Yamaha gets its urban groove on with fat-tire Booster ebike and e-moped
Yamaha has tapped into the spirit of its low-power combustion-engine scooters for the funky design of a pair of U-framed urban electric rides called the Booster Easy ebike and Booster S-pedelec electric moped.
Yamaha has been an ebike innovator for around three decades, and has built a solid reputation for quality and reliability. The Booster models "are designed to offer the today’s urban dwellers an easy, enjoyable and affordable way to move around their towns and cities with zero emissions," and join recent releases as part of the company's Switch ON electric vehicle strategy – including the premium-priced Moro eMTBs, Wabash gravel ebike and CrossCore city ebike.
The company says that the Booster Easy and Booster S-pedelec models are "the spiritual successors to the original 'fat-tire' 50cc Yamaha and MKB scooters that played a big part in the lives of thousands of European teenagers growing up in the 1980s and 90s."
They share much the same feature set – they're built around the same easy access aluminum U-frame with an exposed diecast front section, come with a bunch of chassis components including Yamaha-exclusive fork cover and front fender, they each roll on 20-inch wheels with 4-inch fat tires, feature 180-mm diameter disc brakes, and are powered by Yamaha's latest PW-series drive unit.
That mid-mount S2 motor benefits from Yamaha's Zero Cadence technology for instant pedal-assist, while an Automatic Support Mode provides additional grunt when tackling such things as inclines or headwinds. The Easy model offers assistance up to 25 km/h (15.5 mph) while the S-pedelec bumps that up to 45 km/h (28 mph) and is classed as an electric moped (L1e) in Europe – which requires riders to have an AM license plus insurance.
Either way, urban explorers can look forward to 75 Nm (55 lb.ft) of torque. The motor can also be bypassed completely "for faster pedal-only riding on downhills." Both models feature the same 630-Wh (36-V) removable battery pack for up to 120 km (74.5 miles) of per-charge range when riding the Easy at the Eco assist level, or up to 100 km (68.3 miles) in Eco with the S-pedelec.
The combination of a suspension fork and those fat tires should help smooth out uneven terrain, visibility in traffic or after dark is helped along by a Supernova headlight and Koso LED tail-light, and a rear carrier is included for hauling cargo. Optional accessories such as baskets, bags smartphone mounts and colored side covers are also available.
The Easy sports a 1.7-inch LCD display with integrated control buttons for at-a-glance status checks, but the S-pedelec gains a 2.8-inch color dot-matrix TFT display that shows such things as remaining charge, ride speed, assist mode, power level, estimated remaining range and calorie consumption, and the unit can pair with a smartphone running fitness and navigation apps over Bluetooth. The more powerful model also comes with a mirror, license holder and horn.
The Booster Easy is available in Europe now, and the S-pedelec is due to follow in June. We're awaiting confirmation of starting prices and wider availability. The funky video below has more.
Product page: Booster Easy/S-pedelec