Yamaha has put up a set of concept bikes for the Tokyo Motor Show. I’ve been interested in electric motorcycles for a while now, years, even. I had an electric scooter at one point, but it was a very underpowered thing that I didn’t really consider safe enough for heavy traffic areas.

But here, Yamaha is making a different sort of thing. These are true commuter bikes, not just little electric mopeds.

The PES1, below, looks pretty nice:


Wired writes:

Yamaha is going all-out at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, bringing a handful of concepts that point the way forward, along with one firmly rooted in the past, just to balance things out.

The headliner is the PES1 above. It’s Yamaha’s latest electric bike concept, and at an unbelievably lightweight 220 pounds, it’s the electric motorcycle we’ve been waiting for. The battery pack is mounted in the middle and acts as a stressed member of the chassis, with the headstock and swing arm integrated into the exceptionally lithe frame. A brushless DC motor is fixed low in the body, with the rear shock below. The transmission is a fully automated box, with the ability to go from manual to automatic control with the flick of a switch. Despite the lack of indicators, mirrors, and a license plate holder, the PES1 looks remarkably production ready, although that gaping hole in the “tank” would be better used to pack a few extra kWh of battery cells, and we have no idea how Yamaha could keep the curb weight so low without severely limiting the range.

Yamaha’s presser on the Motor show gives a rather breathless description, without actually providing much info:

In addition to the characteristics unique to an electric motor, the Passion within the new riding experience these two EV (electric vehicle) motorcycle concept models offer is clear-cut, and they retain the same operational feeling that current motorcycle riders are used to. The Street sport “PES1” and Dirt sport “PED1” have a power unit (Yamaha Smart Power Module) with a monocoque structure that also functions as the frame. Supplementing the environmental performance inherent to an EV, both models are equipped with features like a transmission with manual and automatic modes, a removable battery for easy replacement and various types of smartphone information service functions.

Yamaha Press Release for Tokyo Motor Show 2013

All the bikes shown at TMS from Yamaho look pretty cool.