Triumph considers electric future

Owners surveyed on attitudes to battery-powered bikes

TRIUMPH has been quietly surveying existing owners about their attitudes to electric bikes as it gauges the potential market for an electric machine of its own.

The web-based survey, now closed (but which could be found here), was sent out a couple of weeks ago and asked details about the riding habits of Triumph owners, the typical range they'd need from a bike and the combination of power and weight that they'd accept.

Even without direct involvement from the factory, the Triumph Daytona has proved popular in the past with electric bike racers – several better-powered race machines have been made around the Daytona chassis including the Brunel University TT-Zero entry and the Japanese Team Prozza/Komatti Mirai machine (the new, 2012 version of which is shown in the pictures).

With high-powered, off-the-shelf electric motors becoming cheaper and more widely available, along with improving batteries and ever-cheaper electronic control modules and software, making an electric bike is in some ways actually easier than developing a petrol-engined machine; hence the appearance of electric specialists like Brammo and Zero. And with no requirement to pass terrifyingly expensive crash-tests, production bike designs and components can be changed far more cheaply and quickly than those of cars, making electric bikes perfect test-beds for the technology and much better placed to exploit the low-volume market for electric transport than cars.