Remember a bit over a year ago when Triumph released a series of sketches and serious performance promises? We do, but then we’ve been jonesing for an awesome electric bike ever since we found the sump of our Husqvarna 900 full of petrol and gave up on internal combustion entirely.
And, in case the actual photos above haven’t already given the game away, you’re looking at the proper prototype of Triumph’s first foray into electric motorbikes: the TE-1. No prizes for guessing what TE-1 stands for, then.
So, now that the TE-1’s a real, rideable machine, let’s see if Triumph’s prototype lives up to the promises.
The electric motor from Integral Powertrain promised about 180hp and delivers exactly 175hp, or enough to fling it, you and your gutful of brave pills from a standing start to 160kph in 6.2sec.
The battery from Williams Advanced Engineering offers 160km of range, yet only takes 20min to recharge from zero to 80%. Yep, that’s zero%, dead flat, push-it-to-the-pits battery charge, and back to 80% in the time it takes to wrestle your leathers off for a quick bathroom break and get them back on.
And the whole bike, ready to ride, weighs just 220kg. If you’re familiar with the weight penalty that generally comes with electrification (hello, two-ton family car), getting a 175hp all-electric motorbike in well below a quarter-ton is a proper achievement. For a bit of context, BMW’s perennially popular R1250 GS adventure bike has 134hp and weighs 250kg, while Triumph’s own (entirely ballistic) Speed Triple 1200 RS pumps out 177hp and weighs 198kg. On the electric side of things, the Zero SR/F offers 110hp for its 227kg and the Livewire manages 100hp from a 255kg bike.
So, Triumph (and Williams, Integral Powertrain, the University of Warwick, and so on) have taken the TE-1 from a series of promises to a seriously promising bit of kit. Now Triumph, we know you were already thinking about it, but please, please put this into production; we’ll be the first in line to buy one. Promise.
More photos of the Triumph TE-1:
NOTE: This article first appeared on TopGear.com. Minor edits have been made.
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