It should be easy to find space in the garage for Yamaha’s newest offering. In fact, you can hang it from the ceiling. By 2018 Yamaha US plans to offer complete e-bikes, upping their game from the motor and battery kits they currently sell in other markets.
If you can remember back to Aprilia’s e-assist bike (the Enjoy) from 2002 or so, you know things have come a long way. Technology has changed, demand has changed, and the global market overall is a totally different landscape.
From images on Yamaha’s new website, it appears the company is less interested in testing the market and more interesting in being the market. They offer platforms in four distinct varieties for recreation or fitness use.
As city streets become more crowded and urban planners create more bike-friendly routes, the idea of bicycling as primary transportation is becoming more attractive. As someone who lives in San Francisco (on a hill, of course) I can immediately see the attractiveness of e-assisted pedal power. No more having car drivers knock my motorcycle over, no more parking meters, and I get to burn some calories without dreading the final push uphill to get home.
The power unit in photos and videos appears to be the PW series being sold in Europe. If so, this is a 250w unit providing up to 51.6 lb. ft. of torque. Four ride modes can be chosen with varying degrees of support to save your rubbery legs.
Best yet, the things are actually cool looking:
Current offerings from bicycle makers using the PW system hit the $3000 and go up from there, which still leaves a clapped out Ninja 250 as a viable alternative for cash-strapped Americans. However, you aren’t going to deal with insurance premiums and parking tickets with an e-bike, and you can do something productive for your body at the same time. Overall cost of ownership is a multi-layered calculation, no?
The bike will be officially unveiled in Las Vegas at the Interbike Show happening Sept 20-22. Hopefully we will see more concrete information about pricing and specification then. Yamaha is also smart enough to have an email sign up and, of course, an Instagram feed to keep in contact with all the bearded coffee-bar hoppers. Pedal on, my wayward son.