There's a lot to like about the Yamaha PES1 on display at the Tokyo Motor Show. Light and lithe, the electric motorcycle concept is a fine blade with which to slice through city traffic. It sits you upright, giving you a commanding view of the field of battle, but also allows you to easily tuck down for a quick sprint toward an advantageous opening in the enemy's armor.

It helps that the design is forward looking. The LED-encrusted headlights promise bright, efficient illumination, while the sculpted aluminum chassis is abetted in its mission of strength and sprightliness by artistically applied carbon fiber. The spokes of the wheels are mere whispers of radial support, their airiness echoed in the negative spaces beneath the "tank" and the tailstock.

Perhaps the best thing about the PES1, though, is that it actually works as a machine, as well as a statement of intent. We have proof. Shortly after its debut on the floor of the Tokyo Big Sight convention center, Yamaha released a convincing video of its electro moto dismembering a curvy bit of race track. Although the footage sounds a warning about the importance of compelling design to the existing early entrants in the electric field, it also reveals that established motorcycle makers face the same challenges as the pioneers, namely, balancing performance parameters and price.

The Japanese bike, while truly lust-worthy, appears limited to a top speed of 100 km/h (62 miles per hour) and its sub-100 kg (221 pounds) weight would indicate that its removable battery would not allow for tons of range. We won't even get into the argument about cost and complexity of its small motor mated to a manual/automatic transmission in place of a more powerful motivator with higher voltage and direct drive – though, you can in the comments. Scroll below and see the concept in action for yourself and let us know what you think.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 19 Comments
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      Very cool. A direct drive that is capable of pushing this kind of power wouldn't be as fun though. I like the concept a lot. I'm glad that Yamaha is working on this.
      • 10 Months Ago
      where is showroom in kolkata and prices
      FRD
      • 8 Months Ago
      I'm going to miss the smell of burnt castor oil.
      • 1 Year Ago
      As a 2012 ZeroS rider, I'm happy to see more competition in this space. It's unfortunate that Yamaha's first inroads to this category is more akin to Zeros of 2008, and Brammo Enertia in terms of performance (of what I've seen revealed thus far). They've got a good leg up on styling though. The tipping point for me was 80mph top end. Finding that sweet spot of range, speed and cost will be tricky for a major manufacturer I surmise. I've been nothing but happy with my Zero thus far.
      danfred411
      • 1 Year Ago
      As always, motorcycles don't matter. That said, if you have to build one there is no justification for making it more bulky than a bicycle except for a bit more robust wheels and a slight increase for the battery weight. You obviously put the motor in the wheel(s). Chain drive is stupid. And of course aerodynamic bodywork is extremely beneficial to a motorcycle that otherwise has spectacularly poor aero. As bad as a normal car.
        Ricardo Gozinya
        • 1 Year Ago
        @danfred411
        By that rationale, cars don't matter either. Everybody should just travel by foot, bicycle, or mass transit.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @danfred411
        No. Just no. As someone who has years of experience and observation of electric two wheeled transport, you are dead wrong. I've built a bicycle with motorcycle tires and bicycle suspension. It is close, but NOT the same. The long wheelbase of a motorcycle frame, better suspension, and rigidity are big improvements. There is room in the market for a very light motorcycle frame.
        karlInSanDiego
        • 1 Year Ago
        @danfred411
        Ever hear of sprung and unsprung weight? Do you know what design goals are, and do you understand that there are no universal design goals? Can you please let us all know what, as always, matters, your grace? I think you sat on you scepter, because you've got a stick up your arse. My opinion is that it's refreshing to see a major manufacturer preparing to enter the challenging electric bike space. BMW's scooters were also a good start.
        raktmn
        • 1 Year Ago
        @danfred411
        It also isn't chain drive. It is belt drive. And aerodynamics don't mean that much on a motorcycle that tops out at 60 with the throttle pinned, and would spend the majority of its life at 50 MPH or less.
        raktmn
        • 1 Year Ago
        @danfred411
        Spoken like someone who has never even had a bicycle up to 40 mph, much less a motorcycle up to 100+ mph. 62 mph on something that is just a bicycle with more robust wheels, and a battery to match is not something for the feint of heart.
        2 wheeled menace
        • 1 Year Ago
        @danfred411
        And hub motors suck a lot compared to what can be chain driven with a reduction ratio. They are wildly heavy. I saw a chain driven astro motor ( 5lb ) eBike the other day that was capable of pushing 66mph. You need a 27lb hub motor to do that, which has tons of unsprung weight involved. Shaft driven reduction drives are awesome. They also don't suffer of water ingress as most hub motors do ( which leads to rust; and a very short lifespan. )
      • 10 Months Ago
      price of pes1 in china??????????
        waetherman
        • 8 Months Ago
        Just take the US price and multiply it by 6.24 for RMB price. Duh.
        John B
        • 7 Months Ago
        When asked what the price of something is, read and understand the question correctly then just say the price. Don't answer some other question about exchange rates that wasn't asked. DUH!
        waetherman
        • 8 Months Ago
        Just take the price in USD and multiply it by 6.24 to get the price in RMB. Duh.
      • 10 Months Ago
      what is the price of pes1 in china
      • 10 Months Ago
      ควรทีจะขายในไทย
      raktmn
      • 1 Year Ago
      Seems more like a a built up electric scooter than a true electric motorcycle. At least when compared to the stuff Zero and Brammo are selling lately. With that said, it is good to see a major motorcycle builder at least putting a little bit of effort into playing with electric motorcycles.
      GoodCheer
      • 1 Year Ago
      Getting some of the big players into the game sure could change the landscape for you Brammos and Zeros. Or on the other hand, small EV-moto companies may have made it over the chasm between development and manufacturing. Without having a few more details about Yamaha's offering (range / kWh, price, distribution etc.), it's hard to say. One thing is for sure; for consumers and potential consumers, it sure is an exciting field to watch.
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