While we’re still waiting on Yamaha’s flagship electric motorcycle, their new electric crate motor brings some good news, as the brand recently announced they’re ready to start taking orders on this new product.
The tuning fork brand has been building and selling prototype electric motors since 2020, but the new powerplant is important for one reason: It’s ludicrously powerful. At 350kW per unit (that’s 469 horsepower), Yamaha claims to have built the highest output density motor in the industry.
Yamaha’s initial images make their intentions with the new motor clear. The digital rendering shows four of these new motors attached to a single chassis. 1,879 horsepower supercar anyone?
So why is this good news for all of us waiting on a road-going Yamaha electric motorcycle?
First, the new Yamaha electric motor uses oil-cooled technology, which is something all current high-performance electric bikes share (with the exception of Zero, who still produces an air-cooled motor that limits top speed as the powerplant heats up).
And it’s the technology inside Yamaha’s new electric motor that enables it to be so powerful but still compact. Yamaha says they’ve figured out how to build the necessary gear and inverter into a single unit, which drastically reduces the overall size requirement of the motor. It’s no stretch to imagine how that technology would achieve similar output density in a smaller package.
Of course that’s all speculation, and the latest we heard on the Yamaha electric motorcycle front is that they’re (a) supplying YZ250 frames for a joint electric dirt bike project (but no batteries or motors) and (b) joining forces with the likes of Honda, Suzuki, and Kawasaki to design and produce universal “swappable” battery packs for a range of EVs.
The waiting is the hardest part, but this news is enough to keep us hanging on. If this latest high-output electric crate motor is any indication of Yamaha’s electric future, we’ve got some serious speed to look forward to.