Yamaha XT500 H2O Concept, a motorcycle that would run on water

Yamaha is making another breakthrough, while all brands are competing to create electric vehicles, Yamaha is designing a water-fueled motorbike. The Japanese company has presented a concept motorcycle, the Yamaha XT500 H2O, which would be an alternative to the electric motorcycle as a replacement for motorcycles with internal combustion engines.

The concept is Yamaha’s imagination for the future of the XT500 enduro motorbike produced between 1976 and 1989. It is a design of an Austrian industrial designer Maxime Lefebvre, who spent a lot of time re-imagining what the motorbike might look like in a few years’ time.

The first assembly will be carried out in 2025.
The first assembly will be carried out in 2025. Credit: Behance (Maxime Lefebvre)

The design carried on the Yamaha XT500 embeds the concept of a high-tech engine. This is evidenced by the modification of the engine powered by a water pump. There has been no more specific explanation about how the engine would work. But some predict that the way it works is by relying on the high-pressure water spray. The engine builds pressure and then shoots the pressurized water as if it were a water wheel. To do this, the flow of water passes through an injector to make sure no pressure is lost.

One of the objectives would be the lack of noise, as well as the fact of being environmentally sustainable. The concept is claimed to have better emissions than the use of gasoline.

It’s powered by a water pump that continually cycles water through.
It’s powered by a water pump that continually cycles water through. Credit: Behance (Maxime Lefebvre)

Of course, the enduro’s chassis and exterior would be radically changed, appearing very modern, with an almost futuristic look. The steering mechanism of the bike is also striking. It does not appear to be run by conventional means. The handlebar and fork are not directly linked, so there seems to be an inside of the frame to take care of the steering.

The original version of the Yamaha XT500 was designed by Shiro Nakamura and is equipped with a 21-inch front wheel and an 18-inch rear. In the past, this motorbike was known to be not fussy because the engine maintenance was easy, and of course, it was not easily damaged.

The steering mechanism of the bicycle is also striking.
The steering mechanism of the bike is also striking. Credit: Behance (Maxime Lefebvre)

Like its original form, Lefebvre claims that Yamaha XT500 H2O has a light weight, and is very easy to use to accelerate. But there are many doubts that arise around the approach to this idea, for example, about how the engine works, or where the water pump would obtain energy in the first instance.

This project has involved many designers from Yamaha. However, until now, there is no certainty for production in the near term. At the moment, it is only a prototype that has not left the paper, but Lefebvre and Yamaha target the realization of the first assembly to be carried out in 2025.

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