Ohm-migod! Petrolhead Pearson rides Yam’s TYE electric bike. And loves it.
YAMAHA’S TRIALS paddock bike stand TY-E sits in on a a small Belgian quarry looking every bit the show concept. Make no mistake though this is a thoroughbred fresh from the race of its life competing in the Trial-e World Championship. 15 Yamaha technicians and staff attend rider Kenichi Kuroyama and his title chase. They finished second, the win going to Loris Gubian and Gas Gas. Mr Kouichi Tsuji, Senior General Manager of Yamaha Motorsport Development Division, is in this Comblain-au-pont explaining the TY-E’S quarry role: ‘Motogp is important to us and it takes investment to win the championship. The TY-E has the same goal – we developed it to improve technology and win the world championship not to build a production model.’ So the TY-E is no potential production machine. In fact, there are just two in the world and here I am let loose on one… I’ve ridden prototypes and my share of E-bikes and the truth is they don’t always work as you’d hope. The TY-E bucks that trend with progressive and responsive suspension that’s better than most standard trials bikes and it handles like a dream thanks to its handbuilt, carbonfibre monocoque frame. The brakes have the power and feel that’s needed for this delicate sport. conventional The TY-E has trick a up its sleeve too: a hydraulic clutch. It transforms this electric bike into a trials bike with an electric motor – if you see the difference. The clutch lets you meter power with the throttle and control grip like ‘normal’. A pin-sharp throttle response is trickier and with no transmission lag or delay in the reaction to the back wheel it takes a minute to acclimatise. A surprising amount of back torque helps ‘normality’ though. How much power is there? Yamaha aren’t saying, but as far as climbing steep hills or
‘Astonishing attention to detail sums up this rare creation’
steps firing goes up the rock TY-E matches a ‘regular’ 250cc. What’s not conventional is the surprisingly loud motor but it doesn’t take long to ignore the whine – a ringding or a rumble it isn’t. The elephant in the room is battery life. It lasted around 30 minutes here, which isn’t practical. But this battery walks the fine line between size, weight and power and doesn’t need to meet production demands. The TY-E motor draws from a battery inside a small trials bike frame of a bike which must weigh no less than 70kg for FIM rules. This is where will staring watching performing I spend learn future at the the much from. their Yamaha technicians TY-E of specific the and e-bikes day roles: to unplugs reveal one terminals, the removes battery, four a third another bolts takes looks the like dead a shoe-box battery with (which a loft conversion) out of sight. The guy methodically squirting the perfect amount of chain lube on each individual roller – one link, one squirt at a time – showed the astonishing attention to detail which sums up how Yamaha feel about this super rare creation.
Trick Sixony Nano coating abounds Yes it’s a concept only. Detail is superb