Yamaha announced that it will ride on to the U.S. electric bicycle market with the launch of its Yamaha Power Assisted Bicycles line of bikes at the Interbike trade show this year.

"Yamaha has been a pioneer, inventor, and innovator in electric bicycles for more than two decades," said Terry Okawa, President, Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A.

The parent company launched the world's first electrically power assisted bicycle in 1993 and has since produced more than four million drive units and sold over two million Yamaha power assist bicycles. Yamaha supplies class-leading e-Bike Systems to select OEM partners worldwide.

"Everyone at Yamaha is excited to be entering the rapidly expanding U.S. e-Bike market and sharing Yamaha's passion for exciting products and legendary product performance, innovative design, quality and reliability with the growing e-Bike audience," said Rob Trester, Division Manager, New Business Development Division which is launching the Yamaha Power Assist Bicycles brand.

The term “rapidly expanding” understates the growth of the electric bicycle market in the States, and by most indications the scooter and motorcycle categories will soon follow suit. Most of the large bicycle retailers already offer at least one electric option, and the demographic profile for a consumer surge is in place - aging baby boomers who want to stay in shape but need a bit of help, increasing urban traffic issues, environmental concerns, etc. This geezer is definitely in the market. (The broken fibula is an added incentive.)

Yamaha coined the the term Power Assist System 24 years ago, providing additional power through the pedals rather than using a hand throttle. Yamaha's Power Assist Bicycles are scheduled to be available at U.S. dealers starting in 2018.