Yamaha has launched a limited special edition premium YDX-Moro 07 eMTB to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the first bicycle to provide rider assistance through a battery-powered electric motor.
Yamaha began thinking about making life easier for cyclists riding in the wind or going uphill as far back as the 1970s when engineers fitted 25 cc gasoline engines to bicycle prototypes and later a 35 cc engine Mountain Bike.
With the advent of compact high-performance batteries and small computers over the next decade, as well as advances in electronics, research efforts went in different directions, culminating in a new hybrid human/electric mechanism known as power assist system.
Following an early prototype in 1989—and successfully convincing Japanese regulators to approve a Yamaha PAS set up as a bicycle so people wouldn’t have to worry about getting a driver’s license or even wearing a helmet—the pedal-assist bicycle finally arrived in Kanagawa prefecture in 1993 , Shizuoka and Hyogo prefectures will be produced in limited quantities, and will be sold nationwide starting in April of the following year.
The “world’s first electric assist bicycle” features a brushed DC motor with a rated output of 235 watts and a computer controller, a torque sensor that detects the force applied to the pedals, a large battery mounted behind the seatpost , which is thought to be good for about 12.5 miles (20 km) of pedal-assisted riding per charge, at a price of 134,000 yen. Established Japanese bicycle manufacturers quickly followed Yamaha’s lead, and the e-bike market was born.
Yamaha continued to innovate in this area, introducing a new NiCd battery in 1995 that could be detached from the frame for indoor charging. A mid-mounted brushless DC motor with a more natural, traditional bike feel was introduced in 2003, and an 8-speed internal gear hub was included in the Brace bike in 2008 (this year also marks the production of one million e-bike drive units in total) .
The company previewed a road concept bike in 2013 before launching the YPJ-R series in 2015, and entered the US market three years later with electric mountain bikes, road e-bikes, fitness hybrids and commuter models.
The 30th Anniversary Special Edition model is based on last year’s YDX-Moro 07 electric mountain bike, featuring the same patented dual-twin frame, full suspension, Shimano Deore XT drivetrain, 27.5-inch Yamaha alloy rims wrapped in Maxxis Minion tires, and Magura MT5 quad Piston disc brakes.
It features a 250W (500W peak) PW-X3 mid-mounted motor with 85Nm (62.6lb-ft) of torque, five levels of pedal assist, a top speed of 20mph (32km/h), plus walk-assist and Auto Support mode, which adjusts the assistance from the electric motor based on factors such as “riding conditions, whether it’s accelerating, braking, or climbing hills.” With a 500Wh downtube battery, riders can also enjoy the minimalist Interface X control unit with simple on-off power adjustment, tri-color LED support indicators, battery status and Bluetooth connectivity.
This birthday edition features a “unique polished aluminum finish” along with Yamaha Racing blue rocker linkage and head tube, 30th anniversary badge and commemorative decals. The limited-production model ships to U.S. dealers starting June 1 for $6,499—a hundred dollars more than the standard YDX-Moro 07 model.
“Yamaha’s passion for performance stems from our racing heritage, and the YDX-Moro 07 Special Edition is a true breed for the next generation of electric mountain bike riders,” said Yamaha’s Rob Trester. “Since we launched our first electric-assist bicycle 30 years ago in 1993, Yamaha has been the world’s leading innovator in e-bike technology, with millions of riders around the world, and it is being hailed as a first-of-its-kind.”
source: yamaha bicycle