Yamaha celebrates 20 years of pedal-electric bicycles with YPJ-01 concept
The YPJ-01 on display at the Tokyo Motor Show
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.
About the Author
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.
"Combining the smallest and lightest class of drive unit and battery"
Translation: Low speed, short range.
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.
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.
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.
if nothing else at least this one is pleasing to look at!
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