Yamaha announced the "YPJ-MTB CONCEPT", a concept model of electrically power assisted MTB, at the Tokyo Motor Show 2015. If the customer's response is good, it will be commercialized.
YPJ-MTB CONCEPT is an MTB model of the "YPJ" series of electrically power assisted bicycles with the concept of "from fun tools to fun sports hobby materials". From the same series, the road bike model "YPJ-R" will be released in December of this year.
In Europe and the United States, the demand for MTB type electrically power assisted bicycles is reasonably high. When climbing a wet and slippery rough road, you need to pedal powerfully without speeding up. In such cases, the electrically assisted MTB, which can assist at low speed and high torque with a motor, is very convenient.
However, there are few such roads in Japan other than MTB parks. Who uses the "YPJ-MTB CONCEPT" for what purpose?
When I asked the person in charge of Yamaha about this question, he asked me to use it for "70% for commuting and 30% for weekend play."
When I commute by bicycle on the road in the city center, I often come across steps. In such a case, on a road bike that wears thin tires, it is necessary to take measures such as pulling the steering wheel to prevent the tire from puncturing. But with thicker MTB tires, you can get over the bumps without having to worry too much. Suspension will also reduce cyclist fatigue.
In addition, the risk of slipping increases when riding a bicycle on a rainy or snowy day, and this risk is also reduced by the thick tires of MTB. In this way, MTB is perfect for "rainy / snowy" bike commuters. Except for the drawback of heavy body.
The electric assist system makes up for this shortcoming. It strongly assists commuters in rowing and slopes where the weight of the body has a particular effect.
The road bike version of the electric assist "YPJ-R" weighs 15.4kg, which is light for an electric assist. For this reason, a small battery is used, and the cruising range on a single charge is set to 14 km in "HIGH" mode, which is quite short.
However, MTB is heavier, and in many cases it runs in the speed range where electric assist is effective compared to road bikes, so it seems that the battery capacity is almost doubled.
The high-capacity battery will also give room for those who enjoy riding at MTB parks on weekends.
As a bicycle commuter, we welcome the increase in electric assist, which is not a "vehicle for women traveling with children." It was said that if the reaction was good, I would like to expect commercialization.