The Yamaha YPJ Electric Mountain Bike Concept

BY Cameron Newland

Yamaha recently brought its low-priced line of Haibike SDURO electric bikes to the United States, but the company has another announcement in store for the ebike world.

Meet the Yamaha YPJ MTB Concept Electric Bike:

Yamaha YPJ MTB Concept Electric Bike

So what is the YPJ MTB, exactly? Well, it looks very similar in design to existing models from Haibike, but the YPJ MTB Concept has high-end components like the Shimano SLX groupset, which is known for accurate shifting and less dropped chains, and also features a high-end suspension fork from Fox.

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Is this Concept game-changing? Not if it’s only a display of what’s to come, design-wise, from Haibike’s Yamaha-powered SDURO line. The YPJ MTB adopts the traditional Haibike conventions of a high-contrast, two-color-with-third-color-as-accent paint scheme, and there are no futuristic, never-before-seen technologies on the bike. The YPJ MTB could be a game-changer, though, if it meant that Yamaha had the intention of entering in the ebike space and potentially selling their own electric mountain bikes to compete with the likes of Haibike. Assuming that Yamaha could sell their Yamaha-branded electric mountain bikes for less than the Haibike SDURO line, the YPJ MTB could mean that electric mountain bikes would become even more accessible to consumers.

Considering that Haibike has been the top seller of Yamaha electric propulsion systems outside of Yamaha’s home market of Japan, and that the Japanese electric bicycle market is quite different from the European and North American markets, I doubt that Yamaha would consider launching their new YPJ line outside of Japan, however, the possibility of Yamaha entering the market as a global electric bike brand – no matter how unlikely – is tantalizing.