FIRST RIDE: 2022 YAMAHA WABASH RT
Yamaha completely redesigned the Wabash for 2022
It’s been a few years since Yamaha released their Wabash e-gravel. This time around Yamaha had taken what they learned from their previous generation model and made some necessary steps forward in geometry. Equally as impressively improvements have been made to their new PWSeries ST motor. In the new moniker, Wabash RT, the RT stands for “Road and Trail”.
The new ST motor uses software that has been specifically tuned for each bike to best respond to the specific type of riding each bike is designed for. The motor system features a 500Wh battery integrated into the frame with Yamaha’s quad-sensor technology that measures rider torque, cadence, wheel speed and inclination. If the system senses that you are climbing, it responds by offering you power more consistently with quicker support, whereas if you are descending, it limits power accordingly.
Both bikes are Class 3 (28 mph), and they are truly set up to provide support up to 28 mph. There’s no gradual drop-off of power after around 25 mph. in other words it holds a high standard of natural feel that at minimum rivals any of its competitors.
One of the first things we noticed was 45mm wide Maxxis Rambler tires which we felt right away was an appropriate choice of tire and size. Considering the fact that mid-drive e-gravels tend to be in the neighborhood of 40ish lbs tires can often be a miss some brands we’ve ridden and in our opinion, it’s a crucial part of the ride feel.
Our initial departure was with no power just to see what would happen if we did run out of electricity. Not surprisingly it felt heavy and sluggish although manageable nonetheless. A standout to us is the fact that Yamaha seems to set the consumer up right out of the box. No apps are required to adjust the power levels. All 4 power modes/levels just make incremental sense from no power to just a little bit to more than enough. We really appreciate that practical implementation of power.
The “practical power” goes hand in hand with the battery efficiency Yamaha has managed to achieve. Some of us rode in automatic mode which is a hidden power mode that varies the level of motor power output based on the power you input via your legs. When you pedal harder, you get more assistance. We loved this feature and rode using it most of the time on both bikes.
Overall our first session on the bike included all the things you would expect to be able to ride on a gravel bike. We were impressed with the handling and compliant feel of the aluminum frame. Whether climbing or descending loose rocky sections we were as pleased as we’ve been on any e-gravel but are excited to get more time to give you a long-term review in the coming months. For $4099 it’s certainly a class-leading buy especially considering the impressive tech that it features. Keep an eye on our social media pages for more videos, insights and a YouTube video to follow very soon.