Yamaha Niken Leaning Multi-Wheel Motorcycle First Look
Yamaha unveiled its Niken Leaning Multi-Wheel motorcycle during last month’s Tokyo Motor Show. Information was scarce, and Yamaha didn’t confirm if the three-wheel motorcycle that leans would arrive stateside.
This changed during EICMA Milan Motorcycle Show. Yamaha released additional details, though many of the specs have yet to be announced. We also know that the Niken three-wheeler will arrive stateside in the second half of 2018 as a 2019 model.
Following are the essential Fast Facts about the 2019 Yamaha Niken Leaning Multi-Wheel Motorcycle.
1. The 2019 Niken uses two front wheels that lean in unison. This is designed to double traction and stopping power while, Yamaha claims, maintaining a natural motorcycle steering feel. Maximum lean angle is 45 degrees.
2. The front uses two fork tubes for each 15-inch wheel. These double upside-down forks work in unison with an Ackermann dual-axle steering mechanism and cantilevered suspension system that’s mounted to the outside of the wheels. The front suspension is adjustable compression and rebound damping.
3. Compared to the MT-09 (formerly the FZ-09), the Yamaha Niken rider sits nearly two inches rearward. This helps to provide a 50/50 front-rear weight distribution, which retains the natural motorcycle feeling.
4. The front end features a wheel track of 16.1 inches—width from the center of one tire to the other. This is to maintain a natural steering feel, while keeping the width to a minimum.
5. For optimal handling, the Niken uses a 21.7-inch aluminum swingarm a half-inch longer than the MT-09’s swingarm. Yamaha says the increased length helps to give a strong feeling of stability when cornering.
6. The crossplane engine is transplanted from the MT-09. The 847cc triple, also used in the new Tracer 900, produces 115 horsepower at 10,000 rpm.
7. Electronics are plentiful, and include adjustable throttle mapping, traction control, ABS, quickshifter, and cruise control.
8. The 2019 Yamaha Niken three-wheeler’s rear suspension features a fully adjustable single shock, including tool-free spring-preload adjustment.
9. Up front the Niken uses two 15-inch wheels donning 120/70 tires, and a 17-inch-wheel out back wrapped in a 190/55.
10. For stopping power, the Niken uses a 298mm disc on the outside of each front wheel. Out back the Niken uses a single 282mm disc.
11. The Niken uses dual LED headlights in a downward-curving aerodynamic cowl, along with LED turn signals.
13. The first 2019 Niken motorcycles should arrive stateside in the second half of 2018 in a Granite Gray color scheme. MSRP will be announced in the coming months.
Click page 2 below for full specs and a photo gallery