Who has actually driven a Yoke?

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Who has actually driven a Yoke?

Aptera Community Aptera Discussions Who has actually driven a Yoke?

  • Who has actually driven a Yoke?

  • seth feldman

    Member
    April 4, 2022 at 4:20 pm

    We have multiple discussions about the Yoke steering wheel, but it seems most people commenting don’t have hands on experience with one in a car. I had the chance to drive a tesla with a yoke on a day trip, and can confidently say I would never purchase a car without a steering wheel option. Was it OK on the freeway? sure until I wanted to change hand positions, and it became uncomfortable to not have any other positions, and I never realized how often I change positions until after that day. Was it ok in the twisties? No it was absolute garbage, and I had to decide between hitting my leg or one handing the yoke at awkward angles. It also seemed to change how fast it would turn at slow vs fast turns, which made it even worse to avoid crashing. Even the owner who seemed to be enamored with his fancy yoke didn’t seem to like driving through the twisties on the way back. That honestly was the only vehicle in my life I wasn’t tempted to push through corners as fast as I possibly could.

    I’m not likely to finalize my purchase until I can either choose a steering wheel, or know how much a replacement aftermarket one cost. It seems to cost $700-3500 for a replacement Tesla wheel, and it looked like the cheap ones didn’t have the integrated buttons or heated grips which seem important to Aptera’s design/winter efficiency.

    I’d like to hear from other people’s experience with steering yokes (specifically in cars as I don’t think airplanes are particularly comparable) and I’d highly suggest everyone who hasn’t driven a yoke to test drive before finalizing their purchase.

  • seth feldman

    Member
    April 4, 2022 at 4:26 pm

    Also I’ve never had a problem seeing the instrument cluster with a steering wheel “in the way” with the exception of ford vans, even as a valet who drove hundreds of cars. That makes the “it’s hard to design around a steering wheel” excuse seem particularly flimsy to me.

    • kerbe2705

      Member
      April 4, 2022 at 7:12 pm

      … and yet, in my 49 years of driving, I’ve never driven a vehicle in which the steering wheel didn’t partially obscure the display.

  • V Pilot

    Member
    April 4, 2022 at 4:59 pm

    I’ve never had a problem seeing the cluster either, just make the necessary adjustment to the steering column and done. The one on my Jag has telescoping adjustment as well, from the mid 70’s. I’m sure there are some that just don’t want/need to look/be cool with a yoke and some just may not like the way it looks and thus they will be alienated.

  • Tim Dean

    Member
    April 4, 2022 at 5:41 pm
    • seth feldman

      Member
      April 4, 2022 at 6:07 pm

      Wow, Thanks for a useless link. Chances are the aptera is going to have a bunch of controls, and other junk attached to the steering wheel which will likely make it harder to find something with all of the same options/connectors, and of course more expensive to replace. Hence why it’s $700-3500 for Tesla steering wheels. If all of the controls aren’t built in then it wouldn’t be a big deal, and a cheap $50 wheel would work

      • V Pilot

        Member
        April 4, 2022 at 7:07 pm

        This is why I think it’s better to keep the driving controls on stalks. If a button/buttons fail, it’s time for a new wheel/yoke. It won’t be worth trying to fix. They are also second nature/intuitive for those that have been driving 30+ years. We all know old habits die hard.

        • kerbe2705

          Member
          April 4, 2022 at 7:17 pm

          At 65 I’m old enough to remember when people raised holy hell about putting controls on stalks instead of having them as switches on the dashboard or center console. And about seatbelts, too, for that matter: I recall reading magazine and newspaper articles explaining that it was better to be thrown clear of an accident…

          Just because we’re used to something doesn’t mean its the way it needs to be: Door levers are vastly superior and easier to use than door knobs, especially for anyone with limited or alternative physical abilities – and the rest of the world uses them without question – but, here in the US, we cling to our doorknobs, just as we clung to shoebuttons when the lace-up shoe was invented.

          • V Pilot

            Member
            April 4, 2022 at 7:39 pm

            Lol, you’re not much more than I, age wise. I went with all lever handles in the house when I remodeled a few years ago and my Volvos always had seatbelts, you just weren’t required to use them at the time. Dodge Caravans still have the headlights on the dash, messes me up every time😏

          • seth feldman

            Member
            April 4, 2022 at 8:37 pm

            I was in the 78% of people who approved of or were indifferent to the tesla yoke until I actually drove one. Driving one is what changed my mind. I probably wouldn’t mind a yoke in a vehicle that never left the city, and never did sharp emergency maneuvers

          • seth feldman

            Member
            April 4, 2022 at 8:40 pm

            who knows maybe aptera will implement the yoke better than tesla did along with their cloth dash/yoke covers. It’s starting to make sense how the designer who thinks a cloth dash is a great idea would believe a yoke is genius

          • Gary Greenway

            Member
            April 5, 2022 at 8:30 am

            Hahaha, I had to change the ‘accessible’ door levers back to knobs. Dang dogs kept opening the doors.

      • V Pilot

        Member
        April 4, 2022 at 7:12 pm

        Taking your eyes off the road to find options on a screen…might as well be texting and driving

        • kerbe2705

          Member
          April 4, 2022 at 10:22 pm

          How does a physical button differ from a virtual button with haptic feedback? If I reach to touch a switch that I know is there without looking, why would I need to look to find an icon on a display – they don’t move around when I’m not watching them…

          With controls on the steering wheel and voice commands, touching an icon on a screen is just one of many options available to you. In my Honda I can control the audio volume in all three of those ways – I don’t really miss not having a “volume knob”…

          • Roland Smith

            Member
            April 11, 2022 at 12:18 pm

            You can find a physical button without taking your eyes off the road. A screen is a smooth piece of plastic or glass.

  • Jon_J

    Member
    April 4, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    The yoke steering wheel topic already exists in these forums. Not sure why you started this thread other than to get on your own personal soapbox to complain. You ask about who has actually driven a yoke in your title, but then clearly your mind is already made up that the yoke is no good.

    • V Pilot

      Member
      April 4, 2022 at 8:42 pm

      We did get derailed on this one

    • seth feldman

      Member
      April 4, 2022 at 10:17 pm

      My mind is made up that no choice is no good. Especially when most people will have to buy this over the internet with no test drive or spend who knows how much to fly out for a probably very limited test drive. Unfortunately all of the threads on the yoke seem to be fan boys who have absolute faith in aptera and people judging the yoke on appearances without experience, so I decided to share my limited experience. Again I want to hear from people with actual experience, and advocate people spend the time/money test driving (hopefully they let you go on very twisty roads) before spending the new car money.

      • Ray Holan

        Moderator
        April 5, 2022 at 6:51 am

        Seth, I support your specific request to hear from people who have actually driven a yoke-equipped vehicle. The proof is in the pudding. Dismissing the yoke without experiencing it ignores the beauty of the scientific method — try it, collect data, analyze data, draw informed conclusions from it.

      • Jon_J

        Member
        April 5, 2022 at 5:29 pm

        Well, I’ve never driven a vehicle with solar panels before. I’ve never driven a motorized vehicle with 3 wheels. I’ve never driven one with a tail, or a body made of composite, or one that runs solely on battery power. I’m not going to let any of these features stop me from driving the most efficient vehicle on the planet. I just can’t picture embracing change to do my part at changing the future of the planet, but then stopping cold at the sight of a yoke and saying “Nope! Not going there! Earth be damned.” This seems just ridiculous to me. I rent vehicles all the time as I travel rather frequently. I have never rented a vehicle that was such a challenge to drive that I felt that I needed to swap it for something different. I have never “test driven” a rental vehicle before driving it for a week or two and test driving a vehicle I will own is not a requirement for me either. Would it be nice? Sure. I have every expectation that Aptera can and will make a vehicle that is reasonable to drive. I am trusting them on the solar panels, body, batteries and everything else, so trusting them on the yoke is not at all a stretch for me. If the vehicle truly is no good for me, then I can sell it and potentially be out some thousands of dollars. No biggie. I can take that risk.

        • seth feldman

          Member
          April 6, 2022 at 3:57 pm

          Well I have driven a yoke! That’s what I’m basing my opinion on. Tesla has the advantage of being fly by wire, and potentially improved by simple software updates. Granted I’m not a fan of fly by wire simply because electrical/computer problems are common enough. EVEN if I do get a less efficient vehicle a few extra solar panels on the garage should make up for that. The possible saving grace is the right to repair/upgrade assuming standard aftermarket parts fit and everything isn’t completely integrated to drive the cost up to tesla levels.

        • Jonah Jorgenson

          Member
          April 6, 2022 at 4:08 pm

          What a refreshing and enlightened perspective. Also demonstrates your self-confidence. Thanks for the great post and lesson for all of us.

        • Shaun Gentry Gentry

          Member
          April 6, 2022 at 9:45 pm

          “I’ve never driven a motorized vehicle with 3 wheels. I’ve never driven one with a tail, or a body made of composite, or one that runs solely on battery power. I’m not going to let any of these features stop me from driving the most efficient vehicle on the planet.”

          Yeah that’s great and all but none of those things impact the fundamental way in which you steer and control the vehicle. The steering wheel is a wheel for a reason. One of the primary reasons is because as a wheel rotates on an axis the points of contact on the wheel don’t change. Essentially, no matter what position the wheel is in, you can easily find and grip it with your hands. This also allows for much more control when turning (particularly when performing full turns) and allows you to easily find and grip the wheel without looking at it and without knowing what specific position it is in. With a yoke that is not the case. Yokes are meant for vehicles with a more limited turn radius than passenger vehicles (i.e. planes, certain racing vehicles – vehicles you actually see yokes in for functionality and not as a PR stunt).

  • Arlen Bell

    Member
    April 5, 2022 at 7:06 am

    Wish we could keep all the yoke discussion in one place, but I’ll chime in here. No – haven’t driven a car with a yoke, BUT just viewed a video by Dirty Tesla that was showing the automatic shift from park. In the video the yoke is clearly being shown requiring multiple turns which really looks awkward. Based on this view, I’ll change my preference toward a more conventional wheel UNLESS Aptera can incorporate proportional steer with the yoke. Take a look a the video and tell me what you think.

  • Gary Greenway

    Member
    April 5, 2022 at 9:03 am

    I’m glad to see yoke discussions popping up all over the place. I hate the current smiley face version. I weighed the pros and cons of having a yoke. I came to the conclusion that a yoke would fit well in the style of an Aptera. OK, I’ll just have to change the yoke to something I can stand looking at. A search of aftermarket yokes yielded too few choices. I found none with heated rims.

    I took a road trip this weekend and paid attention to my preferred grip locations on the wheel. The majority was one hand at 12 o’clock. A lesser amount was 4 and/or 8 o’clock with thumbs wrapping to the inside of the wheel. Backing up was 10 and/or 2 o’clock with just my palm on the wheel to spin it. Grip locations are also dependent upon arm rest locations. We have 3 different vehicles and all seem to be different.

    Then I thought of my training, experience, and muscle memory during emergency maneuvering. I live in the land of careless animals, icy roads, and pot holes. 58 years of muscle memory is not to be capriciously discarded.

    To all that say don’t knock it till you try it, know that your argument is a part strawman and part false dilemma logical fallacy. There are other methods to accurately measure individual suitability.

    I’m OK with you steering your ride with a balloon animal. My Aptera will have a wheel.

  • Paul Tatum

    Member
    April 5, 2022 at 10:31 am

    I’ve driven a car with a yoke wheel. It was a 1983 Formula Vee that I raced with the SCCA. I replaced it with a D wheel. The problem I had with the yoke occurred during sustained cornering when I needed fine steering input to negotiate a turn. I found it easiest to control the turn with my hands in the 9-3 position, and in order to do that with the wheel turned 1/4 rotation, I needed to walk my hands around the perimeter. With the yoke it is not possible to hold the wheel 9-3 when rotated 1/4 turn. I had to hold the upper hand in my field of view of the road and I had no fine control of the wheel in that position.

    The yoke might be fine for tooling around town and highway use. I’d have to try this one to see if I hated it. The current version looks like an inverted D, so at least there is some wheel to hold onto on the bottom half. The yoke I had didn’t have anything to hold on to, top or bottom, so if I had the wheel 1/4 rotated I had a hand in front of my face and a hand in my lap getting tangled in the racing harness. It was impossible for that tiny cockpit.

    I was happy sacrificing some of the dash board view for the control the D gave me.

    So I’m on the fence here. I don’t expect to be driving the Aptera like I drove the Vee, and I think having the lower section of the wheel present will help. I recommend making the wheel as round as possible and cutting out only the parts that interfere with viewing the controls.

    • Jon_J

      Member
      April 5, 2022 at 6:09 pm

      So, if the bottom half of the yoke is a “D”, then perhaps there could be some accessory “C” component that could clamp/screw/bolt on that would complete the circle and turn the yoke into a wheel, something round or nearly round. Per the comments from Aptera, it sounds like they will consider modifying the yoke to provide more space for gripping which may help.

  • IA -1

    Member
    April 5, 2022 at 2:55 pm

    I have a lot of yoke experience with karts, and only some of them have yokes instead of round steering wheels. With a yoke, in very sharp turns you need to cross your hands and in the hairpins (180 degree turns) sometimes you need to use the right hand to hold the left side of the yoke. The steering is much easier and precise with a round steering wheel.

    The karts and some racing cars that have a yoke have a much better implementation than the passenger cars, since the steering rod is centered at the yoke, unlike the passenger car yokes. The passenger car yokes are eccentric, meaning they are mounted at the imaginary center of a circle. When you remove the top half of the wheel, the steering rod ends up mounted at the top of the yoke which makes the wheel eccentric and the operation very weird.

    I have already mentioned this, but anyone can try I yoke without having one. Just try not to touch the top of the steering wheel when you drive. It’s fine when driving straight, but making 90 degree (or sharper) turns and parking the vehicle are very difficult to do.

    I have yet to see someone explaining why the yoke is better for driving than a round steering wheel.

    • seth feldman

      Member
      April 6, 2022 at 5:26 pm

      Thanks for bringing up the eccentricity… i’m curious how that will affect something that isn’t fly by wire, not that I’d want to be the guinea pig

  • Chris Stephens

    Member
    April 7, 2022 at 12:34 pm

    It’s nice to see all my fellow karting and race car drivers! It seems like we are the only ones with experience in a road vehicle outside of recent Tesla experience.

    My karting wheels were primarily D shaped, but flipped around from the Aptera design, mostly so your legs would squeeze under. The steering rack on the kart is so fast that I don’t think I ever moved my hands from the 9 and 3 position while racing, so it wasn’t something that was noticed.

    I have a friend that put a D wheel in his Integra and NSX race cars and I can say that I definitely hated it. The rack is slow on both, especially the NSX. It made both low speed parking lot maneuvering and counter steering a real problem for me.

    I have’t flown much lately since I can only afford one expensive hobby, but from what I remember in the airplanes I flew, the controls never went more than 180 degrees as you would hit lock before that so it wasn’t a big issue. There is probably a reason most of the aerobatic planes use a stick instead of a yoke though.

    Finally, just take a look at Aptera’s own vehicle dynamics video starting at 40 seconds here. Look at where that guys hands are and what they are doing! Give that guy a yoke and ask him to do the same thing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wi9xEVH6mU

    • IA -1

      Member
      April 7, 2022 at 2:40 pm

      Chris, the video at 0:40 is exactly why I keep saying that the yoke is very unsafe for a passenger car. We can see at 0:40 that the car is sliding and the driver is applying counter steering, which can’t be done with a half steering wheel (yoke). The same sliding as seen on the video can happen on the road while hydroplaning or sliding on ice/snow. I have experienced both hydroplaning and sliding on snow, I don’t see how can I counter steer with a yoke.

      • Bob Kirchner

        Member
        April 7, 2022 at 4:57 pm

        This is especially concerning to me because I suspect the three wheel design makes it particularly vulnerable to oversteer on slippery surfaces, due to the rear wheel having to drive through rain or snow accumulation that has not been partly cleared by the front wheels. This can be mitigated by the torque vectoring capabilities of the hub motors, but if the limits of a front wheel’s traction is exceeded, that can’t help.

      • Markus Schmid

        Member
        April 7, 2022 at 5:50 pm

        In better-driving-courses led by former rally pilots we were told that the only allowed spots for the hands on the steering wheel were those which when going straight are the 3 and 9 o’clock locations. The reasoning behind this is to know at every given moment the exact orientation of the wheels even if the los traction in case of ice, snow, mud or aquaplaning. Problem is that if you cannot tell/feel the orientation of the wheels and they regain traction, the vehicle very likely will launch in a direction you really don’t want to go, and this will happen more quickly than you can say “oops”. And yes, the driver of the Beta Aptera in the track video shows poor steering wheel handling practice in this regard, but then he also didn’t have to handle slippery ground.

        • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by  Markus Schmid. Reason: practice -> steering wheel handling practice
        • Lou Verner

          Member
          April 8, 2022 at 7:38 am

          If 3-9 position is professionally recommended, it’s interesting to note that is not possible with Aptera yoke – that is, in fact, the least accessible portion of the yoke as currently configured. Given current multiple yoke threads, I’ll repeat what I’ve noted elsewhere – one has to use underhand position on yoke (or any normal wheel if grasping bottom third). That is much harder on wrists (at least mine) and quickly becomes matter of driving uncomfortably/painfully regardless of any potential safety issues. I’m still willing to give it a try, but I’m not optimistic.

        • seth feldman

          Member
          April 11, 2022 at 3:37 am

          Typically steering at high speeds is limited by over/understeer. My specific issues were when driving low speed roads, and ergonomics/ available hand positions on long drives. I’ve also been in emergency situations where I doubt I would have instinctively grabbed the right part of the yoke

  • Peter Jorgensen

    Member
    April 8, 2022 at 8:56 am

    Bjorn Nyland finally got to drive one!

    https://youtu.be/ApWGvJm6Sq8

    • V Pilot

      Member
      April 8, 2022 at 2:27 pm

      Looks like an exercise in frustration, paying more attention to the wheel than the surroundings. Crossing arms for a sharp turn…hope you don’t get hit and set off the airbag in that position. Rotaries are becoming more and more prevalent to keep traffic moving. Without controls on stalks it will be a nightmare with either. This old dog may be out if a wheel is not an option

  • Ron Ledohowski

    Member
    April 8, 2022 at 4:32 pm

    Open your mind to change. I like it. Lexus too.

    • seth feldman

      Member
      April 11, 2022 at 3:17 am

      So far it seems like the lexus version seems far better planned out. Aptera seems like a cheap copy of Tesla’s marginal implementation. Long drives with the most comfortable hand position being my least favorite position on a steering wheel, and can’t move a hand to the top without steering to one side or the other. I think motorcycle handlebars being horizontal instead of vertical would be far more comfortable for long drives. The biggest issue with the yoke design is anybody who decides to replace it will probably block all of their camera monitors

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