Yamaha calls on motorcycle technology for latest eMTB drive unit

A new e-bike drive unit has been launched by Yamaha, with the new PW-XM, which offers greater performance and lower weight than its predecessors.

Yamaha PW-XM

The Yamaha PW-XM is the Iwata marque’s newest electric motor for pedal-assist mountain bikes, boasting greater performance and reduced weight in comparison to its predecessors.

The PW-XM has been launched 30 years after Yamaha’s first movements into the world of electric-assist bicycle technology back in the early-1990s, and provides the greatest statistics yet from the Japanese manufacturer.

The new motor provides more performance than its predecessors in a lighter package. Part of the weight loss for the Yamaha PW-XM, which has brought its weight down to 2.6kg, has been down to the use of magnesium in the construction of the motor’s housing. Yamaha puts its use of such a material in this new electric mountain bike (eMTB) motor down to its experience of using magnesium in its Yamaha R1 supersports bike.

Along with the aforementioned 2.6kg weight, the PW-XM also produces 85Nm of torque, which is also, in part, down to gains found in heat management.

The PW-XM is compatible with Yamaha’s established drive units, the PW-X3 and PWseries S2. Yamaha says this means manufacturers are able “to create three different eBikes using the same chassis design,” which itself is an attribute enhanced by the PW-XM’s compact design. Additionally, there is compatibility with all of Yamaha’s existing e-bike batteries and displays.

The new motor is also constantly adjusting as you ride. Zero Cadence Technology and Automatic Support Mode are sensing technologies which make automatic adjustments to the motor to ensure a consistent power delivery that Yamaha calls “Pure Ride”.

It would seem certain that Yamaha should eventually use the new PW-XM in its own e-bike models, although that it not yet confirmed. As a result, it is not possible to say whether the PW-XM would see the creation of an all-new Yamaha e-bike model, or whether it would be used as an upgrade on, for example, the Moro 07 that was launched last year.


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