Yamaha entered the electric bike arena with a small bang this week, revealing their all-new and rather beautiful Yamaha TY-E a fully electric trials bike. Bearing the iconic TY moniker harks back to the brand’s early trials models, and with the new machine Yamaha are setting their sights on the FIM’s Trial-E Cup.
The new bike is the work of the firm’s R & D boys who apparently are allowed five percent of their time on less mainstream projects using new and emerging technology, so it’s no surprise that an electric bike was the result. The instantaneous and torquey power delivery of electric motors is ideal for the controlled yet explosive power needed for trials as brands like Oset have proved.
The new bike weighs in at a waif-like 69kg thanks to lightweight lithium ion batteries and seriously pared down and sleek components. The motor uses a mechanical clutch and the whole unit is wrapped up in a carbon fibre polymer composite monocoque frame. The bike appears to have conventional forks at the front and a monoshock unit at the rear, Stopping power comes from minimal calipers grabbing onto tiny ventilated discs. And somewhat amazingly, Yamaha have fitted a sump guard that doesn’t appear to have been made from an old washing-up bowl …
While the press shots are all we have to look at at the moment. the bike has been shown in an earlier guise at the Tokyo Motorcycle show. The finished version will make its first competitive outing at the opening round of the Trials E Cup on , piloted by Kenichi Kuroyama. The Japanese rider is currently contesting the Japanese trials championship on a more conventinal petrol-powered Yamaha.
Whether the bike will ever become a fully fledged showroom model remains doubtful however, and given how long Yamaha have taken to launch the new T7 Tenere, many of us may be drawing pensions before there’s even a pre-production prototype. But if nothing else it indicates the company’s intention to look toward electric vehicles as part of their future.