HMS explains the relevance and synergy e-bikes have with boats, then sets about testing two models selected from Yamaha’s all-new e-bike offering – namely, the all-round CrossCore RC and the urban-orientated BOOSTER Easy.

The very idea that e-bikes and boats could enjoy some kind of synergy may at first seem unlikely. Strange ‘bedfellows’, you might think? On the face of it, perhaps, but then again, as more and more boats within the 30ft to 35ft sector are sold to those interested in adventuring and exploring, e-bikes are coming into their own as a legitimate ‘accessory’. In this respect, their merits are being recognised for their ability to transform a voyage from one that is largely about ‘the getting there’ to one that becomes more about the destination and the experience it can offer.

Yamaha Electric bike - The PWseries-ST drive unit is extremely quiet running and offers responsive performance.

The PWseries-ST drive unit is extremely quiet running and offers responsive performance.

Just imagine pulling into your haven of choice and being able to freely explore your destination and its locality without constraint. No taxis, no undue amounts of walking, but rather the sheer convenience and flexibility of being able to take your bikes down off the cabin roof rack and set off ‘under your own steam’ in your own time, whenever you wish! On this basis, it could be argued that e-bikes are capable of adding even more value to your boat investment.

Yamaha Electric bike - Fitted with SR Suntour NEX E25 front suspension, the 63mm of travel offers comfort and stability.

Fitted with SR Suntour NEX E25 front suspension, the 63mm of travel offers comfort and stability.

Of course, there are many makes and types of e-bike on the market now – every design imaginable, from all-terrain fat bikes to folding urban bikes that can be stowed on deck or within a lazarette or locker. It really depends on what type of exploring ashore you wish to do. Of course, the wilder, more off the beaten track your destination is, the more ‘off-road’ your choice of bike will be. Speaking personally, I have a fat bike that really suits my needs and the type of terrain I like to cover, and when we were running the Axopar 28, I had the option of either carrying it on the cabin roof or strapping it securely to the aft deck. The combination worked really well.

E-bike technology has come on leaps and bounds in recent years. Drive systems, charging capability, battery development, lighter construction materials, you name it, e-bikes have undergone improvements in all these areas. But an exciting development within this market is the global engineering giant Yamaha and their entry into the sector. To this end, we decided it would be fitting to take a couple of the new Yamaha models and actually test them from the perspective of a boat owner. So, what did we make of them, and how suited might they be to carrying aboard a vessel? Let’s kick off in brisk fashion with the Yamaha CrossCore RC.

Yamaha CrossCore RC

Functional, stylish and commendably discreet from an engineering point of view, Yamaha’s CrossCore RC model represents the very latest in e-bike technology and styling. This is evidenced by the battery housing, which is barely noticeable within the structure of the frame. As a consequence, the appearance of the bike’s overall construction avoids any tendency to be bulky or overstated. The CrossCore certainly has a slim, lightweight look about it, and bearing in mind the bike’s multiple mechanisms and features, at 23.9kg for a size M, in my view, it genuinely lends itself to cabin-top carriage.

CrossCore, great on urban trails or exploring nearby town from the marina. Yamaha Electric bike ebikes

CrossCore RC – A 500Wh battery, giving strong performance on the street or a dirt road.

Another big plus in the CrossCore’s favour is the fact that its design is very intuitive. Keeping the handlebar configuration as uncomplicated as possible, the whole process of gear selection and power switching is kept beautifully straightforward courtesy of its three power modes, ranging from ‘high-boost’ through to a useful ‘walk-assist’ mode. And while some of the CrossCore’s fundamental features are common to other leading brands, this bike is outstanding for the way its technical hardware is so cleverly and neatly ‘condensed’. This equates to the battery housing being commendably discreet.

The bike’s gear range is outstanding and is achieved without the need for big, clunky mechanisms, and every gear change is super-smooth. In addition, as part of Yamaha’s ‘Zero Cadence’ technology, the CrossCore’s automatic ‘Support Mode’ and ‘Inclination Sensor’ play their part in ensuring that extra assistance is given when facing a headwind or steep gradient.

The seat, though contemporarily slim, is both comfortable and supportive, and I like the way the handlebar-to-seat configuration places the rider in that prime position, just behind the midpoint. As a result, you feel safe at speed whether riding on road or over rougher terrain, because your upper body doesn’t feel as though it’s positioned ‘over’ the handlebars. With regard to the latter, though, while the CrossCore RC is branded an ‘all-rounder’, if you want a true offroad bike, you’ll likely want to check out the MORO 07, Yamaha’s premium eMTB. This bike’s spec is mightily impressive and will no doubt prove of interest to anyone wanting an all-out, all-terrain model.   

Yamaha BOOSTER Easy

Yamaha’s new BOOSTER Easy e-bike has been developed in Europe to meet the rapidly increasing demand for clean, quiet and accessible urban transport. It’s a machine with a maximum pedal-assisted speed of 25km/h and is suited to being carried either securely aboard the deck of a vessel or within the ‘garage’ of a motor yacht. In my view, it is not suited to cabin-top carriage. The BOOSTER Easy is certainly modern in style and eye-catching in appearance, and with its chunky ‘fat’ tyres it looks both purposeful and stable. So, how did we get on with this second bike supplied for PBR’s evaluation?

Booster Yamaha Electric bike ebikes

BOOTSER Easy – With a range of 60-120km, an solid aluminium front frame and a set of fat 20” x 4” tyres makes this a comfortable city bike.

Like the CrossCore, the BOOSTER Easy benefits from being very user-friendly and non-complex to operate, and all its functions and features are ergonomically designed for ease of use. For example, gear changing is enabled by means of a simple twisting of the right handlebar grip. Its operation is totally seamless and involves no apparent traditional switching from one gear to the next. The torque ratio supplied by the Yamaha drive unit is set at 50% for +ECO mode and goes up to 280% in HIGH mode. The typical range with a 75kg rider is up to 120km in +ECO mode through to 60km in HIGH mode.

Yamaha state that the BOOSTER models are the ‘spiritual successors’ to the original ‘fat tyre’ 50cc Yamaha and MBK scooters that played such a big part in the lives of many European teenagers growing up in the 1980s and 90s. The bike’s contemporary design features an exposed diecast aluminium front frame and chunky spoked wheels with 20” x 4” tyres.

Booster Yamaha Electric bike ebikes - Easy access for charging.

Easy access for charging.

The BOOSTER Easy feels quite a heavy bike to move about, but that said, once aboard, you’re away, thanks to the motor’s silky-smooth power confidently propelling one’s pedal movements. As a result, that desired sense of e-bike ‘weightlessness’ is easily established through the use of the twist gears. I would say, though, that the BOOSTER Easy is a little more ‘sedate’ than its nimbler CrossCore counterpart – and likely for good reason, bearing in mind that the former is built primarily for urban use.

I found the BOOSTER Easy’s riding position to be excellent. Sat just aft of the centreline and coupled to the design and positioning of the handlebars, the rider’s arms are nicely spread, and this contributes to an overall sense of stability underway, as well as comfort. The ability to carry load is another benefit associated with this model. This is achieved via the rear mudguard, which forms the necessary platform for an accessory box, if so desired, in which to carry personal items, maybe even your pet?

The front end of the bike features Yamaha-exclusive fork covers, a front plate cover and front mudguard, as well as a Supernova headlight. Other likeable features include the manner in which the bike’s cables are neatly hidden away behind ducts for cleaner lines, and how the chain and engine covers contribute to the BOOSTER’s scooter-like appearance. Both the models tested feature an adjustable Royal Orbis seat and integrated Koso LED taillight.

CrossCore RC: standout features

CrossCore Yamaha Electric bike ebikes

  • A 500Wh battery, giving strong performance on the street or a dirt road.
  • Yamaha’s ‘Display A’ interface provides essential information in a large-format display.
  • The CrossCore RC is offered in three sizes and is available in Shiver White and Urban Sage.
  • Best-selling PW-ST drive unit – only 3.4kg low-noise design:
    • Automatic Support Mod
    • Inclination Sensor
  • Yamaha Zero Cadence technology, Quad Sensor technology:
    • 70Nm max. torque
    • 23.9kg at size M
  • Yamaha lithium-ion 500Wh, 36V, 13.4Ah, Shimano Alivio
  • Yamaha charger

For genuine Yamaha accessories see www.yamaha-motor.eu/

Omnichannel distribution system created to deliver what Yamaha describe as a ‘seamless buying experience from start to finish’

Price

  • £2,200 (inclusive of VAT, preparation charges and delivery to either your home or local dealer)

BOOTSER Easy, standout features

Booster Yamaha Electric bike ebikes

  • The BOOSTER Easy has a top assisted speed of 25km/h to comply with European e-bike legislation – and riders can select Zero mode for faster pedal-only riding on downhills.
  • Range: 60–120 km, depending on running mode/power selection
  • Aluminium front frame
  • Fat 20” x 4” tyres
  • Low centre of gravity for easy agility and confident stability
  • Designed to also handle uneven road surfaces
  • Promax 180mm-diameter front and rear disc brakes
  • Premium Yamaha PW-S2 drive unit
  • Yamaha 630Wh 36V battery. Yamaha charger
  • ‘Display A’ multifunction LCD interface
  • Rear carrier
  • Royal Orbis seat
  • Supernova M99 Mini Pure headlight/Koso LED taillight
  • Colours: Cyan, solid aqua, dark grey metallic
  • Genuine accessories include baskets, side bags, inner bags, frame side covers, premium pedals and bar mount.

See www.yamaha-motor.eu

Omnichannel distribution delivery system.

Price

  • £2,900 (inclusive of VAT, preparation charges and delivery to either your home or local dealer)

Southampton Boat Show
Wellcraft 355

Premier Marinas - Launch at the tap of the App

Cannes Yachting Festival 2024

Arksen Discovery Series

Henri Lloyd

Yamaha - The most exciting way to get from A to B campaign