Looking for stability at high speeds, and easier turning at low speeds, Yamaha has created a unique steering solution that the company is currently testing in a dirt bike application.
Officially named the Yamaha EPS Steering Support System, this lightweight electromagnetic setup doubles as an active steering damper and power steering assist.
As such, Yamaha’s prototype steering support system uses a torque sensor, magnet technology, and an actuator that results in steering damper benefits at high-speed and steering assist input at low-speed.
Interestingly enough, the Japanese company says that it has already perfected the setup on its e-bike lineup, and now they are curious to see if dirt bikes and other motorcycles would be suitable for the technology.
Right now, Australian racer Jay Wilson is testing the system on Yamaha 250cc and 450cc dirt bikes, riding with the All Japan Yamaha Factory Race Team in both classes.
In application, Yamaha’s steering damper is very similar to the Honda Electronic Steering Damper (HESD) system, though with the added benefit of increasing steering inputs from the handlebars through the front-end of the motorcycle.
When coupled to an IMU and advanced software, the steering system could also operate as a self-balancing apparatus and even provide the steering movements for autonomous riding (think: parking assist).
Accordingly, it will be interesting to see where the Yamaha EPS Steering Support System goes in its development, and when we could start seeing it on production machines.