Riding a Yamaha Niken already earns you an audience. People amazingly glance at you. First unveiled in the second half of 2017, GT and Yamaha joined hands for this venture. The front two wheels give it a matchless and unique look which several riders find peculiar. Moreover, they feel riding this bike is difficult since it comes with two front tires. But the reality is otherwise. Having two front wheels gives front-end confidence to the rider. Interestingly, riding this 263 kg machine at the top speed of 135mph is not difficult to maneuver. The motif behind adding an extra wheel was to allay the fear of riders and add fascination to the overall look of the machine.
As far as power is concerned, a Euro 4 compliant liquid 847cc triple engine powers this machine. Other features include 820mm seat height, four telescopic forks, adjustable for preload and rebound, and a mono-shock, adjustable for preload and rebound front and rear suspension, respectively. This Yamaha Niken review contains all the information you must know about this unique piece of engineering.
Historical Background Of The Yamaha Niken
The MT-09 series by Yamaha features the same engine as the Niken. However, the only difference between them is the mighty crank that the latter features. Yamaha Niken came to the market in 2013 with some upgradation to the swing–arm–mounted numberplate bracket, a quick-shifter, and updates to the cosmetics and suspension. It combined both updates as well as traditional features. After five years, Yamaha introduced the MT-09SP, which included updated KYB forks and an Ohlins rear shock. In the July of the same year, Yamaha started the production of this bike. And the first model came into the market in September 2018. This is how the story of this machine began.
How It Feels To Ride The Yamaha Niken
You may get the impression of a peculiar ride by finding two front wheels. But the reality is quite the opposite. Riding it resembles riding any other bike. Although the MT-09 and the Niken share the same engine, the latter is 70kg heavier than the former. To your surprise, you may hardly notice while having a ride.
Yamaha Niken Specs
|Engine type||4-stroke, Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-valves, 3-Cylinder, EURO5|
|Bore x stroke||78.0×62.1mm|
|Wet Weight||270 kg|
|Seat height||825 mm|
|Final transmission||Chain Driven|
|Rear tire size||190/55*17|
|Front tire size||120/70 * 15|
|Rear brakes||282mm single disc with two-piston caliper|
|Front brakes||2 x 298mm discs, four-piston calipers|
As far as suspension is concerned, it is good, let alone the small bumps you feel due to its small wheels. However, the small screen of the bike makes a lot of noise. Moreover, while sniffing through the traffic, the large mirrors that come with this bike seem a big problem. Although riding it through dense traffic is not as easy as MT-09, it is better than a lot of adventurous bikes.
When it comes to the motor, the three-cylinder MT-09 does not sour the deal. Despite adding weight to the machine, the ride it ensures is a lot of fun. If we compare it to the Super Tenere, the former is 2kg lighter than the latter. The weight gets weightier when you either take your hands off the handlebars or try to move it with your hips. Otherwise, it is as easy to ride as any other bike. In short, riding this bike gives a unique and adventurous experience.
With revised fuel mapping and 18% more inertia, the engine of the Niken is more powerful and smooth. If we compare this bike with other machines that come with the same engine, its response is smoother and more refined. When you speed up the bike, you really feel the smooth 847cc engine that makes the ride pleasant. Although this is sufficient to upgrade the character of the bike, the story does not end here. In higher gears, you experience full throttle of the ride, thanks to the quick-shifter.
Top Speed Of Yamaha Niken
Yamaha Niken can touch a top speed of 135 mph (217 kph) at a maximum torque of 90,7 Nm (9,2 kg-m) @ 7.000 rpm. It 4-stroke, Liquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-valves, 3-Cylinder, EURO5 engine generates 84.5kW(114.9PS)/10000r/min power. Moreover, thanks to its handling and suspension, you will not feel any shaking while speeding on this bike. Top speed may vary, depending on the weight of the rider. As it already weighs 270kg.
When it comes to the build quality, Niken does not disappoint you. It is surely a stunning piece of tech and engineering. Since the autoblipper does not go well with the bike, the slipper clutch that comes with this bike is good to go. In addition, regardless of the weight of the suspension, it does not sag or fade. Instead, it works quite well. Interestingly, you may miss the attractiveness of its build quality because its bulky front end blankets it.
Besides that, the suspension features quality parts like switch gear. With this gear, you can display or switch gears. For this, you don’t even need to move your hands off the bar. Due to these reasons, the build quality of the Niken is excellent.
If we talk about the seat height, it is 820mm, which is quite taller as compared to the faired sports bikes. This necessitates the use of a lowering kit for those who are shorter in height. More than that, your bike gets a unique look due to its Ackerman steering/leaning system and four telescopic USD forks. Both the front wheels lie within the width of the handlebars. Besides that, they measure 15 inches and have 410mm of space from the center to center. The moment you sit on the seat, find it a very amazing bike to ride on. What is more, the Niken is quite a unique and special piece of engineering.
Digital Display: Dash
The dash features two power sources. One lies on the left rear of the seat, and the second is found above and to the left of the digital display for a Sat-Nav. And quick shifter comes in a default setting of start-up, but you can manually override it whenever you like it. Moreover, it contains all the info related to entertainment, thus a hub of modern technology. You may find it complex to navigate the left handlebar because it is crowded with button Lego. However, the biker can get assistance from a number of power settings and traction control, to begin with, the dash.
Learn About Other Yamaha Vehicles:
If you are an inexperienced rider, the Yamaha Niken is not for you because it is serious engineering. Despite having an attractive and stylish look, it gathered mixed responses from other riders. Those who have not ridden it find it peculiar to drive. But in fact, it is like riding any other bike. If you like adventurous machines and want to grab glimpses of people on the road, buy the Yamaha Niken.
Rand Frankey is OffRoadsCare freelance Content Editor. He loves offroad Travelling and bikes, jeeps, and dirk bikes. He will explain all his experience with dirt bikes and offroad vehicles which helps you to make a decision like which vehicle is right for you.