The Brain Bucket

The 2018 Yamaha Niken Three-Wheeler Might Have Missed the Mark

Mar 25, 2018 6:00:00 PM / by Cam

A Look to the Future with the Yamaha Niken Three-Wheeler

We’d like to think that Yamaha is a pretty well-known brand. You might not even be a rider that is necessarily enthusiastic about the bikes that they create, but you don’t have to be a huge fan to have respect for the history of Yamaha. 

They’re an established brand that graces the motorcycle industry with some pretty great bikes, and they can usually distinctly be recognized as a Yamaha. And when a brand can achieve that-like Harley and Indian-it’s a brand worth considering. There ton's of future looking bikes, like this BMW, but sometimes striving to come across as "futuristic" looks too forced. This is likely the case with the Niken. 


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Well, it seems that Yamaha took the whole "standing out" thing really, really seriously. Because this trike that they’ve created stands out very profoundly, but we’re not exactly sure if it’s for all the right reasons. We’re all about innovation when it comes to perfecting motorcycles and what they can offer. Remember this: Yamaha gets freaky for Tokyo Motor Show? It's happening again. I'm all for creativity, but, honestly, I'm not really sure if I'm all for this.

Take a look at the 2018 Yamaha Niken three-wheeler:

Is it just us, or does this ride resemble a bug? I start to get a little uncomfortable looking at it, which is some weird psychologically that’s hard to wrap my mind around. But to make matters simple, I’m not a fan, and it looks like many other riders aren’t either. It has two, 15-inch front wheels that are supported by two forks. This is supposed to help it take corners with ease, and while we’re sure that it does that efficiently, it just doesn’t look visually appealing.

A ride can be an absolute monster regarding how it functions, but that can’t be the only positive to it. It has to ride in style, too, and we think this style might be a bit too much of a ‘niche’ look to cater to the masses.

While some people may confuse this for a scooter of some kind (a really, really interesting scooter), it isn’t one. You sit on this ride like every other motorcycle, and it actually has power. It’s equipped with an 847cc triple with six-speed transmission. So we don’t doubt that this is a fun ride, but we’re not sure it’s something we’d be excited for people to see us on. It just appears as though it’s trying too hard in its appearance, and we appreciate a little more simplicity.

Video source: Bike World


It has 45 degrees of a lean angle, so handling those curves of the road is not an issue that the Niken will struggle with. If anything, it’s the positive and selling point of this machine. But that can’t be the only reason that this ride pulls eyes towards it, so we’re not sure how it’s going to do in the market. It has traction control, ABS, and cruise control. That means it could have been a touring option, but it doesn’t have the necessary baggage to insert itself into that area.

Yamaha seems to want to spin it off as something sporty, and while it has some of that typical appearance, it just looks too cluttered to be sporty.  At the end of the day, it seems to be really confused with itself. Where exactly does it belong? We’ll just have to wait and see how the industry reacts to this creation.


Comment down below and how you feel about the Yamaha Niken. Interested, or does it fall flat?


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Topics: Articles, Motorcycles


Written by Cam

I'm new to riding, and I'm here to tell everyone about it! Follow my articles on advice for new motorcycle riders and overviews of some of the most popular motorcycles on the road.