it's no different than buying a used bike other than no test ride. I've had nothing but good experiences with ebay/paypal buyer protection if it arrives and runs anything other than as advertised....
Bit of a long story so bear with me.:wink2:

I had two 2007 S3s. The second one ran fantastic and didn't use a drop of oil in the time that I owned it from 6K miles to about 17K miles (I decided to skip the valve adjustment since the valves on my first 2007 were all within spec at 12K miles and I rode that bike hard).

The first S3 I had I bought new. It ran superb and didn't use a drop of oil....until I took it in for it's 12,000 mile service. After that, it used about one quart of oil every 1,000 miles and even more when I rode the bike real hard with lots of high RPM use. I rode that particular S3 until another 15,000 miles or so then traded it in on a different bike. That S3 eventually ended up in Chicago on Craigslist. Here is the thread I started about finding it: https://www.triumphrat.net/speed-triple-forum/946660-found-my-first-speed-triple-on-craigslist.html

In that Craigslist ad, the owner said it had around 40K miles so it had another 10K or so put on it after I got rid of it. In the ad, he stated that it was "running rich" and I immediately knew that the oil usage had not improved. Since the Craigslist ad is gone, I assume that either the owner was finally able to sell it or just decided to keep it....or parted it out.

My point is that despite the excessive oil usage, the bike ran great. IMHO, if you buy a used engine on eBay that is purported to run, you may end up getting an engine like my first Speed Triple had and likely wouldn't be able to tell it consumed a great deal of oil until you split the cases to have a look.
 

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I had two 2007 S3s. TThe first S3 I had I bought new. It ran superb and didn't use a drop of oil....until I took it in for it's 12,000 mile service. After that, it used about one quart of oil every 1,000 miles and even more when I rode the bike real hard with lots of high RPM use.
Gee, that would really bug me until I found out what actually happened. I mean what could've occurred at a service that would cause a bike to go from 'didn't use a drop of oil' to 'used about one quart of oil every 1,000 miles'. A radically different oil was used or did they 'update' the tune or a maniacal apprentice took it for a test ride before handing it back to you?

My point is that despite the excessive oil usage, the bike ran great. IMHO, if you buy a used engine on eBay that is purported to run, you may end up getting an engine like my first Speed Triple had and likely wouldn't be able to tell it consumed a great deal of oil until you split the cases to have a look.
I think the OP is committed to another engine.
 

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Gee, that would really bug me until I found out what actually happened. I mean what could've occurred at a service that would cause a bike to go from 'didn't use a drop of oil' to 'used about one quart of oil every 1,000 miles'. A radically different oil was used or did they 'update' the tune or a maniacal apprentice took it for a test ride before handing it back to you?....
I suspect that some debris found its way into the engine. At least that's the only thing I can think of. But like I said, the bike still "ran" perfectly. It was still under warranty when it happened too. After jumping through all of Triumph's hoops during a warranty claim, they told me my oil usage was normal.
 
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