Yamaha has been seemingly reluctant to update its Niken three-wheeler with the latest 890cc CP3 inline-triple found in the new MT-09, Tracer 9 GT, and XSR900. That doesn’t mean Team Blue is putting the Niken in a corner, though. The firm still sees the tilting trike as a competitor in the market and plans to enter one as a competitor in the 2022 Italian Hill Climb Championship (CIVM) to prove that point.
Aside from the Niken’s tried-and-true 847cc variant of the CP3 powerplant, Yamaha’s Leaning Multi-Wheel (LMW) technology yields extra grip while at lean and under braking. The Niken’s doubled inverted forks, Ackermann dual-axle steering mechanism, cantilever suspension system, and 15-inch wheels help the three-wheeler achieve a 45-degree lean angle. Yamaha isn’t solely leaning on those sporty attributes, however.
Team Blue equipped the Niken with Genuine Yamaha Technology Racing (GYTR) parts and accessories to amplify its nimble nature and powerful performance. With the reverse trike ready to hit the hill, Luca Pedersoli already piloted the Niken at the Perugia round of the championship on June 12, 2022. Italian Supersport champion and four-time Italian Superbike vice-champion Luca Salvadori will get the next crack at the race-prepped Niken in the Spoleto round on July 17, 2022.
This isn’t the first time the Niken has participated in a hill climb event either. In 2021, veteran motorcycle journalist Mark Forsyth entered the three-wheeler in the solo and sidecar classes of the Barbon Hillclimb in Kirkby Lonsdale, England.
“I think Niken was a great choice today,” Forsyth admitted. “If I’d been 80 percent braver, I could have exploited the 80 percent more front grip... Absolutely the right bike for hill climbing, just need a younger pilot.”
Luckily, Pedersoli and Salvadori tick the box in that department and we can’t wait to see how the Niken ultimately performs in the 2022 Italian Hill Climb Championship.