we ride the three new electric bikes from Yamaha

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After motorcycles and scooters, Yamaha intends to make a name for itself in the European electric-assist bicycle market. Three models will be launched in 2023 with the Yamaha CrossCore RC, Yamaha Wabash RT and Yamaha Moro 07 covering the VAE, Gravel and VTTAE urban segments. Here is our opinion.

Yamaha Moro 07
Source : Yamaha

It is in the north of Spain where Yamaha introduced its electrically assisted (VAE) bicycles. A segment in which we did not necessarily expect the Japanese brand that is slow to announce its future motorcycles: the brand has already communicated on several electric scooters, such as the Yamaha Neo and the Yamaha E01.

However, the world of VAE is nothing new for Yamaha, which launched its first prototype in 1989, before marketing a first model called the eBike four years later. Have you never heard of him?

This is not surprising despite one million units sold in 2008, with the Japanese manufacturer focusing exclusively on its home market. It will take another ten years for Yamaha’s VAEs to cross the Pacific Ocean with the launch of marketing in the United States.

Yamaha CrossCore RC and Wabash RT, classic but efficient VAE

While they will arrive in our regions next spring, we have already been able to take control of the last three Yamaha VAEs. Along with the VTTAE Moro 07, which we’ll talk about later, the CrossCore RC and the Wabash RT are based on the same architecture. The first is a fairly classic urban model, while the second is shaped like a gravel, halfway between a road bike and an off-road bike.

Both are powered by a Yamaha PW-ST motor, which is integrated into the crankset – however, this is not Yamaha’s latest generation motor, the PWseries S2, introduced in September 2022. It develops nominal power. 250 W, with a torque of 70 Nm and pedal assistance up to 25 km/h.

The electric motor is paired with a 500Wh rechargeable lithium-ion battery that is integrated into the frame’s downtube. Charging can be done directly on the bike or by removing the battery after unlocking the lock with a key.

Wabash RT Yamaha
Source : Yamaha

To control the electrical assistance, the Yamaha CrossCore RC and Wabash RT incorporate a Display A control unit. At first glance, its glossy plastic finish and its rudimentary appearance surprise motorcycles that are around euros and more. But in practice they do their job perfectly, especially since the small LCD screen is perfectly legible even with the sun behind them.

It shows the level of assistance that can be selected using a dedicated button, the battery level, the instantaneous speed, the distance travelled, the total distance and the remaining autonomy in kilometers.

In this sense, Yamaha does not communicate figures on the autonomy of its motorcycles, which will depend on various parameters such as the level of assistance, the relief or the weight of the cyclist. However, we can count on about 50 km.

Riding the Yamaha CrossCore RC and Wabash RT

Beyond the few common features, the Yamaha CrossCore RC and Wabash RT stand out with equipment adapted to the segment for which they are intended.

The CrossCore RC is an urban model with a closed aluminum frame and SR Suntour Nex-25C suspension front fork with 63mm of travel. Available in three sizes S, M and L, it features CST C1996 27.5×2 tires, Shimano BR-MT200 hydraulic disc brakes, a Shimano CS-HG200-9 nine-speed cassette and an RD-M3100-SGS derailleur, for example. .

For its part, the Yamaha Wabash RT is a gravel that benefits from a telescopic seatpost suspended up to 60 mm (40 mm for the size S frame), Maxxis Rambler 700 x 45C tires, Shimano BR -RX400 brakes, not to mention the Shimano CS-M7000-11 cassette and Shimano RD-RX812 11-speed derailleur.

In both cases, the manufacturing quality is there with a careful finish. The cables, for example, are integrated into the frame, but some details leave a lot to be desired on the Yamaha CrossCore RC. In addition to the absence of accessories such as fenders or luggage racks, its lighting system seems to have been added in a hurry.

Therefore, the front and rear LEDs need to be turned on and off manually and are not powered by the bike’s battery. Therefore, it will be necessary to think about recharging them through their USB port. However, the Display A console has a dedicated button for illumination if the user were to replace the standard LED system.

Unsurprisingly, the Yamaha CrossCore RC stands out with its balance and comfort compared to a much firmer, and therefore necessarily less suitable for everyday use, Wabash RT, at least for the general public. On the road, the latter allows you to reach (and maintain) a cruising speed of 35 km/h quite easily, when the CrossCore RC requires more effort once you’ve exceeded 25 km/h.

On the other hand, in the absence of suspension and with 700 x 45C tires, the Wabash RT brings out all the vibrations in the arms and at the level of the cervicals that they carry by degree. Admittedly, the terrain was better suited for an ATV, but either way, it’s best to stick to highway and dirt roads with the Wabash RT.

Both bikes offer impeccable stability, which is reassuring when you reach very high speeds downhill (almost 80 km/h) as was the case when we started near Begur, in a mountainous region of northern Spain. The engine in the low position lowers the center of gravity, which is felt in maneuverability.

The latter is silent while delivering a comfortable torque of 70 Nm. Chaining the kilometers at an average speed of 20 km/h is not a problem, despite the unevenness of almost 500 meters that we found during our grip.

In addition to the traditional +Eco, Eco, Standard and High modes, the Yamaha CrossCore RC and Wabash RT have a very effective Auto mode. This adapts power according to motor skills as well as traction control, as well as the ground based on a tilt sensor. Therefore, the cyclist can be content with pedaling by choosing the most suitable speed.

Finally, the two bikes can also count on a very efficient braking system and really reassuring when you pick up speed. Controls feel good in the fingers, and hydraulic disc brakes combined with four-piston calipers offer excellent grip.

Yamaha Moro 07, an effective VTTAE

The Yamaha Moro 07 will be the top-of-the-range model launched by Yamaha in Europe next spring. In fact, this is the seventh version of the e-MTB from the Japanese manufacturer, which has gone straight into its motorcycle technologies to design the Dual Twin Frame, which again offers excellent stability to the bike. Comprised of two upper tubes and two down tubes, the frame was developed at the same time as the PW-X3 engine that powers the 07 Yamaha Moro.

According to Yamaha, this is their smallest motor, but also the most powerful in their e-bike range with 250W of rated power and 85Nm of torque. Power supply is provided by a 500 Wh Yamaha Lithium Ion rechargeable battery. which should give it a range of about 100 km.

The power is there, sometimes even too much. This is where the automatic mode comes into play, which is also equipped on the Yamaha CrossCore RC and Wabash RT. This has proven to be particularly useful for adapting the power delivered and guaranteeing the traction of the Yamaha Moro 07, especially on oily terrain. The 12-speed Shimano XT 1 drivetrain offers good range, and the usual assist modes are also available via a very compact control box.

Lacking a display, it is equipped with an interface based on two rows of LEDs: the latter indicate the level of assistance from the electric motor and that of the battery. For those who want more, it is also possible to associate it with a smartphone or a GPS counter.

Additionally, the Yamaha Moro 07 is a fully-suspended electric mountain bike with its RockShox Lyrik Select Charger fork that has 160mm of travel. It’s also equipped with a new rear suspension system, a RockShox Super Deluxe Select+ shock, housed between the two top tubes and offering 150mm of travel. The 27.5 x 2.6-inch Maxxis tires are necessarily designed for offroading, offering very good grip in the few muddy passages we encountered while driving this master key.

Despite its weight, which remains within the average of the competition’s e-MTBs, the Yamaha Moro 07 is a very agile and very reassuring bike. As such, the Magura MT5 brake system offers excellent grip, especially since the one-finger cylinders are so handy. And like the CrossCore RC and Wabash RT, the eMTB boasts excellent stability at high speeds, while also being able to navigate the most unlikely terrain with ease.

Suffice it to say that we were really convinced by this first grab.

price and balance

The first three VAEs marketed in Europe by Yamaha are priced at 2,990 euros for the CrossCore RC, 3,990 euros for the Wabash RT and 5,490 euros for the Moro 07. Prices certainly not given, but quite reasonable in its different segments.

Taking advantage of the reputation and experience of the brand, these three motorcycles benefit from a manufacturing quality that we already know from their scooters and motorcycles. Despite some shortcomings, the Yamaha CrossCore RC is an efficient and fairly well-placed street model.

More expensive, the Yamaha Moro 07 is, on the other hand, more efficient, in particular with its more powerful engine and its more generous battery. Finally, the Yamaha Wabash RT could almost pass for a bargain for road and gravel use.

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