When Americans talk about Yamaha bikes, we think of motorcycles. Not so in many parts of the world. In fact, Yamaha electric bicycles are gaining in popularity. How popular? Yamaha sold more than 130,000 electric bicycles last year in Japan.
The Yamaha PAS Lithium S, PAS City-S and the PAS City-F are electric bikes that are priced at $1200. The lithium-ion battery packs have an estimated range of 20 miles when riding in standard mode, 12 miles in power mode and 40 miles in auto-eco plus mode. In Japan the electric bikes a have big plus in that the government considers the powered-bikes to still be bicycles (not mopeds or motorcycles). Riders have to pedal the bicycles to make them go, with a battery-powered motor boosting the strength of the rider’s step. The motor shuts off at 15 miles per hour, the legal limit for the vehicles.
Yamaha lobbied for three years to have the hybrid bicycles classified as “bicycles” before it brought the first model to market in 1993.
“We knew the bike wouldn’t work as a product if it was classed as a motor vehicle,” said Kazuhiro Murata, 45, business development manager for Yamaha’s electric bicycles.
YAMAHA HAS SOME CONCEPT ELECTRIC BIKES IN THE WORKS
This model proposes an entirely new form of PAS electro-hybrid bicycle that brings together Yamaha technology and the sporting mind. This model features an innovative new shape built around a monocoque frame, 20-inch wheels front and rear for easy and enjoyable around-town riding, a smooth pedal drive system, an aluminum rear arm and suspensions front and rear. Its battery is a lithium-ion type.
YAMAHA RACER 01
This special exhibition model proposes a completely new type of racing bicycle based on the “Keirin PAS” model that served as the pace cycle in Keirin bicycle racing at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The Racer 01 offers an innovative and dynamic new design while keeping the same PAS unit and battery as the Keirin model.
YAMAHA FOLDING PAS
In order to further expand the fields of use for our PAS electro-hybrid bicycles, here is a new folding type model with a 16-inch front wheel and 18-inch rear wheel. It adopts the rear hub unit drive system proven on models like the PAS Smile to provide an optimum center of gravity for smoother riding. The light aluminum frame with its excellent balance of rigidity helps bring a light and lively feeling when you start to pedal. The fact that the center stand can be folded in toward the center of the cycle means greater stability when storing.