Yamaha TY-E tested (2019)

Yamaha TY-E tested (2019)

Prototype from the electric trial world championship

While the electric class in the MotoGP series is still waiting for its starting shot, e-bikes are already fighting for championship points in the Trial World Championship. We were allowed to drive the prototype Yamaha TY-E.

The prerequisites for entry into motorcycling electric mobility couldn’t be better. Because with minimal consumption, short distances and the possibility of changing batteries during the competition, trial sport is an obvious test laboratory for alternative drives. In this respect, the laurel for the first world championship for electric motorcycles does not go to the trialers by chance. After the kick-off year 2017, now part of the – only two-part – electric trial world championship: Yamaha with the prototype TY-E. The result of the technical maiden voyage: behind the GasGas works pilot Loris Gubian, the 40-year-old ex-professional Kenichi Kuroyama took the Vice World Championship title on the Yamaha TY-E.

Yamaha TY-E tested (2019)

Prototype from the Electric Trial World Championship

Total weight is 70 kilograms

The Yamaha TY-E already looks good. The carbon monocoque frame, the sanded finish of the covers and the cleanly integrated electric motor demonstrate the commitment of the technicians. Striking: Although the electric motor works without a gearbox, the TY-E has a clutch. It works conventionally and runs in an oil bath. Only the clutch enables the lightning-fast frictional connection required for the high levels in the trial to be established. In terms of weight, the electric trialer remains at the industry standard.


The ten kilogram lithium-ion battery of the TY-E lasts 20 to 30 minutes.

The lithium-ion battery weighs ten kilograms, the entire vehicle around 70 kilograms. In the sections, the TY-E is surprisingly conventional. The boulders can be jumped on in a controlled manner thanks to the powerful thrust and the easy-to-dose clutch. On slippery terrain, the power develops even more finely than with a combustion engine. The background noise takes some getting used to. It takes a while to get used to the high-frequency hum of the electric motor. As a consolation for fans of gasoline cars: verbal communication with the water carrier is much easier in e-trials. Yamaha does not publish information on performance and battery capacity. The estimated capacity of the battery is around 1 kWh. The change is due after just 20 to 30 minutes.

The beginning has been made

Not least because of this, a series e-trialer from Yamaha is not yet planned. But the Yamaha TY-E has shown: a start has been made, the technology works and is almost equal to machines with conventional engines, even on an international sporting level. In this respect, the battle of concepts could well advance to the attraction of this sport. E-motorcycles and combustion engines in a single class – which other disciplines will probably still dream of for some time – could possibly come true in trial sport in the foreseeable future.

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