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Yamaha invented the world’s first electrically power assisted bicycle (PAS) in 1993. Since then we have been constantly innovating to deliver the most easy-to-use power assist systems. Just one ride and you’ll understand.


The Yamaha PAS Bicycle Born in 1993

The Waza: Combining Human Power and Electric Power


The idea of finding a solution to a bicycle’s weakness in going uphill or into the wind had long existed at Yamaha Motor. “What if there was some kind of power source to help the person pedaling?” The company’s efforts towards a solution took form in projects that produced a prototype mounting a small 25cc gasoline engine on a bicycle in 1973, and another prototype mounting a 35cc engine on a mountain bike in 1982.

However, what we were seeking was a personal commuter vehicle that placed top priority on performance in tune with human perceptions and sensitivities, and a vehicle that people who didn’t ride motorcycles could still handle with ease. Eventually, the emergence of more compact, high-performance batteries and computers as well as a rapid succession of revolutionary advances in the field of electronics led us to begin research and development on the completely new concept of coupling human power and electric power, i.e., using an electric motor to “assist” the pedaling power of the rider.

Finally in 1989, we succeeded in developing a prototype mounting a new mechanism we called the “Power Assist System.” This prototype became the base of what would become our PAS electrically power-assisted bicycles. The focus of our R&D efforts was on what would become the core technology for the lineup of PAS bicycles – the Power Assist System. The aim was to create an entirely new category of vehicle that could still be called a bicycle even though it utilized the power of an electric motor. This also meant creating a whole new standard of mobility and we steadily tackled and overcame an array of technological and regulatory obstacles during development.

The Sube: Getting Acceptance as a Bicycle

The Sube: Getting Acceptance as a Bicycle. In order to commercialize the new product, one of the biggest issues was how to position it with regard to Japan’s road vehicle and traffic laws. It was an issue that led Yamaha to repeatedly talk with and explain to officials at the related government agencies that the electrically power-assisted bicycle was a direct extension of a regular bicycle and that it would also contribute greatly to society in terms of energy-saving and reducing exhaust emissions.
After careful and prudent consideration, the involved agencies eventually recognized the social value of the vehicle and officially approved its classification as a bicycle in 1993. Then in July of that year, we unveiled the Yamaha PAS (with built-in 3-speed gear system) as a “world’s first product” and sales began on a limited basis in the three prefectures of Kanagawa, Shizuoka and Hyogo in November. This was followed by the start of nationwide sales in April 1994. After Yamaha pioneered this new category, Japan’s established bicycle manufacturers later began making their own offerings of “electrically power-assisted bicycles” and the market grew rapidly.

Over 4 Million Drive Units used worldwide

Over 2 Million Yamaha e-bikes sold in Japan



It’s with excitement and great anticipation that our Yamaha Power Assist Bicycles will become available to US outdoor enthusiasts looking for new adventure and excitement. Yamaha Power Assist Bicycles provide superior e-bike technology, reliability, and PURE RIDE performance.

  • YEAR 1989

    Yamaha created first prototype in 1989.

  • YEAR 1993

    Sales of the world-first PAS bicycle began in 1993 in Japan. The concept of an electrically power assisted bicycle would later spread worldwide.

  • YEAR 1995

    A detachable nickel-cadmium battery was adopted along with a new charger with a refresh-charge function.

  • YEAR 1999

    Intelligent Flexible Energy System (IFES) was developed. This enabled data exchange between the battery, charger and controller.

  • YEAR 2003

    Lightweight, compact center-mounted drive unit with efficient direct-to-chain assist was developed. Non-contact torque sensor was developed to lighten pedaling when the battery is empty.

  • YEAR 2008

    Along with the introduction of our Brace model, we reached our 1 million bicycles sold. Creation of our Brace model was a response to consumers asking for sportier recreation bicycle with Yamaha PAS technology.

  • YEAR 2013

    The Triple Sensor System was introduced to the all-new PWseries, providing a smoother and more enjoyable ride. The increased precision of the assist control results in the most “natural and organic” pedaling feel available in ebike technology today.

  • YEAR 2015

    New Concept YPJ-R light weight road bike was introduced in Japan.

  • YEAR 2016

    Along with the introduction of our YPJ-C model in Japan, we reached our 2 million bicycles sold.

The System

Learn about the technology that makes Yamaha's power assist systems special.

  • YAMAHA factory tuned

    To achieve the "Being one with the machine" ideal, we have incorporated "Quad Sensor System" and "Automatic Support Mode" technologies to our complete drive unit line up. Our engineers take full advantage of those technologies to fine-tune each system optimally for each underlying riding concept.

  • The Quad Sensor System

    The Quad Sensor System adds an angle sensor to detect the bike's angle of climb or descent, in addition to the existing ride speed, crank rotation, and pedaling torque sensors. The system automatically detects riding conditions, and delivers the appropriate assist power and acceleration.

  • Automatic Support Mode

    Each of the sensors monitors the riding conditions, and algorithms automatically select the appropriate level of pedal assistance. The result is a fine-tuned, user-friendly ride. The algorithms are created individually for each of the drive units on the line-up, creating the experience expected for each riding situation. If you wish to shift between assist modes manually, you can turn the Automatic Support Mode off.