Triumph unveils high-performance electric streetbike prototype
It's not finished or painted, but it's ready to ride. Triumph's collaboration with Williams, Integral Powertrain and WMG University of Warwick is now fully assembled and ready to begin testing. The TE-1 prototype looks terrific, and it will be a wild streetbike if it ever makes it to production.
Williams has finalized the battery pack, a compact, attractive and fast-charging 15 kWh unit with integrated cooling and carbon covers. Integral Powertrain has supplied the 10 kg (22 lb) motor, which peaks at 130 kW (174 hp) and puts out a continuous 80 kW (107 hp). That has its own integrated cooling, and it also incorporates an inverter rated for more than 500 kW. Both claim groundbreaking efficiency and lightweighting – more details on that in our previous update piece.
WMG has been working on preparations for the ECU, doing software modeling, simulations and testing with physical models designed to emulate real-world riding. And Triumph has built a motorcycle to put it all in.
A beauty, too. Styled after Triumph's own gorgeous Speed Triple 1200, the TE-1 prototype appears to keep the design DNA without sharing many actual parts. That's quite a magic trick for a machine that's been redesigned from the frame out around a brand new electric powertrain. Great job!
Now that it's all put together, testing can begin. Triumph will stick the TE-1 on a rolling road dyno to fiddle with throttle mappings and rider modes, measure the thermal performance, make sure all the software works as planned, and make some initial measurements on power consumption and battery range.
And then, the fun bit: taking this thing out on track for "dynamic rider assessment," or flogging the pants off it to see if it's actually a fun, safe, workable bike to ride. Some brave soul will have to test the electronic traction and wheelie control systems, and this is the point where Triumph will dial in exactly how the brakes and regenerative braking systems interact.
Testing should be finished by around mid-year, and at that point, the final paint and body panels will be finished and put on so we can see the TE-1 in all its intended glory.
And then what? Do we get a production model we can all play with? Triumph certainly doesn't seem to want people to think so. "The overall objective of the TE-1 project," reads a press release, "has been focused on developing electric motorcycle capability, in order to provide an input into Triumph’s future electric motorcycle offering, driving innovation, capability, and new intellectual property, and enhancing the credibility and profile of British industry and design."
So while this is a very exciting prototype, it could take several more years before anything related hits the street or the showrooms.