Yamaha XT 500 H20 concept is the ultimate sustainable reimagining

The 2025 reimagining of the iconic Yamaha XT 500 is both striking in design and in architecture with its water-powered H20 loop...

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In an age where questions over how to develop more economical and sustainable fuel forever play on the minds of technical bods across the automotive and motorcycle industry, there is one source that engineers would love to crack; Water.

Of course, you don’t need to have several (or any) degrees to recognise the difficulties in harnessing this but it doesn’t stop designers from considering what could be possible in years or decades time, which goes some way to explaining this, the Yamaha XT 500 H20.

The brainchild of Maxime Lefebvre, this a water-powered reimagining of the venerable Yamaha XT 500 – which can trace its roots back to 1976 – as a dependable, bullet-proof, go-anywhere two-wheel workhorse with a green heart.

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The design was commissioned by Yamaha itself back in 2016, but has taken some four years to get to this stage, imagining what we could be riding potentially in 2025 (which doesn’t seem all that far away… even if 2020 has felt like the longest year on record!).

According to RideApart, this design has gone through three iterations before Lefebvre settled on one named ‘inexhaustible’.

With internals that bear resemblance to a Dyson product, the XT 500 H20 loses that unsustainable fuel and replaces it with a closed-loop H20 engine that continually pumps water through to power it. Of course, this is a machine that lives on paper rather than in reality, but it’s certainly a pleasant thought if you have an eye on protecting the planet for future generations.

Beyond that unusual power unit, the design itself is a striking modern interpretation of the iconic silhouette which stays true enough to the original while giving it futuristic new clothes. Don’t worry though, it retains the signature larger knobbly-tyre front wheel…

Will this machine ever jump off the paper into reality? Perhaps not beyond a one-off concept, but it’s certainly a refreshing (geddit?) thought.