Yamaha Branded Bicycles

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by e-boy, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. e-boy

    e-boy Member

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  3. Denis Shelston

    Denis Shelston Active Member

    Now that is interesting news.

    Curious to see what their first offerings will be.
  4. e-boy

    e-boy Member

    ... read it could be models already selling in Japan , but I think they will be new models for USA market .
  5. bob armani

    bob armani Active Member

    Wow that is great news! A trusted brand indeed for decades. I have had experience with their HiFi and music equipment which is also awesome! I am sure the build quality will be excellent!
  6. JayVee

    JayVee Well-Known Member

    I'm quite happy with my Yamaha powered Haibike. Not the sexiest drive, but sturdy so far.
  7. Denis Shelston

    Denis Shelston Active Member

    I'm hoping they'll be offering the Honda Civic or Toyota Corolla of E-bikes.... We have enough BMW, Mercedes and Audi. ;)
    bob armani and harryS like this.
  8. e-boy

    e-boy Member

    what starting price point are you realistically looking for ?
  9. Denis Shelston

    Denis Shelston Active Member

    How would $1000 to $2500 strike you? A city foldable to a city street model.

    I call this reasonable. Most of my friends and family drive Honda, Toyota or Mazda. None of them would ever spend more than a few thousands for any bike

    Very few drive luxury European cars, and yes those very few also have Cervelo, Giants and the like. Spandex and all.
  10. e-boy

    e-boy Member

  11. Over50

    Over50 Active Member

    Seems to me there is already a number of offerings in the range between the Mercedes and the Civic (ie the Fusions and Malibus I guess you might say) . I see ebikes on the market from low prices up to the high end Stromers etc. $1,000 (citing your range of $1k to $2.5k desired for e-bikes) doesn't seem like a lot of money to pay for a human powered bike and that price for an e-bike doesn't offer a lot of room for profit margins for manufacturers and dealers. When I think of what I desire for a quality commuter: a solid frame that can stand up to stress, racks and fenders that don't rattle, good lighting, good tires etc, I can't envision paying something much under $2.5k. Because both of my human powered bikes were in the $1k to $2k range and offered all of those features (including an IGH) minus the motors and batteries. And I would consider those 2 bikes to not be high end bikes (a Spot and a Tern) that were priced competitively with similar offerings.
  12. e-boy

    e-boy Member

    there's definitely a floor on price .
    But maybe Giant or an Amazon Basic offering in the next few years , will bring the price down .
  13. Alex M

    Alex M Active Member

    A foldable $1,000 - maybe, though not likely from expensive brand like Yamaha.

    $2,500 - possibly, at least that much. On automotive scale that would be the price slightly above Civic or Corolla, i.e. not the cheapest one. There are quality ebikes with other motors that cost from $1,800-1,900, though quality drops abruptly if you go below this mark.

    Quality frame costs less than $800 retail, probably $400 wholesale - again, I'm talking Civic level, something that works but not meant to impress. Adding $200 hub motor (not Yamaha) and $300 battery (wholesale) for a total $900 results in $1,900 retail - $1,000 markup. Maybe low production volume is to blame, i.e. "Civic"-level of ebike frame costs them more than $400. After they've barely sold a few hundred bikes, they scrap the model and start making something new.
  14. e-boy

    e-boy Member

  15. George S.

    George S. Well-Known Member

    Mike (Mikey) at Blue Monkey is going to interview Yamaha, post something on their YT channel.

    Court reviewed the Voltbike Enduro with the Bafang Max. That bike has a torque sensor and is a nice basic mid-drive. They are at $1800. Voltbike is an impressive company, coming out of nowhere. Bafang has a legal limit torque sensor mid-drive in the works, the Max Ultra. The Max are frame integrated, not bolt on. Bafang has a low cost model, the Modest, and they have some sort of battery factory in the works.

    In other words, here's a company that owns the DIY mid-drive market, with a decent reputation. They are aiming for the low end, but production type bikes. I could see Yamaha going into that Civic market, but it may not be that easy. Bosch has talked about a cheaper drive system.

    I have two Bikes Direct bikes and a Trek 820, all converted to ebikes with hub motors. Since I have 2-3 years on all the bikes, I'm not that concerned about the quality of the frames. The cheapest bike was $270, the most expensive $420. Each bike has at least 2,000 miles, trouble free miles. You can get a BBS02 mid-drive from Luna for $400, or a MAC or Golden hub, beefy hubs, for about that. You can go with a Bafang hub for a lot less.

    With a direct model you could sell a decent frame, a very good motor, and some sort of 48v battery, real cells, around $1200. I expect bikes like the Voltbike to put an end to mainstream DIY. It just isn't really worth it. Does Yamaha really bring anything to the party, jammed between Bosch and Bafang? Shimano is a huge company, the biggest of the 'names', but they've done little with ebike motors.

    I think Yamaha should make a light motorcycle, something with speeds and range for in city use, but registered and licensed.

    It's an endlessly fascinating world and right now there is a lot going on, but most of it is not seen.
  16. Alex M

    Alex M Active Member

    Yes, Bafang is what I meant for Civic-level ebike. Mostly - hubs, this is cheaper, easier to operate and easier to service. BBS mid-drives have their market share too - and yes, popular with DIY. Hubs retail for 200-something bucks from China, probably cost less than $200 from the factory. There are other better and more expensive hubs, Dapu is well built and popular (Pedego etc).

    The tendency in mid-low priced ebikes is that throttle is a must. Sometimes it comes even before PAS - naturally, since this is easier to do than PAS. Yamaha or Bosch don't have throttle, and I hear there are no plans to do this.

    Voltbike, and few others that I know, didn't really come from nowhere, though 10-15 years ago they wouldn't be able to. Here is how it works - replanted Chinese or Filipino, permanently living in Canada or US, with background in mechanical engineering, opens an ebike company in Canada or US. Or partners with somebody else - but you have to be an engineer and speak those languages. All parts and factories are in China, and there are many - you just need to plan, choose, design, put it together, and get it to the consumer here. A lot of work. You have to be there at the factory OFTEN, several times a month, to control and oversee, or it will deteriorate quickly to the level of $500 Ebay gizmo.

    Vancouver BC in the last decade or two has become predominantly Chinese population, convenient flights from there, so companies like Volt are no surprise. Not to mention half a dozen local knock-offs (China-direct, Vancouver storefront), looking very-very similar to Volt or Ejoe or other, albeit unknown parts and quality.
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2017
  17. e-boy

    e-boy Member

    Pinkbike article speculates Yamaha Branded bikes for USA will be eMTB's .
  18. Timpo

    Timpo New Member

    I don't know too much about Yamaha but I heard they're HEAVILY RESTRICTED by the Japanese 24km/h (15mph) law.

    I wonder if they will juice up for North American market.
  19. George S.

    George S. Well-Known Member

    The only drive in the US that people really understand is the BBS02. A lot of that has to do with Karl Gesslein and his BBS02 blog. It’s not like this Bafang mid drive is hard to understand. It is remarkable for the simplicity. Take a bike. Remove the bottom bracket (find a shop, if this is at all confusing). Put the BBS02 in the bottom bracket. Tighten it down. There are 5 connectors, including 2 for power. So you need a battery and the brake levers that kill the motor, plus the display, maybe a gear sensor. The actual motor is fairly easy to understand, lubricate, or service. It is well-understood.

    I guess for the DIY world, Bafang is almost the center of the universe. Most people who did conversions did the BBS02 for several years. There was a controversy about the controller, but it subsided. The line of attack that production ebike companies took, versus the BBS02, was to say that it was not refined. The gear sensor helped with shifts, though that is controversial. But there really is no torque sensing for the BBS 02. That showed up in the Max Drive, from Bafang, and the Max is more or less integrated into the frame, it is not a ‘universal’ bolt on type mount. But Bafang also came out with the BBSHD, which is beefier and offers power well beyond the legal limit. That was another spur to DIY. But in DIY mid-drives it’s all Bafang, all the time.

    So now Bafang has torque sensing and they can market drives that anticipate your every move as you become one with the bike. That’s the marketing line. I’d like to see comparisons of the various drives, how rugged, how refined. A Max drive is sold on a Max bike, and there aren’t a lot of choices. It’s surprising Bafang does not make bikes with the Max or the Max Ultra.

    I think there is a ‘purification’ ahead for ebikes in the US. Maybe someone like Yamaha will make a nice light and fairly cheap electric motorcycle. With good road tires, motorcycle tires, tough suspension and all the other stuff you get on a motorcycle, that will kill the high power ebike. It will look like a joke. A lot of people can use hub motors, and hub motors are dirt cheap. Batteries are getting cheap. Basic ebikes can be low cost and very reliable. I’ve never, not once, seen an ebike in three years of riding my neighborhoods. I ride a lot, close to home. Last Saturday the heavens must have opened up and there were three, out in front of me, breezing up the steepest road into town. I had to catch up with them (no easy task) and yell out “Ebikes!” which is all I could think of. (They looked like Voltbikes.) Maybe the tide has turned.

    BBS 02.jpg
  20. Timpo

    Timpo New Member

    If anyone didn't know, Yamaha is no stranger to ebikes and they have rich history of producing reliable ebikes for a very long time.

    Japan has been building solid ebike for decades, Yamaha, Panasonic, Honda, Hitachi, Toshiba, to name a few.

    Sure, Chinese manufactures like Bafang is getting popular, just like Lifan is one of the biggest motorcycle engine manufacture in the world, but in terms of quality and performance, they're not Japanese standard yet.

    I think the biggest reason Japanese ebike were never sold in USA/Canada is because Americans tend to like cars with big engines. Commuting on a bicycle is relative a new trend in America with eco-friendly mind with EV cars and Hybrid Vehicles and all the 21st century trend.

    1993 Yamaha PAS
    As you can see with cargo space and stuff, unlike in the USA, bicycles are legitimate commuter for people in Japan and other parts of the world.

    1979 Panasonic EC2

    And obviously they had foldable ebikes as well.

    1995 Honda Racoon Compo
  21. Timpo

    Timpo New Member

    Some photos of old school Honda Racoon.

    Powered by 24V Ni-Cd battery, 220W brushed motor.

    bob armani likes this.