Any time a motorcycle company comes out with a three-wheeled vehicle, it’s a bit of a surprise. Yamaha debuted the NIKEN at last year’s EICMA show in Milan and did just that. Even among three-wheelers it’s decidedly non-conventional, with four fork tubes connecting to two 15-inch wheels that pivot to lean through turns. The engine is the 847cc MT-09 triple that we’ve come to know and love, while much of the switchgear and electronics (like the cruise control) seem to be lifted from the MT-10—also the 190-section rear tire. The frame is a steel-tube unit, and different from any other bike in Yamaha’s lineup, as you might expect.
This is the first time we’ve gotten close enough to the Niken to sit on it and play with the mechanics of the front end, so we thought we would take a camera along on our first look.