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Yamaha new to the Electric Bike scene?
Yamaha have been in the eBike game for a long time, over 10 years in fact! They were one of the first manufacturers to introduce a crank drive electric bike system. But they never really left Japan. Yamaha actually has 53% of Japan's market share and had to date has produced over 2.7 million systems.
So they really know what they are doing! Basically what we are getting at is although they seem fairly new to us, in Europe, they have been tried and tested and developed over many years to bring a whole new system to market.
Yamaha eBike Series OverviewAlthough already established in the market in Japan, the Yamaha eBike system has now united with the Winora Group (who own Haibike). Haibike have developed the new system alongside Yamaha to make several changes in terms of battery mounting and integration. Winora will also act as the service partners for Europe & will offer full service support, warranty and backup spares. The freshly developed system will be found in the new Haibike sDURO line up of eBikes for the 2015 season. Let's talk a little more in detail about the new Yamaha system and some of its features. We will break it down into the individual components.
Yamaha Drive Unit
The new Yamaha eBike motor is small and compact for a crank drive unit. It weighs in at just 3.5kg making it one of the lightest motors available on the market today.
Yamaha have made the motor very unit slim and allowed the use of both single and double rings. This is handy for anyone looking for that extra gear on the climbs! The drive unit is a 250w motor, so it complies with European law. It offers support up to 25 km/h (15.5mph), obviously the rider can travel faster but with no further support from the motor beyond this speed. The new Yamaha drive unit offer an impressive 70Nm of torque which is claimed to actually peak at 80Nm! This is one of the most powerful units on the market and certainly packs a punch straight from the off. Also power is delivered in less stages than other systems to the crankshaft meaning there is no 'extra' gearing within the motor, so it can pull all this torque instantly. This also helps keep the actual overall size of the motor to a minimum. Yamaha market this as a '0 Cadence' system, meaning you do not have to get the motor up to speed with a few pedals, the power is there, instantly, every time.
Yamaha Battery and Charger
The charger is water resistant and operates at a frequency of 50/60Hz and allows an input voltage of 220-240v. It outputs at approximately 42 volts at a current of 3.6 amps. Although the prototype charger we handled had a European plug head, we are told by the product manager that by the time of release it will be available with a UK plug for the British market.
The new Battery Pack from Yamaha has been totally redesigned. Haibike have been working with Yamaha for the past 2 years to develop the shape and integration of the battery. You can view how the battery is integrated in our exclusive gallery below. Interestingly Haibike have developed the Yamaha battery so that can be inserted from the side. This is a big improvement allowing the battery to be more integrated into smaller frames and does not have to allow a couple of inches of space above the battery to clip it in. The battery is available in one variant - 400Wh (11A). Interestingly when we probed the product manager about the true capacity of the battery pack, he said that most of the batteries were actually coming out at approx 420Wh, but they list them as 400Wh to be on the safe side! We learned that the battery had been tested for range on the 'Official Extra Energy Testing Route' in Germany. This route is made up of hills, mixed terrain and stopping and starting. The range figures are then published based on these findings, so they can be fairly accurate and not over exaggerated.
So as you can see the estimated range is 130 Km (80 miles) in 'Eco', 85 Km (53 miles) in 'Standard' & 70 Km (44 miles) in 'High'. This range is really good and just shows how efficient the new system is. This Yamaha battery pack weighs in at just 2.9Kg, so like the motor it is one of the lightest units on the market. As expected the battery pack has 4 LEDs built into the pack to tell you the capacity. Another new feature of this battery is that it features a bump stop on the bottom mount, a small rubber suspension system that keeps the battery in place over even the roughest of terrain. The Yamaha battery carries a 2 year warranty and takes approx 3.5 hours to charge from flat. It can be charged both on and off the electric bike.
Yamaha LCD Control Unit and Buttons
Haibike have opted for the latest generation of the Yamaha head unit. It has a large removable LCD display screen that relates back all the necessary data & statistics.
This new LCD display is backlit and ensures all the relevant data is relayed back to the rider in an easy to read and clear environment. It's very simple to use and the screen itself has no buttons on it at all. The rider controls this from the left hand control buttons. The buttons allow the assistance level to be selected with the up and down arrows. The assistance levels range from 'Off' (non assisted riding), 'Eco' (100% support), 'Standard' (190% support) & 'High' (280% support). The controls allow the use of a 'Walk Assist' mode, a power button to turn the system on and off, the 'S' button which scrolls through the LCD data & also a light activation button for trekking models equipped with lights. The Yamaha user displays the important data whilst out riding including - a power meter, range left, time, cadence, assistance mode, speed, temperature & battery capacity in a 10 scale bar and also percentage. In all the display is very easy to navigate and operate using the control buttons. It certainly makes things easier than taking your hands off the bars to navigate through the settings. The display mounts above the stem in the center of the cockpit so it is out the way of the rest of the controls and easy to see whilst riding. When removed from the bike it acts as a pocket watch.