Yamaha will this year launch its Niken leaning three-wheeler motorcycle based on the MT-09 and follow up with a learner model to complement their Tricity scooter.
CEO and President Yoshihiro Hidaka has confirmed they will add more “leaning multi-wheel” models soon. Interestingly, he didn’t specify just three wheels as Yamaha has also produced four-wheel concepts, concept cars and engines for car manufacturers.
There is no word yet on when the Niken will be available but it will be sometime this year. The smaller model will probably be unveiled in November at the EICMA show in Milan where the Niken was unveiled last year.
The Niken is powered by the 847cc three-cylinder engine from the MT-09. No further details are available yet.
In his Powerpoint presentation this week, Yoshi showed a slide with the 2014 Trinity and the coming Niken and in between was a blurred image.
Many believe the coming middle model will be powered by either the 250cc engine from the MT-25 or the 321cc from the MT-03 and YZF-R3. Both would fit the learner-approved motorcycle scheme in Australia and novice licences in Europe.
We’ve tested the Tricity and several other leaning three-wheeler scooters and found they provide the feel of a leaning motorcycle with the added safety of extra road grip on the front.
Some also provide the ability to stop without having to put your foot down to prevent the machine falling over.
Yamaha considers them appealing to novice riders, adventure riders who want more off-road security and ageing riders who can no longer support big bikes.
Yamaha on three wheels
Yamaha began developing its leaning suspension technology with the Tesseract four-wheeler concept in 2007.
They have since unveiled the OR2T four-wheel motorcycle prototype, MWT-9 three-wheeled concept and last year there was the Niken concept.
Late last year, Yamaha bought the patents from Norwegian company Brudeli Tech Holding which produces the Brudeli 654L and 625L.
Brudeli Tech Holding began working on its leaning machines in 2001 and unveiled their first at EICMA in Milan in 2005.
Company owner Geir Brudeli said it was “an incredible honour that Yamaha has decided to buy the technology we have developed here in Norway”.
“With knowledge of the competence, knowledge and passion of Yamaha, it will be exciting to see their future products.”
Would you buy one of these for a novice, adventure riding or when you get too old to support a two-wheeler? Leave your comments below.