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An honest review of the yoke

Dan D.

Desperately Seeking Sapience
Dec 7, 2020
1,230
1,536
Vancouver, BC
The decision to remove the turn-signal stalk coincided with the appearance of the yoke, but they are not fundamentally conjoined. I concur that the turn-signal buttons are inferior to the stalk, but this is a separate issue from the shape of the steering wheel.
I think there's a slight safety reason to remove stalks with the yoke.

If you watch some videos of the Model 3 with an aftermarket yoke. I've seen people reach over the top of the yoke to flip the turn signal or AP stalk. That creates a pinch point.

It would be much the same if you reached through a round steering wheel to touch the stalks. You'd never do that because it's awkward, but also you could hurt your fingers if the wheel turned.

Not saying that would happen with the yoke but it might be a safety design consideration. I think it's possible to entangle loose loops or bracelets. Or maybe you're holding an ID lanyard while turning the yoke and it catches a stalk.

This is less risky with a round wheel as the stalks are less prominent than as with the Model 3 + yoke.

Just my thought on that anyway.
 
Interesting take on the "reach through wheel to hit turn signal" and have to admit, that I'm guilty of that. It may indeed make more sense to press the button but I'll posit that it can also increase confusion as to which button is what to cancel a signal.

Eg. I'm coming off of the highway (right turn) then have to make an immediate left and then an immediate right. The prime location I am thinking of is Placerville CA where you come off of US-50, exit on Broadway and then turn into the McDonalds parking lot (and super charger), but can be mimic'd in numerous places.

I can think of it being an electronic switch being the first consideration now, versus a mechanical disconnect which made the engineers at Tesla want to remove the connection between how many turns you crank on the steering wheel (and return) before it auto-cancels instead. Easier for a software fix (combined w/ GPS and camera) to cancel than just trust the person and the number of turns on the wheel/yoke.
 

Laddcruzer

Member
Supporting Member
Feb 12, 2021
731
2,249
Santa Cruz
Interesting take on the "reach through wheel to hit turn signal" and have to admit, that I'm guilty of that. It may indeed make more sense to press the button but I'll posit that it can also increase confusion as to which button is what to cancel a signal.

Eg. I'm coming off of the highway (right turn) then have to make an immediate left and then an immediate right. The prime location I am thinking of is Placerville CA where you come off of US-50, exit on Broadway and then turn into the McDonalds parking lot (and super charger), but can be mimic'd in numerous places.

I can think of it being an electronic switch being the first consideration now, versus a mechanical disconnect which made the engineers at Tesla want to remove the connection between how many turns you crank on the steering wheel (and return) before it auto-cancels instead. Easier for a software fix (combined w/ GPS and camera) to cancel than just trust the person and the number of turns on the wheel/yoke.
I do not like not having stalks. And I’m afraid that this situation means that people will use their turn signals even less than they do now. I can’t believe that so many people no longer think about using them. I have followed cops that don’t even use their turn signals. I guess it’s just a thing of the past. And the law of course.
 

Dan D.

Desperately Seeking Sapience
Dec 7, 2020
1,230
1,536
Vancouver, BC
I do not like not having stalks. And I’m afraid that this situation means that people will use their turn signals even less than they do now. I can’t believe that so many people no longer think about using them. I have followed cops that don’t even use their turn signals. I guess it’s just a thing of the past. And the law of course.
Using turn signals is very much a thing still. If some people or locales don't seem to use them much it's no reflection on society in general.

Like I suggested in the previous post, I think it's possible Tesla felt turn stalks wasn't the design they wanted. Not that they are discouraging using turn signals. Still there may be alternate ways of placing turn devices than the way they've done on the yoke but they are intended to be used.

Back to my safety theory. If you look at the shape of the thumb nubs on the real yoke, you can see they are quite smooth vs the aftermarket yokes which often have sharper bumps. IMO Tesla was trying to obey the spirit of the steering wheel regulations around the world that say wheels cannot snag clothing/jewelry. Their yoke is better than the aftermarket ones which have more of a bump. Look at them and see.


Early Roadster
main-qimg-c2c84c926f73dcd65b17240cd8567ccb


Aftermarket yoke
Screen-Shot-2021-06-21-at-5.14.18-PM.png


Current Tesla yoke, IMO is the least "snaggy" at the thumb bumps
2021-Tesla-Model-S-Plaid-Offsite-4.png
 

planetary

EndlessCheese spreader
Dec 29, 2018
708
1,460
Danville, CA
I do not like not having stalks. And I’m afraid that this situation means that people will use their turn signals even less than they do now. I can’t believe that so many people no longer think about using them. I have followed cops that don’t even use their turn signals. I guess it’s just a thing of the past. And the law of course.
Disagree. I am more consistently now than ever, because:
1) signaling requires far less movement, and pretty sure less time
2) signaling turns on the relevant spot camera
3) I don't feel like I'm wearing out something [yes, I know this is insane]
 
What they did in Driver's Ed was decades ago when there wasn't much of power steering on anything. These days doing a palm turn is quite easy.

Just for fun I put painter's tape on my steering wheel and drove around trying not to touch it while making turns. It wasn't hard. Besides which, there IS a top and bottom to the yoke, only it's flat. How in the world can people get so overwrought about something this simple is beyond me. I guess they're just stuck with what they learned in Driver's Ed lo those many years ago and cannot change. Being 77 I've learned a lot of new things and adapted many times, from unpowered steering, to pushbutton shifting, to not using a clutch any more. The yoke doesn't look all that hard. It still goes all the way around, except it has flat spots on top and bottom, which you can still put your hands on!

Come on, people! Realize that change has always been with us and adapt. I feel the yoke will be easier to put my legs under when I drive, and as for going around roundabouts, who cares if you have to put your hands on a flat part of the wheel? It's not going to burn you, after all. I feel you're running around as if your hair's on fire.

If it really bothers you, you could just buy a Honda and leave the newer technology to the rest of us. And, yes, I know I'll get dislikes from this comment, but it's true.
IMO, Roblab has hit the nail on the head.....no, all the nails on all the heads. I am nearly 79 and feel as he does, "Realize that change has always been with us and adapt." Otherwise, we'd still be in the Stone Age. I've had my Plaid for 4 months now and I have not had any problems adapting to the yoke, no matter the driving or turning conditions. Are there things about the vehicle that I don't like.....you bet, but this is true with every vehicle I've owned or driven in the past 62 years. I echo what some have said.....if you don't like it, why did you buy it without trying it or try using half the wheel on your current vehicle? Also, if it's really that offensive and a "real" safety hazard for you, sell it, don't just whine about it. There are a lot of folks that would love to have it....even with the yoke.
 
IMO, Roblab has hit the nail on the head.....no, all the nails on all the heads. I am nearly 79 and feel as he does, "Realize that change has always been with us and adapt." Otherwise, we'd still be in the Stone Age. I've had my Plaid for 4 months now and I have not had any problems adapting to the yoke, no matter the driving or turning conditions. Are there things about the vehicle that I don't like.....you bet, but this is true with every vehicle I've owned or driven in the past 62 years. I echo what some have said.....if you don't like it, why did you buy it without trying it or try using half the wheel on your current vehicle? Also, if it's really that offensive and a "real" safety hazard for you, sell it, don't just whine about it. There are a lot of folks that would love to have it....even with the yoke.
Mic drop 🎤
 
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Laddcruzer

Member
Supporting Member
Feb 12, 2021
731
2,249
Santa Cruz
Disagree. I am more consistently now than ever, because:
1) signaling requires far less movement, and pretty sure less time
2) signaling turns on the relevant spot camera
3) I don't feel like I'm wearing out something [yes, I know this is insane]
You’re a good boy. Keep using your turn signals. I just wish everyone did.
 
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FlatSix911

Porsche 918 Hybrid
Jun 15, 2015
7,629
8,033
Silicon Valley

"Tesla appears to be testing a new version of its steering wheel with a regular horn activated that has a press on the center of the wheel where the airbag is located. Along with the turn signal, this has been amongst the most requested changes to the yoke steering wheel.

It’s not clear when the change could be coming to the production version of the Model S and Model X – Tesla’s two models using the yoke – but we have been expecting an update to the Model S after new design features were spotted on a new version of the Model S for international markets."
 
I like the yoke now, and I'm actually not as down on the haptic buttons as I was when I first got the car. My main remaining beef is that the auto turn signals are not great at knowing when I'm both changing lanes, and it's INTO a turning lane so I'm going to continue to turn. It seems to decide I'm done with my lane change and turn the blinker off at exactly the wrong moment, and it's not super obvious when it stops and whether I successfully re-engaged it. I hope with the FSD stack getting better at knowing when I'm in a turn lane it will get just a little smarter about that. Or a little stronger haptic feedback when I turn them back on manually.

My other gripes are:
- Thumb wheels are too far inward. It's an awkward reach and just doesn't feel natural.
- Lack of customization of the thumb wheels and the IC itself. I with I could use that useless speedometer/cruise button for AP and program the right wheel like I could on my Raven.
- If the right wheel is just for AP, why doesn't left/right adjust follow distance or something useful? Just feels like they rushed so I'm optimistic they'll clean some of this stuff up.
 

tm1v2

Active Member
Oct 18, 2021
2,431
2,125
USA
I think there's a slight safety reason to remove stalks with the yoke.

If you watch some videos of the Model 3 with an aftermarket yoke. I've seen people reach over the top of the yoke to flip the turn signal or AP stalk. That creates a pinch point.

It would be much the same if you reached through a round steering wheel to touch the stalks. You'd never do that because it's awkward, but also you could hurt your fingers if the wheel turned.

Not saying that would happen with the yoke but it might be a safety design consideration. I think it's possible to entangle loose loops or bracelets. Or maybe you're holding an ID lanyard while turning the yoke and it catches a stalk.

This is less risky with a round wheel as the stalks are less prominent than as with the Model 3 + yoke.

Just my thought on that anyway.
@Dan D. I think you're onto something here. Don't know if Tesla was thinking the same way, but to me the yoke and buttons go hand-in-hand. BOTH desperately call for an extremely quick steering ratio so that you never need to shuffle steer, and THAT is where Tesla failed the most here.

The Model 3 has very quick steering for a street car, about 10:1 from what I've read, and it feels that quick especially with the nice small steering wheel. When I first heard about the yoke on the new S I figured awesome, Tesla must have given it REALLY QUICK steering to do a yoke right, they already showed they're not afraid of quick steering (with the Model 3), I bet the yoke is like 6:1 or something (and maybe progressive off-center).

Then I learned it's 14:1 and I saw the videos, and I realized the yoke is a gimmicky joke and unsuitable for much of the driving I do. Looks great for the highway, and tolerable for wide suburban roads, but terrible for anything else.

Could I palm every tight turn with power steering? Sure I could. I could go get a commercial license and drive a bus too, if I wanted to go slow around turns and steer with my palm. At least I'd get paid for it then.

No car is perfect or even close to it, but the S yoke is a fatal flaw to me, I won't upgrade my S to a new one until I'm confident in an aftermarket solution to get a normal wheel...or maybe to get a crazy fast steering ratio instead. ;) And I really like the new S, yoke aside. In the meantime I'm enjoying the quick steering on the M3P...tearing up twisty back roads is a joy, counter-steering is a breeze, etc. I know the S is too big to ever feel quite as nimble as a 3 but there's no reason it has to be crippled with a slow ratio yoke.
 
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MarcG

Active Member
Oct 29, 2014
4,151
5,932
San Francisco
@Dan D. I think you're onto something here. Don't know if Tesla was thinking the same way, but to me the yoke and buttons go hand-in-hand. BOTH desperately call for an extremely quick steering ratio so that you never need to shuffle steer, and THAT is where Tesla failed the most here.

The Model 3 has very quick steering for a street car, about 10:1 from what I've read, and it feels that quick especially with the nice small steering wheel. When I first heard about the yoke on the new S I figured awesome, Tesla must have given it REALLY QUICK steering to do a yoke right, they already showed they're not afraid of quick steering (with the Model 3), I bet the yoke is like 6:1 or something (and maybe progressive off-center).

Then I learned it's 14:1 and I saw the videos, and I realized the yoke is a gimmicky joke and unsuitable for much of the driving I do. Looks great for the highway, and tolerable for wide suburban roads, but terrible for anything else.

Could I palm every tight turn with power steering? Sure I could. I could go get a commercial license and drive a bus too, if I wanted to go slow around turns and steer with my palm. At least I'd get paid for it then.

No car is perfect or even close to it, but the S yoke is a fatal flaw to me, I won't upgrade my S to a new one until I'm confident in an aftermarket solution to get a normal wheel...or maybe to get a crazy fast steering ratio instead. ;) And I really like the new S, yoke aside. In the meantime I'm enjoying the quick steering on the M3P...tearing up twisty back roads is a joy, counter-steering is a breeze, etc. I know the S is too big to ever feel quite as nimble as a 3 but there's no reason it has to be crippled with a slow ratio yoke.
Agreed with all of this, and lol on the bus driving comment..

I had a 2014 Model S P85D with a large but round steering wheel, so going to the smaller wheel in my Model 3 Performance was a joy.

I will say this: having replace the yoke with a Model 3 round wheel on my Model S Plaid, the steering ratio is not really a concern. Driving through twisty hills with a small round wheel is as enjoyable, if not more, than in the M3P.

And, I'm heading to Buttonwillow for TeslaCorsa tomorrow, so I'm looking forward to driving the Plaid beast with the small round wheel on a track!
 
This is my 3rd S. I got the car because of the huge hatchback space and the range which no other manufacturer has yet. I detest the yoke. The yoke and the lack of the stalk for the turn signals actually make me enjoy driving my 1993 Toyota Previa van. Having to sometimes look at the yoke to find the turn signals is probably the worst part of the experience, I find it unsafe. I am sort of getting "use to " the yoke but I dearly miss the turn signal stalk which is not available yet from any aftermarket source and probably will not be. It would have been nice if we had a choice in what kind of steering wheel and maybe the turn signal stalk but Musk has spoken. The car actually feels tighter and rides a bit better than the previous versions but the yoke and turn signal issue might be a deal breaker for some people. If Lucid had a hatchback I would have gotten that.
 
D

Dan_Foster

Guest
This is my 3rd S. I got the car because of the huge hatchback space and the range which no other manufacturer has yet. I detest the yoke. The yoke and the lack of the stalk for the turn signals actually make me enjoy driving my 1993 Toyota Previa van. Having to sometimes look at the yoke to find the turn signals is probably the worst part of the experience, I find it unsafe. I am sort of getting "use to " the yoke but I dearly miss the turn signal stalk which is not available yet from any aftermarket source and probably will not be. It would have been nice if we had a choice in what kind of steering wheel and maybe the turn signal stalk but Musk has spoken. The car actually feels tighter and rides a bit better than the previous versions but the yoke and turn signal issue might be a deal breaker for some people. If Lucid had a hatchback I would have gotten that.
I absolutely detest the yoke. But even more loathsome are the haptic primary controls and on-screen direction-selection (anachronistically referred to as ‘shifting’.) The so-named ‘Auto-shift’ Tesla claims is better than a stalk is outrageously stupid, and completely useless for multi-point turns and tight maneuvers for which FSD and auto-park are also useless. While I’m on this rant, version 11 is horrid. Sadly, my beloved 2015 Model S is likely to be my last Tesla, since no one at the company appears able to temper Musk’s breathtaking arrogance anymore.
 

tm1v2

Active Member
Oct 18, 2021
2,431
2,125
USA
Short of designing and building your own steering rack, I don’t think so.
@oktane @lbowroom That is a thing people do. My last ICE car came with 15:1 and I wanted quicker. I bought an 11.5:1 rack for it from a machinist who focused on rally car builds. It wasn't cheap, he hand built each one himself in Canada, but it was one of my favorite upgrades especially for twisty roads and snow hooning.

There are also steering column quickeners, which I've never tried. They add gearing in the column itself to apply a multiplier to the existing steering ratio. They're cheaper than custom made racks, and can be very quick e.g. with a 2.0 multiplier, but I've read mixed things about how they feel...many reports of a little slop especially on-center, due to the extra gears involved. I never tried one though. I think they're popular for rally builds when the budget doesn't allow for a full replacement rack. Based on what I've read I wouldn't want one in a street car.

I've read the Model 3's steering ratio is 10.3:1 and it feels that quick to me especially with its small, sporty steering wheel. I'm very much loving it. I don't think I've encountered a car that comes with such quick steering before, I used to think 13:1 was pretty quick for a stock setup.

It would take a crazy fast ratio to avoid ever needing to shuffle steer the yoke though, even 10:1 isn't quick enough for that. I think it would have to be progressive, ramping up off-center. A linear ratio that's fast enough might truly be too quick for daily driving (too easy to accidentally give a big steering input).
 
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