Yamaha EBike with most natural assist and regular bike feel

Mike's E-Bikes

Well-Known Member
#1
The attached link is not a 'technical video', but does a fairly decent job of delineating the difference between Yamaha's new ebikes, and the rest of the e-assist configurations on the market.

I've ridden about 80 different models, from more than 50 brands over the past 3 years, and when it comes down to it, after you get over the 'excitement' of having assist, then you really need to decide how you want to use assist. In otherwords, do you want to still get exercise like on a regular bike, with assist helping you along like a 'tailwind' to achieve a higher pace (speed) consistently, OR do you want the ebike motor to do more of the work, and you don't mind the inconsistency of the assist, where as long as you are peddling, the motor works, with most of the time delivering a LOT more of the assist (greater portion of the work than you are doing), or sometimes not so much but you can't really control it well, beyond the rotation speed.

Some torque sensing methods out there do accomplish a more natural feel, but from the many brands I have tried its just too inconsistent, and doesn't take into account speed. Sometimes it can be really hard or a lot of effort, with no corresponding level of assist from the motor (again its supposed to be sensing how hard you pedal), and sometimes you barely press, and the ebike just shoots off like a bat out of h*ll. Worse, quite often the torque sensing does not stay in 'tune' very well over time, so it doesn't feel the same say 6 months to a year after you ride the ebike versus the first time. Cadence sensing is of course, based on pedal rotation. The worst case scenario is that you are merely 'ghost pedaling' and the motor is doing almost nearly all of the work, and your legs are sort of 'faking' that you are riding.

The approach to how you want to use assist, also greatly affects battery capacity, so people who want the ebike to simply do most of the work, and to go 'fast', will find they likely need or want a battery that is 17 AH and up, just to go 40 or 50 miles.

If however you choose to have your ebike as much like a regular bike as possible, and just giving you a more modest level of assist like a tailwind at all times, then you really might want to check out the Yamaha brand of ebikes, where they have 3 different sensing systems, that allow you to get the most natural ride possible, and concurrently it is one of the lightest ebikes on the market with such a long range, and comfortable position. (modest lean forward which is the best for your back and spine).

Anyway, the attached video is nothing like Court's that he does here, but it is a nice little introduction to a rather subtle, but very real, difference in how mid drives can operate, and Yamaha's ebike is certainly a lot more refined than any hub drive I have ridden. Best of all, it feels and is of a quality level more like some of the $4000 to $5000 price range ebikes I have ridden, or high end regular bikes, but is priced much more reasonably in the $2400 to $3200 price range with 3 of their 4 models urban road style models. a 4th model is MTB, and that still is only ~ $3400.

https://www.adventuresportsnetwork.com/gear/know-your-gear-we-review-the-yamaha-urban-rush/
 

Mike's E-Bikes

Well-Known Member
#3
In the US, are the Yamaha components put onto other brands as well as being part of their own branded bikes?
Yamaha has supplied their mid drive units to other vendors, such as Giant and Haibike for here in the US. But they supply displays to them that are different, and battery systems along with the drives, and to a different specification for the other ebike OEMs. The PW-SE series and PW-X mid drives are similar, but for their own ebikes, they are custom tuned for the specific frame and geometry, using dedicated sensor systems. So they will feel different. They have supplied more than 6 million mid drive units over the years, and have proven quite reliable.

They are launching another model this year, and likely more to come from what I understand.

Their 3 sensors, with torque, cadence, and speed (integrated at the hub for increased sensitivity) all work together as one, which is the only configuration like this in the industry. They've taken how assist is applied to entirely new level.

That said, since their launch last year, they have stayed rather un-hyped, and under-marketed, apparently letting their technology, quality, and long motor sports history speak for itself.
 

Mike's E-Bikes

Well-Known Member
#4
Their design is really focused on attracting avid cyclists, who really have shunned ebikes for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the heaviness of many ebike frames, and how unnatural they all feel. Over the past couple of years, I have had a lot of avid cyclists (purists) take test rides on a number of different ebikes, and come away saying 'they'll wait', or just kind of not be real keen on the feel. This year that all changed with the Yamaha design, and while it has not been huge numbers, the avid cyclists when they try them come away very impressed, and put down the money for these Yamaha's, particularly after they visit other places with other brands that seem similar.

Be interesting to see how it catches on. The brand is there. Now really its the awareness.

Certainly if it gets acceptance and converts avid cyclists, any less than regular biker, or someone getting back into 'biking' via ebikes, who hasn't biked regularly for years, will love the feel and the frame fits they have. Its definitely not a force fit, or 'one size' fits all.
 
#5
Haibike Full FatSix owner here; coming up on 6 thousand miles on the odometer of the Full FatSix. Absolutely no issues with anything on the Yamaha PW drive system. Ever. 12 months of the year riding, save for when the road salt gets put down on the roads that lead up to my trails.

I'm not bashful about using High power either, and I found that Yamaha's predictor of getting 43 miles out of a full battery charge on High power is spot on using water level riding and minimal elevation gain. The same for the other predicted mileages in the Standard, Eco and +Eco settings, too. Consistent mileage predictors, bullet proof drive and battery.

I began riding the Full FatSix exclusively in March, 2017. My usual ride is a twenty miler, in High power. In early summer, 2018, I did a 95 mile run on this bike, using a combination of all power settings, but mainly in the ECO and +ECO settings to get me out and back home. Rolling up into the driveway, using these power settings, I still had 18% power remaining in the battery.

Speaking of the battery, after my 20 mile run using HIGH power, I will have about 50 percent battery power remaining, again, this is consistent with the predictors Yamaha built into this drive system, that being 43 miles running on high power or 53 miles on Standard power. Think about it this way: with another battery, here we have a fat tired, dual suspension fat bike capable of doing a century on Standard power.

I believe the Haibike Yamaha displays are the same as what Yamaha uses on their line of ebikes. Giant may be a different story though.

I simply lucked out in buying this bike; that and using Court's great video on the Full FatSix as well as the Bosch powered FatSix as well as his take on the Felt Outfitter, powered by Bosch. I did not have at my disposal a means to test other ebikes out. Other than the Full FatSix, the only other ebike I tried was a skinnier tired Specialized Turbo; offered up by a fellow towpath traveler as he saw my fat tired Specialized Fatboy off trail, resting up on afternoon. It was that "tailwind to the back" feel that got me thinking of an off road fat bike.

Bosch is making some nice drives and their PR is great. Other brands are touting high speeds, high battery watt hours. Meanwhile, Yamaha is plugging along, slow and steady and consistently. Sooner or later, word is gonna get around about their bullet proof drive systems and unparalleled battery mileage.

I'm looking forward to Court reviewing the 2019 Full FatSix 10.0, with the more powerful PW-X drive; when he gets that chance!

Mike
 

Attachments

AZOldTech

Active Member
#6
I bought a Haibike 2018 SDURO Radius Tour 35 Black this Xmas for the wife, and its mid drive quietness and natural bike like action all but destroys any other hub motor ebike (as well as some bosch ebikes) I had the pleasure of riding. Until people ride a mid drive Yamaha motor ebike, they don't know what they are missing. BTW, that Yamaha ebike in eco mode gets 100+ mile range here in Arizona. And it's true cause I tested it. And for $1200 (special one day promotion) it was a steal. I should have bought 4 at that price, but it was a blind purchase at the time. Had I truly known how good Yamaha ebikes are, I would have bought more. AWESOME ebike.
https://www.haibikeusa.com/2018-sduro-radius-tour.html
 
#11

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
#12
I bought a Haibike 2018 SDURO Radius Tour 35 Black this Xmas for the wife, and its mid drive quietness and natural bike like action all but destroys any other hub motor ebike (as well as some bosch ebikes) I had the pleasure of riding. Until people ride a mid drive Yamaha motor ebike, they don't know what they are missing. BTW, that Yamaha ebike in eco mode gets 100+ mile range here in Arizona. And it's true cause I tested it. And for $1200 (special one day promotion) it was a steal. I should have bought 4 at that price, but it was a blind purchase at the time. Had I truly known how good Yamaha ebikes are, I would have bought more. AWESOME ebike.
https://www.haibikeusa.com/2018-sduro-radius-tour.html
The responsiveness of Yamaha is top notch. Very smooth and consistent.
Haibike Radius tour at the price is an excellent choice.
 
#14
Reliability? Parts available for user repair?
Here is a site that has reliability data, from actual users, for all the motors. Here is the Yamaha one but you can select any other at the top. You can select the language from the drop down menu of the Google online translator on the right.
https://pedelecmonitor.wordpress.com/mittelmotoren/mittelmotoren-2/yamaha-mittelmotoren/
This Google spreadsheet has ALL the motor issues for ALL the motors. Hit CTRL-F to search for Yamaha (or for any other you want) and look on the column to the right for the english description.
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet...H3x-ecCLiYDX_mM96iHhiWztc/edit#gid=1240553272
 
Last edited:

Ravi Kempaiah

Well-Known Member
#15
Reliability? Parts available for user repair?
Out of all the mid-drive motors, Yamaha is perhaps #1 in terms of reliability of the motor.
Lenny's shop has sold over 500 Yamaha powered ebikes in the last 3 years and not a single motor failure. Other bikes including Bosch, Brose have failed but not Yamaha. May be they have not introduced 28mph bikes so far here in the US and may be other components on the bikes may have failed but I have never heard of a Yamaha motor breaking down. I am looking forward to hearing that.... so far it seems like an outlier.
 

Mike's E-Bikes

Well-Known Member
#17
The Bosch shows a lot of reported main bearing failures, and cracked gears, which is pretty consistent with reports on forums over in the E.U. where they aren't shy about talking about problems with Bosch mid drives.
 
#18
Out of all the mid-drive motors, Yamaha is perhaps #1 in terms of reliability of the motor.
Lenny's shop has sold over 500 Yamaha powered ebikes in the last 3 years and not a single motor failure. Other bikes including Bosch, Brose have failed but not Yamaha. May be they have not introduced 28mph bikes so far here in the US and may be other components on the bikes may have failed but I have never heard of a Yamaha motor breaking down. I am looking forward to hearing that.... so far it seems like an outlier.
Bosch, Brose and Shimano combined are probably outselling Yamaha 10 to 1, if not more in the US market, however.

Also, everyone ducking the fact that yamaha is stooping to cheesy ads without acknowledging that they are infomercials. Seems shady.
 

bob armani

Well-Known Member
#19
Bosch, Brose and Shimano combined are probably outselling Yamaha 10 to 1, if not more in the US market, however.

Also, everyone ducking the fact that yamaha is stooping to cheesy ads without acknowledging that they are infomercials. Seems shady.
Hey, just b/c they are outselling, does'n't make them superior to their competitors. There are many food chains that sell burgers in the billions than their competitors, but does not make that necessarily a better product, does it? Outselling competitors in various markets cannot always be used as a gauge of a superior product.
 
#20
Hey, just b/c they are outselling, does'n't make them superior to their competitors. There are many food chains that sell burgers in the billions than their competitors, but does not make that necessarily a better product, does it? Outselling competitors in various markets cannot always be used as a gauge of a superior product.
I didn't claim they were superior. I'm an agnostic since I have not ridden a bike with a yamaha motor.

I am pointing out that since there are far more shimano/bosch/brose motors on the market compared to yamaha there will unavoidably be far more failures as well.

And still, "mikes's ebikes" silent about posting a yamaha informercial as if it were an unbiased source. It makes me question the integrity of the company if neither party (yamaha nor the youtube channel) disclose that this was a paid site.