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The side view of the EV-Cub electric motorcycle

Honda has released images of several new eco-friendly two-wheelers it will present at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month, including the EV-Cub electric motorcycle, the EVE-neo electric scooter and its previously-announced PCX global scooter, the first two-wheeler to employ an 'idling stop system'. The most interesting of the new eco-bikes is without doubt the EV-Cub, which employs what appears to be car2car and car2driver communications dubbed HELLO! (Honda ELectric mobility LOop) and a LOOP portable communication tool that fits in the palm of one’s hand and “allows people and mobility devices to communicate with each other.” The EV-Cub also appears to have electric motors in both front and rear wheels, indicating that it is almost certainly a two-wheel-drive (2WD) motorcycle. 2WD motorcycles are expected to become commonplace in the future as, like their 4WD automotive cousins, they offer traction advantages on loose surfaces and wet roads and improve rider safety, especially for learners.  Read More

Yamaha set to launch hybrid production motorcycle for 2010

Back in 2005, Yamaha showed the wacky 2005 Gen-Ryu hybrid concept bike at the Tokyo Motor Show amidst a raft of other very non-conventional two wheelers such as the aptly named FC-Me fuel cell bike, the ingenious Deinonychus elec tric reconfigurable motorcycle, the Chivicker, Passol and the Maxam two-wheeled limousine. Now it appears certain the bike will become a showroom model in 2010. A series of patent applications detail the new motorcycle which uses the YZF-R6 600cc engine to turn a generator which in turn powers the rear wheel. History shows that every Yamaha styling patent published over the last 20 years has resulted in a full production machine, so there's little doubt this one is also heading for a showroom near you in the very near future. You can expect to see it in the flesh for the first time at the Tokyo Motor Show later this year.  Read More

Green guitars: Babusa (left), Flax (top) and MADA (bottom right)

We live in environmentally enlightened times. Familiar products have been repackaged and now proudly push their green credentials right in your face. So when looking through the racks of the local guitar shop, why is it that the now familiar “environmentally-friendly” claims are conspicuous by their absence? Given the market advantage that being green seems to offer manufacturers, could it be that no-one in the music industry gives a hoot? Perhaps the world of green awareness hasn't yet reached the world of guitars? Or maybe the kings and queens of tone and resonance are just being a bit less obvious about it? Paul Ridden cuts through the distortion to find out more.  Read More

Nick Shotter's tilting 4-wheeler 4MC prototype

If the fun we had aboard Piaggio's MP3 is any indication, motorcycles with more than two wheels have a big future ahead of them. The additional stability and traction you get from a tilting three-wheeler is quite an eye-opener, and they're still exceptionally fun to ride. If you want to take the concept one step further, though, an extra wheel at the back as well can actually make the entire bike narrower while delivering the sort of stability that can let you safely powerslide and drift all four wheels on an oily skidpan. Remember Yamaha's wild and wonderful Tesseract concept from 2007? The company is keen to get one into production, but as it turns out, Yamaha has run into trouble with patents held by an ex-courier and motorcycle safety advocate from the UK who has been working on a road-ready tilting 4-wheeler for more than 20 years.  Read More

Yamaha's methane powered golf cart

We've all heard of vehicles that run on the smell of an oily rag, but what about one that runs on the smell of cow dung? A new prototype golf cart developed by Yamaha does just that - sort of - by running on the methane. The golf cart was tested with the assistance of the Osaka Gas Co. which provided methane at low cost to Yamaha for the vehicle tests as part of efforts to promote the use of cow dung biomass as a fuel.  Read More

The Yamaha Avant Grand N3 digital piano

Yamaha’s new Avant Grand digital piano fuses twenty-first century technology with Yamaha’s more than a century of piano-crafting experience. The result is a digital piano that mimics the touch of an acoustic piano by using the same key, level, and hammer mechanisms of an acoustic piano combined with special embedded speakers to recreate the feel of an acoustic piano's keys to the player's hands.  Read More

Yamaha's 2009 R1

Yamaha's superstar MotoGP team, including Valentino Rossi, Jorge Lorenzo, Colin Edwards and James Toseland, have assembled to throw their star power behind a completely reworked 2009 R1 launch in Vegas - but the magnificent machine barely needs any help to stand out on its own. One hundred and eighty two horsepower (before ram air kicks in) and 206 kilgorams dripping wet, for less than US$15,000 - aren't these magnificent times for motorcycle fans to live in?  Read More

Advanced Digital Control for Yamaha Outboard

July 22, 2008 The concepts of drive-by-wire, steer-by-wire and brake-by-wire were initially eyed with much suspicion by automotive aficionados – how could a computer possibly hope to do a better job than a human being? Well, computers can do a much better job of these tasks, and will eventually be able to turn every aspect of our mere mortal fumbling into Lewis Hamilton-like driving capabilities. Now drive-by-whatever is invading the marine industry with Yamaha’s new second generation 250hp F250B outboard motor.  Read More

Yamaha developing CVT enduro bike

Yamaha is developing a CVT (Constantly Variable Transmission) enduro machine according to recent patent applications. Conceived by Leonardo da Vinci 500 years ago, the CVT power delivery characteristics could well be a boon in slippery off-road conditions, particularly with some help from a computer. The CVT's biggest advantage is ensuring the motor is always running “in the power band” and as the infinitely variable gear ratios change, it should deliver one smooth rush of power from standstill to top speed.  Read More

Yamaha set to release world's quickest motorcycle

June 4, 2008 Yamaha will release what is expected to be the world's quickest accelerating production motorcycle at a press conference later today in Madrid. The production 2009 V-Max will come almost 25 years after the original and groundbreaking 1200cc monster custom was first seen, and is expected to be almost identical to the concept machine shown at the 2007 Paris and Tokyo Shows (pictured above). With an 1800cc fuel injected motor, the new V-Max will produce 210 bhp and feature state-of-the-art everything. The launch is due in Madrid later today and Yamaha is using the internet for a simultaneous unveiling here. If you can’t wait until then, here’s our photo gallery from last year’s Paris and Tokyo Shows.  Read More

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