Yamaha Ebike Motor RPM Support

Court

Administrator
Staff member
Hi guys, I just finished the first Yamaha electric bike review for the Cross Connect and enjoyed their proprietary programming a lot. This motor is smooth, quiet, very responsive, but it also has some limitations. The maximum torque is 70 newton meters and the maximum pedal support is 110 RPM. This is a step above the original PWseries that limited pedal support to 110 RPM. The new PWseries SE (special edition?) may also offer Bluetooth integration for their app, but the official website doesn't say anything about that (it used to), so perhaps it's more about the display being used because the PW-X display does have a Micro USB and BLE (bluetooth low energy) option in the settings that I talk about in this post.

Anyway, I took a screenshot of their pages (for SE and PW-X eMTB motor) so we have a record and you can quickly compare across the many different motor options. I always appreciate your feedback! Maybe you've got a Giant or Haibike with the standard PW or you've test ridden the new PWseries SE on one of the official Yamaha models for 2019.
 

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Brooks

Member
Not sure what you are selling, if any.
I am with JayVee here..... PW motor cuts out over 90rpm... allowing you to save battery.
You don't really need assist if you are cranking over 90... do you? Drop down to 80 and you are right on the powerband.
I think Yamaha got it right the first time.
Never turn the bike upside down!
 

Nova Haibike

Well-Known Member
I think Court has indicated in the past that he has weak or fragile knees, thus preferring to spin at a very high cadence. Myself, I could ride that way when I was younger, but I pretty much top out at 90-95 for most riding these days. Spinning beyond that for me feels ridiculous and a waste of energy. Different strokes (or cadences) for different folks.
 

Mike's E-Bikes

Well-Known Member
Not sure what you are selling, if any.
I am with JayVee here..... PW motor cuts out over 90rpm... allowing you to save battery.
You don't really need assist if you are cranking over 90... do you? Drop down to 80 and you are right on the powerband.
I think Yamaha got it right the first time.
Never turn the bike upside down!
Yamaha has it right.

It's very inefficient to pedal at a high cadence. The best cyclists I know, usually are around 70. They go far, have developed stronger legs, as more oxygen gets to their thigh muscles. They also have fewer knee problems.

Here's an article with concrete evidence, why you should be nowhere 90 or 110 at any gear.

That's why there are 18 speeds on yamaha's e- bikes folks. Learn how to ride properly and be muscle efficient. (Also better for your heart)

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cyclingweekly.com/fitness/why-amateurs-shouldnt-try-to-pedal-like-chris-froome-191779/amp
 

Mike's E-Bikes

Well-Known Member
Hi guys, I just finished the first Yamaha electric bike review for the Cross Connect and enjoyed their proprietary programming a lot. This motor is smooth, quiet, very responsive, but it also has some limitations. The maximum torque is 70 newton meters and the maximum pedal support is 110 RPM. This is a step above the original PWseries that limited pedal support to 110 RPM. The new PWseries SE (special edition?) may also offer Bluetooth integration for their app, but the official website doesn't say anything about that (it used to), so perhaps it's more about the display being used because the PW-X display does have a Micro USB and BLE (bluetooth low energy) option in the settings that I talk about in this post.

Anyway, I took a screenshot of their pages (for SE and PW-X eMTB motor) so we have a record and you can quickly compare across the many different motor options. I always appreciate your feedback! Maybe you've got a Giant or Haibike with the standard PW or you've test ridden the new PWseries SE on one of the official Yamaha models for 2019.
The motor doesn't have any limitations if you cycle properly.
 

Roxlimn

Member
I come from a roadie background, and regardless of efficiency, I prefer to pedal at a higher cadence - about 80 to 90. Sometimes I try to accelerate by pedaling faster, but that's unusual.

I have both the Syncdrive Giant motor by Yamaha and the Syncdrive Pro. The PW based motor does offer full support at 90, but it offers some measure of support up to about 100+ RPM. It's a progressive decline. I notice that about both motors, and I think it contributes to their natural feeling - cut off is almost always progressive, not sudden, and when you stop, there's a wind down, which feels like it's a side effect of the progressive assist/wind down policy.

PW-X definitely supports higher. I feel some support even up at about 110+. Support is full and solid up to 100+ RPM.

I tend to view the progressive decline as a feature rather than a flaw, especially for the PW. It means I can micro-adjust the amount of assist I'm getting by modulating my cadence. This allows me to relax by pedaling slower or conserve battery by pedaling faster.
 
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Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
Anyway, I took a screenshot of their pages (for SE and PW-X eMTB motor) so we have a record and you can quickly compare across the many different motor options. I always appreciate your feedback! Maybe you've got a Giant or Haibike with the standard PW or you've test ridden the new PWseries SE on one of the official Yamaha models for 2019.
Yamaha makes some fantastic drive units.
RPM limitation is the least of Yamaha owners worry, just like Bosch owners don't fret about the pedaling resistance at zero assist (biking in the honey feeling!) or the noise.
Most of the drives from Yamaha in the US are limited to 20mph anyway. TO get to 20mph, 80-95rpm is enough and the drive works well.

PW-X is actually one of the smoothest and powerful 250W motors out there. It is compact, punchy and smoother than Bosch in its assist engagement.

If there is one feedback about this post, it would be this:

This post gives a subtle message to manufacturers that "Hey, look I am a big influencer in the E-bike space and if you don't let me know review your bikes on-demand within a certain time frame, I am going to nit-pick on your bike etc."

I think if you are equally critical on every review, people accept it. If you are equally soft in every review, again, it's fine.
There is a famous car reviewer on YouTube that I really enjoy listening to. His name is Doug DeMuro and his videos are funny and he is often very critical of trivial stuff and people accept it.

People are smart and they pick up things quickly.

I know this is not the right thing to say on a public forum but I mention it because it will help EBR in the long run and build more trusted connections. Things, people, technology all evolve and with passage of time, I hope EBR can maintain its reputation as a trusted source of info, not compromised by anything.
 

Roxlimn

Member
It's a little meta, but I think Court is doing a pretty good job of staying as neutral as he can, knowing as we do about his personal preferences. A lot of people wouldn't be as charitable in the same position. He does represent a segment of the market (people with knee issues) for whom electric assist is essentially a medical recommendation, so getting his take on it is a valuable resource, especially since he always mentions his personal caveats nearly without fail.

For my part, I only have Yamaha motors available locally, so it's not like I have a choice or can compare, but what I've ridden is truly astonishing technology, and I have no complaints except for the minimal amount of noise. Even when ridden without assist, Syncdrive motors feel remarkably smooth - it feels like the weight of the bike is far more of a factor than anything from the engine.

It bears special mention that in this review, Court specifically elicited the aid of Sam, who is known to be partial to Yamaha motors. He often does interject when he feels that Court is underselling the motor, and Court doesn't edit those out in the final videos.

I really don't feel any of the "start/stop" impressions in either the Syndrive Sport or the Syncdrive Pro (PW and PWX respectively) that some users report from, say, a Bosch motor. Assist on and assist off are always progressive, so if you're past the speed limit and start to slow down, assist kicks in a bit at a time as you go back to the assisted limit. It's quite remarkable. This isn't to say that it's not noticeable. With the 25 kph limit, it's particularly notable on the high assist settings because the motor has to range between no to max assist within about 5 kph range; and 25 kph is slow enough that most active cyclists can do it without assist anyway. On my Dirt E2 with the PW motor, it's best on Eco for that smoothest feel - within a few days of riding, the motor assist feeling just disappears and it just feels like riding a normal bike.

For very strong riders, the American limit of 32 kph makes a lot more sense because that's where they cruise normally. Having bikes set up to have Eco assist up to that speed makes the bike sing, and that's my experience with the Trance E. I only really put it on higher assist when I've set up my gearing and am already spinning up a slope.
 

AZOldTech

Active Member
...and the maximum pedal support is 110 RPM. This is a step above the original PWseries that limited pedal support to 110 RPM.
Did you mean to say that? Or is the second 110 incorrect?

BTW, IMO high cadence (anything at or above 90rpm) is for hamsters and pro-cyclists (not amateur cyclists) and completely inefficient and there is scientific evidence to prove exactly that.
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/02/190212120114.htm

My wife on her Yamaha PW Sduro Haibike reaches 28mph at about 80-85rpm (using a PearTune speed unlocker of course to do away with the motor assist 20mph limit).
 
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AZOldTech

Active Member
In your reviews you should mention that the Yamaha PW remote is very fragile. If you turn over the bike to fix a flat, chances are that the plastic collar (or housing) will break. I’ve broken 3 so far, requiring the replacement of the remote, cradle, and cable running down to the drive. Total cost: around 300 euros. Very unprofessional by a company like Yamaha and not covered by the Haibike warranty which considers it as wear and tear! Yet two of those remotes cracked due to hot/cold cycles.
We have 3 different ebikes (one of them a Haibike Yamaha sduro), and I have never turned any of them over without a high enough support on the left and right handles to clear all the other stuff in between on the handlebar. So it has nothing to do with yamaha bikes. Putting all that weight on any of the stuff on the handlebar of any ebike but the handles is a no-no. I cut some small lightweight polystyrene pieces (1-2in in thickness depending on your ebike, and you can easily find different thickness in packaging of the stuff you get) and I wrapped them with clear boxing tape (to avoid them shedding) and carry them on the bike bag of each bike.
 
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AZOldTech

Active Member
All I did was to ride in -5C weather regularly.
You have more guts than I. But then again I live in Arizona where the only thing we have to worry about is 120F heat in the summer and even then I usually ride at 5:30-6am for an hour only when it's a bit "cooler" (if you can call it that). By 7:30-8:00am it is unbearable during the warmest days in the summer. That is usually when we go on vacation away from AZ.
 

MikeDee

Active Member
Those studies are misleading and don't consider endurance. High cadence (like 90 rpm) saves your legs on long rides. Read some books on cycling coaching and training. It's not just for pros either. Even if you can't do that kind of cadence on climbs, you save your legs if say you can pedal at 70 rpm vs. 50, for example.
 

AZOldTech

Active Member
Those studies are misleading and don't consider endurance. High cadence (like 90 rpm) saves your legs on long rides. Read some books on cycling coaching and training. It's not just for pros either. Even if you can't do that kind of cadence on climbs, you save your legs if say you can pedal at 70 rpm vs. 50, for example.
Are you saying the International Journal of Sports Medicine is misleading? So do you have any better evidence, other than just your word, to prove it?
 

erider_61

Active Member

bob armani

Well-Known Member
We have 3 different ebikes (one of them a Haibike Yamaha sduro), and I have never turned any of them over without a high enough support on the left and right handles to clear all the other stuff in between on the handlebar. So it has nothing to do with yamaha bikes. Putting all that weight on any of the stuff on the handlebar of any ebike but the handles is a no-no. I cut some small lightweight polystyrene pieces (1-2in in thickness depending on your ebike, and you can easily find different thickness in packaging of the stuff you get) and I wrapped them with clear boxing tape (to avoid them shedding) and carry them on the bike bag of each bike.
FYI-That material is also useful during transport on a platform style bike rack. You simply place the material between the hook arm (that secures the bike down) and the top tube and it prevents damaging the paint/decals/stickers on your frame. Thanks for the heads up!
 

Roxlimn

Member
For cadences, I'd say the science is right on the money. For most amateurs, higher cadences probably are counter-productive, especially when you have electric assist. When riders say higher cadences "save their legs," it's usually in terms of damage and fatigue, which compounds higher when you exert significant amounts of effort at lower cadences - from 60-70. The comparison there isn't using the same effort at varying cadences, but whether you should exert more tensile strength at lower cadence, or exert more mobile strength at a higher cadence, while maintaining the same speed.

For cyclists coming from an active riding background, spinning at 80-90 just feels normal and comfortable.

Having said that, if I have an ebike and I'm completely wrecked, I generally put it on max assist and then move the bike at low cadences - 60 or so. It's a lot easier to just spin the cranks slowly with almost no effort than it is to spin them around quickly, even if there's also almost no strength in your feet.
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
For cadences, I'd say the science is right on the money. For most amateurs, higher cadences probably are counter-productive, especially when you have electric assist. When riders say higher cadences "save their legs," it's usually in terms of damage and fatigue, which compounds higher when you exert significant amounts of effort at lower cadences - from 60-70. The comparison there isn't using the same effort at varying cadences, but whether you should exert more tensile strength at lower cadence, or exert more mobile strength at a higher cadence, while maintaining the same speed.

For cyclists coming from an active riding background, spinning at 80-90 just feels normal and comfortable.

Having said that, if I have an ebike and I'm completely wrecked, I generally put it on max assist and then move the bike at low cadences - 60 or so. It's a lot easier to just spin the cranks slowly with almost no effort than it is to spin them around quickly, even if there's also almost no strength in your feet.
I agree with the low cadence in the highest PAS mode is my preference. Clipping along on the straights gets you going at a comfortable ROS with a decent workout. Primary reason why I have my E-bike for that type of riding.
 

Johnny

Active Member
Don't you think 110rpm is plenty for most of the riders? I really don't understand this 120+rpm support "necessity". With my Bosch I wish I could pedal freely when I turn the support off. I also would appreciate being able to backpedal for maintenance.


I think the real data that we need is Torque / RPM graph. It is impossible to have an output of 70 nm at 100 rpm if the motor is really outputting 250W since it will translate into a power output of 730watts(even the peak output is less than 700W I believe).
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
It's a little meta, but I think Court is doing a pretty good job of staying as neutral as he can, knowing as we do about his personal preferences. A lot of people wouldn't be as charitable in the same position. He does represent a segment of the market (people with knee issues) for whom electric assist is essentially a medical recommendation, so getting his take on it is a valuable resource, especially since he always mentions his personal caveats nearly without fail.

For my part, I only have Yamaha motors available locally, so it's not like I have a choice or can compare, but what I've ridden is truly astonishing technology, and I have no complaints except for the minimal amount of noise. Even when ridden without assist, Syncdrive motors feel remarkably smooth - it feels like the weight of the bike is far more of a factor than anything from the engine.

It bears special mention that in this review, Court specifically elicited the aid of Sam, who is known to be partial to Yamaha motors. He often does interject when he feels that Court is underselling the motor, and Court doesn't edit those out in the final videos.

I really don't feel any of the "start/stop" impressions in either the Syndrive Sport or the Syncdrive Pro (PW and PWX respectively) that some users report from, say, a Bosch motor. Assist on and assist off are always progressive, so if you're past the speed limit and start to slow down, assist kicks in a bit at a time as you go back to the assisted limit. It's quite remarkable. This isn't to say that it's not noticeable. With the 25 kph limit, it's particularly notable on the high assist settings because the motor has to range between no to max assist within about 5 kph range; and 25 kph is slow enough that most active cyclists can do it without assist anyway. On my Dirt E2 with the PW motor, it's best on Eco for that smoothest feel - within a few days of riding, the motor assist feeling just disappears and it just feels like riding a normal bike.

For very strong riders, the American limit of 32 kph makes a lot more sense because that's where they cruise normally. Having bikes set up to have Eco assist up to that speed makes the bike sing, and that's my experience with the Trance E. I only really put it on higher assist when I've set up my gearing and am already spinning up a slope.
I agree with you. Court is a good friend of mine and he is very fair.
The reason I brought it up is because I have made this mistake myself several times in my life and have learned it the hard way. So, I am particularly sensitive of things like this.
In my previous University, my professor was very difficult to work with. Out of frustration, one day I made him feel like, without me, his project would not go to the level he intends to.
To prove his masculine power, he made my life even more difficult and both the project and I suffered as a result.

The point is, Court may be frustrated with ONE certain person within Yamaha and that person may not even be with Yamaha after few years. So, it is not necessary to strain the chemistry just to handle this one person.

Let's if I ran EBR, I would rather not make enemies with companies like Yamaha or Bosch. So, I shared it from that perspective. There will be plenty of opportunities in the future to collaborate and the technology will evolve over time.
 

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
I always believe that half knowledge is dangerous. So, I always welcome competing viewpoints to understand a topic better.

While reading some science journal article, I noticed this very interesting piece.

Higher cadence is not beneficial to recreational riders. It works only for professional athletes and most of us are not professional athletes.

Lead author Dr Federico Formenti said: “Pedalling at cadence greater than 90 revolutions per minute is advantageous for professional cyclists, but appears inefficient for recreational cyclists. When cycling at low exercise intensity, skeletal muscle oxygenation is mostly unaffected by cadence, indicating that the cardiopulmonary and circulatory systems can effectively meet the exercising muscles’ demand.
For those who are interested in reading the paper.. here it is:

https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/abstract/10.1055/a-0835-6286

I will share the first few paragraphs here:


Introduction
The growing popularity of cycling is stimulating a wealth of research in the field of exercise physiology beyond elite athletes’ performance, with several studies investigating the responses to exercise in recreational cyclists. The concurrent advances in technological development allow for a variety of physiological parameters to be studied in vivo and non-invasively.

Changing pedaling cadence during moderate intensity cycling affects a number of physiological responses: at a constant and moderate power output, increasing cadence causes an increase in heart rate (HR), oxygen uptake (V̇O2), carbon dioxide production (V̇CO2), rate of perceived exertion and lactate [11] [16] [20] [32] [33] [39]. High pedaling cadences increase skeletal muscle metabolic demand, which up to a point can be matched by a corresponding increase in the cardio-respiratory function that raises the rate of pulmonary oxygen uptake and oxygen delivery at systemic level. In contrast, low pedaling cadences increase intramuscular pressure during the muscular contraction period [19], with a size effect associated with the force generated by the muscular contraction [21]. This phenomenon temporarily reduces or prevents blood perfusion to the contracting muscle and downstream tissues. Inevitably during cycling exercise, low cadences are also associated with proportionally longer muscular relaxation periods, when perfusion is increased. It is currently unclear whether the longer contraction period and greater pedal forces at lower cadence are likely to determine inadequate oxygenation of the exercising muscles [31] [35].

The effect of pedaling cadence on skeletal muscle oxygenation has been rather extensively explored in real time by means of near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). This technique uses different wavelengths of infra-red light to estimate the hemoglobin and myoglobin in the tissue of interest, measuring their total changes (tHb), as well as the changes in the oxygenated (OxyHb) and deoxygenated forms (HHb). NIRS cannot detect differences between signals from hemoglobin and myoglobin, hence the contribution of myoglobin to the overall signal cannot be completely excluded. However, the hypothesis that most of the NIRS signal is determined by hemoglobin is supported by several observations [8] [25] [27] [28] [30] [36]. Skeletal muscle oxygenation can then be expressed in terms of tissue saturation index (TSI), the ratio between OxyHb and tHb [9]. TSI provides an overall index of skeletal muscle oxygenation, while OxyHb and HHb estimate oxygen delivery and extraction at the tissue level, respectively [14].