Although it has disappeared from the United States lineup of Yamaha motorcycles, the innovative Yamaha Niken GT continues to be developed for European consumption. The 2023 Yamaha Niken GT enjoys changes to the motor, chassis, and electronics, so there is quite a bit to know. Let’s check out this unusual three-wheeled motorcycle we tested in 2019.
The Yamaha 2023 Niken GT gets the updated CP3 powerplant we’ve seen on the MT-09. With the displacement bumped up to 890cc via a stroke increase, the triple pumps out 113 horsepower at 10,000 rpm, with the torque peak of 67 ft-lbs showing up at 7000 rpm. Yamaha reworked the webbing in the crankshaft to increase the mass by eight percent, which makes the motor easier to handle at lower speeds. There’s also a new crankcase and radiator, as well as a new intake and exhaust. Yamaha claims the new Niken GT motor is quieter.
A new frame tilts the motor five degrees forward to put extra weight on the 15-inch front wheels. This was done in response to the extra power in the new engine.
The motor is now ride-by-wire with many new features, though Yamaha did not make the leap to an IMU. The three power modes—Sport, Street, and Rain—have been adjusted to reflect the power increase from the larger engine. Sport and Street have full power, though Street has a less-aggressive throttle response. Rain cuts power by 18 percent and softens the throttle further. There are two levels of traction control, plus off. Also, there’s a new cruise control that can be used in 4th gear or higher. Additionally, an anti-stall system keeps the revs up if you let them drop too low when engaging the transmission.
There’s a new clutch, and an up/down quickshifter is standard on the 2023 Yamaha Niken GT. Yamaha put in a new clutch with assist and slip functions, while giving the six-speed transmission a full quickshifter. Yamaha had been behind the times with the Niken’s quickshifter, which was up-only.
New 15-inch radial BridgestoneBattlax Adventure A41 tires have been specially designed for the front wheels’ unusual demands on rubber. If you remember our reviews of the Niken in the United States, its two front wheels allow for highly aggressive cornering, even in less-than-ideal conditions.
A new shock linkage arm, a smaller diameter shock spring, and shock damping setting smooth out the ride. According to Yamaha, the result is a smoother ride when riding solo and firmer shock action when two-up.
There’s a new seven-inch TFT dash, and it brings with it a bevy of features. The dash connects via Bluetooth, WiFi, or USB to your smartphone using the Yamaha MyRide-Link app. This gives you the ability to monitor messages, emails, and phone calls on the dash. Bluetooth is also deployed to connect your helmet intercom to the display so you can answer calls and listen to music. The dash is also compatible with the Garmin Motorise app, giving the rider turn-by-turn navigation, real-time traffic reports, route options, estimated arrival time, and weather conditions. Keep in mind you’ll need a Garmin Motorise subscription service to access the app.
There are many changes to the rider’s UX. The windscreen is now manually adjustable over a 2.8-inch sweep. Yamaha designed a new seat to make it easier to mount the Niken GT and for the rider to touch boots to ground. With the new TFT dash comes compatible switchgear, including a five-way joystick. There’s a powered USB outlet on the dash, and a 12-volt socket under the seat. Cool-weather riders will appreciate the standard heated grips.
Yamaha upgraded the stays for the hard side cases, giving them a more secure mounting.
Styling has been modernized. The all-black body is accented by bronze coloring in the wheels, frame, and other strategic locations.
The 2023 Yamaha Niken GT will appear on the showroom floors in different European counties at different times. The prices for the Niken GT have yet to be set. As we mentioned, the Niken GT is not on the American menu, likely due to our tastes in motorcycles. The Niken GT is a misunderstood motorcycle that makes an excellent sport-touring platform, especially for riders who take on challenging weather conditions or are unsteady about riding two-up.
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Motos and Friends—the weekly Podcast brought to you by the editorial team at Ultimate Motorcycling.
My name is Arthur Coldwells.
In this week’s first segment, Senior Editor Nic de Sena rides the much anticipated Yamaha MT-10 SP. That’s the model with the Ohlins semi-active suspension. It’s only been available in Europe for the last couple of years, but finally the good news is, that it’s coming to America. The big question is, whether the extra 3k you’re going to have to pony up for the Ohlins is actually worth it, or perhaps there’s just not that much improvement over the stock KYB suspension that has suited the Yamaha MT-10 so well until now?
In the second segment, Associate Editor Teejay Adams chats with Val Collins. Val grew up on motorcycles and learned to love speed, however her real love is Formula 1 tunnel-boat racing. These are the guys and gals that are strapped into a tiny cockpit and then hurtle down the straights at 120 mile per hour and pull 5G in the corners. We attended the recent season finale in Lake Havasu and watched our friend Mike Quindazzi try to take the win. Val chats with Teejay about her love for two-wheels and tunnel-boats. Yeah, it’s crazy stuff.
From all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode and have a great Thanksgiving Holiday!