Now ready to talk about the future of sport riding at the EICMA show in Milan, Yamaha sees a future where riders will want the added stability and handling that comes from a leaning multi-wheeled vehicle.
At the core of the Yamaha Niken is an Ackerman steering design, which uses two sets of upside down front forks, held along a parallelogram brace that attaches to the front of the motorcycle.
This allows the Yamaha Niken to corner with serious lean angle, up to 45° degrees according to the Japanese brand. Of course, with the two 15″ wheels at the front, this cornering is done with a lot more confidence that a normal motorcycle at such a lean.
Rearward, the chassis is made of an aluminum/steel frame, with a cast aluminum swingarm. Yamaha says that with a rider onboard, the Niken has a 50:50 weight balance.
Making things go is the familiar 847cc three-cylinder engine from the Yamaha FZ-09, though the fuel injection and crank balance have been adjusted to suit the Yamaha Niken’s character.
In terms of electronics, traction control (2 levels, plus off) and three riding modes from the ride-by-wire throttle are standard. There is also cruise control, a slipper-assist clutch, and an LCD display.
The fuel tank is 4.75 gallons, and the rear suspension is fully adjustable.
The Yamaha Niken will come to the United States as 2019 model, arriving in the second half of 2018. Pricing has not yet been set.
As always, Asphalt & Rubber will be covering all the new bikes debuting at EICMA this year. Be sure to follow our coverage for the most recent news and photos.