At Interbike in Las Vegas, Yamaha is showing prototypes for a range of e-bikes that the motorcycle brand said will launch next spring.
- This is not an e-bike, it's a new full-suspension design
- Orbea Gain e-bikes don’t look like e-bikes
- Is a drop bar e-bike the ultimate commuter?
The move will see Yamaha join the likes of Peugeot and Honda to become one of a small number of mainstream motorcycle manufacturers that has moved into the world of electric bicycles.
Yamaha e-bikes sales and marketing Drew Engelmann said the brand was not yet at a point where it could talk specifics in terms of parts or pricing.
"We have a fully integrated system that we have designed from the ground up," Engelmann said, adding that the company will offer one set of products in the US and another set in Japan.
In the US, there will be four models of Class 1 pedal assist bikes, meaning e-bikes with no throttles and top assisted speeds of 20mph. The line will include a hardtail 27.5in mountain bike, and three 700c road/urban bikes.
Currently, Yamaha has two types of e-bike motors. The PW is the base model with a square-taper spindle, while the PD-X has an ISIS spindle and a faster-engaging system.
The PW motor has a cadence ceiling of 90rpm, above which the motor assist will taper off. The PD-X will have a higher but yet-to-be-specified rpm ceiling.
Yamaha staff are using the Interbike show to poll shop owners and staff about spec and pricing. Yamaha will use the Tokyo Motor Show for a similar purpose.