Motorcycles: Don't Call It a Trike: Why We Love Yamaha’s Double-Front-Wheel Motorcycle - - PressFrom - US
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Motorcycles Don't Call It a Trike: Why We Love Yamaha’s Double-Front-Wheel Motorcycle

02:25  11 october  2018
02:25  11 october  2018 Source:   popularmechanics.com

The Crazy Three-Wheeled Yamaha Niken Motorcycle Is Coming to America at $15,999

  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.

But Yamaha has a history of taking chances for no obvious reason, only to end up being completely right. “ We wanted to make a motorcycle with 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

© Yamaha Riding Yamaha ’ s Double - Front - Wheel Motorcycle . The Niken doesn’ t ride like a trike . It ’s a whole new class of machine-an enhanced motorcycle for the sole purpose © Yamaha Ignoring the extra front wheel , the Niken is a powerful three-cylinder motorcycle with a healthy 115 horsepower.

a person riding a motorcycle on the side of a road: The Yamaha Niken is a three-cylinder, 115-hp motorcycle with an extra front wheel to increase traction through turns.© JONATHAN GODIN The Yamaha Niken is a three-cylinder, 115-hp motorcycle with an extra front wheel to increase traction through turns.

Specs

  • 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 of taking chances for 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.

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The Yamaha Niken is a three-cylinder, 115-hp motorcycle with an extra front wheel to increase traction through turns. 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 .

It ' s not a trike . It ’ s a blast.But Yamaha has a history of taking chances for no obvious reason, only to end up being completely right. 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 .”

Hence, the new Niken, the most fun you’ve had on three wheels since you were burning across the driveway on your Big Wheel.

 Riding Yamaha’s Double-Front-Wheel Motorcycle© Yamaha Riding Yamaha’s Double-Front-Wheel Motorcycle

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.

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Don ' t Call It a Trike : Why We Love Yamaha ’ s Double - Front - Wheel Motorcycle It 's not a trike . Yamaha 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.

10 Motorcycle Riding Tricks You Don ’ t Know, Yet: Meet the Indian Motorcycles of 2019 The Chief, Scout, and other Indian bikes get cylind It ' s not a trike . It ’ s a blast.But Yamaha has a history of taking chances for no obvious reason, only to end up being completely right.

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.

a motorcycle parked on the side of a road: Ignoring the extra front wheel, the Niken is a powerful three-cylinder motorcycle with a healthy 115 horsepower. © Yamaha Ignoring the extra front wheel, the Niken is a powerful three-cylinder motorcycle with a healthy 115 horsepower.

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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