YAMAHA AT THE TOKYO MOTOR SHOW: Electric power, leaning multi-wheelers are the future of riding

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    EIGHTEEN new models, including six world premieres and two Japan domestic model bikes were on display at Yamaha’s expansive booth at the 46th Tokyo Motor Show.

    Along with concept and production motorcycles, multi-wheel vehicles like the Leaning Multi-Wheelers (LMW), electric commuter vehicles, electrically power-assisted bicycles and an unmanned autonomous vehicle solution were shown. The booth also introduce the company’s technological developments and more aimed toward 2030 under its long-term vision of “Art for Human Possibilities.”

    My personal favorite is the next-generation personal mobility closed canopy concept motorcycle using Yamaha’s own LMW technology called the MW-Vision. The concept bike represents a “proposal for a new relationship between users and their vehicles.” It was developed with the aim of bringing to people a new “Kando” from the exhilaration of leaning as one with the machine through corners—enabled by the LMW platform—with greater comfort and peace of mind.

    Kando is a Japanese word for the simultaneous feelings of deep satisfaction and intense excitement experiences when encountering something of exceptional value.

    The LMV concept is also equipped with attitude control technology and reverse drive, and the cocoon-like vehicle body is easy to handle and maneuver. It is powered by a hybrid system that allows it to travel long distances. It will be equipped with interactive communication between the user and the vehicle through sound and light for all-new mobility experiences.

    Yamaha MV-Vision leaning multi-wheeler concept motorcycle.
    Yamaha MV-Vision leaning multi-wheeler concept motorcycle.

    The initial versions of the LMV already exists in the Tricity models already sold in the country. The important changes to the new LMVs include a more natural “tilt-ability” and more responsive functional and safety add-ons to further enhance the riding experience and rider comfort.

    The MW-Vision suggests how the fusion of robotics and mobility technologies can produce forms of mobility more in tune with human sensitivities.

    Yamaha put a focus on its urban commuter models because of the huge demand for such motorcycles worldwide. There are two electric urban commuter models—one with the look and feel of the Yamaha NX and the other carrying the Aerox imagery respectively are the EO1 and EO2.

    The EO1 has a motor with the power output comparable to a 125cc scooter engine. It is fast-charge compatible and provides plenty of range, comfort and more when going from one area of the city to another.

    Combining Yamaha’s scooter and EV technologies, it brings practicality for everyday use as well as a quality ride exceeding that of conventional scooters. In addition to excellent comfort, it features a design that expressively highlights a new generation of sporty styling.

    Yamaha EO1 concept urban commuter.
    Yamaha EO1 concept urban commuter.

    The second EV scooter, the EO2 follows the small scooter vibe with its small electric commuter bike with a power output comparable to a 50cc scooter engine. Designed to be a great choice for personal mobility in cities, it features a compact, lightweight and easy-to-handle vehicle body and comes with an easily removable battery.

    With a focus on providing the smooth ride EVs are known for, it offers new value for electric mobility by adding even more fun and giving it a more familiar feel. The exterior design also visually accentuates the battery and electric motor comprising the powertrain, hinting at the light and agile ride it provides.

    Also on display was the Tricity300 which is a working production motorcycle that is designed and positioned as a middle class LMW. Developed on the concept of “The Smartest Commuting Way,” it provides comfort coupled with a sense of security for urban commuting, as it is stable with two front wheels that produces excellent stability and natural handling when turning.

    Running with the powerful “BLUE CORE” engine with its excellent environmental performance, it is Yamaha’s first production motorcycle to feature a Tilt-lock Assist system to help the vehicle remain upright, adding a new layer of comfort and riding convenience.

    My personal favorite is the Ténéré700.

    This adventure bike is powered by a 689cc liquid-cooled in-line 2-cylinder engine with a 270° crankshaft. That one feature alone ensures a long and torquey power delivery. The powerplant is a liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valve, in-line, 2-cylinder with a constant mesh, 6-speed transmission.

    It features a lightweight chassis providing the rider with plenty of freedom for riding posture, outstanding durability and serviceability, adaptability for carrying luggage and more, giving it a high-level balance of the respective traits wanted when riding off-road, adventure riding or touring. A variety of weight-reducing technologies have also made this model about 10 kg lighter than its XT660Z predecessor.

    Yamaha Ténéré700 adventure bike.
    Yamaha Ténéré700 adventure bike.

    “The magic of motorcycles are they are closest vehicles to people in experiences…for us people are always center stage and we have worked to stay true to human feelings, experiences and sensations when developing products,” Yamaha Japan president Yoshihiro Hidaka said at the Yamaha Motor Press Conference on Press Day.

    Based on Yamaha Motor’s long-term vision these new models are part of the company’s growth strategy as we head to 2030. In “Transforming Mobility,” one of the company’s specific focus areas we aim to help expand the world of mobility by providing fun and peace of mind with LMW technology.