Yamaha MOTOROiD 2 Electric Motorcycle Balances Itself

If you ever get the opportunity to attend the newly rebranded Japan Mobility Show (formerly the Tokyo Motor Show), we highly recommend it even if you don’t consider yourself an automotive enthusiast. That’s because the Tokyo event showcases some of the most unusual and thought-provoking designs, many that challenge the notion of what a car, truck, or motorcycle can be, as is the case with Yamaha’s sinuous MOTOROiD 2 electric motorbike slated to make its big reveal later this month..

Side parked view of the Yamaha MOTOROiD 2 electric motorcycle concept, a bike with an independently pivoting front and back section. A battery compartment sits near the front wheels, with two prong kickstands underneath.

A follow-up to the original concept bike designed around the notion of “what would the offspring of a 4-legged animal and an electric motorcycle look like?,” The MOTOROiD 2 is also engineered to self-balance by swiveling its slightly unsettling biomorphic entomological backside.

Detail close up of linked swingarm and battery compartment of the MOTOROiD 2, both part of Yamaha's Active Mass Center Control System.

The linked swingarm and battery compartment are both part of Yamaha’s Active Mass Center Control System (AMCES).

The bike is supposedly capable of this maneuvering thanks to its unique hub mount position. Placed onto a swing arm connected at a pivoting point under the rider’s seat, the setup allows the rear wheel to swivel and lean independently from the front of the bike, giving the bike the ability to find its balance like a living animal (a premise emphasized by Yamaha’s query, “How do you live with a machine that feels like a living thing?“).

Close up of MOTOROiD 2's handle grips closely  positioned underneath the semi-transparent layered front fairing.

You might notice there’s something missing from your typical motorcycle: handlebars. The MOTOROiD 2 eschews that part for handle grips closely  positioned underneath the semi-transparent layered front fairing. That should make for an aerodynamic seated position, but its unclear how steerable such a bike might ride with such limited permitted movement.

Overhead of MOTOROiD 2 electric motorcycle, revealing its semitransparent panel and seating section with insect legged kickstands pointing front and backwards.

If David Cronenberg ever designed a motorcycle, it probably would look like this.

Sketches and 3D wireframe modeling of the original Motoroid electric motorcycle.

Sketches and modeling of the original Motoroid electric motorcycle reveal a more exposed system, inspired by the shape and design of a “living creature.” The second iteration builds upon that idea to a somewhat unsettling degree.

Front view of MOTOROiD 2 electric motorcycles blue LED illuminated ambient lighting and view of the motorcycle's front headlights.

Illuminated by blue LEDs underneath the front cowl and centerstand, it’s impossible not to think of James Cameron’s realm of Avatar.

Front view of MOTOROiD 2 electric motorcycles blue LED illuminated ambient lighting from an angled side view.

Front view of MOTOROiD 2 electric motorcycles blue LED illuminated ambient lighting with top cover+seat tilted and opened into backward upright position.

Other features carrying over from the original concept design include haptic feedback and AI-powered facial and gesture recognition, allowing the MOTOROiD 2 to roll over to the rider autonomously like a loyal pet companion on its own when called over (the first concept did so with the speed of a geriatric retriever). We’ll eventually learn more about the what and how at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Close up front view of MOTOROiD 2 electric motorcycles blue LED illuminated ambient lighting with top cover+seat tilted and opened into backward upright position.

For more photos of the MOTOROiD 2, venture over to Yamaha’s global site.

Gregory Han is a Senior Editor at Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at gregoryhan.com.

Discover more from My Property Life

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading