2021 eMTB SHOOTOUT
YAMAHA YDX-MORO PRO REVIEW
Photos by Dusten Ryen
Video by Brian Niles/Treeline Cinematics
All you lifelong Yamaha moto fans can rejoice, there is another two wheeled fun having machine you can add to your garage. The all-new Yamaha YDX-MORO PRO is a 27.5”+ 160mm/150mm travel eMTB that features Yamaha’s own motor and unique twin tube frame design. Bleeding blue is no longer reserved for the gas-powered two-wheeled fiends. Let’s dig in and see how the Yamaha YDX-MORO PRO performs.
Yamaha took advantage of their massive brain power, manufacturing capability, desire to innovate and created their own drive unit. The PW-X2 motor comes in at 6.83lbs and delivers up to 80Nm of torque up to a cadence of 170rpm’s, which is an impressively high cadence to deliver power. Their handlebar mounted multi-function control unit allows you to choose from five power modes, EXPW, MTB, Eco, Standard and High. The MTB mode will switch automatically between power settings, providing power based on the terrain you are riding thanks to Yamaha’s impressive Quad Sensor system. The sensors pick up on cadence, torque, wheel speed and the pitch (incline) of the bike to instantly put the right amount of power down.
It is worth noting that the 80Nm of torque at 170rpm is only available in EXPW and MTB modes. The other modes deliver 70Nm of torque up to 155rpm. Along with the five riding modes there is also a Walk mode for when things get a little too gnarly to ride up. The computer offers Bluetooth connectivity, USB power for accessory charging and connectivity, as well as an array of functional information such as distance, battery life, stopwatch and a power indicator. It’s a rather informative display and is sizeable. Our testers were mixed on whether something that big was necessary and would get in our way, but it tucks nicely out of the way near the stem, so our concerns didn’t come true.
Yamaha has paired this new motor with their own battery. This 500Wh battery comes in at 6.61lbs and features a charge-life indicator as well as a self-diagnosis display. This 36V unit has a charge time of four hours and we really liked the ease of access to the charging port on top of the bike rather than down low near the bottom bracket where many bike’s charging ports are located. To keep the Yamaha YDX-MORO quite there is an anti-vibration mounting plate. Yamaha’s PW-X2 motor delivers power very naturally and smoothly and really makes you feel as if you are a much stronger rider than you are, the intuitive Auto mode with tilt sensor does all the thinking for you. The transition to power is seamless and there is plenty there to get you and the YDX-MORO PRO up the hill. Something to note is that there’s a sensor inside the rear hub, while this is part of what makes Yamaha’s power delivery and the MORO’s brain work, it will limit the ability to put aftermarket wheels on this bike.
The patent-pending hydroformed twin tube frame comes in with a headtube angle of 66.3 degrees and seat tube angle of 70.3 degrees. Our size large had a reach of 478mm and a wheelbase of 1,253mm. The size small comes in at a reach of 388mm and the medium lands at 432mm. Even with the big jumps in reach all models come with a 780mm wide bar, a 40mm stem and 170mm cranks. All models also feature a 469mm rear center, while this was comfortable for our size large, we feel that smaller size riders might suffer. Out back there is an integrated speed sensor harness. The full build on this bike comes in at a respectable 53.1lbs.
Up front there is a 160mm RockShox Yari RC with Boost spacing and a 35mm chassis. This fork offers low speed rebound and low speed compression adjustments. The Yari RC has the Motion Control IS Damper that is tuned to feel like the higher end Charger dampers, but the 35mm stanchions may be an issue for more aggressive and heavier riders as we could feel the fork struggling to keep up in gnarly, high-G scenarios. A RockShox Super Deluxe Select + rear shock with 150mm of travel and a 55mm stroke handles rear end damping. The rear shock mounting on this twin tube frame is one of the most unique designs we have seen. The aluminum at mounting location is cold forged and allows Yamaha to join areas strong with no additional support plate. The Select + shock comes with the DebonAir spring, Maxima Push fluid, low speed rebound adjustment and a two-position compression lever giving you the ability to lock the shock out.
The 27.5” x 40mm (internal width) wheels are Yamaha’s in-house brand. The rear is Boost 12 x 148 and the front is 15 x 110. Along with wheels, the in-house Yamaha bits also cover the grips, saddle, bars and stem. The dropper on our size large came in at 150mm while the small and mediums come with a 125mm version.
When it comes to getting those 80Nm of torque to the ground there are 2.8” wide Maxxis High Roller II’s. Our test tires for the eMTB Shootout were Schwalbe Magic Mary and Big Bettys, so we swapped them out within a few rides for consistency across all bikes. The shifting duties are covered by Shimano’s 11-speed XT long cage derailleur and XT shifter. The front chainring is a 36T Praxis Wave wrapped in a KMC e11 Turbo chain. When it comes time to slow down the YDX-MORO PRO, 4-piston Magura MT30 brakes with 203mm Strom CL rotors both front and rear keep the rider in control with ease.