Yamaha's self-balancing AI motorbike doesn't even bother with handlebars

The Motoroid 2 is more a cyborg companion than traditional motorcycle

Yamaha Motoroid 2 Concept
(Image credit: Yamaha)

Nissan isn’t the only one going a bit nuts for the upcoming Japan Mobility Show (or Tokyo Motor Show, for old school car fans), fellow automotive stalwart Yamaha also seems to be turning up the crazy with its concepts.

The most pertinent is the Motoroid 2 - an evolution of the marque's original self-balancing motorcycle that was first revealed back in 2017.

The beast really has come a long way since that concept, shedding its handlebars entirely and evolving ever more into an alien species. Now, it is merely a stripped-back, flowing sculpture of plastic and aluminium that seems to lack any form of traditional controls.

According to Yamaha, the Motoroid 2 is "a vehicle for personal mobility that can recognise its owner, get up off its kickstand, and move alongside its rider.

"[It] also has a distinctly lifelike feel when somebody is riding on its back and has a presence more like a lifetime companion."

Yamaha Motoroid 2 Concept

(Image credit: Yamaha)

Did a chill just work its way up your spine, too? You heard Yamaha correctly, this thing features an Active Mass Center Control System (AMCES) that allows it to creep alongside the rider without toppling over. What’s more, it has an image recognition AI system for recognising and reacting to the owner's face and gestures.

We can only assume that means it knows when the owner is angry, so scoots off to fetch him or her a bar of Tony's Chocolonely from the nearest petrol station to make amends.

Naturally, there is scant detail on the technology that sits beneath the shapely exoskeleton, but we do know it is powered by batteries and electric motors.

Yamaha Motoroid 2 Concept

(Image credit: Yamaha)

Alas, techy details aren't really the point, as Yamaha is aiming to mull over the question: "What will human–machine interfaces actually be like in the future?"

In reality, it is likely another step towards the Japanese firm developing a self-balancing system that it can start to implement on its production motorcycles, making them easier to ride at low speed and potentially adding autonomous drive functionality to aid with parking.

Or, it's planning on creating a robot army of Motoroid 2 motorcycles that are destined to take over Earth.

We'll leave it for you to decide.

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.