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Yamaha celebrates 20 years of pedal-electric bicycles with YPJ-01 concept


November 22, 2013

The YPJ-01 on display at the Tokyo Motor Show

The YPJ-01 on display at the Tokyo Motor Show

Image Gallery (13 images)

While most of us know Yamaha for its motorcycles or snowmobiles, the company has also been working on pedal-electric bicycles for the past 20 years, as part of its PAS project. Marking that anniversary, Yamaha produced the eye-catching one-off YPJ-01, which we recently spied at the Tokyo Motor Show.

"Combining the smallest and lightest class of drive unit and battery with a beautiful, sporty frame, this model offers the exciting ride characteristic of a hybrid design," says Yamaha. That battery is a Yamaha-branded lithium-ion model of unstated capacity, while the bottom bracket-mounted direct-assist motor is rated at 250 watts.

The bike also features smartphone integration, allowing the rider to use their handlebar-mounted mobile device to view "the bicycle's information." Little is available in the way of specs (such as weight), although we did spot a nice set of Campagnolo Super Record derailleurs on the bike.

There's no word on when or if we'll ever be able to buy a YPJ-01 of our own, or if it's purely a design exercise.

Source: Yamaha

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth

These "concept" objects are so tiresome. They very rarely mean anything.

22nd November, 2013 @ 05:24 pm PST

"Combining the smallest and lightest class of drive unit and battery"

Translation: Low speed, short range.

24th November, 2013 @ 08:18 am PST

I just wonder if the Campy running gear would hold up under a strong rider and full assist if they raise the power to the US maximum of 750 watts. Mario Cippolini had a reputed power output of 1100 watts in a sprint and he had the reputation of breaking a few chains in his career.

John Clary
24th November, 2013 @ 09:06 am PST

I just wish some manufacturer would stop buillding 'concepts' and actually put one up for sale to see what happens! If it fails, it was a poor idea (Edsel?) if it succeeds (Mustang?), everybody hails them. If they think a 'concept' has merit, just go ahead.

The Skud
24th November, 2013 @ 06:00 pm PST

My first reaction is like the other posters : what are all these "concept" design studies good for !?

Then, perhaps trying to be overly generous, I wonder if there isn't some benefit in the sharing of these ideas? Maybe it's cross-pollinating the creative energies and, at some point, a bike actually gets made and commercially produced?

Obviously, I don't know the answer to why these things constantly come round; still, I'd like to think that these thought balloons aren't a totally narcissistic waste of time. I hope this is some sort of designer-to-designer R&D dialog where the good ideas find general applications and the frivolous falls into the waste bucket.

25th November, 2013 @ 02:38 am PST

if nothing else at least this one is pleasing to look at!

Peter Wessell
25th March, 2015 @ 10:46 pm PDT
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