We take a first look at the new Yamaha PW-X eBike system which will be introduced into some of the 2017 model year electric bike ranges. Faster, lighter & more powerful.. Yamaha has been in the electric bike game for some years now. One of the biggest moves was to bring the PW series into Europe for 2015. Now 2 years on; the PW series will evolve into the new PW-X for 2017 with some all new eBike features.
Lighter & Smaller
For 2017 the Yamaha PW-X eBike system will be 13% smaller in volume than it's predecessor. Not only have Yamaha been able to bring the size of the motor unit down but also been able to reduce the weight too using lighter materials. By reducing the thickness of the Yamaha drive gears and also using a wider hollow axle, the weight has come down by 11% which equates to a staggering 500 grams lighter in 2017. Yamaha has coupled the internals with a 128mm axle which is widely preferred on MTB's, the new 2017 system will move over to a ISIS axle, where it has previously been square taper on the standard PW series.
Yamaha has increased the overall responsiveness of the new PW-X system by using lighter components and also tighter gear pawls within the drive. This means that as the rider presses the pedals, the crank will engage a lot quicker. This in turn allows the Yamaha 2017 motor to assist quicker and with more more and torque than ever before. The PW-X eBike system is now more sensitive so the rider can really put the power down in the applicable areas. More response from the assistance, combined with the tighter pawl patterns and engagement of the cranks will work for a better ride overall.
New User Interface
Yamaha have really developed the display and controls for 2017 allowing more connectivity and a nicer way for the rider to read all the necessary information. The new Yamaha 2017 display is smaller and more rugged than previous systems. It sits below the bar out of harms reach with the control buttons neatly mounted over to the left. The new LED assist on the PW-X series allows the rider to see what mode is being used at a quick glance of the led at the top of the display, this should be a lot more simple than before when you physically had to read the screen to check assistance modes. Also for 2017 Yamaha brings more connectivity to the table. Which we will delve on a little more in a separate article. But this will mean that the system will be able to connect to smart phones and alike and should allow developers to bring more user applications to the table that connect with the statistics of the Yamaha electric bike system.
More Power & Torque
Yamaha ups the game by increasing the amount of torque available to 80Nm. At the same time we introduce a new riding mode - Code named 'Extra Power' (EXPW). Now 5 assistance modes available to the rider over the previous 4. The ride modes will be Eco+, Eco, Standard, High & Extra Power. The torque is also now more powerful across the entire range for 2017, not just at top end. The lighter movement and faster responsiveness mentioned above give the rider more control in tighter spots and the bike is more agile to manoeuvre.
Yamaha follow their competitors by introducing a larger capacity 500Wh battery for 2017. Previously 400Wh batteries available, now bikes will come pre fitted with either a 400Wh or 500Wh, depending on the bikes specification. Good news for riders on the current Yamaha system, the larger capacity battery is the same shape and size, so will be able to retro fit more range onto older models. Now allowing the rider to travel further on one charge, the limits of the new PX-W system are expanded.
When can I get PW-X?
The PW-X is not designed to replace the standard Yamaha PW series, it sits alongside the series as a slightly more advanced system. The Yamaha 500Wh batteries will be transferable across both systems. We expect Haibike will be one of the first manufacturers to announce the new Yamaha PW-X eBike system on their 2017 Haibike range later on today in the first preview. This will be officially announced later in the year, likely at Euro bike. Likely a few other manufacturers will also follow suit, for example Lapierre who have a current Yamaha range, but that's all we can say for the moment. Click to download the brochure for the Yamaha-PW-X eBike system. Check out the latest 2017 Haibike sDuro bikes with the Yamaha PW-X system here.
About Martin Brown
Martin has been in the electric bike industry for over 10 years & has helped it grow from the start. Promoting eBikes across the UK at events & offering the very best advice, tech articles, blogs & videos. In particular Martin is a major player for progressing the use of eMTB's, today owner of e-bikeshop.co.uk - The UK's largest eBike supplier specialising in Bosch & Yamaha, good quality European eBikes.