TRIUMPH Motorcycles could hold the cards to the market’s most powerful electric bike as they take a big step closer to a completed prototype.
In details released today surrounding the recently-completed motor module, engineers claim the motor alone will produce almost 180hp (130kW) and weigh a mere 10kg.
That’s a superbike motor a pre-teen could lift without flinching…
As part of the ongoing TE-1 project, a government-funded initiative to develop battery-powered machinery, Triumph has been working with Formula One powerhouse Williams Advanced Engineering, Integral Powertrain Ltd and WMG at the University of Warwick.
With its Phase 1 planning completed last year and its Phase 2, the production of the battery and powertrain prototype, now complete, the British bike firm is now all set to leap into creating the bike itself.
“One of the most influential factors in how well a motorcycle handles and performs is mass, so we have focused heavily on making a step change in motor and inverter design, removing heavy high voltage cables for example,” said Andrew Cross, Chief Technical Officer at Integral Powertrain Ltd.
“This delivers a product that is significantly more compact and lighter than anything currently available on the market.
“The motor produces 130kW or almost 180 horsepower, but weighs only 10 kilograms, much lighter than existing technology and clearly a small fraction of the mass of traditional internal combustion engines.”
But it’s not just road riding the teams have been working on. Williams Advanced Engineering’s Dyrr Ardash says the focus has very much been track-centric.
“Within the current landscape, most electric motorcycle technology arguably delivers compromised performance at low levels of battery charge,” he admitted.
“By using a lightweight, compact solution we have been able to give the rider all of the performance all of the time, regardless of battery charge, and a class leading range.
“We have also pushed the limits of battery performance, balancing the design for acceleration and range, with simulations modelled on track-based riding. In other words, as aggressive as possible.”
With prototype sketches now complete (shown above) and the development chassis currently being worked on, Triumph chiefs are now set to move into the refinement-focussed Phase 3 and full-on testing in Phase 4.
“We are thrilled to see the progress of such an exciting demonstration vehicle which incorporates the cutting-edge technology needed to guide the strategy for the future roadmap of electric motorcycles from Triumph,” said Steve Sargent, Triumph’s Chief Product Officer.
“The team are proud to be leading such an innovative, strong and dynamic project with a fantastic group of partners which ultimately should set British engineering and design rightly at the forefront of future two-wheel design.”
With Triumph’s three-year engine supply deal in Moto2 set to run up at the end of this season, rumour has it they’re looking for a viable alternative with the next half-decade in scope.
And if ‘track-based riding’ is the current development focus, as engineers claim, you could place a worse bet on what may make up the next generation of GP grids…