Dual Twin split-tube frame design and new PW-X2 'automatic' motor are just two of the intriguing things here

Yamaha first made a power assist electric bike in 1993. Now 27 years later it unveils the Yamaha YDX-MORO range of modern electric mountain bikes.

>>> Best electric mountain bikes: all you need to know

Yamaha YDX-MORO need to know

  • 160mm travel eMTB
  • New Yamaha PW-X2 motor
  • 70Nm or 80Nm torque (depending on mode)
  • Quad Sensor System detects trail tilt, pedal cadence and torque, rolling speed of bike
  • 500Wh battery
  • Dual Twin frame design has split top tube and down tubes
  • 27.5+ wheels
yamaha ydx-moro

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We first saw glimpses of a Yamaha e-bike back in October last year and today we can show you the finished product: the Yamaha YDX-MORO 160mm electric mountain bike.

Although Yamaha is witholding some information until August (specs and pricing mainly) we can tell you that there are going to be two YDX-MORO models: the YDX-MORO in Desert Yellow colourway and the YDX-MORO Pro is Podium Blue/Nickle colourway.

First of all, the cool looking inverted fork seen on the prototype doesn’t look like it’s going to happen. The bikes in this release are both sporting RockShox (Yari/Revelation) forks.

yamaha ydx-moro

Yamaha YDX-MORO Pro

Second of all, this first wave of information has the YDX-MORO described as a Class 1 e-bike with a max assist speed of 20mph ie. meeting the current US e-bike legislation. We’re still waiting details as to if and how the bike will be released in the UK and Europe, which have the EAPC 25kph max speed restriction rule, but we’re sure they will be.

While we await that small but rather vital bit of information, let’s have a look at the bikes. They have some noteworthy stuff about them…

Dual Twin frame design with split top and down tubes

The eye-catching ‘split’ frame tube design has been retained. Both the top tube and the down tube are compromised of two struts. The rear shock sits in between the gap in the top tube. The battery sits in the between the two down tubes.

This split-tube design is not just because it looks cool and different (although it certainly helps the YDX MOROs stand out from the crowd). Yamaha claims there are structural and ride handling reasons for making the frame in this way.

The split top tube affords a lower standover and shorter seat tube height. The split down tube allows the battery to be positioned a little lower and more centred in the bike for improved handling characteristics. It also offers decent ground clearance from below. The split down tube means the motor can be angled (clocked) slightly to help bring in the chainstay length a little (chainstays are still pretty long at 460mm). Yamaha also claims the split down tube and motor array increases chassis stiffness in the middle of the bike too. And finally, on a more practical note, it says it’s just easier to get the battery out for recharging duties.

The suspension design is nothing Earth-shattering; it’s a classic four-bar Horst Link arrangement. Which, although not overly interesting to tech geeks, it must be said that four-bar designs work really well with e-bikes, so it’s a very sound decision.

The new Yamaha PW-X2 motor

Right then, on to argubaly the most interesting item – the new Yamaha PW-X2 motor. Yamaha motors have been used by other bike brands previously (Giant, Haibike and Lapierre to name three) so we may well be seeing more of this motor, even if the Yamaha e-bikes themselves don’t really land in UK/Europe.

The PW-X2 gives out 70Nm or 80Nm of torque. Yamaha also expresses this in terms of rpm of assistance, with 70Nm being 155rpm and 80Nm being 170rpm. You can only access the top 80Nm/170rpm power when in EXPW mode.

Speaking of which, the modes are Eco, Standard, High, a new MTB mode, and EXPW. There’s also a Walk mode.

The remote control unit

The PW-X2 motor sports a Quad Sensor System. This essentially adds a clinometer-style tilt-sensor to the mix, so that the motor can tell if you’re riding uphill – and at what severity of gradient. This fourth sensor joins the PW-X’s previous three sensors (pedal cadence, pedal torque, rolling speed) and thus has the ability to offer ‘automatic’ or ‘intelligent’ power modes.

Automatic mode: “seamlessly and automatically switches the support modes between Eco, Standard and High allowing the rider to focus on the trail and not their power assist levels.”

New MTB Mode: “Created to provide a direct response feeling according to the rider’s pedaling force. MTB mode is especially suited for off-road riding such as tight corners and when riding tight-line trails.”

New EXPW Mode: “now provides assist up to 170 rpm, which is especially helpful in technical sections and on steep climbs when beginning from a stop and a fast movement pedal rotation is often needed to get started again.”

On a final note, Yamaha have also switched to a new helical gear design which they claim reduces the overall noise of the motor.