When you think of Yamaha, there’s a good chance that motorcycles or musical instruments spring to mind. But did you know that they claim to have invented the first electronic pedal-assist bicycle system in 1993? Since then, Yamaha has sold more than 2.5 million e-bikes and 4.5 million drive units worldwide. That’s a roundabout way of stating that Yamaha isn’t a newcomer to the e-bike world.
The latest additions to their e-bike empire are the new Wabash RT and Crosscore RC e-bikes. One is geared towards gravel and adventure, the other to fitness and commuting. Both feature an all-new frame with an integrated battery and the first use of Yamaha’s PWSeries ST drive unit in the U.S.
New Frame & Motor Design
Compared to the Yamaha Civante, which was their first Class-3 e-bike in the U.S., the Wabash RT and Crosscore RC get a big improvement in frame design. The hydroformed aluminum frame now features an internal 500 Wh battery stored inside the downtube and a mid-drive Yamaha PWSeries ST motor at the bottom bracket.
That motor relies on Yamaha’s proprietary Quad Sensor System which is said to better respond to high-cadence pedaling. While many e-bikes have torque, speed, and cadence sensors, the Yamaha system adds in an angle sensor that measures the incline of the bike while climbing or descending. The result is reportedly a more natural feeling power assist system, which can quickly adapt to the four different power-assist modes: ECO+, ECO, STANDARD, and HIGH.
There’s also an Automatic mode that adjusts the setting on its own, to maximize battery life while providing assist when needed.
Those modes are controlled through their ‘Display A’ which is mounted directly to the handlebar on the Crosscore RC, or just behind the handlebar on the Wabash RT. Given that these are Class-3 e-bikes, the 500w motors will provide pedal-assist up to 28mph.
While both bikes start with a very similar frame, their build differs greatly depending on the purpose. For the Wabash RT, that purpose is for gravel and adventure riding. As a result, the Wabash RT includes a rigid aluminum fork with a 12 x 100mm thru-axle. The for includes additional mounts for accessories and fenders & racks, plus internal cable routing for the flat-mount disc brakes.
Wide, flared drop bars are used for comfort and control, while the Display and bell are located on an accessory mount to the left of the stem. There’s also a dropper post lever, which in this case is mounted on the right.
The Wabash RT is fitted with a 30.9mm Limotec Dropper post with travel set at 40mm for the small, or 60mm for the medium and large frames.
Outfitted with 700c x 45mm Maxxis Rambler TR EXO 120tpi tires and a Shimano GRX/ST-RX600 1x drivetrain with a 44t chainring and 11-42t 11-speed cassette, the Wabash RT comes well equipped at $4,099.
Offered in three sizes, the Wabash RT is only available in Blue Steel.
If urban exploring, commuting, and fitness riding are more your speed, check out the new Crosscore RC. Again, the frame and motor specs look nearly identical, but the build includes an SR Suntour NEX E25 suspension fork which adds 63mm of travel upfront.
To go along with the fitness/commuter vibes, the Crosscore RC gets a traditional flat bar with ergonomic grips with their own mini bar-ends. This bike goes with 27.5 x 2.0″ tires and opts for a Shimano 1×9 drivetrain and eliminates the dropper to keep the price down. It does get a kickstand and LED headlight though while keeping the price to $3,099.
Offered in three sizes, the Crosscore RC also gets three color options including Painted Desert, Urban Sage, and Shiver White.