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Triumph TE-1 Might Be the Quickest & the Fastest Electric Bike You've Ever Seen


Triumph TE-1 project
Triumph TE-1 project

“Electric bikes” is the next evolution of motorcycles that is possibly despised the most. Electric bikes? Do they even have anything remotely resembling, what we call, character? Mostly silent, and whirring, with no visual sense at the heart, these bikes are the worst nightmare for many of us riders.


Add to that, the infrastructure to support this, at best, is in its infancy at the moment; charging times are high; range is low; and as far as looks are concerned, even the motorcycles from more than half a century back look more appealing.


But, as it seems, electric bikes are coming whether we like it or not. That’s where automotive tech is heading. It is inevitable.


There is hope though, manufacturers are putting massive amounts of effort into combining form and function like never before. There’s a saying in the motorcycling world which goes something like this—if you don’t turn around and look back at your bike, you’ve brought the wrong one home. This will remain true whether you ride an ICE motorcycle or a battery-powered one.


Ducati has recently unveiled its MotoE bike, which will be raced from 2023 in MotoGP (it looks stunning, by the way). Harley Davidson’s LiveWire is also a good example. And now, Triumph has presented its completed TE-1 project with final prototype testing results, which not only met, but exceeded all targets set for it.


TE-1


Triumph TE-1
Triumph TE-1 clearly resembling Speed Triple and Street Triple

TE-1 is Triumph’s first ever electric bike project and the company is thrilled with what they’ve achieved. The project is a collaboration between Triumph, William Advanced Engineering (WAE), Integral Powertrain Ltd.’s E-Drive Division, and WMG, University of Warwick. TE-1 is not the bike which will be put into production later on, it’s a project to develop the electric bike platform for Triumph and to see the feasibility of the technology being used. This project will give birth to future mass-produced electric bikes. Of course, we can expect one of them to look like the TE-1.


Each of these entities had specific responsibilities and worked on dedicated targets for the development of the TE-1 project. Triumph headed the project and worked on the bike’s chassis, design, manufacturing, defining the requirements of the power delivery control software of the electric drivetrain, and characterization. Clearly, the TE-1 looks like a Speed/Street Triple turned into an electric bike. Even the frame has the design language of Triumph’s inline-triple sport bikes.


Williams Advanced Engineering is responsible for developing the battery unit, along with the control system (defined by Triumph), for TE-1. The battery unit is compact and can charge up to 80% in just 20 minutes. Integral Powertrain Ltd.’s E-Drive Division developed the Scalable Ultra-Integrated Motor and Inverter; that’s what sends the power to the back wheel. WMG, University of Warwick, is responsible for developing zero emission solutions, which is the biggest idea/intent behind all electric vehicles.


TE-1 Performance, Handling, and Design


Triumph TE-1
Triumph TE-1 being put through the paces

The best and the most important part: performance. Triumph is ecstatic to share that the TE-1 project not only meets but exceeds all targets. The bike produces 177 PS peak power and 109 NM peak torque, delivering astonishing acceleration figures. TE-1 goes from 0 to 100kph in just 3.6 seconds and to 160kph in only 6.2 seconds. Maximum range is 161km based on live testing and official projections. Triumph says that these figures are better than any electric bike right now that is sold to the public.


Additionally, the charging time of 20 minutes from 0 to 80% is, again, quicker than any equivalent electric bike available in the market. Moreover, at 220kg, TE-1 is 25% lighter than any comparable electric bike out there.


The coming of electric bikes can’t be ignored, especially by manufacturers as they are the ones who have to build them. It’s about sustainability and being relevant in the future, but without losing the soul of motorcycling.


Triumph TE-1
Daytona 200 champion racer Brandon Paasch

That’s what Triumph intends to build through the TE-1 project. The learning from this will be used to develop mass-produced electric bikes, and Triumph wants to make sure that TE-1 delivers similar handling prowess as its inline-triple sport bikes. This is why the dimensions and size are close to the Street Triple while the riding ergonomics resemble the Speed Triple 1200 RS. The design, too, is based on the Street/Speed Triple motorcycles. The sharp-angular twin headlight assembly is virtually the same and so is the rest of the bodywork.


The likes of Triumph and Ducati (and Harley Davidson too) are working hard to create electric bikes that shall continue to keep the natural connection that riders have with their rides. One of the best things about motorcycles is they all have a personality, a character, and that’s mostly because of the Internal Combustion Engine that pulls everything together. And the obvious absence of it is precisely the reason why motorcycle enthusiasts universally hate electric bikes.


But Triumph’s TE-1 and Ducati’s new MotoE motorcycle are clear indications that electric bikes can be as exciting as ICE motorcycles. Of course, the design and tech will have to be feasible and trickle down to the budget-oriented segment as well, and that will take time. But anything like the TE-1 and Ducati’s MotoE bike will have riders across the world willingly spend their money on electric bikes in the future.


Triumph TE-1
Daytona 200 champion Brandon Paasch is happy testing the TE-1

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