Yamaha YDX Moro 7 review

by 7

This Yamaha YDX Moro 7 is in the shiny 30th Anniversary colourway. Yep, 30 years since Yamaha’s first foray into pedal assist bikes.

  • Brand: Yamaha
  • Product: YDX Moro 7 30th Anniversary
  • From: Yamaha
  • Price: £4,350
  • Tested by: Benji for 3 months
Also available in not-silver

Pros

  • Impressive suspension
  • Great motor
  • Genuinely great all-round handling

Cons

  • No bottle mount
  • Aesthetically not my cup of tea
  • ‘Interface X’ display is poor
Michelin tyre: model’s own

In a sea of perfectly fine bicycles, I love a surprising bike. And this Yamaha is a very surprising bike. Surprising how? Well, I thought it was going to be a load of rubbish. The chrome and blue aesthetic is rather naff. The back end and linkage don’t look up to the job. The head and seat angles are ‘wrong’ (66.2°/70.2°). It has small wheels with ‘quasi Plus’ 2.6in tyres FFS.

However, it took less than one complete shakedown setup ride on the Moro to have my prejudices enthusiastically thrown back in my face. This bike is great.

In terms of the motor, I’ve had Yamaha powered bikes before and they’ve always felt really nice to me (the Haibike Nduro 7 which was our eMTB Of The Year had a Yamaha motor for example). Sure, the stem-side display isn’t amazing (simultaneously huge yet uninformative) but the motor itself is powerful (85Nm) without any surging or jerking about. It’s predictable. Which is a very good thing.

In terms of on-trail handling, the Yamaha YDX Moro is a winner. Really well balanced with a great feel and a liveliness that – on paper – it has no right to exhibit. It’s almost like Yamaha knows a thing or two about two wheel machines or something.

Retro-looking but excellent performing rear suspension

I’m going to give the Yamaha designers mucho big ups here; I genuinely believe that it’s the split top and downtubes that come into play with how this bike handles. This Twin-Tube is a patented feature brought over from Yamaha’s motorbikes apprarently.

Ultimately, this design places the mass of the bike is in an ideal position. Not too high but – crucially – not too low either. The ‘centre’ of a bike is the middle of the downtube, not the BB area. The Moro wears its weight incredibly well and never feels overly stuck-down nor OMG-woahhhhh! high up.

That ‘weedy’ looking rear suspension design also turns out to be really, really good. It’s a hard thing to get a shock tune on an ebike that doesn’t feel overly ‘dead’. The majority of entry level eMTBs I’ve tried suffer from lacklustre rear ends that are seemingly impossible to set up without being overly harsh or overly soggy and unsupportive.

The ‘Yamaha tuned’ RockShox Super Deluxe Select+ RT Debonair behaved impeccably. Pitter-patter traction grabbing. Dig-in push-down feedback-tastic supportive. Full-travel accessible without the rider ever realising. Really, really good.

Yamaha PW-X3 motor

There are two elephants in the room here that I shall now address. Actually, there’s three: small wheels, modest battery, no bottle bosses. To be more precise, the YDX Moro uses 27.5in wheels at both ends. The battery is ‘only’ 500Wh capacity. And no, there’s nowhere for a water bottle.

In my experience, it was only the lack of bottle bosses that ended up being an issue. I tried various strap-on boss mount systems but they didn’t really work. They were too wobbly and insecure, even with Fidlock brackets. With the Yamaha YDX Moro you’ll have to make do with either a soft flask in a jersey pocket or else a hip-pack/rucksack for your hydration needs.

And yeah, small wheels work fine. I could even possibly come around to the idea that small wheels (thus lower axle height) are preferable on full-fat, heavy eMTBs. Despite the YDX Moro being a full-on 24.5kg of heft, it exhibited very little in the way of the terrifying ‘riding a fridge freezer’ vibe when negotiating down greasy steep stuff.

There are two caveats here. Both of which are tyres. I’m not a fan of 2.6in tyres. They just seem to surf/slide around. And the EXO+ casing Maxxis tyres on the YDX Moro 7 are just too flimsy. They just make the whole bike feel flexy, vague and unpredictable. For the majority of the test period I ran thicker casing 2.5in tyres.

Twin-tube = masses of standover

The modest capacity battery is a trickier issue. Personally, I’m fine with it. This is because I don’t often do rides with more than 1,000m of ascending in them. I actually like not having a bigger capacity battery; bikes with 700Wh+ batteries just weight too much. I appreciate that 24.5kg is not exactly ‘light’ but it is within my range of manageability.

As I intimated already, I’d also be loathe to mess with this bike’s weight distribution. A bigger capacity battery would add range but I suspect it would also impair the handling. If you want a big-range eMTB, the Yamaha YDX Moro is not for you. Sorry.

In terms of bike handling, the YDX Moro is a great little machine. To be honest, I think I wouldn’t mind a degree or two knocking off the head angle but it coped okay. Again, low and well placed centre-of-gravity helped immensely. There were no trails or obstacles that the Moro didn’t get down albeit a bit more nursed than hurled.

The super short seat tube (415mm) affords acres of confidence-inspiring standover and the straight seat tube means you can run the longest of droppers. The supplied dropper post offers 170mm of drop and occasionally on steeper terrain I ‘double dropped’ the post, until the collar met the seat clamp, for immense standover/clearance.

Uphill joy

The climbing prowess of the bike is exceptional. Decent length (464mm) stays more than offset that slack seat angle (70.2° actual). And the power delivery of the Yamaha PW-X3 is really well controlled. Honestly, the Yamaha motor is severely underrated and/or talked about. It’s a superb drive unit in my experience. The YDX Moro passed all the eMTB challenges on my test loops with flying colours.

On calmer, flatter terrain the YDX Moro was also very enjoyable. Sometimes hefty eMTBs feel a bit ‘lost’ on flatter terrain – like a steamroller that someone else is driving – but the Little Yam That Could was loads of fun on shallower lands. A combination of predictable ‘n’ pokey motor, supportive suspension and yes, little wheels, made for a tidy and responsive package.

It’s all too easy to forget about brakes and drivetrain when you’re busy having fun. Well, it is if the brakes and drivetrain are any good. And the Magura MT5 brakes and Shimano XT drivetrain on the Yamaha YDX Moro 7 were flawless. Just really excellent stealthy performers that just got on with their respective jobs incredibly well.

To finish off discussing the build of the bike, the no-name cockpit was perfectly fine. 40mm stem was fine. The 780 x 30mm bars were fine. The lock-on grips were okay. When no-name items are of the correct dimensions, the cockpit is by far the best place to save money.

Downhill joy

A word about the Yamaha branded saddle: excellent. Good shape, good padding, good base for holding on to when lifting/moving the bike around/over stuff.

Do I have any niggles with the Yamaha YDX Moro 7? Yes I do. The display unit and the width of the wheel rims (4omm internal).

The ‘Interface X’ display is really glaring in this day and age. It’s a rather bulky affair that sits alongside the stem via a bar clamp arm. Despite its size, it doesn’t really tell you very much. It displays two things: current assist level and battery remaining. A bit like Bosch, there are arguably too many assist levels (five in total) but you quickly get used to things and settle in to using a couple of them for the vast majority of the riding. It’s fine. The battery info is not so fine. Having a paltry four LED blocks showing your remaining power info is not really good enough. Have you got 23% battery left or 3%? There is no real way of knowing. I ended up using a dinky Lezyne Macro GPS unit to track/monitor/guestimate my remaining range.

Assist levels. There are five: +ECO, ECO, STD, HIGH and EXPW. They each have a colour and block-tally assigned eg. +ECO is two blue LEDs, EXPW is four yellow LEDs. You get used to it after a few miles. There is also an ‘Automatic Support Mode’ that automatically changes between a restricted amount of (three) assist levels depending on various factors (speed, rider input, cadence and even tilt meter).

Automatic Support Mode is switched on/off by a long-press of the remote’s UP button. When switched on, the lowest LED glows blue. Again, not exactly intuitive and was a bit hard to remember at first but you get used to it after a ride.

I dallied with Automatic Support Mode but found it frustrating that it doesn’t go into the very highest assist level (EXPW), it just stays in the middle three assist levels. I also found it rather ungenerous in terms of the support it opted. It would all too frequently (for my tastes at least) drop down to ECO mode. You can force it to go up an assist level by giving it a few hard pedal strokes but all in all, I was not fan of how the auto mode worked. So I left it alone. Other riders with different cadence habits may get along with it. At least it is a simple long-press to dis/engage it.

The width of the rims was not the end of the world. It just meant that I was forced to use 2.5in WT-style tyres. Which was fine. If it was my bike, I’d be prepared to live with it for a year or so, by which point I’d re-lace the front wheel to use a narrower rim, thus opening up the option to run 2.25in mud slicer tyres. I dare say, most people will be perfectly happy just keeping things 2.5in rubbered TBH.

The Little Yam That Could

Overall

The Yamaha YDX Moro 7 was one of most entertaining eMTBs I’ve ever ridden. All-round capability combined with a high degree of liveliness. It wears its weight extremely well; the positioning of the bike’s mass is pretty much perfect in my opinion. Glancing again at the price tag, I’d say this is easily one of the best entry-level eMTBs currently available. I can’t think of a better eMTB for under £5k.

Yamaha YDX Moro 7 specification

  • Frame // Yamaha Alloy Twin-Tube, 150mm
  • Fork // RockShox Lyrik Select RC, 37mm offset, 160mm
  • Shock // RockShox Super Deluxe Select+ RT Debonair Yamaha tuning, 210×55
  • Wheels // 27.5+ Alloy, Tubeless ready, 40mm internal width
  • Front tyre // Maxxis Minion DHF EXO+ 3C MaxxTerra 27.5 x 2.6in
  • Rear tyre // Maxxis Rekon EXO+ 3C MaxxTerra 27.5 x 2.6in
  • Chainset // Praxis AL6000, 165mm
  • Drivetrain // Shimano M8100 XT 12-speed, 10-51T
  • Brakes // Magura MT5 4-pot, 203/203mm
  • Stem // Alloy, 35mm dia, 40mm length
  • Bars // Alloy, 35mm dia, 780 x 30mm
  • Grips // Locking Dual Core
  • Seatpost // Alloy Dropper, 170mm, 30.9mm dia
  • Saddle // Yamaha Off-Road Cromo
  • Bottom Bracket // Yamaha
  • Motor // Yamaha PW-X3, 85Nm
  • Battery // Yamaha 500Wh
  • Size tested // L
  • Sizes available // S, M, L
  • Weight // 24.5kg

Geometry of our size L

  • Head angle // 66.2°
  • Effective seat angle // 70.2°
  • Seat tube length // 415mm
  • Head tube length // 125mm
  • Effective top tube // 666mm
  • BB height // 22mm BB drop
  • Reach // 482mm
  • Chainstay // 464mm
  • Wheelbase // 1,254mm

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Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Yamaha YDX Moro 7 review
  • dirkpitt74
    Full Member

    Looking at the construction & finish I thought it was a prototype and not a production model!

    The looks are a bit challenging with the split tube design.

    ayjaydoubleyou
    Full Member

    Looks, while a bit unfinished, really help to hide visual heft of the battery.

    Geometry and wheel size seem to match my beloved 5010 v4. EDIT – apart from the huuuge chainstays

    No bottle in 2024…. useless.

    johnnystorm
    Full Member

    Well, the looks are growing on me, as for the lack of bottle mounts, yeah I’d rather there were some but it wouldn’t put me off, there are plenty of other options if necessary.

    sargey2003
    Full Member

    So how wide are the rims exactly?

    chakaping
    Free Member

     The chrome and blue aesthetic is rather naff.

    That’s the best thing about it, and the split top tube looks great too.

    So how wide are the rims exactly?

    Haha, I read back and failed to find that as well.

    Surprised STW still aren’t getting content proofed properly after those other shockers recently.

    Ben_Haworth
    Full Member

    @sargey2003 40mm internal. Review updated now. Thanks for spotting!

    sargey2003
    Full Member

    That is wide!

    Ta

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)

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