In its recent Ah A May exercise, Yamaha both spelled its own name backwards, and got two groups of its designers to trade places – musical instrument designers from Yamaha Corp were tasked with creating motorcycles, while motorcycle designers from Yamaha Motor Company had to create instruments.
We’ve already seen the interesting musical devices that resulted, but now here’s the pair of two-wheelers.
First up is the Root motorcycle.
Inspired by the lines of a horse, it replaces the seat and instrument cluster with one continuous curved wood-and-leather platform. With no dials on the bike itself to consult, the rider instead checks their RPMs on a wirelessly-connected wristwatch-style backlit tachometer.
According to Yamaha, the Root’s design is intended to “give a sense of unity among people, nature, and the vehicle.” The motorcycle can be seen – although not in action – in the following video.
The musical instrument designers’ other creation was the 0 plus minus 0 single-speed e-bike.
Like the company’s earlier YPJ-01 concept, it combines a classic skinny-tubed frame with a crankset-mounted motor. Its battery is carried in a leather case, with contacts wired into its two mounting straps. Those contacts engage two other contacts built into the frame’s top tube – this setup allows power to flow from the battery, through wiring inside the tubes, to the motor and controller.
That controller consists of push buttons embedded in the leather-wrapped handlebars.
When the 0 plus minus 0 isn’t on the road, it can be mounted on an accompanying trainer, which incorporates a generator that the bike’s battery is plugged into. The rider can then charge the battery by riding the bike on the spot. Once juiced up, the battery can be removed from the trainer and used to power devices within the home, or simply put back on the bike.
The 0 plus minus 0 is featured in the video below. As with the Root, it looks like it’s a not-entirely-functional mock-up.
While it’s doubtful that either of the two vehicles will ever see production, Yamaha did recently unveil a couple of concepts for three-wheelers that may lead to commercially-available vehicles.