Among the bikes announced at Yamaha's live premiere ahead of the 2018 EICMA is a different take on the three-wheeled Niken. The Niken GT, whose existence we predicted last week, uses the same fundamental design as the original Niken but adds hard bags and other accessories to turn it into more of a sport tourer that you could put some serious miles on.
The most obvious addition to the bike is a pair of 25-liter locking removable hard bags, enabling you to take a few days worth of cargo on the road with you. The cargo carrier also features an integrated passenger handrail, and a second 12-volt outlet lets a passenger plug in a phone or heated gear. Unlike the standard Niken, the GT has a center stand to make it easier to load cargo. A taller windscreen keeps more of the wind off the rider, making long days in the saddle easier. Speaking of the saddle, the Niken GT has a new seat optimized for comfort, and heated grips will keep your hands warm when the weather cools off.
The Niken GT uses the same running gear as the standard model, with no changes to its 847cc triple or the unusual front end with two wheels. It's more expensive than the standard Niken, priced at $17,299 rather than $15,999, but the additional features seem to be well worth it. You could expect to pay at least as much in the aftermarket, if not more, to upgrade a standard Niken to the GT's specs, so if long distance sport touring is your thing, it's well worth it to pony up for the GT.
This is an interesting direction for Yamaha to take the Niken GT. While Yamaha positioned the standard Niken as a sort of sport bike, the modifications to the GT turn it into a true sport touring bike. Some older riders seem to prefer three wheels, as evidenced by the proliferation of the CanAm Spyder, as well as Harley-Davidson and Honda Goldwing trikes amongst the demographic. The main difference is that the Niken still leans in the turns like a two-wheeled motorcycle. This may appeal more to veteran riders who want the security of three wheels but still want to drag a knee, or who don't want to learn different techniques to handle a bike that doesn't lean.
Gallery: 2019 Yamaha Niken GT
Yamaha Introduces New 2019 NIKEN GT Leaning Multi-Wheel Motorcycle
Company’s Sport Touring Lineup Expands for the Roads of Life
Cypress, CA – November 5, 2018 – Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA (YMUS), today introduced the NIKEN GT Leaning Multi-Wheel (LMW) motorcycle as a more touring-focused version of the previously released NIKEN. Featuring a pair of locking quick-release 25-liter ABS side cases, a wider and taller touring windscreen, comfort seat, heated grips and more, the new NIKEN GT offers riders the pleasure of cornering confidence combined with comfort and convenience for longer rides.
More options for the Roads of Life
Yamaha has always been committed to creating innovative and exciting designs that offer riders the best choice for their needs. Whether riding solo for the commute to work or spending weeks crossing the continent with a passenger and luggage, Yamaha’s Sport Touring motorcycles provide a world of opportunity to make memories that will last a lifetime. Combining outstanding sport performance, all-around versatility and serious long-distance ability, Yamaha’s Sport Touring lineup is designed to appeal to a wide range of riders who are looking to enjoy the many new experiences, places, and people that they will discover when traveling the Roads of Life.
NIKEN: Ultimate corner carving experience
The introduction of the radical NIKEN LMW motorcycle brought a whole new riding experience to the motorcycle world. Equipped with innovative Leaning Multi-Wheel technology and dual-tube upside down forks, the NIKEN is built to deliver the most amazing corner carving experience together with higher rider confidence in all conditions.
With a larger contact patch between the tires and the road surface, the two leaning front wheels give increased levels of front-end grip that is particularly noticeable during cornering and braking. It is this unique and dynamic characteristic of the NIKEN that makes it feel and handle like no other motorcycle. With its proven ability to deliver the most exciting corner carving experience, this unique motorcycle is introducing a new era in Sport Touring design.
New NIKEN GT: Turns have no seasons
The NIKEN's Leaning Multi-Wheel concept is designed to master adverse conditions, making it ideally suited to all-weather, four-season riding on the most challenging mountain roads. Fitted with a range of specialized equipment, the new NIKEN GT brings added functionality to the LMW concept by offering increased long-distance touring capabilities together with elevated levels of rider and passenger comfort.
The NIKEN GT's wider and taller touring windscreen gives greater upper body protection from the wind and weather, and the specially designed comfort seat enhances the sport touring experience for both the rider and passenger. Premium quality quick-release 25-liter ABS side cases are light, compact, lockable, and easy to handle. For added convenience, the rear of the carrier base features integrated passenger grips.
Heated grips ensure riding comfort in all weather conditions, while the all-LCD instrument display keeps the rider informed of the warmth level. There's also an extra 12-volt outlet to power or charge various electronic devices. The NIKEN GT model also comes fitted with a centerstand that facilitates convenient parking, chain maintenance, and tire inspections on longer trips.
With its innovative LMW design and radically styled bodywork, the NIKEN GT is always going to be the center of attention wherever it travels.
NIKEN GT Exclusive Features
All-weather four-season long-distance Sport Tourer
Lockable, quick-release 25-liter ABS side cases
Rear carrier base with passenger grip
Second 12-volt DC outlet
NIKEN GT and NIKEN Key Features
Radical and bold Leaning Multi-Wheel design is most advanced and unique in the Sport Touring class
Unrivaled corner carving experience
Front end grip provides confidence for less stress and more fun
Deep lean angle, maximum 45 degrees
Ackerman steering, double upside down front forks
Fully adjustable rear suspension
847cc, 3-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DOHC CP3 engine
TCS, QSS, A&S clutch, D-MODE, Cruise Control
Hybrid steel and aluminum frame
The NIKEN GT will only be available through Yamaha’s online reservation system, and customers who reserve online will receive their motorcycles from authorized Yamaha dealers for the suggested retail price of $17,299 beginning in March 2019.
Featuring a Matte Phantom Blue color scheme, the 2019 NIKEN GT will have limited availability. Yamaha encourages interested customers to visit their online reservation website soon for first come, first served reservation confirmation and delivery.
To reserve online, visit https://www.yamahamotorsports.com/sport-touring/campaign/nikengtreservation.