Positively shocking!

Yamaha has been testing a new 270-horsepower permanent synchronous magnet electric motor package in the engine compartment of Alfa-Romeo’s exemplary carbon tub 4c sports car. Team Blue began accepting orders during the week of February 3, 2019, for a variety of electric motor packages (ranging from 35kW to 200kW) from other OEMs. It says the 200kW package has industry-leading power density for use in automobiles and “other types of vehicles”. That sounds promising.

Yamaha claims that this mill is notably light and compact for the power level it produces, a fact made possible by high-efficiency conductors and advanced alloy casting technologies. In addition to offering the motor for sale to other OEM partners, it may be able to adapt the tech in this motor to its own powersports products.

Hamamatsu has been teasing electric motorcycles since at least 2013 and aside from a handful of scooters, e-bikes, and professional trials racers, it hasn’t brought a meaningful electric two-wheeler to market yet. Certainly, the smallest of its electric offerings would be an excellent powerplant for a small electric bike, a large electric scooter, or any number of off-road powersports applications at 35kW (about 47 horsepower). If Yamaha could package the larger motor in a sportbike wrapper, however, that would mark a significant power increase from its already quick YZF-R1M. 

If Yamaha is going to get into the electric motorcycle game, it needs to come out swinging. To make a splash in the EV two-wheeler segment it has to produce the kinds of numbers that will make people sit up and take notice. Give the world a big-power electric sportbike (or an all-electric MT-series naked bike -JM). We’ve been really good lately, and we deserve it.