Yamaha Urban Rush Reviews

RickyBikes

Member
Region
USA
The Yamaha Urban Rush is an electric commuter/road bike from one of the most recognized names in motorsports. This is a class-one electric bike, meaning pedal assist only up to 20mph. The Urban Rush is a high-step road bike trainer available in three sizes and one color (onyx). It retails at $3,299 (3 year warranty - battery included) and is available at select dealers nationwide. Yamaha utilizes a 250W mid-mounted geared motor and 36v battery with estimated 80 mile range. Yamaha uses pretty advanced systems for a mid-market product to create performance with some value; they’ve created a bike that feels pure to biking, compared to some eBikes.


Here's Yamaha’s official website for the Urban Rush; I'd love to hear your thoughts below, especially if you own the Urban Rush or plan to buy them!






While I haven't reviewed this electric bike myself, I have covered similar eBikes and I wanted to provide some insights and open things up for your feedback. I hope providing several sources, with varying perspectives, allows everyone to come to their own conclusions. Sometimes short reviews and those created by shops only cover the good aspects and can come off like a commercial, so I've tried to be neutral and objective with these insights:

Pros - things that stood out as good:
  • The quiet, efficient mid-drive PW-SE mid-gear motor is proven and reliable technology from one of the premium names in motorsports. Its lightweight creates a natural feel, complimented by the protected display. The PW SE is capable of measuring rear wheel speed, cadence, and torque; it is rated at 60nm and 250-500w of power with 110rpm cadence support. This is a quality mid-drive just below a Bosch in quality..
  • It uses entry-level 10-speed Shimano Tiagra derailleurs and brakes, which is the next step up above Sora. The front and rear derailleurs make a total of 20 gearing combinations on top of the motor assist levels. The brakes are standard Shimano Tiagra hydraulic brakes with 160mm rotors; they’re low maintenance, adequately suited for this type of bike, and easy to adjust.
  • Most companies offer warranties for one or two years; Yamaha is a big name, so for them to offer a competitive three-year warranty shows they stand behind their product.
  • This bike appears to be a great balance between price, performance, and efficiency; this seems like a bike that is pure to cycling. It’s lightweight and a good value considering the 500w battery.
  • The reflective striping on the tires and the quality headlight and taillight provide handy safety features for evening commutes.


Cons - tradeoffs, or things that stood out as bad:
  • Considering this bike is a commuter, an available rear rack, fenders, and a bosses would have been nice to see. There’s room to add, but with a premium name like Yamaha, one expects some of these additions.The lack of shocks is an area of improvement, but the thick tires make up for some of it.
  • This seems to be a road bike trainer, as some of the videos suggested. Given the road bike style alloy drop handlebars, this is going to put riders in a pretty aggressive riding position. If you’re familiar with road bikes or are starting off to eventually get into road biking, this is of no consequence, but for commuters looking for a more comfortable ride, this is not the bike for them.
  • Two derailleurs mean added weight and could be more maintenance and tuneups, similarly, there is no chain cover (although the second ring can act as a chain guide), so be careful with pants.
  • Yamaha’s standard battery charger is nice and quick because it’s 4amps, but it is on the bulky side and has fixed long wires, making portability a minor issue.
  • Yamaha did well with frame integrated wiring and they seem to be going for a minimalist, traditional road bike look, which I love the idea of. This may just be personal taste, but the lack of mount and battery integration leaves it looking like a pretty road bike with a thick battery slapped on it. Yamaha is a premium brand, so I expected a bit sharper integration and design.

As always, I welcome feedback and additions to these pros and cons, especially from people who have tried or own the bike. If you see other great video reviews for the Yamaha Urban Rush, please share them and I may update this post ongoing so we can get the best perspectives and insights.
 

WattsUpDude

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
San Francisco, Bay Area
Hi Ricky. Good write up.
A 2019 UR owner here. I’ll offer a few clarifications and some comments. The motor outputs up to 70 Nm according to Yamaha’s site. There are mounts for racks and fenders just like the Cross Connect, Cross Core, Wabash and Civante. The lower eyelet on the seat stay is a bit hidden. It’s covered with a metal piece that can be taken off by loosening a screw from the inside of the stay. It’s much easier to install a rack with the wheel off and it’s necessary to do so when installing fenders. I don’t believe that lack of shocks is a negative; especially since this is an all-road bike that’s expected to be efficient. If a rider wants a commuter with shocks, the Cross Connect covers that base. I’ve read a lot of comments about riders not needing the small chainring since the motor offers a good amount of torque. I personally find that it’s a necessity since I ride in hilly SF Bay Area; especially when I’m pulling the kids in their Burley trailer. I absolutely agree with your comments on the charger. It’s not often that I need to pack it in my pannier but some disconnecting cables would save so much room. Overall, I really like this bike. It’s heavier than I’d like but it also feels like it has more power than I need in most situations. I’ve modded mine a bit so that it’s a very comfortable commuter that is also capable on gravel, fire roads and some single track. If I were to buy currently, I’d likely spend the hundred dollars more on the Class 3 Civante. I’m lucky enough to snag my 2019 for a closeout price so I’m not disappointed at all.

E5259BED-4168-48BE-B673-B82AB107DE17.jpeg
 

salyavin

New Member
Region
USA
Just curious what modifications you made, speaking of gravel it looks like the Urban Rush has wider tires than the Wabash at least from the factory so it may compete well with the Wabash.
 

WattsUpDude

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
San Francisco, Bay Area
Just curious what modifications you made, speaking of gravel it looks like the Urban Rush has wider tires than the Wabash at least from the factory so it may compete well with the Wabash.
Hi! Mods are: 38mm Gravelking tires, Ritchey Venturemax shallow drops, Redshift stem and seat post, fenders + rack, Speedbox to make it Class 3+. Curiously, the UR and Civante come with 35mm tires while the Wabash comes with 33mm tires. I originally wanted the 1x Wabash but found the UR in my size for a deal I could not pass up. I’m super happy with it.
 

salyavin

New Member
Region
USA
Thank you. I am thinking about getting a Rush as they are well stocked in my size and I mostly would do road and some multiuse path. There are several gravel roads that would be interesting to explore sometimes but the Wabash sells out in my size. I prefer the drop bar configuration over a mountain bike partly for habit and partly for aerodynamics/speed and I am not planning on single track rides or rock hopping. My indoor trainer is also a drop bar. The Rush I can also derestrict with a speedbox as you did particularly if I take a highway for about a mile or two with a wide shoulder before I get back to nicer streets due to the peculiarities of my suburb.

As you seem to do more gravel rides than I likely will do you have any problems with chain slap? I see you are super happy not having the 1x and no clutch rear derailer so I take it your chain is not coming off.

Anyway I just wanted to let you know I found your post most helpful.
 

WattsUpDude

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
San Francisco, Bay Area
No problem.
I don’t have any issues with chain slap at all. Chain is definitely not coming off. The chain line and both derailleurs needed a tune at 350 miles but I have not needed to retune since then. I’ve recently taken off the “dork disc” since it was starting to crack and have no issues.
 

holycromoly

New Member
Region
USA
Another Urban Rush rider here. Just recently joined EBR.

Will share some feedback based on comments above...
  • Chain Slap: Despite not being a clutch rear der, there is no chain slap at all.
  • Lack of Shocks: It's a road bike, so it's not meant to have a shock. For a front suspension, check out the flat bar Yamaha with the front suspension fork.
  • Creaks/Noises: Yes, lots at the beginning. Had to properly torque the motor mounts to 22nm and lubed the dry seat post/tube (motorcycle dealers don't prep bicycles well). I still have slight creaks when I stand up and sprint. I have lubed and retorqued everything possible. I am assuming it's just the nature of the e-bike beast to have some creaks given all the parts involved beyond a normal bike.
  • Two Derailleurs: Not a problem. Just make sure they're setup properly and it's not problem. Current 1x trend tends to paint 2x as being problematic, but that's necessary true. Front der shifter has trim feature to tune our rub if you cross over.
  • Battery Charger Bulky?: Only if you are planning on carrying it on around in backpack or living out of van/camper. Otherwise, the size is not a big deal. Just plug into the wall and forget it. The 4 hour fast charge time is well worth the size.
  • External Battery Mount: That's personal preference, no function on performance. True a hidden in the downtime looks cleaner and that's the current trend of bikes in 2021. I like to charge off the bike, so the external battery is easy to remove and remount. Remember, this bike came out in 2018 and a lot has changed since then with down tube integration, so buyers will need to look to a newer model than this Urban Rush for that.
  • Rack/Fender/Boss Mounts: The comment about this bike not having commuter accommodation is wrong. It does indeed have the item that were claimed to be missing: rack mounts, fender options, etc.
  • Motor Torque: 60nm is incorrect. The motor is rated at 70nm
  • Water Bottle Cage: on my size medium frame, I prefer a side entry style cage. Clearance is tight for the bigger bottles.

urbanrush.jpeg
 
Last edited:

salyavin

New Member
Region
USA
Thank you. Chain slap is more likely to occur when gravel riding as WattsUpDude does, I want to do a little bit of it on fairly nice dirt roads. Since he said no chainslap without the clutch on the rear derailer that means I can probably do a little without worry. I actually like the additional gears on the Urban Rush (and Civante) as it can help with hill climbs (I live in Colorado) and allow higher speeds. I actually went for it, much like WattsUpDude someone made me a deal I could not refuse on the Urban Rush, I'll be taking delivery within a week. I also ordered a speedbox so I can go 30 when I want on certain roads.

There are an occasion every month or two I may consider going around 40 miles one way and have outlets at that location to allow a charge for 4 hours before a ride back. That won't bother me that much actually but that kind of thing is where charger weight comes up. rear fendor and panniers could take care of that.
 

holycromoly

New Member
Region
USA
Thank you. Chain slap is more likely to occur when gravel riding as WattsUpDude does, I want to do a little bit of it on fairly nice dirt roads. Since he said no chainslap without the clutch on the rear derailer that means I can probably do a little without worry. I actually like the additional gears on the Urban Rush (and Civante) as it can help with hill climbs (I live in Colorado) and allow higher speeds. I actually went for it, much like WattsUpDude someone made me a deal I could not refuse on the Urban Rush, I'll be taking delivery within a week. I also ordered a speedbox so I can go 30 when I want on certain roads.

There are an occasion every month or two I may consider going around 40 miles one way and have outlets at that location to allow a charge for 4 hours before a ride back. That won't bother me that much actually but that kind of thing is where charger weight comes up. rear fendor and panniers could take care of that.
I ride on gravel and dirt roads too, no chain slap.
I imagine if you try to ride on more mountain bike style trails with rocks and roots, then yes the slap will likely happen, but pain of the rigid fork and narrow tires will stop you before the chain slap occurs :)
 

holycromoly

New Member
Region
USA
I actually went for it, much like WattsUpDude someone made me a deal I could not refuse on the Urban Rush, I'll be taking delivery within a week. I also ordered a speedbox so I can go 30 when I want on certain roads.
Congrats! I love riding my Urban Rush.
 

salyavin

New Member
Region
USA
I ride on gravel and dirt roads too, no chain slap.
I imagine if you try to ride on more mountain bike style trails with rocks and roots, then yes the slap will likely happen, but pain of the rigid fork and narrow tires will stop you before the chain slap occurs :)
Glad to hear that, thank you! Seems the Wabash's differentiator of the 1x and clutch to become a sort of gravel bike is not much needed. I was always perplexed the Wabash as sold had more narrow tires than the Urban Rush. Wabash is all sold out here but not the Urban Rush.

I agree you don't take any road or gravel bike like that rock hopping, I would imagine most single track would be quite uncomfortable. I have been more of a roadie but there are some nice dirt roads here where I moved to that I wanted to check out like one that goes up to a dam at a resevoir I can bike to from my house open for bikes and walking but no cars except special maintenance vehicles who have a locked way in to drive up to the dam.
 

holycromoly

New Member
Region
USA
The Urban Rush is great on unpaved service roads, despite the "urban" in the name. That's just a marketing name for the USA market. In Japan, it's just called the YPJ-ER (link here), and it's an all-road touring bike there, how may of us Urban Rush riders use the bike. I ride mine on hard pack fire roads and the stock touring tires are just fine.

IMG_1784.jpg
 

holycromoly

New Member
Region
USA
Since we're on the topic of Japanese YPJ-ER domestic version of this bike, here is interesting site of user reviews and photos from Asia.

Here are some fun custom bikes. Really shows the flexibility of this Yamaha frame. They can be setup for whatever you want them to be. Enjoy the examples!

Rough Road Setup: Fatter tires and Lauf suspension fork.
1635289380146.png


Fast Roadie: Upgraded to Shimano RS wheels, carbon fork, Ultegra levers and lighter cranks it seems. They figured out how to mount the rear speed sensor on a non-stock hub.
1635289455311.png


Loaded Tourer: Bags galore and fork cargo cages.
1635290646882.png
 
Last edited:

salyavin

New Member
Region
USA
Thanks for the Japanese links, we actually moved here via Japan and my wife and children are natives, I however am JSL. That gives me info to show my wife too as her English is very basic. I has it in my mind this was only a road bike thus why the Wabash exists for gravel and of course the mountain bikes. This makes me wonder what the point of the Wabash is then, does it have any advantages over the Urban Rush? As you say the lack of a clutch was not a problem. The type of roads you are talking about are the kind I am interested in exploring, in addition to city riding.
 

holycromoly

New Member
Region
USA
This makes me wonder what the point of the Wabash is then, does it have any advantages over the Urban Rush? As you say the lack of a clutch was not a problem. The type of roads you are talking about are the kind I am interested in exploring, in addition to city riding.
I work in marketing and advertising. That said, gravel bikes are a very popular segment of the bike industry right now and the Wabash addresses the product slot for this popular bike category. They are all the rage right now and the next move in the bike industry is to offer an electric gravel bike, for example Canyon has their $6000 Grail:ON e-graveler.
 

salyavin

New Member
Region
USA
That does make sense. One thing I'll give Yamaha is their price is more reasonable than other known brands with shops you can go to for warranty service.
 

holycromoly

New Member
Region
USA
One thing to share is the real world actual top speed. I don't see it mentioned much in Urban Rush reviews, but the topic has come up for the other Yamaha models with the same motor.

It's actually not easy to get the bike to 20mph. The assist starts to taper off and maxes out around the 19-ish mph. Even in the 50t chainring, you've got to really hustle to get it hit the 20mph mark. Not a big deal, but if you come from other platforms like Brose and Bosch, you'll notice the power delivery is very different as you approach max assist speed. On my Brose powered bike, the power delivery gets up to 20mph and then consistently helps to maintain. On the Yamaha, I have to sprint practically to get it hit max but then it doesn't hold and more less holds in 18-19mph range.
 
Last edited: