Yamaha Electric Motocross Bike Close to Production

New patent filings indicate a Yamaha electric motocross bike is coming nearer to being production-ready

2023 Yamaha YZ450F

Yamaha, one of the major players in motocross since the 1970s, is developing an electric motocross bike and recent patent filings indicate it is close to production.

The bike’s powertrain is based on that used by the TY-E electric trials bike that Yamaha has developed in the past few years and which competed at World Championship level. 

Yamaha TY-E 2.0 electric trials bike.

The trials bike used a clutch in combination with a flywheel to act as a kind of energy store. Releasing the clutch would effectively give a power boost.

In motocross, similarly to as in trials, the clutch is an important aspect of the bike, especially compared to other forms of racing, because the clutch is used in places other than the start and gear shifts. In motocross, for example, the clutch is used to control speed, because moving your fingers in and out is quicker and more accurate than rolling your wrist. Riders who have ridden bikes like the Stark Varg have noted how they would like it to come with a clutch, and Yamaha has maintained a clutch lever on the left handlebar for its motocross bike.

Cycle World reports that the flywheel system of the TY-E is removed for the motocross bike and replaced with a set of springs which do essentially the same job, while also softening the impact of the electric motor on the transmission.

Additionally, Cycle World reports that new patents have been filed that relate to the bike’s waterproofing of its powertrain and the addition of breather hoses to manage pressure changes in the motor or battery case, for example. 

Furthermore, Yamaha has implemented a system whereby the rider can input into the bike’s ECU the length of the race they are about to start, and the bike will calculate how much of the powertrain’s total performance can be used to make it to the end of the race with the charge remaining in the battery. It’s an interesting addition, because of the amount of variables between riders, tracks, and even the same track lap-to-lap.

These latest patents show a level of finishing detail that indicates Yamaha’s electric motocross bike could soon be ready for production.

Yamaha would be the second major manufacturer which has a current internally combusting motocross programme to launch an electric model, although the Honda CR Electric Proto is, as its name suggests, a prototype.

Trey Canard on Honda CR Electric Proto in 2023 All-Japan Motocross Championship.

Honda has raced its electric motocross bike in the All-Japan Motocross Championship and in the FIM E-Xplorer World Cup, the latter an enduro-style series strictly for electric bikes.

Recently, Infront Moto Racing announced its new electric-only motocross series, MXEP, which will run as a support class to the MXGP World Championship. The announcement of the series received opposition from Stark Future - the leading electric manufacturer in motocross with its Varg model that won the UK Arencacross series this year - but could be an option for both Yamaha and Honda when it launches in 2026.

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