As Honda has already presented a comprehensive line-up of prototype models that traditionally break cover at the Tokyo Motor Show, Yamaha is following suit with a response that targets its rival's star models. Honda introduced the Neowing three-wheel tilting concept, whereas Yamaha teases a new leaning multi-wheeler. There's also a new rival for Honda's Project 2&4 on the horizon, as Yamaha hints at its first-ever car design with motorcycle DNA. According to Yamaha's press release, its booth will be called the "Yamaha Motor Product Orchestra," hosting 20 models that include six world and one Japan premiere models.
This year's Tokyo Motor show has just become much more interesting – and we still haven’t heard from Kawasaki and Suzuki.
The official press release on this new car concept contains only one image and a single sentence: "This design concept is inspired by motorcycles and expresses the Unique Style of Yamaha." Nothing else is on offer apart from the obvious closed cabin design we clearly see in the image and the certainty that, should Yamaha proceed with building a car, it will happen with the close cooperation of its partner Toyota.
Leaning Multi-Wheel (LMW) technology
This is another case of a teaser image with absolutely no information to support it. Yamaha explains that this concept showcases a technology designed to create a new dimension of Kando (the Japanese word for the simultaneous feelings of deep satisfaction and intense excitement that we experience when we encounter something of exceptional value).
That doesn't really help much, but from the photo we can clearly distinguish the twin fork front suspension system that we've met before in the 01 and 03Gen concepts. Yamaha has been adamant in saying that these Gen concepts will continue to evolve, so probably we are expecting a new version to arise in Tokyo.
PES2 / PED2
Described as experimental models, these two concept bikes are the evolution of the PES1 and PED1 bikes that Yamaha had introduced at the previous Tokyo Motor Show, two years ago. Based on the same platform, they are built around a monocoque frame structure and are powered by a new unit called Yamaha Smart Power Module.
Their names are indicative of their purpose, with the Passion Electric Street (PES) model designed for the street and the Passion Electric Dirt (PED) model for off road ventures.
Yamaha has updated the PES2 with a second electric motor in the front wheel hub, making it effectively a 2x2 electric motorcycle. On the other hand the PED2 is still rear wheel driven but, unlike its motocross predecessor, it now appears to be a proper dual-purpose bike, able to provide both commuting and trail riding services.
These two concept models are equipped with lithium-ion batteries that power DC brushless motors. Specifications of their powertrains have not been disclosed, with Yamaha revealing only that their performance will be equivalent to Class II (50–125cc) motorcycles.
This is the only concept model in this group that uses an internal combustion engine, and it is designed to attract new motorcycle riders. Its four-stroke, single-cylinder engine doesn’t seem to deserve any merits in technological achievement, as Yamaha focuses more in the cosmetic parts that distinguish this motorcycle.
Wood panels around the fuel tank and seat cowl are made by the same material Yamaha uses to manufacture its guitars, while several engravings in metal parts like the exhaust and fuel cap have been created with the same technique used for brass musical instruments. Yamaha also mentions an innovative device that is used on the instrument panel, but we'll have to wait until the end of October, when the gates open for the Tokyo Motor Show, to see it.
The final concept model revealed by Yamaha is an electrically assisted mountain bike. Fitted with a 400-Wh lithium-ion battery and a DC brushless motor that produces 250 W, this concept bike uses a Fox front fork, Shimano Deore XT drivetrain and a multi-function instrument panel.
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