There's a lot to like about the Yamaha PES1 on display at the Tokyo Motor Show. Light and lithe, the electric motorcycle concept is a fine blade with which to slice through city traffic. It sits you upright, giving you a commanding view of the field of battle, but also allows you to easily tuck down for a quick sprint toward an advantageous opening in the enemy's armor.
It helps that the design is forward looking. The LED-encrusted headlights promise bright, efficient illumination, while the sculpted aluminum chassis is abetted in its mission of strength and sprightliness by artistically applied carbon fiber. The spokes of the wheels are mere whispers of radial support, their airiness echoed in the negative spaces beneath the "tank" and the tailstock.
Perhaps the best thing about the PES1, though, is that it actually works as a machine, as well as a statement of intent. We have proof. Shortly after its debut on the floor of the Tokyo Big Sight convention center, Yamaha released a convincing video of its electro moto dismembering a curvy bit of race track. Although the footage sounds a warning about the importance of compelling design to the existing early entrants in the electric field, it also reveals that established motorcycle makers face the same challenges as the pioneers, namely, balancing performance parameters and price.
The Japanese bike, while truly lust-worthy, appears limited to a top speed of 100 km/h (62 miles per hour) and its sub-100 kg (221 pounds) weight would indicate that its removable battery would not allow for tons of range. We won't even get into the argument about cost and complexity of its small motor mated to a manual/automatic transmission in place of a more powerful motivator with higher voltage and direct drive – though, you can in the comments. Scroll below and see the concept in action for yourself and let us know what you think.