Motorcycles Don't Call It a Trike: Why We Love Yamaha’s Double-Front-Wheel Motorcycle
The Crazy Three-Wheeled Yamaha Niken Motorcycle Is Coming to America at $15,999
Yes, it's real, and yes, you can buy one.Yamaha raised a lot of questions in the motorcycling world when it unveiled the Niken last year. The three-wheeled motorcycle offered something totally new in the sport touring world, and other than wondering how that funky suspension works, the biggest questions were “when can I get one?” and “how much?” Yamaha has just confirmed it will be available in the U.S. starting this September with a starting price of $15,999.
- Price: $16,000
- Engine: 847-cc three-cylinder with double-overhead cam
- Transmission: Six-speed
- Horsepower: 115
- Torque: 64.5 lb-ft at 8,500 rpm
- Weight: 580 lb
- Kickstand: None
No one in the community of motorcycle enthusiasts was clamoring for anything with three wheels. And I know what you’re thinking: I ain’t riding no fargin’ tricycle.
But Yamaha has a history offor no obvious reason, only to end up being completely right. “We wanted to make a motorcycle with more grip,” says Leon Oosterhof, Niken’s product planning manager. The company didn’t start out thinking they’d build a three-wheeled bike, but “once the solution was set, we decided we definitely needed an extra front wheel.” Most companies won’t turn a screw before conducting years of consumer-trend studies. Yamaha didn’t think twice.
Vinales names new crew chief to replace Forcada
Yamaha MotoGP rider Maverick Vinales has confirmed he will split with crew chief Ramon Forcada at the end of the current season.Vinales had made a strong start with Yamaha but his form faded and a patchy beginning to 2018 led to suggestions he and Forcada were heading for a split – with the rider himself admitting in May that they had gone through a “difficult” phase in their professional relationship.
Hence, the new Niken, the most fun you’ve had on three wheels since you were burning across the driveway on your Big Wheel.
The Niken doesn’t ride like a trike. It’s a whole new class of machine-an enhanced motorcycle for the sole purpose of pushing corners hard and having people stare at you in amazement. The front end feels heavy at first, and it should. There’s a lot going on under the handlebars: upside-down front forks, dual-leaning front wheels. It takes some getting used to at slow speeds, but that lumbering sensation goes away fast. Yamaha was smart enough to stage this road test for us in the Austrian Alps, where the roads suit it: sweeping turns, crazy-tight hairpins, gravel, wet corners, and discarded roadside schnitzel.
The 1993 Yamaha GTS1000 Was The Acura NSX Of Bikes
Crazy technology in a forward-thinking machine.You can be ahead of your time, you can build a better mousetrap, you can have a VPN connection straight into the distant future—but if you fall short on execution, your chances of success are identical to those of Icarus and his flight to the sun. For the first 300 years after its invention, the wheel was used only for making pottery. Nobody could figure out how to make wheeled carts equal to the durability and versatility of sleds on runners.
I’ve ridden plenty of miles in my life, but I’m not a phenomenal rider. I’m nervous-and excited-for the ride ahead. When I get up to speed, the Niken makes me feel confident. No matter the turn or the deep lean angle, there’s always plenty of rubber contacting the pavement. Usually the weakest rider is last, so as not to hold up the better riders, but today I jump to third as we start hitting the turns. The Niken’s front-end grip is extraordinary. I forget about the pavement in my immediate vicinity. I’m able to look at the entry and exit lines way ahead of what I’ll normally allow, which makes my lean angle deeper and my turns faster. Coming out of the corners, I accelerate fast, then brake hard before the next one. Only occasionally does the back end kick out a little when I hit a patch of gravel or a wet leaf in a hairpin.
The 200 miles we covered that day were the best I’d ever ridden. You want to put an asterisk next to that because I had three wheels under me, go right ahead-Yamaha doesn’t care, and neither do I.
I didn’t think I was good enough for those roads, the same way I stay away from some of the curves back home. But on that day, on this bike, I was.
This appears in the October 2018 issue.
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Recall Watch: Owners Of Early R3s, Leave The Bike Home.
Yamaha issues a recall on 2015-2016 YXF-R3. Since its introduction in 2015, the Yamaha YXF-R3 hasn’t exactly had a smooth ride. The early models have been plagued by as many recalls as their number of years on the market number of recalls, and their track record is about to get yet another stain. This time, owners are advised to leave the bike at home. We’ve added this recall to our watch list as it’s already been posted by Transport Canada north of the border but the NHTSA has yet to confirm a campaign number.
2019 Yamaha NIKEN First Ride Review! - On Two Wheels
What has three cylinders, three wheels, and does wheelies? Yamaha's Niken, of course! This new three wheeler is powered by an MT-09 engine but has a funky ...
Yamaha's new 3-wheeled motorcycle is not your average trike
This is the Yamaha Niken. "Ni" means two in Japanese. The motorcycle has two front wheels instead of one. It was shown off at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show.
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