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Yamaha develop electric power steering for motorcycles

Yamaha has developed a unique riding solution that it is currently evaluating in an off-road cycling application in pursuit of stability at high speeds and smoother bends at low speeds. This lightweight solenoid arrangement, dubbed Yamaha EPS Steering Assist, serves as both a vigorous steering damper and electrical power-assisted steering.

Yamaha’s prototype steering aid system makes use of torque-sensing, magnet, and actuator technology, resulting in a high-speed steering damper and steering assist input at high speeds.

Surprisingly, the Japanese firm claims to have mastered the configuration on its e-bike line and is now interested in seeing if dirt bikes and other motorcycles are compatible with the technology. Jay Wilson, an Australian rider, is now testing the technology on Yamaha’s 250cc and 450cc dirt bikes, participating in both classes with the All Japan Yamaha Factory Team.

When it comes to the Yamaha steering damper’s application, it’s extremely comparable to the Honda Electronic Steering Damper System (HESD). An added benefit is the greater steering input from the handlebars through the front end of the motorcycle.

The steering mechanism, when combined with the IMU and modern software, can operate as a self-balancing device and even give steering actions for autonomous driving (think: parking assist). It will be interesting to see how far the Yamaha EPS Steering Assist System has progressed and when we might see it on production motorcycles.

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