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Yamaha announced recently that they have developed a prototype of an Electric Power Steering (EPS) support system for motorcycles as a rider-aid contributing to improved motorcycle stability and agility.
The newly developed EPS is a technology falling under the “Transforming Mobility” (transform mobility to expand human possibilities) focus area of the company’s long-term vision of art for human possibilities. Yamaha are carrying out development of the system seeing it as a technology not only for transforming mobility for greater fun, safety, and comfort but also as one connected to resolving societal issues in uniquely Yamaha ways.
The EPS support system employs sensor technologies that differ from those in power steering systems for automobiles and other four-wheeled vehicles. Utilizing a magnetostrictive torque sensor enables the system to function as a steering damper and provide assisted steering, thereby contributing to a motorcycle’s stability, improving agility, reducing rider fatigue, and more.
In order to further expedite their R&D in a real-world scenario, the Yamaha Factory Racing Team will contest the All Japan Motocross Championship with two YZ450FMs and a YZ250F equipped with EPS. The company plans to use the wealth of data acquired through use in the harsh environment provided by top-level motocross competition to accelerate the system’s development and refinement. Yamaha aim to equip EPS on various motorcycles in order to provide a wide range of riders with greater motorcycling fun, safety, and comfort.
However, the electronic steering damper technology being developed by Yamaha is not entirely new as Honda have been using it since 2004 on their high-end motorcycles, but its damping rates are variable and adjusted by the ECU. Yamaha have taken the concept further by adding an actuator to assist with any steering input applied to the handlebar.
Story: Alshin Thomas
Image source: Yamaha
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