Motocross / Off-Road Motocross / Off-Road Motorcycle Reviews Yamaha YDX-Moro Pro Review: Revolutionary eMTB (20 Fast Facts)

Yamaha YDX-Moro Pro Review: Revolutionary eMTB (20 Fast Facts)

Yamaha brings the Yamaha YDX-Moro Pro to the electronic mountain bike (eMTB) market. It features an all-new Dual Twin frame design, and much more. We pounded it hard at SkyPark at Santa’s Village, a fantastic adventure park in Southern California’s San Bernardino National Forest. Here are the fast facts to get you fully up to speed about this new pedal-assist mountain bike from Yamaha.

  1. The Yamaha YDX-Moro Pro’s Dual Twin frame design is unique and patent pending. The aluminum Dual Twin frame is made from many differently formed pieces. For example, the front head tube to shock upper section is made from hydro-formed tubing. The upper tube section from behind the shock to the seat tube is cold-forged, so you don’t need an ugly gusset where it joins the seat tube on larger frame sizes. The front shock mount position is placed on the cold-forged frame piece for added strength, and then welded ahead of that mount for added durability. The shock is mounted between twin rails, while the battery nestles between the frame and is pulled back toward the rider. The rear brake caliper is mounted to a substantial rear drop out bolted directly to the caliper mounting system. All of these small details add up to long-term durability.
  1. I usually ride a Large frame and tested the Medium. If you are in-between sizes, go for the smaller of the two. It will be agile, nimble, and fun. For reference, I am 5’ 10” and 175 pounds, with a 32 inseam.
  1. The motor is in a vertical position, while the battery and engine mounts line up to create the ride characteristics Yamaha engineers and test riders were looking for. By pulling the battery back, you centralize the mass while using the engine mounting positioning bolts to fine-tune the chassis characteristics. The battery has rubberized floating top and bottom gaskets to reduce noise, and they slightly isolate the battery from the frame to give a better ride characteristic. The front of the battery and motor are protected by a skid plate that can be removed with a few bolts for easy access.

  1. Speaking of power, the Yamaha YDX-Moro Pro pulls all the way through the cadence range. It is also super-quiet—quieter than any other eMTB I have ridden due to the motor’s internal helical gear setup.
  1. Modern eMTB batteries get hot when abused, so the free flow of air in and around the YDX-Moro Pro’s battery should help with durability. Many bike companies pack their battery inside the downtube with no air ventilation. The external mounting allows the battery to breathe. The only downfall of the external battery is the lack of a water bottle mount. You will have to carry a water pack of some type while riding.
  1. The motor and frame are designed to work together as a package. All eMTB builders and frame manufacturers get motors from other companies and then fit them into their frame design. Yamaha designed the package from the ground up. It is so finely integrated that Yamaha put the speed sensor inside the rear hub for precise accuracy. The cadence sensor and rear wheel sensor—located inside the rear hub for precise readings—work with the computer to give the perfect application of power under extreme load conditions, such as your initial half-pedal stroke when stalling in a rock section.

  1. The Yamaha PW-X2 motor’s software is the best in its class. We went through motor support curves, and got into detail about each of the five support levels and how it mimics or supports your natural pedaling efforts. What surprised me was maximum cadence support at 170 rpm in MTB mode. All other modes support 155 rpm, and I can’t spin faster than 110 rpm. According to a Yamaha spokesman, the engineers recorded max 165 rpm by some testers, so they increased the support to just beyond that max reading. It’s amazing what you can do with software tuning on an eMTB.
  1. Yamaha sells the PW-X2 motor to other frame builders, but without the sophisticated software used for the YDX-Moro. If you want the full secret sauce, you must buy a Yamaha.
  1. The YDX-Moro has four sensors onboard—torque, speed, cadence, and angle—with the angle sensor used exclusively for the Automatic mode. The angle sensor allows you to start on hills in the Auto mode—a new level added beyond the standard modes. It is activated by pushing and holding the upper arrow in whichever mode you currently are in. This puts you in one of the Automatic modes—High; A:STD; A:Eco.

  1. The Automatic mode is the ‘set and forget’ position when you just want to focus on the trail and the ride. Auto mode provides smooth assistance for varied conditions or climbs. Essentially, this bike has eight modes—five standard, plus three Auto. It is easy to toggle back and forth by pushing the up-arrow switch on the handlebar for one second.
  1. Most of the day was ridden in MTB mode, which is an identical match to your pedal input and is best used on trails with sharp corners and tight, narrow sections. I did switch to A:MTB for the climbs, as it smoothed out the power delivery slightly and made climbing more enjoyable. It took the instantly responsive edge off the power, which was welcome on the climbs.
  1. The Walk mode function worked very well as we did repeated sections of hike-a-bike to get back above a trail to take some photos. It worked perfectly, saving a ton of energy. The power delivery of the Walk mode is intuitive, and the best I have ever used.
  1. The Yamaha YDX-Moro Pro has an impressive drivetrain. It is equipped with the performance Shimano setup, including an XT shifter, long-cage derailleur, and 11-speed 11/46T cassette, driven by a KMC e11 Turbo EPT chain. The Shimano XT 11-speed drivetrain has proven to take the punishment, and the shifts were smooth and natural. You can downshift three gears with the push of the thumb and upshift two gears with a hard pull of your front finger. The 36-tooth front sprocket is a standard 104 bolt center diameter for easy replacement in the future.

  1. The shifter’s ability to shift multiple gears in one swipe means you have to be careful to avoid damage. It is easy to destroy a drivetrain on a modern eMTB when all this applied torque if you shift through multiple gears under full power. Because the YDX-Moro Pro’s shifter can shift up and down multiple gears through cassette with one long push or pull of the lever, it can harm the drivetrain. Train yourself to shift one gear at a time to avoid such disasters.
  1. The Yamaha YDX-Moro Pro gets high-quality RockShox suspension. The highly tunable YARI RC Boost fork and strong and buttery smooth and Super Deluxe Select+ shock. The RockShox’ updated DebonAir air spring and proven Motion Control damper modulate 160mm of wheel travel, front and back. This combination maintains a higher ride height and smooth performance for ultimate confidence when riding steep, rough terrain. My initial sag setting of 30 percent rear and 20 percent front was perfect, as I didn’t touch one clicker all day. The back end is planted, while the front never dives, pushes, or does anything unexpected. The bike worked in the worst conditions of silt and rocks, or off-camber loose over hardpack. Plus, it jumped well and had a neutral feeling mid-air.

  1. The YDX-Moro Pro gets a Yamaha-designed 27.5+ alloy wheelset. Boasting an internal rim width of 40mm, it has Boost hub spacing for a more direct chain line in the rear wheel. Plus, the wider hub flange increases spoke strength to the rim. The only issue is that the speed sensor is placed inside the rear hub. It is there to get accurate wheel feedback for the computer, but it limits your ability to buy an aftermarket wheelset.
  1. The YDX-Moro Pro is equipped with two Maxxis High Roller II 27.5 x 2.8-inch tires with tubeless-compatible rims and rim strips. The ride is stable and predictable with tire pressure was set at 22 psi rear and 20 front. The 2.8 tires and wide wheels inspire confidence and make the Yamaha agile. It accelerates hard out of tight turns and never feels as though it’s on the edge of traction. 
  1. The electronics are integrated nicely. The charge port is high and centrally located. It has a nice attached rubber cover that looks durable and will not get lost. There is a small USB connector to charge your phone in the display; it also has an attached rubber cover. The main display sits inside and left of the bar and left of the stem. This is a great location and out of the way in case of a crash. However, the Mode display is small and upper left in the display box, making it hard to see the mode in a quick glance. Although each mode has a light on the top, I was always looking for the mode’s wording for confirmation.

  1. Like other Yamaha bicycles, the YDX-Moro Pro is serviceable and has a 3-year warranty. The bike uses standard components found and serviced in any bike shop. This makes parts and service as readily available.
  1. I have ridden many modern eMTB bikes, and the Yamaha YDX-Moro Pro is just plain fun. The motor is responsive and intuitive. The chassis and brakes are solid. At $5499 for the Yamaha YDX-Moro Pro, the price is a bargain. The great motor, chassis, and electronics integration make me believe Yamaha will sell every YDX-Moro they build.

RIDING STYLE

Yamaha YDX-Moro Pro Specs

MOTOR

  • Type: Yamaha PW-X2
  • Rated power: 250 watts (nominal); 500 watts (maximum)
  • Maximum torque: 59 ft-pounds
  • Maximum speed support: 20 mph
  • Maximum cadence support: 170 rpm
  • Mounting: Center
  • Spindle: ISIS splined
  • Battery: Yamaha 500 Wh; 36-volt
  • Charge time: 4 hours

DRIVETRAIN

  • Shifters: Shimano XT 11-speed
  • Rear derailleur: Shimano XT Long-Cage
  • Cassette: Shimano XT 11-speed 11/46T
  • Chainring: Praxis Wave 36T 104 BCD
  • Chain: KMC e11 Turbo EPT
  • Crankarm: FSA ISIS; 170mm

CHASSIS

  • Type: Yamaha Dual Twin w/ tapered headtube
  • Frame sizes: Small, Medium, Large
  • Front suspension; travel: RockShox YARI Boost; 160mm
  • Rear suspension; travel: RockShox Super Deluxe Select +; 160mm
  • Rims: Yamaha 27.5+ alloy
  • Spokes: Spokes SUS304
  • Spoke nipples: Brass
  • Hubs: 15×110 Boost and 12×148 Hyperglide w/ Yamaha Bicycles Speed Sensor
  • Tires: Maxxis High Roller II; 27.5 x 2.8
  • Brakes: 203mm Storm CL rotors w/ Magura MT30 4-piston calipers

DIMENSIONS

  • Wheelbase: Small, 1157mm; Medium, 1205mm; Large, 1253mm
  • Head tube angle: 66.3 degrees
  • Seat tube angle: 70.3 degrees
  • Crank arm length: 170mm
  • Stem length: 40mm
  • BB drop: 19mm
  • Rear center: 469mm
  • Motor weight: 6.83 pounds
  • Battery weight: 6.61 pounds
  • Total weight: 53.1 pounds (Medium frame)
  • Color: Podium Blue/Nickel

Yamaha YDX-Moro Pro Price: $5499 MSRP

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