In mid-2019 Triumph Motorcycles revealed that it had recently embarked on a multi-year project to bring a state-of-the-art electric motorcycle to market. Known as the “TE-1,” the two-wheeled EV was unveiled in illustrations in March of last year, though the Hinckley firm has now announced that it’s completed the third phase of this ambitious project, pulling the cover off of a working prototype that will soon begin live testing.
The TE-1 is based on the British bike brand’s popular Street and Speed Triple models, though it sees the naked triple’s inline-three engines swapped out for a cutting-edge EV powertrain while maintaining their signature design language. The project’s aim was to deliver a bench-tested prototype electric motor capable of generating 130kW (180hp) while tipping the scales at just 10kgs (22lbs) — an objective Triumph has almost certainly achieved. The TE-1 was born out of a massive ongoing collaboration between Williams Advanced Engineering, the UK’s Integral Powertrain Ltd, and WMG at the University of Warwick — the latter of which is funded by the Office for Zero-Emission Vehicles through the Innovate UK initiative.
Built around a custom chassis and subframe, the prototype TE-1 is equipped with prototype Öhlins RSU suspension, Brembo M50 monobloc calipers, side-covers crafted from carbon fiber, a WAE-developed carbon battery housing, and Triumph’s own proprietary motorcycle control software. Sending power to the ground through a top-shelf Gates Carbon belt drive, the powertrain at the heart of the prototype features a scalable integrated inverter as well as a combined motor that packs silicon carbide switching technology and an advanced integrated cooling system.
The fourth phase of the project will be comprised of a battery of rolling road tests including dialing in the TE-1’s throttle calibration, powertrain mapping, thermal optimization, ride mode development, and a range and battery-pack consumption assessment. This will be followed by on-track testing that will focus on the EV’s handling, acceleration, and rider assist systems such as traction control and front-wheel lift mitigation. There’s been no word on pricing or availability, though we imagine it’s only a matter of time until Triumph brings the TE-1 to market.
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