Triumph TE-1 final prototype unveiled
After its inception in 2018, we finally have all the details on the Triumph TE-1 project prototype. This project was built in partnership between Triumph Motorcycles, Williams Advanced Engineering, Integral Powertrain Ltd, and WMG, University of Warwick, funded by the Office for ZeroEmission Vehicles through Innovate UK. With this strategic partnership, each company was responsible for one specific aspect of development and now that they have reached the end of testing we get all the details of the much-awaited Triumph TE-1 prototype. Before you get excited, it is important to mention that this product will remain a prototype and not enter production. Triumph will use the learnings from this project to drive the creation of their production electric bikes, development for which is already underway. With that out of the way, let’s take a closer look at the Triumph TE-1 prototype.
Triumph TE-1 design
In terms of design, the Triumph TE-1 is distinctly Triumph. It has all the attributes that one associates with sporty nakeds that roll off of the factory floors at Hinckley. In terms of design and dimensions, the TE-1 is more in line with the middleweight Triumph Street Tripe and in terms of performance, it is closer to the bigger, Speed Triple 1200RS. You have the signature big-eyed headlamps upfront with a taillamp that looks like a cross between the Speed and Street Triple. Instead of a screaming triple, you have a body panel that extends all the way down under the tank that hides the new integrated battery and motor setup. The exposed aluminium frame and body panels all add up to make a bike that looks rather traditional and definitely one that you would mistake for an internal combustion-powered two-wheeler.
Triumph TE-1 performance and range
The Triumph TE-1 features an integrated motor and battery pack that is rated for a whopping 175bhp and 109Nm of torque. These numbers bring the TE-1 in line with that of something like the Speed Triple 1200 RS. The prototype was tested thoroughly with the help of Daytona 200 racer Brandon Paasch at the racetrack and various other testing facilities. The motor/battery setup on the TE-1 endows the prototype with a blistering 0-96.56kmph time of 3.6 seconds and a 0-161kmph time of just 6.2 seconds. This makes it faster than some super nakeds out there. The top speed of TE-1 is electronically restricted to 209kmph. Now Triumph has taken into account that a bike like this would be ridden on track often and has developed the powertrain accordingly. The thermal management setup is such that you would be able to extract around 20 minutes of riding flat out before you would have to pit to top up the battery pack. Speaking of the battery, Triumph claims that you can get 161km of riding range on a full charge and you can top the battery up from 0-80 per cent in 20 minutes. To keep the rubber side down, Triumph also has the latest electronics suite mated to a six-axis IMU which enables corner\lean sensitive ride aids similar to that available on the Speed Triple 1200 RS. The bike is also said to have a unique soundtrack from the electric motor which should add more character to the bike. The engineers also claim that they will eventually be able to improve the efficiency of the battery and motor setup over time which in turn should improve the range and performance as well.
Triumph TE-1 chassis
The Triumph TE-1 has been engineered to have the same agility and weight distribution as that of the Speed Triple which means it should be a sharp and neutral handler. Daytona 200 rider Brandon Paasch, who was a key part of the testing process of the TE-1 said “I wish I’d had this at Daytona, that acceleration in this chassis, and how it corners – wow! I think this would be a really nice motorcycle to ride on the street, just based on how nimble and agile it is, and how light it feels.” While we don’t know the exact spec of the chassis, the TE-1 uses an aluminium frame similar to that of the Speed Triple with high-spec Ohlins at the front and rear to handle suspension duties. Braking comes courtesy of monobloc callipers sourced from Brembo. The whole package tips the scales at 220kg which according to Triumph is around 25 per cent lighter than an equivalent electric vehicle.
Commenting on the completion of development of the TE-1 project, Steve Sargent, Chief Product Office, Triumph Motorcycles, said, “We have already seen an incredibly positive reaction to the TE-1 prototype from motorcyclists all around the world, where many people are telling us that for the first time, they are seeing an electric motorcycle as desirable, and something that they would genuinely want to own. Being the first step in our journey towards developing our future approach to electric powertrain technology, the TE-1 prototype and the incredible results it has achieved in its intensive testing programme has provided crucial insights and capabilities that will ultimately guide our future development. Of course, the final production motorcycle will not be exactly what you see here today, but rest assured, the models we do develop will encompass all of its learnings and its exciting dynamic spirit.”
The Triumph TE-1 has been an immensely successful project for Triumph Motorcycles and all the involved parties. This project has allowed the Hinckley-based manufacturer to not just dip their toes in the world of electric mobility but get a wholesome understanding of how to go about making a performance-oriented EV which will give the same amount of riding thrills as an ICE-powered two-wheeler would. While this exact model will not enter production, this TE-1 project prototype has set the ball rolling for all the electric two-wheelers that Triumph will launch in the future, the development for some of which is already underway.