Getting lost in the crowd? That’s definitely not the case for the Yamaha PW-X. With a defined and individual character it makes no secret of its powerful nature –along with all the pros and cons this entails.

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It takes time to get used to the powerful Yamaha PW-X motor. From the very first touch on the pedals the motor pushes strongly and makes itself noticed with a distinctive buzzing sound. With the right support level, all of this translates into easy uphill starts. However, for inexperienced riders exactly this lively character could spell disaster when riding on flat terrain. Compared with all other motors in our test, the PW-X is the one that best copes with low cadence riding. This distinctive trait also encourages uphill cruising and relieves you of most of the hard work – depending on the support level. However, beyond a cadence of 80 RPM the Yamaha PW-X struggles to provide its full power. This means the PW-X demands an entirely new riding technique when approaching steps and obstacles. Instead of pedalling hard and fast, just change into the highest support level and let the motor do the rest. The lower cadence also prevents the cranks from smashing into obstacles. The distinctive character of the motor doesn’t create the most natural ride-feeling, but still feels smooth when it lowers the support at the 25 km/h threshold and only generates minimal pedalling resistance.

Der Yamaha PW-X schiebt bei niedrigen Frequenzen richtig kräftig an und macht das Schalten der Gänge an Rampen fast überflüssig.

Yamaha offers a wide range of batteries, remotes and displays for their motors. You can choose from an internal 600 Wh battery and 2 external batteries with a capacity of up to 500 Wh. The three display-concepts include anything from a simple minimalist system to a full-on control centre with navigation and app integration. In addition, manufacturers can choose to use their own rechargeable batteries and display solutions. Giant, one of the largest bike manufacturers to use Yamaha motors, rely on their own batteries and also tweak the motor software to squeeze even more power from an already powerful drive.

Conclusion

The Yamaha PW-X pulls like an ox at low cadences! It feels comfortable on long cruises and tackles steep climbs without breaking a sweat. Unfortunately, what it doesn’t offer is a natural ride-feeling.


Torque 80 Nm
Motor weight 3.06 kg
Riding modes 5

App management depending on manufacturer
Walk-assist yes
System open

Tops

  • Very powerful at low cadences

Flops

  • Power loss at high cadences
  • Pushes unintentionally while stationary

More information at yamaha-motor.com


It's finally here: The E-MOUNTAINBIKE Print Edition 2020 is our third annual edition and ultimate test bible, with which we aim to help you choose the perfect eMTB. More than 250 pages of extensive buyers advice, tons of eMTB know-how as well as reviews of the 35 most exciting eMTBs and the 7 best motors. You’ll also find many helpful tips and a guide to the most exciting eMTB trends – all of this is wrapped in a high quality print format. Click here for more information or order it directly in our shop!

Words: Felix Stix Photos: E-MOUNTAINBIKE team

About the author

Felix Stix

Felix is chief of testing and undoubtedly one of the best test riders in the world. With a degree in sports engineering, excellent mountain bike skills, his love of technology and as a certified bike guide, Felix has everything it takes to make comprehensive and fair assessments of bikes. His legendary group tests are internationally known and feared, though they tend to be a bit longer due to his love of detail and technical deep dives. Every year, he reviews around 100 bikes, specialising in the subject of tires, motors and suspension, before putting on his skis come winter! His know-how is incorporated into each of our reviews, ensuring the quality of our work stays high!