With electric motorcycles now inching closer and closer to the mainstream, it’s about time that bigger manufacturers embrace them. And while nearly all brands have expressed interest in the electric scene, we’re still waiting for that big boom when it comes to the influx of new electric models. Adding to that anticipation is Yamaha, which has just filed a patent for a new electric motocross bike.

Electrification has made huge strides in the off-road world, with manufacturers realizing the benefits of instantaneous torque, silent operation, and lowered maintenance costs electric bikes bring to the table. As for Yamaha, well, it’s building on a platform it’s been testing for quite some time now: the TY-E trials bike.

When it comes to the development of electric motorcycles, the challenge has always been about retaining familiarity when compared to their gas-powered siblings. And in no space is this more true than in the off-road setting. Mastering trails and MX courses involves masterful traction control, and the only way riders are able to do this is through the throttle. As such, companies have come up with some pretty innovative solutions to provide extra torque when riders need it most.

Patent drawing of Yamaha's electric motorcycle

Patent drawing of Yamaha's electric motorcycle

In Yamaha’s case, the upcoming electric motocrosser is expected to feature a nifty bit of kit: a torsion damper. The device will be integrated into the bike’s transmission and consists of a pair of rotors connected by springs. These rotors would turn in opposite directions of each other, thereby accumulating a lot of potential energy. After which, the device would allow the rider to release the two rotors, which would in turn impart a short burst of extra force onto the rear wheel—perfect for boosting jumps or powering out of corners.

Clearly, the goal here is to improve acceleration feel, all without adding excessive weight to the driveline. With that said, Yamaha’s engineers will surely have to come up with a way to integrate the device into the bike’s controls in a seamless fashion—perhaps in a manner similar to the holeshot devices we see in MotoGP machines.

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New tech advancements on the performance side of the electric spectrum are always exciting. It seems that now more than ever, companies are investing resources in improving performance, acceleration, and feel.

For example, we previously talked about Zero Motorcycles’ Vehicle Control System, which is essentially a simulated clutch that aims to add an extra layer of control into the mix. Pair this with something like Yamaha’s torsion damper tech, and you’re sure to have quite a punchy machine.

With all these developments rolling out left and right, I can’t help but feel a sense of excitement as we go even further into high-performance electrification.

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