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Blog #6 Yamaha Europe HQ

This place has been a major part of my life story.

This is the start. This will be the end.

15th September

I've been contracted to Yamaha since 1999 when I rode the Exup R1 around the world. You might have called me a 'work's rider" because that was my job. Once the road testers reviewed a new machine, it was then given to me to take it a bit further; usually around the world or the length of the Americas. I was spot on with timing because timing is everything. Most of what makes it right to do something is that we are doing at the right moment for us. Equally the right thing at the wrong time is the wrong thing. The impressive move forward Yamaha made with the R1 became my perfect vehicle. So I rode around the world 8 times, 4 times on the R1, once in 19 days 4 hours.

Time for a Change

Introducing the Wabash Electric Bicycle into my World of Adventuring

As well as motorbiking around the world I cycled around the world twice, each time a Guinness record - 138 days in 1981 then lowered to 79 days four years later when I averaged 171 miles riding every day. Timing. I requested I ride around the world on the Yamaha's new bicycle but it was not quite the right time. Instead we made a plan to ride the longest route across mainland Europe, 7000 kms from Nordkapp in north Norway to the southernmost point of Spain, Tarifa. It worked. And the timing started to get closer and closer to what I personally needed to do.

Now we had a chance. To ride it around the world, because if it made it, if the Wabash allowed me to ride it 19,000 miles (30,400 kms) all the way around the world....what does that say about the bike?

Altino Lourenco at Yamaha Europe is head of e-cycles amongst other responsibilities and he has been directly involved in finding a budget for what is a formidable challenge for the machine.

Let's look at the figures

Brussels Times 21st June 2023

14.7 million bicycles without electric assistance were sold in 2022 in the EU and the UK – down 9.1% on 2021. But electric assist bicycles (EABs) reached a record 5.5 million units, a rise of 8.6%. In particular, Germany, France and the Netherlands saw marked increases in demand

This trend can also be seen in Belgium, where e-bikes are seeing a significant surge in sales. Last year, around 700,000 bicycles were sold in Belgium, a large part of them electric bikes. While the traditional bicycle market grew just 2.6%, e-bikes saw sales grow 50% last year.

More from Altino in a later blog

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