Yamaha Electric Motorcycle

The Yamaha PES1 and PED1 electric motorcycles debuted at the 2013 Toyko Auto Show, and the Japanese motorcycle maker has greenlit both for production. This marks Yamaha’s entry into the growing electric motorcycle market, and could disrupt the domination of startups like Zero and Brammo.

In its annual report, Yamaha slyly announced that its two electric motorcycle concepts would enter production in 2016. While the PED1 is aimed at dirt bikers wanting a zero emissions motorcycle, the PES1 is designed with street and track racing in mind, even though both concepts use the same motor and transmission.

Yamaha Electric Dirtbike

Yamaha hasn’t released any sort of performance specifications yet, but is promising both bikes will be quite light. The concept PES1 tipped the scales at just 221 pounds, and the PED1 comes in at an even-lighter 187 pounds. That’s a full 200 pounds lighter than the Zero ZF11.4 electric streetbike, and is due in large part to the minimalist styling of these Yamaha EVs.

Speaking of which, this isn’t Yamaha’s first foray into the world of electric motorsports, having signed on with Gordon Murray to produce an electric city car with a futuristic look. Yamaha also has some experience in the field of electric scooters. Add in pair of electric motorcycles to add to its lineup, and Yamaha could begin positioning itself as a 21st century leader in zero emissions mobility.

For a company best known for its motorcycles, it’s quite a leap that also shows a fair amount of foresight on Yamaha’s part. Will other motorcycle makers get the hint and join the EV bandwagon? Will we ever see an electric Harley? Don’t hold your breathe for that one.

Source: Visor Down