Yamaha's off-road eBike has twin motors for all-wheel-drive adventures

The wild Y-01W concept might look bizarre, but it will take you places

Y-01W AWD Concept
(Image credit: Yamaha)

Tesla does it. BMW does it. Heck, even Kia does it. Basically, strapping dual electric motors to an EV makes it immediately better in every respect, so why not apply the same thinking to the eBikes?

That's exactly where Yamaha's collective brain is heading with the Y-01W concept.

it's a tough and trail-ready electric bicycle that aims to blow the competition out of the water. It uses a centre-mounted eMotor and an additional hub motor in the front wheel for all-wheel-drive… on a bike.

According to its maker, there is "coordinated control" of the two motors – which is probably a good thing given the front and real wheels have the potential to be spinning at different rates and causing all sorts of slippery mayhem.

Naturally, Yamaha has kept all of the detailed technical specs under wraps for now, promising to unveil more at the mobility show later this month. But, we do know it looks set to pack at least one 500Wh battery pack of Yamaha's own design. This is neatly integrated in the downtube and looks to be removable for charging or quick battery swaps on the fly.

Y-01W AWD Concept

(Image credit: Yamaha)

That sort of battery output would suggest a motor of at least 700W, which should be good enough for tackling some seriously tough terrain… and that's before you factor in the inclusion of a further hub motor in the front wheel. 

Design-wise, it's an absolute menagerie of carbon fibre tubes that seem to go in every direction. Boasting quasi-gravel bike proportions, the crossbar slopes rapidly, possibly to make it easier for different sized riders to throw a leg over. There are also additional tubes that sprout from the rear triangle and look perfectly-shaped to house panniers and other luggage solutions.

There's a smaller triangle mounting point placed at the front, while beefy upside-down forks take care of suspension duties. The cockpit is a neatly integrated affair, similar to that seen on some of Canyon’s gravel machines, but packs built-in out-front aero bars. That way, riders can comfortably mix up their body position during longer journeys.

Y-01W AWD Concept

(Image credit: Yamaha)

Finally, Yamaha has thrown on some chunky off-road lights of its own design, which are stacked like a set of Hella lamps on a classic Group-B rally car and feature both yellow and brilliant white lenses.

It looks like an absolute monster and we can't wait to see the final spec sheet when it's fully unveiled.

Leon Poultney

Leon has been writing about automotive and consumer tech for longer than he cares to divulge. When he’s not testing the latest fitness wearable and action camera, he’s out in a shed fawning over his motorcycles or trying not to kill himself on a mountain bike/surfboard/other extreme thing. He's also a man who knows his tools, and he's provided much of T3's drills coverage over the years, all without injuring himself.