Yamaha Enters U.S. Electric Bike Market


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.

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9 Comments on "Yamaha Enters U.S. Electric Bike Market"

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Seems like a nice product, unfortunately All electric Bicycles are ILLEGAL for use in NY State by any age rider.

As a bike rider who might occasionally like to take a break from pedaling in a hilly area, this is unfortunate.

Why is that so?

If you can pedal on your own and speed are limited, probably weight also, those are no more than “assisted bicycle”

Yeah, crazy right? My understanding is that it is about delivery guys in NYC. So they just banned them for the whole state. Apparently, they keep riding them, cause they were ignoring the laws in the first place.

Not much detail here. How much? What power? What speed? Throttle or pedal assist? Availability?

Looks nice, though.

Unfortunately most electric bikes from big brands suck…
The legal limit in most of the US is 750 watt motors but most big brands only offer 250 and a few 500 in addition to small batteries for a big price tag…
There are some bike EV blogs that have good info…

They follow EU rules.
Less power, and the assist stops when 25km/h is reached.

Still very useful.
I use mine about 5000 – 7000 km a year.
Longer if not for the ice and snow parts of the year.

Faster e-bikes van be used on closed tracks.
Other then that, they will be classified as mopeds or motorcycles.

There is a US federal law that states that any ebike that’s limited to 15mph and pedal assist MUST be treated as any other bicycle. That NY law cannot supersede this federal law.


NY classifies these as motorcycles which need to be registered. Most have no VIN and can’t be registered, thus they become unlicensed motorcycles.

In Europe, the bike will not assist after you reach 25km/h.
If the bike is faster, it is classified as a moped or a motorcycle with need for a license, a proper MC aproved helmet, license plate, insurance and so on.