This Yamaha concept is fitted with a water engine and a water pump. In other words, it just needs water to work. The Yamaha XT 500 H2O Edition is a concept made by industrial designer Maxime Lefebvre in partnership with the Iwata brand and it pictures what motorcycles could work and look like five years from now.
It’s not something new that motorcycle brands like to revive old models and give them a neo-retro look. So, Maxime Lefebvre began to work on a ‘rebirth’ of Yamaha’s iconic XT500 model. It all started back in 2016 when after a couple of meetings with the Yamaha Design Team, Maxime drew the first sketches of the bike starting with the development of the engine, frame and fairing design. Three iterations and a couple of meetings with the Yamaha Design Team later, Maxime picked the “inexhaustible” which is the idea behind the concept we see in the photos.
The original Yamaha XT500 was built from 1975 to 1981 as a reliable, lightweight, multi-purpose motorcycle capable to go anywhere. It was fitted with a four-stroke 499cc single-cylinder engine making 32 hp (24 kW) and 38 Nm (28 lb-ft) of torque. Back then it was good enough to reach a top speed around 160 kph (100 mph). The original bike was fitted with a 21-inch front wheel and 18-inch rear wheel equipped with knobby tires.
On the other hand, this Yamaha XT 500 H2O Edition is a concept which Yamaha commissioned and it shows a glimpse of what motorcycles could look like five years from now. But the most interesting feature of this concept is its engine. The motorcycle is fitted with a water engine which is powered by a water pump that cycles water through. In other words, the H20 Edition is environmentally friendly and economical for potential owners if it will ever see production form.
Besides the water engine, we have to say that it looks futuristic with a bunch of design elements we don’t see very often in design renderings. All it’s left remains to see if Yamaha will ever consider building a one-off model to showcase at future motorcycle events.