The Yamaha Motoroid-2, a Handlebar-less Super Bike. What is the Point?

Where do you put your hands?

Yamaha has unveiled a self-driving, or is that self-riding, electric motorbike which lacks handlebars or any other standard controls. I have to ask, what is the freaking point?

Named the Motoroid-2 and billed as the next generation of motobikes, the Motoroid concept bike first saw light of day in 2017. Unlike its predecessor, the Motoroid-2 is actually a working vehicle. The bike features a pair of gyroscopes to keep the bike upright and AI technology that allows the bike to ride itself without a rider.

According to a company spokesperson, “The Motoroid-2 is a vehicle for personal mobility that can recognise its owner, get up off its kickstand and move alongside its rider” and apparently, “It has a distinctly lifelike feel when somebody is riding on its back and has a presence more like a lifetime companion.” Whatever that means.

The bike has been on show at the Events Mobility Show 2023 but as of now, it is not clear if the bike will ever go into production. The continued would suggest though that at least some of the features are destined to end up on production models of the future.

Just about every auto manufacturer is looking at increasing self-driving technology in their cars but up to now, this has been limited to four-wheelers and trucks companies, like Tesla, which has been trying to find ways to dispense with the steering wheel in their cars and has long planned to build a fleet of self-driving taxis that have no visible user controls. There is a small problem with this idea, though. Regulators in just about all markets require steering wheels and pedals on vehicles.

Some other motorbike companies have flirted with the idea of self-riding bikes. Perhaps the best known is the BMW R1200 GS, which has been retrofitted with autonomous technology to test advanced motorbike safety features. As of yet, no manufacturer has added this to any of the production bikes, but I think that it is just a matter of time before someone does.

Ah, there is where your hands go…

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