With the NIKEN, Yamaha opens up the possibility of a whole new era in motorcycling, a riding revolution - oﬀering a sensation that is unique. Imagine the ability to carve through winding roads with unmatched conﬁdence...a new feeling that could be compared to the thrilling experience when carving turns with skis.
This revolutionary new kind of motorcycle feels, handles and looks like nothing else. At the same time as being diﬀerent to a motorcycle, the NIKEN's handling characteristics are also reassuringly familiar to riders.
The advanced Yamaha-exclusive technology used in the double leaning front wheel layout oﬀers high levels of traction - making it a strong performer in corners and giving the NIKEN rider the ability to carve through winding roads with unmatched conﬁdence. And two front wheels means there are two front tyres and two sets of front brakes, so the levels of traction and braking are also like nothing else on the road!
Another feature that reinforces the NIKEN's premium look and feel is the black background of its LCD instrument display, which clearly displays all key information to the rider and gives excellent visibility, day or night.
The NIKEN's rear suspension oﬀers full adjustability for preload, compression and rebound damping, enabling the rider to set it up to suit varying conditions, and for convenience the preload can be set without the need for tools.
With the high levels of grip and greater feelings of stability provided by two front wheels, the NIKEN has been developed to be an expert corner carver, capable of delivering a thrilling ride on winding roads. The double 15-inch front wheels are ﬁtted with 120/70R15 V range tyres that have been specially developed for the unique requirements of this leaning multi wheel vehicle. Oﬀering high levels of grip, abrasion resistance and wet-weather capability, they contribute towards the NIKEN's outstanding corner-carving performance.
In order to achieve sport bike handling capabilities, the NIKEN's maximum lean angle extends to 45 degrees, and this has been made possible by the use of the Ackermann dual axle steering mechanism, together with a cantilevered suspension system mounted to the outside of the wheels. The double "external" upside-down front forks are equipped with rebound and compression damping adjusters that enable the rider to dial in their ideal suspension set up, and the relatively narrow 410mm track contributes towards the NIKEN's natural steering feel - as well as keeping overall width to a minimum.
The sporty front face features lightweight dual LED headlights housed in a downward curving aerodynamic cowl that looks like nothing else on the street, and the dual position lights serve to emphasise the strong and planted look of the double front wheels. The broad nose cowl and sport screen give the NIKEN rider good protection from the elements, and together with the natural riding position, this advanced LMW is ready for everything from thrilling corner carving through to sport touring over the weekend. YZF-R1 derived mirrors feature integrated LED turn signals, and are designed to give a clear rear view even when the riding position changes. In contrast to the broad-shouldered front end, the slim and upswept tail and separate license plate holder convey a feeling of agility, underlining the NIKEN's revolutionary style.
The NIKEN is designed to master a wide range of riding situations, and so in order to achieve high levels of straight-line stability together with sporty cornering performance, a new kind of hybrid frame has been especially developed. The head pipe area is manufactured from cast steel, while the swingarm pivot area is cast aluminium, and the main frame connecting these two assemblies is made from steel tube. By delivering the required levels of strength, rigidity and ﬂexibility precisely where they are needed, this hybrid design enhances the planted and natural feel of the leaning double wheel front end, and ensures sport bike agility together with excellent handling performance.
The NIKEN's muscular and athletic body design clearly shows that this innovative new 3-wheel Yamaha is designed for energetic riding. The twin front wheels form the focal point from which the futuristic cowl and integrated fuel tank ﬂow, giving a unique mass forward look that emphasises NIKEN's bold and unique profile. Yamaha's designers have sought to highlight the distinctive technology used in the LMW system, and rather than being hidden away, the structure and workings of the Yamaha-exclusive mechanisms are there for all to see. From the rider's viewpoint the NIKEN has a rugged wide-shouldered appearance that contrasts with the slim fuel tank, giving a unique riding style unlike any other motorcycle. The upward curving main seat features a wide, flat design with excellent rear support that gives high levels of comfort.
The 847cc 3-cylinder engine that drives the new NIKEN has been specially developed from the outstandingly successful powerplant used in the best selling MT-09, as well as the Tracer 900 and XSR900. To suit the unique requirements of the NIKEN, this torque-rich crossplane philosophy engine is equipped with special fuel injection settings that are designed to enhance this radical new motorcycle's performance in the environment that it loves: twisty mountain roads. There's also a newly designed crank that gives excellent drivability and smoother starts. NIKEN riders also beneﬁt from the latest electronic control technology including YCC-T, D-MODE, Cruise Control and a Traction Control System, as well as an A&S clutch and Quick Shift System that gives a high degree of controllability and fun riding in varying riding conditions.
The premium quality and high overall speciﬁcation of the NIKEN is underlined by the use of a beautifully sculpted aluminium fuel tank that has been created using the same advanced production technology as the YZF-R1 and YZF-R6. Featuring a smooth, ﬂowing design that blends seamlessly with the wide shouldered front cowl, this lightweight fuel tank design features concave surfaces that give a ﬁrm knee grip area and allow the rider to move freely. With a capacity of 18 litres, this high quality light aluminium tank gives a range in excess of 300 km, offering the NIKEN rider the ability to cover rather large distances with minimal fuel stops.
The NIKEN's unique LWM 3 wheel layout introduces another dimension compared to a conventional motorcycle, and in order to optimise the NIKEN's handling performance, a 552mm long aluminium swingarm is used. This is 15mm longer than the MT-09 design, and the increased length helps to give a strong feeling of stability when cornering. Another key design element is the riding position, and compared to the MT-09 the NIKEN rider sits around 50mm further towards the rear. This seating position gives an idealised 50:50 front-rear weight distribution with the rider on board - giving a natural handling and steering feel.