Posted 4.29.2016 in Motorcycles by Christopher
Yamaha's second generation of prototype electric motorcycles has raised the excitement level of riders interested in electric propulsion. Yamaha is clearly putting top-flight talent to work on the project as is evident by the refinement of the design and the level of innovation on display. These prototypes could indicate Yamaha is getting closer to having an electric motorcycle ready for production.
Yamaha is advancing the technological state of the art with these motorcycles. The Yamaha Smart Power Module allows the company to attach different forks and swingarms to the same battery module and configure the motorcycles for specific markets.
The PES2 (Passion, Electric, Street) electric road bike uses a front hub motor making it all-wheel drive. Besides a few niche manufacturers like Christini and Rokon, no other manufacturers make a production AWD motorcycle. Current AWD motorcycles use a complicated systems of gears, chains and pulleys to drive the front wheel. With an electric motor, the complications are eliminated. As motors get smaller and lighter, the worries of unsprung weight are diminished. Although no mention is made, the worry of the added weight of the hub motor might be mitigated by using smaller/lighter brakes and relying on regenerative braking within the motor.
When Yamaha produces these electric motorcycles for sale, the starting flag will drop signaling a complete transformation of the motorcycle industry to electrification. The companies not on the line with viable products when that flag drops are going to be left in the dust.