2018 Yamaha Niken trike is weird

New Yamaha Nike 2018 front

Why do you need three wheels if it isn’t going to stay upright without a stand? Ask Yamaha and they will tell you it is to “reduce the effects of changing ride environments and to deliver a high feeling of stability when cornering”.  They even have a production example to prove this.

The Yamaha Niken moto-trike has been revealed at the ongoing Tokyo Motor Show. It is based on the MWT-9 leaning trike concept and admittedly, is a great experiment and something we’ve never seen before. However, that doen’t make it any less weird.

 Is it better than a motorcycle? No. Is it better than a standard trike? Yes but just barely.

More from Tokyo:

Kawasaki Z900RS revealed

US-bound Kawasaki Ninja 400 revealed


Price Not revealed
Release date 2018
Engine 900cc
Debut Tokyo Motor Show 2018


Yamaha Niken design and specs

2018 Yamaha Niken USA

Yamaha Niken, from its rear and rear-qaurters, looks similar to motorcycles in the Japanese manufacturer’s portfolio. However, it’s a completely different story at the front.  The bike gets a visually striking and wide front fascia with two wheels and four inverted forks. Its unlikely that the gap between the tires will go unnoticed either.

What Yamaha’s design team has done is make a trike which is closer to a motorcycle than a car. One of the more ergonomic features of a trike is that it can stand on its own, which is missing on the Niken. However, what it has has gained, arguably, is more important- Cornering ability.

The Yamaha Niken will be safer than most motorcycles due to better traction provided by its two tires. The front suspension set-up should make it a capable tourer and it could effectively negate impact of uneven roads and other problems associated with standard motorcycling.

Power for the trike comes from a 900cc, in-line 3-cylinder DOHC engine with liquid cooling and fuel injection. This is the same mill doing duty on the MT-09 but that’s all we know at the moment.

Yamaha Niken price, release date, target customers

Sales of the Yamaha Niken will be concentrated in markets where trikes are popular, which include USA and Europe. Prices have not been revealed yet.

Being a three-wheeler that can lean on the corners, the Yamaha Niken could gain the fancy of many trike enthusiasts. Trikes are usually perceived as being safer than motorcycles and thus, such an experiment is probably what the typically motorcycle-averse US population needs.

It will begin to reach dealerships next year.

Yamaha Niken rear

Stay tuned

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