Almost a year ago, Triumph Motorcycles announced that it was partnering with a group of British organizations (Williams Advanced Engineering, Integral Powertrain Ltd.’s e-Drive Division, and WMG at the University of Warwick) to create an electric motorcycle prototype.
The announcement featured a machine that looked very similar to Hinckley’s own Street/Speed Triple offerings, which means a sporty naked bike that should be well-suited for spirited urban riding.
We know from Triumph’s previous announcement that the British motorcycle brand built the bike’s twin-spar aluminum frame, and that Williams designed an integrated vehicle control unit into the battery pack.
The motor and inverter have also been made into one integral unit, via the work done by Integral Powertrain Ltd., which helps reduce the volume of space the drivetrain uses, as well as gets rid of extra boxes, mounting features, coolant pipework, and heavy high voltage connections.
Seeing the bike in its finished prototype form, we see that the team has decided to go with a belt final-drive, which is certainly an interesting choice, especially given the originally quoted 180hp (peak) on tap.
Traditionally, one would expect a chain final-drive in a sport bike application, especially one with high torque figures – a lesson learned the hard way by several electric motorcycle startups.
Under the fuel tank, there is a hidden charging port, though Triumph et al are mum on what sort of charging technologies the TE-1 is compatible with in its design.
Other details like battery pack size and overall vehicle weight are also absent from the team’s presentation, which makes the work here hard to judge.
Triumph says that now it will commence with “Phase 4” development of the prototype, which includes a calibration of its systems, and extensive road and track testing.
Phase 4 is set for the summer of this year, though it is anyone’s guess when we will see a production version of the Triumph TE-1 in dealerships – if ever.
Still, the design looks intriguing, and now the British brand is one step closer to realizing an electric future – though, they are not the only ones to be doing so.
Source: CMG Online