Yamaha develop electric power steering for motorcycles

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Categories: Motorcycle

Yamaha are currently developing an Electric Power Steering (EPS) system for motorcycles with “harsh conditions” R&D taking place on Yamaha Factory Racing Team race bikes in the Japanese Motocross Championship.
Yamaha Motor Co. has announced a newly developed rider aid “contributing to improved motorcycle stability and agility” – a prototype Electric Power Steering (EPS) steering support system much like anti-lock braking, traction control and active suspension systems.

The standout element to this news, for us at least, is that Yamaha R&D are testing this part on the dirt, entering race bikes equipped with the system in the 2022 All Japan MX series.

How does it work?
The EPS system uses an actuator device which converts electric signals into physical movement using a small electronic unit and a servo attached in front of the headstock like some existing steering damper units.

The EPS is a “steering support system” they say, which uses different technologies to those in power steering systems for automobiles and other four-wheeled vehicles.

Magnetostrictive torque sensor
The EPS uses a “magnetostrictive“ torque sensor which is already heavily developed and used in Yamaha’s power-assisted e-bicycles. It works very much like a pedal power-assist does by reacting to torque input and Yamaha say it “complements handlebar inputs in line with the rider’s intentions“ by mainly functioning at low speeds.

The steering damper element to the EPS counteracts the outside forces sent to the handlebars from the riding surface and functions primarily at higher speeds.

Magnetostrictive torque sensor
The EPS uses a “magnetostrictive“ torque sensor which is already heavily developed and used in Yamaha’s power-assisted e-bicycles. It works very much like a pedal power-assist does by reacting to torque input and Yamaha say it “complements handlebar inputs in line with the rider’s intentions“ by mainly functioning at low speeds.

The steering damper element to the EPS counteracts the outside forces sent to the handlebars from the riding surface and functions primarily at higher speeds.