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Triumph and Williams are teaming up on future electric motorcycles

Rather than focusing on one model, Triumph wants to develop an electric drivetrain for use in multiple bikes.

If Triumph has its way, in a few years it will be able to sell you electric versions of your favorite Triumph models.

Triumph

Electric motorcycles are becoming increasingly "a thing" and you know that's the case when legacy brands like Harley-Davidson are getting in on it. Now, though, a new player is entering the game, and it's Triumph.

Yeah, that Triumph that makes scramblers and Bonnevilles and Rockets and Tigers. It announced on Wednesday that it was initiating a program that it's calling "TE-1," which will focus on the development of compact battery-electric drivetrain options for future motorcycle models.

Here's the part that will turn your brain into a hot little coal: Triumph is teaming up with Williams to get this project going. Yes, that Williams. The famed Formula One engineering firm, the same company that helped Singer get its Dynamics and Lightweighting Study cars off the ground.

"This new collaboration represents an exciting opportunity for Triumph and its partners to be leaders in the technology that will enable the electrification of motorcycles," said Triumph CEO Nick Bloor in a statement. "Project Triumph TE-1 is one part of our electric motorcycle strategy, focused on delivering what riders want and expect from their Triumph, which is the perfect balance of handling, performance and usability."

Based on Bloor's statement, we'd expect that Triumph's path toward electrification will differ significantly from, say, Harley-Davidson's. Where H-D is offering one electric motorcycle -- the Livewire -- with a stratospheric price tag and then plans to offer two other models that are more akin to scooters or electric bicycles than they are motorcycles, Triumph will offer no-compromise electric versions of its ICE models.

"The team at Williams Advanced Engineering is looking forward to applying our expertise in the electrification of transport with our partners," said Craig Wilson, managing director of Williams Advanced Engineering, in a statement.  "Williams has powered a number of world-renowned electric vehicles already and this will be a significant further step in our work by taking that knowledge onto two wheels."

Now, historically, when a company like Triumph would announce something as grand as Project Triumph TE-1, we'd have viewed it with a great deal of skepticism. Triumph, in particular, has had a checkered financial past, and developing new tech is expensive. Now, though, Triumph is at the top of its game, and its models are among the best in the industry. We're genuinely excited to see how this turns out.