Yamaha PES2 Electric 2WD Concept to Debut in Tokyo

10/16/2015 @ 11:37 am, by Jensen Beeler11 COMMENTS


Back in 2013, Yamaha debuted two electric motorcycle concepts: the Yamaha PES1 street bike and the Yamaha PED1 dirt bike. This was a big deal, because Yamaha said it planned to bring an electric motorcycle to market by 2016.

Well, here we are just a few weeks from the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, where 2016 models from the Japanese manufacturers would typically debut…and it seems Yamaha has more electric motorcycle concepts for us.

The Yamaha PES2, as the name suggests, is an evolution of the PES1, though it does look slightly more ready for production than its predecessor.

At the core of the machine is what Yamaha calls the Yamaha Smart Power Module, which is a removable battery pack that doubles as a structural element of the motorcycle frame, thus making the PES2 have a monocoque frame design.

More interestingly, Yamaha has added a hub motor to the front wheel of the PES2 design, thus making the Yamaha PES2 concept a two-wheel drive electric vehicle. As such, Yamaha says that the PES2 is “designed to pioneer new boundaries of performance never experienced before.”

The front suspension and steering linkage is also of note, with Yamaha employing a single-sided fork leg setup. It will be interesting to see this arrangement more closely, once the bike is on display at the Tokyo Motor Show.

We’re not sure how far out Yamaha is from bringing something like the PES2 to market, though it’s interesting that the Japanese brand has chosen the decidedly low-tech option of using DC brushless motors for its concept here.

Quite fetching to the eye, in a very futuristic sort of way, the PES2 looks to be more than just a thrown together concept, and at 286 lbs at the curb, the Yamaha PES2 could be a peppy machine to ride.

Hopefully we’ll see something soon that we can flog around. Stay tuned.

Source: Yamaha

  • Brett Lewis

    Is it really a hub motor? There is a shaft or tube in front of and parallel to the fork, and there is also some articulated mechanical assembly behind the fork…

  • Keith

    I would think a hub motor would make the most sense otherwise you’ve got a really complicated mechanical delivery–but the power cable would be beefy.
    Due to torque steer, I think the whole front end would need to be strengthened and dampened, hence the additional support assembly. I think a light electric bike like this would be very successful.

  • Brett Lewis

    Got it, makes sense, thank you!

  • Keith

    Now that I had a look at the full size picture, I think you might be right–it seems like they are using a single sided front fork and using the driveshaft housing as another fork/stiffener. Not a bad plan!

  • erwan

    after a close look at the picture I quite sure this is a shaft front wheel
    a motor would be too heavy
    the front motor could be the big black cylinder at the top of the shaft
    the articulation is for prevent the wheel to turn around the one tubing front fork
    all this remind me the swigz Chip Yates bike (with a front shaft for regenerative braking, only 1 motor I think)
    still surprised by the right brake

  • Ian Miles

    Give the sixe of the batteries on the Mission bike. it either has little range or has a revolutionary low draw motor. Looks quite funky though and like Musk’s new mess, no room for a roof rack.

  • Doctor Jelly

    I’ve questioned the use of “monocoque” in the past with the Panigale (which I still argue is not a monocoque chassis just because of an integrated airbox. Buell didn’t have a monocoque frame because they integrated the fuel tank). I’m questioning the monocoque label here as well. I see a twin spar frame that likely uses a stressed member battery pack. Monocoque is defined by using the skin (fairings in this case) to be stressed or comprise the entire structural strength of the chassis. I’m not convinced this is the case in their design…
    Oh, and I’m interested too in whether it is a front wheel driveline or motor.

  • Yamaha says it’s a hub motor. The single-fork front suspension and steering linkage is very interesting though.

  • Campisi

    Putting a second motor in the front hub would drastically increase the effectiveness of regenerative braking, though I’d wonder if said increase is really worth tripling the unsprung rotating mass at the front when one could simply add that same amount of mass to the battery pack.

  • Alex

    Question: if I ride an electric motorcycle while wearing Sena’s noise cancelling helmet will the sound of my own heart beating in my chest be too overwhelming and thus cause an unsafe distraction?

  • Christopher Ring

    I’m guessing the hub motor up front is probably more for regenerative braking than power delivery. Syncing 2 different power sources on a single track vehicle so that it’ll accelerate inline is a complicated process even with today’s processing power. If you wanted power to both wheels a hub-center design with a belt/chain drive going to the front and rear wheels which are both mounted on swingarms would probably be a lot easier to manage and more reliable.