Yamaha Y125 Moegi: a bicycle with an engine?

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Of all the new concepts being debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show today, it’s this Yamaha Y125 Moegi that’s drawn the most interest from our friends and readers. Why? It’s probably got something to do with the inherent conservatism of motorcycling — the styling is relatively retro with that peanut-ish tank — but it’s also likely demand for lightweight, practical, stylish city runabouts. The Moegi weighs just 176lbs and returns 188mpg.

Update: now with 4 high-res images.

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The idea here seems to be to adapt bicycle functionality to near-motorcycle performance. The weedy USD forks and tiny, single-caliper disc brakes, thin wheels and belt drive could all have come off a high-end bicycle, but the exposed engine and passenger seat are distinctly motorcycle.

Equipped with a 125cc four-stroke, power should be in the 10-15bhp range, giving the Moegi a top speed in the ballpark of 75mph. Plenty for scooting around a city. What it lacks, however, is the practicality of a scooter — there’s no storage or weather protection and it looks like there are gears. Is style enough to make up for limited practicality?

  • daniel

    I think I want a canoe now.

  • ToFuse

    Fixies aren’t particularly practical but they are all over. I think this could be a success for the fashion-conscious city/suburb person, and 188mpg sounds pretty good too

    • jonoabq

      fixies are very practical, I’ve had one to train on for almost 25 years and they make you strong as fuck…so there.
      Not sure what to think about the motorbike though.

    • Campisi

      I used to deliver food on one downtown a few years back. Not only is the increased scope and pace of physical improvement worth the initial difficulty, but also the lack of coasting forces you to develop and maintain a cadence that makes tackling hills easier.

  • kidchampion

    Yes, it is.

    • http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=305107 stickfigure

      +1 in a big way

      I can’t stand riding scooters, especially in traffic. Tiny little wheels, twitchy steering, nothing to grab with my knees – they feel like deathtraps.

      This looks like a competitor to the Sachs MadASS. The MadASS sells for $2500. If this bike can hit that mark, every hipster in SF will buy one.

      • Toby

        Fast moving traffic, maybe… but city traffic? Tiny wheels and twitchy steering will save your ass when someone cuts you off while hurtling between rows of cars… I have a CBR250 and a scooter and live in a crazy asian city, and the scooter is infinitely better in traffic. No inertia == instant response.

  • kidchampion

    I would, however, replace that seat cone with a rear rack that could hold a topcase.

  • Thom

    THIS !!!

    Is what motorcycling needs to survive into the 21st Century

    Sensible ( for town and city ) completely non- intimidating , stylish , accessible to all ( who CAN’T ride a bicycle , even if it does have a motor )

    Damn if this isn’t the closest thing to being the iPhone/iPad/iPod of motorcycling

    Put this on the market at a reasonable price and I even know a few ‘ Old Guys ‘ ( like myself ) that’d buy one just for the pure fun of it

    Motorcycling going back to its roots ( motorized bicycles ) to find its way into the Future .

    Damn ! What a concept . Build It Yamaha . Then scare the likes of Big Red , Suzuki etc into building one of their own

    This ones a winner . If they make it . If !

  • http://www.brammofan.com Brammofan

    You’re killing me, HFL. Just publish the electric Honda pics/info, would you?

    Oh, and yes, this little bike is a cutie.

    • http://hellforleathermagazine.com Wes Siler

      You mean the pics and info we published weeks ago?

      • http://www.brammofan.com Brammofan

        No, I was wanting to see some pics from the Tokyo Motor show, including someone astride the beast.

    • Thom

      Yo Blammo (Brammo)fan , haven’t ya heard ?

      E/V’s are a dead end .

      • DAVID

        well, if not dead, at least they spontaneously burst into flames.

        • aristurtle

          Yes indeedy, I sure am glad that my good ol’ gasoline-powered motorcycle doesn’t put some kind of extremely flammable substance three inches away from my crotch.

          Wasn’t some version of the R6 famous for bursting into flames if it was ever low-sided?

  • Scott-jay

    Interesting moto ideas/concepts: give ‘em to Yamaha, they’ll try stuff others won’t.
    Pretty neat and more appealing than a scooter form to me.

  • bluemilew

    It’s about time we made lighter motorcycles. Modern road bikes have such great efficiency, are so narrow, and still stable at ~40mph (never gone faster) that adding a motor to one would be perfect for crowded cities like chicago where I can split a bus and an SUV.

    (Feel free to feature my 50mph electric track bicycle when I complete it.)

    • Jon B.

      What makes an electric bicycle an electric “track” bicycle?

      • contender

        Slicks, duh.

      • walter

        no brakes

      • Alix

        Track aesthetic maybe? I thought all track bikes were fixed gear.

    • AaronT

      I race track bicycles and I’m a bit confused myself.

      • bluemilew

        i meant a ‘fixie’ framed bike. instead of using a weak hub motor, i plan to use a regular pedal drive on the right and have a flip flop hub powered by the motor on the left side.

  • Joel

    For all I know he was really riding a Diavel, since they never actually show the bike being ridden (lame).

    • matt

      probably the moto that they show in the pictures doesn’t actually work, like most concept vehicles. too bad that they don’t just show more pictures of the bike rather than the happy guy going to visit canoe-making cute girl. Don’t get me wrong – obviously the trip was worth it, but I’d rather see the motorcycle. I was waiting to see him eat a mento or something.

      • Devin

        +1 on the mentos.

  • Jon B.

    Flat bars, knobby tires, no fenders, equals rad bride commuter.

    • M

      flat bars is the first thing i thought when i saw this one. and a fork brace.

  • John

    Cool bike, but just like the solo and a plethora of other small displacement bikes it will never be shipped to the land of the rising pirate.

  • M

    you heard it here first: yamaha WILL fuck this up.

    on the huge presumption this bike is greenlit and sold in western markets, it’ll be over-priced for its best market — if even marketed to the correct segment, at all. and at that, design and performance will be mitigated and compromised on the way to the showroom to the degree of pointlessness.

    • Thom

      Why do I get the sad but distinct felling M that you’re absolutely correct ?

    • rohorn

      They really do have a rich history of creating great concepts and destroying them in production.

  • hooligan317

    I wonder if they have a fully functional version at this point. 2:09 of video and not a frame of it in motion, just zoomed in on the rider.

  • Core

    This is really neat and interesting design wise.

  • TheZakken

    “Is style enough to make up for limited practicality?”

    It has been for a long time. Now add the illusion/suggestion of practicality and I bet they sell boatloads.

    Looks like a old Whizzer or Cyclone to me.

  • Ed

    Whizzer clones are all over the place where I live. A bunch of people are retro-motorizing their bikes. I work in an Emergency Room, so I see them come in all the time. This (purpose built with better brakes and suspension)would likely be a lot safer. This bike is beautiful, and probably begging for custom mods and accessories (Iphone on wheels.)

  • robotribe

    Weren’t the first motorcycles bicycle-derived?

    Old idea, throwback styling, but new tech.

    It’s beautiful. Bring it.

  • robotribe

    About that video: wonderfully horrible and hilarious. So bad in fact, that it makes gum commercials look like real life.

    • http://pinkyracer.com pinkyracer

      yeah. I think someone who understands English should’ve chosen the music. Kind of a horrendous choice for a video about a guy riding really far to see his girl.

  • http://www.muthalovin.com the_doctor

    This would be cool, but at market, it will be over-priced for what it is.

  • Deltablues

    Someone above pointed out the Sachs Madass…fun stock and mega fun with power-up kit. Rode one around Little Rock for a month between rides. It could hit over 70mph on city streets which gave me a bigger thrill than top speed on my Daytona 675. I felt very naughty on it. I did naughty things with it.

    The Moegi is very attractive. The design will change somewhat to meet DOT regs…like changing the passenger pegs, which are on the swingarm now. I think it would sell if the price is not crazy.

    • filly-fuzz

      +

      I ride around on a 675 and stare at Madass’s (plural?) with lust. They look amazing but I want one with a crazy two stroke in it!

      Oh and the Moegi is sweet too but we already have a bike in Oz does all that shit and looks brilliant…… The infamous Honda CT110 postie bike!

      http://www.tandj.net/~jpoirier/pictures/permanent/Honda_CT110.jpg

      (edit) oh and no clutch

  • Glenngineer

    I love this thing. The single crown USD fork is a functional mistake, but it looks cool enough that I could live with it. If I could get one for less than $5000, I’d have one the day I graduated…maybe two, if the seat height is low enough for my wife to be happy.

  • Campisi

    “Build it, Yamaha!

    … Oh wait, you wanted me to buy one? No thanks.”

    • JVictor75

      LOL

      How true!

      If they keep it below the price of a good old fashioned Vespa I think they will have the market cornered. I’m just not too sure that Yamaha will be able to do that. Which is sad.

  • Your_Mom

    Is it not an homage to the original Yamaha motorcycle – the YA-1? As it is, it is both practical appearing and nice to look at.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yamaha_YA-1

    • Scott-jay

      Good call, Mom.

  • John

    Does anyone know if Yamaha has built a rolling prototype, or does this only exist in renderings?

    • http://pinkyracer.com pinkyracer

      clearly it’s not functional, as there’s no action shots in the video. :-(

  • Johndo

    Wow 188mpg is impressive! If I lived in a big city, I’d be buying one for sure. Way cooler then a scooter and even gives better gas milleage!

  • FZR 1000 Got Smashed By A Car Alex

    This is totally necessary. It’ll get more car people on motorcycles due to its totally harmless appearance. Yamaha this is what is needed.

  • John Merlin

    Check styling against this 1936 Wanderer – a recent post in Throttle Yard:

    http://throttleyard.com/2011/09/02/lord-of-the-rings-1936-wanderer/

    Wanderer started making bicycles in 1892

  • Devin

    Is style enough to make up for limited practicality?

    Since you could argue that 50% of riders would be equally if not better served by some form of Scooter… yes.

  • http://krtong.com KR Tong

    The styling and function of this bike look completely based on the Whizzer…

    It’s basically a bike for people who want to go on a bike ride but don’t want the exercise, and want to look whimsical while they do it.

  • RioRanchoNM

    This would be perfect on any college campus.

  • M

    the more i look at it, the more the design gels. darker colors would make it a lot more attractive to me. maybe gunmetal with pearl black tank.

  • pplassm

    If this gets sold, I don’t see the utility for it unless the engine is under 50cc. There isn’t enough utility in it to justify Joe Citizen getting a motorcycle license.

    • Zach

      Unless it also has bicycle pedals, something like this would be classified as a motorcycle in at least some states, regardless of the engine size.

  • Will

    A properly customized one could be a Derringer For The People.

  • http://pinkyracer.com pinkyracer

    I want this bike so bad it makes me forget all about saving the planet and wanting an electric bike. It would even make me forget about the practicality of my Givi top box. In fact, I bet I’d even want to ride it to Laguna for the GP just to show off. I’d probably want to sleep with it too. In every way possible.