2019 Yamaha Niken Review – Fuel Economy, Specs & Price – Yamaha launches with the Niken the first bike with a two-wheeled front axle. Simple technological demonstration or real revolution?
2019 Yamaha Niken Specs
- Engine: 3 cyl. Online, 847 cm3
- Power: 115 hp at 10,000 rpm
- Couple: 87, 5 Nm at 8,500 rpm
- Transmission: box6 reports + chain
- Weight + Full : 263 kg
- Tank: 18 l
- Speed: over 220 km / h
- Test consumption: approximately 8 l / 100 km
- Price: € 14,999
Three-wheeled machines are not numerous on our roads. The biggest is without a doubt the Can-Am Spyder, launched in 2007, whose front end is almost as wide as a car. Yamaha, for its part, tried it four years ago, with the Tricity, a small urban vehicle. But the best known remains the Piaggio MP3, which appeared at the end of 2006. In France, it has conquered thousands of users, delighted to be able to ride a motorcycle performance machine with a car license.
Do not spin around the bush: three wheels, what’s the point? For Yamaha, the answer is simple: ” get maximum cornering performance “. This is the concept behind the Niken (pronounce Naï-ken, ” two sabers ” in Japanese). At a standstill, his stocky physique and his long arms supporting the two front wheels make him look threatening like a Star Wars vehicle.
The Niken is not a quiet utility tricycle. It is clearly geared towards performance. It is simply a big cube, in this case, the Yamaha MT-09 Tracer, whose fork has been replaced by a two-wheeled front axle. With a power of well over 100 hp, the boiling three-cylinder engine Niken ensures high performance despite a weight gain of fifty pounds compared to the reference bike.
2019 Yamaha Niken Technology – Fast trust
Once in the saddle, apprehension to handle such a machine dissipates from the first meters traveled. The two wheels of the front axle are hidden by the fairing. Without any hydraulic or electric assistance, the mechanism that directs them, called Leaning Multi Wheel ( LMW ), is so precise and balanced that it gives the feeling of guiding only one. From the first corner, we measure the extent of the ” Niken revolution”: The machine takes up to 45 ° angle with a disconcerting ease. Its two 15-inch front wheels, equipped with special tires manufactured by Bridgestone, work in parallel. They provide better adhesion than that provided by a single wheel. This “grip” recalls that of the skier leaning on his edges during a carving turn.
This articulated front axle puts so quickly in confidence that the curves are linked at a more and more sustained rate. We are surprised to put power back in full bend. Pushed beyond its limits, the 2019 Yamaha Niken stalls progressively to shoot straight in the manner of a car understeer. So do not hesitate to straighten it and firmly brake, which he accepts perfectly, even if it is still on the corner! However, pay attention to the forward load transfer during heavy deceleration: it causes a significant load shedding of the rear wheel, resulting in the release of the anti-lock (ABS). In a straight line, the two front wheels also provide better stability, avoiding any phenomenon of “slandering” at high speeds.
For the rest, the Niken has all the qualities of the MT-09 Tracer. We appreciate its technical refinements, such as the electronic throttle and the shifter to shift the gears without declutching or cutting off the throttle. The 18-liter tank provides a range of nearly 300 km. The saddle, not too high (820 mm), is soft and ergonomic. The passenger, less well treated, will pester against a too summary comfort. ” We chose to present a first version of the Niken without any artifice. Other more equipped models should enrich the range, “says Eric de Seynes, president of Yamaha Europe and member of the executive committee of the firm.
2019 Yamaha Niken Review; Verdict
Yamaha is a pioneer of new territories. A civilized dragster, with the famous 1980s V-Max, a sports scooter with the T-Max (2001), a 1700cc big twin-cylinder roadster with the MT-01 (2005), the brand did not lack audacity in recent decades. With the 2019 Yamaha Niken, the biker, much more academic and conformist than we imagine, will have to revise his classics. You have to try the Niken to appreciate it. Yamaha understands this and plans an extensive test program to introduce drivers of classic two-wheelers. Provided they have the motorcycle license: the Niken is not a competitor of the MP3. It is regrettable that the Niken is not accessible to young bikers, allowed to drive a machine with a maximum power of 47.5 hp for two years. His stability and agility would challenge them for sure. But if the Niken is successful, Yamaha could probably consider a less vitaminized version. Who knows?