Yamaha toying with power steering system for two-wheels

Yamaha has revealed a power steering system for motorcycles called EPS and is trailling the new technology in the Japanese motocross championship


WITH motorcycles becoming evermore technologically focused, it sometimes feels like we've seen it all before with regards to assistance and safety systems. Yamaha though seems to have hit upon a fairly unique type of motorcycle technology, as it reveals its own Electronic Power Steering (EPS) system for motorcycles.

Some of the tech' incorporated in the EPS system is a direct trickle down from Yamaha's own work in the electric pedal-assisted motorcycle sector, with magnetostrictive torque sensors helping to detect the torque a rider creates through the handlebars. The EPS system works in two ways, one at high speed and one at lower speeds when more accuracy is required. At high speeds, the EPS system works a bit like an electronic steering damper, reducing some of the bumps and knocks that the front wheel feels as it travels down the trail. At lower speeds the EPS works a bit more like the power steering system on a car would, assisting the rider and complementing the rider's inputs through the handlebars.


In the world of off-road riding, you can begin to see the benefits of such a device; less wrestling with the bars of a bike on the track means less rider fatigue, but don't think this system is reserved only for the rough and tumble world of motocross. Yamaha has an eye on using the tech on a 'variety of motorcycles', and it's here where the low-speed assistance could really come into its own. Should the device work as seamlessly as Yamaha is claiming (it states the system is able to 'achieve assistive intervention that still feels natural for the rider'), it could be a positive feature for a raft of bikes, from smaller city commuters to heavyweight adventure bikes and even large capacity cruisers.

Is this the next BIG THING the motorcycle industry is going to be squabbling over in the coming years? Possibly, but only if the engineers in Iwata can truely make the system as seemless as they say.

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