Unveiled at this year Tokyo Motor Show, the Yamaha Niken is a high-performance, leaning three-wheeler. Meaning ‘Two Swords’ in Japanese, the word Niken originates from 17 century Japan when the two-sword style of swordsmanship was first invented. It proved to be a revolution, and marked the beginning of a new era in combat.
With the Niken, Yamaha opens up the possibility of a whole new era in motorcycling, a riding revolution – offering a sensation that is unique. This revolutionary new kind of motorcycle feels, handles and looks like nothing else. At the same time as being different to a motorcycle, the Niken’s handling characteristics are also reassuringly familiar to riders.
The advanced Yamaha-exclusive technology used in the double leaning front wheel layout offers high levels of traction – making it a strong performer in corners and giving the Niken rider the ability to carve through winding roads with unmatched confidence. And two front wheels means there are two front tyres and two sets of front brakes, so the levels of traction and braking are also like nothing else on the road.
The Niken’s muscular and athletic body design clearly shows that this innovative new 3-wheel Yamaha is designed for energetic riding. The twin front wheels form the focal point from which the futuristic cowl and integrated fuel tank flow, giving a unique mass forward look that emphasises the Niken’s bold and unique profile.
Yamaha’s designers have sought to highlight the distinctive technology used in the leaning multi wheel system, and rather than being hidden away, the structure and workings of the Yamaha-exclusive mechanisms are there for all to see.
From the rider’s viewpoint, the Niken has a rugged wide-shouldered appearance that contrasts with the slim fuel tank, giving a unique riding style, unlike any other motorcycle. The upward curving main seat features a wide, flat design with an excellent rear support that gives high levels of comfort.
The sporty front face features lightweight dual LED headlights housed in a downward curving aerodynamic cowl that looks like nothing else on the street, and the dual position lights serve to emphasise the strong and planted look of the double front wheels.
YZF-R1 derived mirrors feature integrated LED turn signals, and are designed to give a clear rear view even when the riding position changes. In contrast to the broad-shouldered front end, the slim and upswept tail and separate license plate holder convey a feeling of agility, underlining the Niken’s revolutionary style that is about to bring a whole new look to the streets of Europe.
Another feature that reinforces the Niken’s premium look and feel is the black background of its LCD instrument display, which clearly displays all key information to the rider and gives excellent visibility, day or night.
The 2019 Yamaha Niken will arrive in U.S. dealerships next fall in a Granite Gray color scheme. Pricing will be announced in the months ahead.
all images and video courtesy of Yamaha