You may have heard that Yamaha has a new electric trials bike, but as is always the case with trials, watching is a lot more fun than hearing about it. A recent video from Yamaha shows the TY-E concept trials machine in its natural habitat, and it looks right at home.
As Lance observed previously, off-road bikes are an especially good platform for electric drivetrains. Think about it: instant torque and silent operation are perfect for riding beyond the pavement, especially at moderate speeds that don’t ask too much range from the battery. Trials events, in particular, tend to be short, distance-wise, which is why you won’t see much of a gas tank on modern trials machines. In the TY-E’s case, it’ll be packing a light battery instead. Low weight is a top priority in trials, and Yamaha’s concept comes in under 154 pounds, thanks to innovations like the carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CRFP) frame.
While the weight won’t scare trials riders away, many electric drivetrains are dealbreaker twist-to-go “automatics.” Yamaha’s R&D fitted the TY-E with a mechanical clutch, which is crucial to trials technique. In other words, Big Blue gave this new machine every bit of trials cred that the historic TY model name suggests.
No word from Yamaha on the range capabilities, price, or even production, but they’ll be campaigning the TY-E in the 2018 FIM Trial-E Cup later this year. Electric trials bikes could change the sport significantly, but we’ll have to wait and see what Yamaha and other OEMs offer us in the future. Again, watching trials is a lot more fun than hearing about it, so check out Toni Bou or Dougie Lampkin for five minutes and catch the fever.