Yamaha has been one of the main players in the e-MTB market since the beginning and for 2021, it's stepping it up with not only a new motor but also Yamaha’s first all-mountain e-MTB — the YDX-MORO.
Yamaha will be offering two models, the YDX-MORO and the better specced YDX-MORO Pro. Built around Yamaha's new PW-X2 drive unit, the all-mountain platform uses 27.5+ wheels and are both equipped with 160mm of travel delivered using a horst link suspension design.
As Yamaha has had full control of the frame configuration, the YDX-MORO has some interesting modifications to the conventional e-MTB setups. Yamaha uses what it's calling a Dual Twin Frame, rather than building a frame around conventional tubing, Yamaha has used a cage design. Cradling the shock, battery and motor has allowed Yamaha to position the drive and suspension components in a more optimal arrangement.
The motor has been rotated to mount in a way that Yamaha claims to be better aligned with the axle path, this position also increases bottom bracket clearance and helps to reduce flex. The downtube meets the top tube behind the headtube which steepens the angle to help bring the weight of the battery into the centre of the bike for more balanced handling. As the battery is not captured within the frame's tubes and instead housed between two struts, removal for charging is a lot easier and the battery is protected from vertical twisting. Lastly, by mounting the shock within the Dual Twin frame design's top tube, Yamaha has been able to give the YDX-MORO a very low standover.
Yamaha's chosen geometry aims to offer a balance of stable handling on rough trails whilst retaining a liveliness on mellower singletrack that would be associated with a shorter travel bike. Available in three sizes, the bike gets a 66.3-degree head angle and low 19mm BB drop for controlled handling. A medium frame comes with a 432mm reach, 460mm chainstay and 1,205mm wheelbase to keep the rider's weight centred and the bike stable at speeds. The only oddity is the slack 70.3 degree seat angle.
Yamaha's new motor
The new PW-X2 drive unit and 500 watt-hour lithium-ion battery are said to offer a more natural riding experience thanks to the to a new proprietary Quad Sensor System, wider supported cadence and new riding modes.
By adding a fourth sensor to measure the angle of the trail, combined with the existing measures pedalling torque, cadence and rolling speed sensors, Yamaha has introduced auto mode which automatically alters the support given between ECO, STD and HIGH mode based on the gradient of the terrain.
The other new mode is MTB mode which matches the input forces applied by the rider with the required amount of support and should benefit riders on tight technical trails were burst of power or pedalling finesse is required.
The new software has upped cadence support to 155 rpm in the ECO, STD and HIGH and 170rpm in the MTB and EXPW (extra power) mode. Power supplied is rated at 70Nm in the standard modes and upped to 80Nm in the more powerful MTB and EXPR modes. Gearing on the teeth has been revised for a quieter motor and a walk mode added to help riders when pushing the bike.
Controls and display are handled using Yamaha's rugged Display X controller. Featuring a 1.8in display with an LED mode indicator that's mounted by the stem, the system is controlled using a controller mounted next to the grips to change mode while riding.
Final specs are still to be finalised but based on the pictures in the press release the podium blue YDX-MORO Pro is equipped with a RockShox Super Deluxe Select+ air shock and Yari fork, Magura MT7 4-pot brakes and unbranded wheels with 2.8in Maxxis Minion tyres. The desert yellow YDX-MORO has a Rockshox Rockshox Deluxe shock paired with a Revelation fork, Magura MT7 brakes and unbranded wheels with 2.8in tyres.
While Yamaha has announced the bikes, they are still to confirm full specs, pricing and availability, which is expected to be released in the coming weeks.