MT-09 powered trike from Yamaha | MTX850 Niken

New Yamaha NIKEN. Ride the Revolution

Yamaha MTX850 Niken

Yamaha  have announced their latest take on three-wheel motorcycle – the Yamaha Niken. While previous incarnations have been somewhat pedestrian, the Niken promises a whole lot more from its triple-cylinder engine, presumably borrowed from Yamaha’s rip-snorting MT-09.

Yamaha MTX850 - Presumably the triple-cylinder mill is borrowed from the MT-09 motorcycle
Yamaha MTX850 – Presumably the triple-cylinder mill is borrowed from the MT-09 motorcycle

These style of machines, in all of their varied designs, have always sat awkwardly between cars and conventional 2-wheeled motorcycles/scooters. They have never been fully accepted by the motorcycle mainstream. Car drivers looked at them somewhat amusingly too, despite them being one of the target markets.

Yamaha Niken
Yamaha Niken

There have been a few recent takes on the leaning trike style of machine. Some more successfu than others.  Yamaha themselves warmed up with an introductory model not long ago with the “TriCity”, a 125cc 4 stroke scooter. This was a great little scooter that offered all of the thrills of a conventional 2 wheeled scooter, while being more confidence inspiring and arguably safer for new riders.

Yamaha's 125cc Tricity is a great little commuter but clearly the MTX850 Niken is a whole different kettle of fish
Yamaha’s 125cc Tricity is a great little commuter but clearly the MTX850 Niken is a whole different kettle of fish

 

Piaggio had their own foray too with the MP3 which came in various engine sizes and price points while sister company Gilera ramped up the sports factor with the Fuoco 500.

Piaggio’s MP3 was a hoot to ride and is perhaps the most sucessful three-wheeled motorcycle to reach full production

Can-Am’s Spyder is a different kettle of fish altogether, it doesn’t lean, and thus is more reminiscent of an open-wheel sportscar than anything remotely resembling the feeling that motorcycling gives a rider.

Yamaha Niken
Yamaha Niken

Admittedly to date there has not been a 3 wheeled motorcycle in any guise that has really appealed to the mainstream of any genre, car or bike. There has always been a niche group of people who have warmed to the idea of 3 wheels, (or any other strange concept – BMW C1) which unlike a 2-wheeler can offer the rider more confidence, safety and attention, if that is what you are looking for.

Yamaha Niken
Yamaha Niken

Judging by the looks of the Niken’s ‘beefy’ quad USD front forks that lead to a really aggressive, and somewhat angry stance. It looks like a serious bit of kit. Something that I must admit I would be happy to be seen on.

Yamaha Niken
Yamaha Niken

Not to mention a glorious three-cylinder motor that we can only assume is a variant of the MT-09 850cc Triple which is about as hard-edged as modern engines get.

Yamaha Niken
Yamaha Niken

The new Yamaha Niken appears to be an exciting prospect. And from the little of what we know so far seems to offer a little something that regular (2 wheel) motorcyclists are used to and crave; engine performance, ability to lean and decent handling to boot. (without looking daft.)

Yamaha Niken
Yamaha Niken

For non-motorcyclist’s (those that always wanted a motorcycle but had certain concerns), the Niken (on the surface), is a great point of reference as a gateway performance motorcycle that caters’ almost for everybody, by doing pretty much everything a two-wheeler does, but with a third wheel…

Yamaha Niken
Yamaha Niken

We’ll have to wait until November 7th to find out more.

I’m just waiting for the race series to kick off.

Yamaha MTX850
Yamaha MTX850
SPECIFICATIONS
Length 2,150 mm
Width 885 mm
Height 1,250 mm
Engine type Liquid-cooled 4-stroke, DOHC, 4-valve
Cylinder arrangement In-line 3-cylinder
Fuel supply system Fuel injection