Yamaha's staging a full-on blitz of the Tokyo Motor Show which is right around the corner. Of the 19 total "exhibition" models that they intend to show, 6 of them could be classified as motorcycles or scooters featuring electric drive, hybrid or fuel cell power. We'll take a look at each one of them in a series, starting with the LUXAIR.
Looking like an evolution of their Gen-Ryu concept from 2005, the LUXAIR is a hybrid design. The Gen-Ryu featured a 600cc inline four-cylinder engine from the famed R6 sportbike, but no mention has been made yet of the engine powering the LUXAIR. The electric motor is being called the Yamaha Intelligent Power Unit (YIPU) and is apparently thin enough that it is built into the rear hub. As would be expected, the motor aids in acceleration and also generates power while cruising to recharge the battery. Perhaps more interesting is the helper assist which makes the machine easier to move around by hand and the available motor-only reverse. The LUXAIR is said to also feature a "special audio system" for whatever that's worth. Be sure to take note of the single-sided swingarm and front fork.
Styling is very long and low, with floorboards integrated into the sides. The seating position looks quite low, even for a scooter. Overall, most will probably prefer the styling on the LUXAIR to the Gen-Ryu, but some will miss the built-in luggage and old-school style seating. The LUXAIR appears to seat only one occupant... but it really doesn't matter since this is just a concept bike after all. Still, the fact that Yamaha has kept working on the design that they pioneered in '05 might mean that they are seriously looking at the possibility of offering a hybrid motorcycle. We're not ready to put any money down on it, but the concept is sound. We've asked Yamaha for high resolution photos of this concept, and we'll be sure to update you when they arrive.
[Source: Yamaha Motors]