Yamaha's powerful new off-road e-bike is 'tough as dirt'

Yamaha e-bike
(Image credit: Yamaha)

Yamaha has launched a pair of new e-bikes: the super tough Wabash RT, which is a gravel bike built to tackle any kind of terrain from rocky trails to slick roads, and the sleek CrossCore RC – a commuter bike for tackling crowded city routes.

These are both class-3 e-bikes, meaning they're capable of hitting speeds up to 28mph before the power assistance drops off, and both are equipped with powerful 500Wh motors. All that juice is managed by Yamaha's new PWSeries ST drive unit, which automatically tweaks the bike's settings so you get a consistent ride whether you're starting from a standing stop, accelerating, cruising on the flat, or charging up a hill.

Gravel bikes are supremely versatile, and the sport is rapidly gaining popularity; according to the 2021 Garmin Connect Fitness Report, gravel cycling was one of the fastest growing activities last year, with Garmin device owners recording over 40% more rides than in 2020. Adding a 500Wh motor into the mix makes it even more accessible, and a gravel e-bike makes it easy for any rider to tackle all but the boggiest of routes.

The Wabash RT (above), which Yamaha claims is 'tough as dirt', has drop handlebars that are flared for stability and to make room for a bag on bikepacking trips. It's fitted with Maxxis Rambler tires for grip on hard and loose surfaces, and its Shimano GRX RX hydraulic brakes provide plenty of stopping power, even when the bike is heavily loaded.

Hit the road

The Yamaha CrossCore RC (below) is a more conventional commuter bike, with flat handlebars and an upright riding position for easier maneuvring and improved visibility in traffic. It also features ergonomic controls within easy reach of your thumb, and a multifunction display that shows color-coded ride data that you can interpret at a glance without taking your eyes off the road.

Yamaha CrossCore CE e-bike

(Image credit: Yamaha)

It's also fitted out with powerful hydraulic brakes, plus puncture-resistant CST Brooklyn Pro tires with toughened sidewalls to minimize the risk of a flat making you late for work.

The new bikes will go on sale in the US later this year. The Wabash RT will be available in a Blue Steel color scheme for $4,099 (about £3,000 / AU$5,600), while the CrossCore RC will come in Shiver White, Painted Desert, and Urban Sage for $3,099 (about £2,300 / AU$4,200).

That puts them squarely in the mid-range price bracket, alongside the likes of the Ribble CGR AL e gravel bike and the Cowboy 4 city commuter. We're hoping to put one of the new bikes (or both) to the test, and bring you a full review soon.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)