If there is one thing that makes electric motorcycles more a toy than a usable reality, it's the charge time. No true motorcyclist wants to spend close to an hour sitting about mid-ride waiting for their battery to charge back up. Thankfully, Triumph Motorcycles TE-1 prototype has that painful reality of EV ownership moving in the right direction.
While "filling up" the TE-1 prototype is still considerably longer than a strop at the local servo, the stated charge time of 20 mins to 80% is drastically better than anything with similar performance stats we can think of.
Triumph officially dropped the bike’s performance numbers as a way of celebrating the completion of the bike's testing phase, with most of the company's goals firmly achieved in the process.
Visually, the TE-1 bears a close resemblance to the Speed Triple family for motorcycles, and this is also mirrored by its performance stats.
With claimed peak power figure of 175bhp which is backed up by a solid 109Nm of torque, the TE-1 is capable of charging to 160kph in just 6.2 seconds, or in more licence-keeping terms, 0-100kph in 3.6 seconds.
Solid performance figures which are in part thanks to a running weight of 220kg, much lighter than a certain project from the US of A all while achieving similar results (admittedly a shade slower to 100kph).
Triumph says that with further refinement of the electronics, including the traction control system and front-wheel lift control, there is scope for the TE-1 project to achieve even better performance by harnessing the full torque potential to enable even quicker standing-start acceleration.
Daytona 200 champion racer Brandon Paasch participated in the final testing phase, both in engine performance evaluation and also with the final set-up of the prototype through track testing.
“The throttle response on the TE-1 is kind of incredible, it’s very torquey and when you first touch the throttle it’s instant power, which is obviously what I love as a motorcycle racer – I love when it’s super-torquey and picks up right away, so for me it was a really great experience” said Brandon. “I got to peg this thing all the way from zero to 100% throttle and it’s unbelievably quick, it pulls like crazy.”
That performance does have a cost with an EV, and while the TE1- prototype has achieved its range and charging goals, the 161km range claimed by Triumph might still be too little for many classic riders to make the switch to electric.
Overall, the key objective of the TE-1 project has always been focused on developing electric motorcycle capability, in order to provide an input into Triumph’s future electric motorcycle offering, driving innovation, capability, and new intellectual property, and enhancing the credibility and profile of British industry and design.
The achievements in the live testing phase, exceeding current benchmarks and targets, provide a platform with great potential for future development in electric motorcycle performance. Triumph is yet to make any suggestions that the TE1- itself will be but into production.
“We are incredibly proud to be able to share such positive outcomes from the completion of Project Triumph TE-1, where the prototype demonstrator has exceeded many of our initial targets and expectations, says Triumph CEO, Nick Bloor.
“Everyone on the team is thrilled with the results we have achieved with our partners, and how the outcomes of the project will feed into the electric future to come from Triumph.”