Triumph TE–1 prototype revealed in photographs
An electric motorcycle from Triumph? It’s true, Triumph Motorcycles has joined the short list of motorcycle manufacturers who are looking to embrace electrification, and it’s got the TE-1 prototype to show for it. The Triumph TE-1 prototype was first seen in official sketches released early last year, but we will talk about the aesthetics a little later. The Triumph TE-1 prototype essentially marks the British motorcycle manufacturer’s foray into electric mobility, and it has been developed via a collaboration between four firms — Triumph Motorcycles, Williams Advanced Engineering, Integral Powertrain, and WMG, University of Warwick. Development has been funded by the Office for Zero Emission vehicles through Innovate UK.
The headlights must surely seem familiar...
...as does the tail section
Safe to say that the Triumph TE-1 prototype retains most of the sharp styling that was showcased in the earlier sketches, with a heavy influence of the Speed Triple showing in its design language, especially when viewed from the side and the front. The bug-eye headlights look like they have lifted straight off of a Speed Triple, while the sides almost certainly mimic the combustion-engined hypernaked. We aren’t complaining — it keeps the Triumph connect alive. Instead of the inline triple mill, you see the combined electric motor and battery using a large element to conceal and protect the underbody of the TE-1 prototype, making it look massive from the sides. The fuel tank, or whatever it is that you can call it now, also looks identical to the one on the Speed Triple. Even the tail section bears resemblance to Triumph’s ICE hypernaked with a similar design for the tail lamp. Design wise, the Triumph TE-1 prototype is very close to what the sketches showed!
Triumph Motorcycles still hasn’t revealed a lot of the details about the TE-1 prototype itself, but it said that development would be divided into four phases. For phase three of development, each of the four firms took up different responsibilities. Triumph worked on the chassis, the belt-driven final drive, body panels, cockpit, suspension, and braking setup. Suspension duties are performed by Ohlins USD cartridge forks and a prototype Ohlins RSU at the front and rear respectively, while the brakes come courtesy of Brembo, receiving M50 Monobloc calipers. Williams Advanced Engineering took care of the final WAE battery pack which incorporates dedicated cells to maintain the optimum centre of gravity. It is also said to be working on battery validation and calibration to ensure the motorcycle delivers maximum power consistently on all energy levels.
Integrated Powertrain contributed with the final version of the prototype powertrain which combines the electric motor and the inverter into one unit, featuring silicon carbide switching technology and an integrated cooling system.
With the conclusion of phase three, Triumph has said that Phase four of development is soon to commence, which means testing of the TE-1 prototype can finally go underway. Testing will be done keeping road and track performance aspects in mind, and Triumph aims to conclude the testing phase by mid-2022.
The Triumph TE-1 prototype is a good step in the direction of sustainable mobility, as it is one of the big bike makers looking to enter the world of electrification. We could see the Triumph TE-1 enter production form soon after the conclusion of all prototype testing phases. This could give other motorcycle manufacturers the push needed to embrace eventual electrification.