Yamaha Niken comes to life thanks to new technologies developed in the steering world which allows this prototype to be made and will be sold markets worldwide soon
Yamaha has unveiled the NIKEN*1 road-going sport LMW*2 comes equipped with an 847cc liquid-cooled in-line 3-cylinder engine, the NIKEN is scheduled for market release in 2018.
The NIKEN is equipped with LMW technology to reduce the effects of changes in the ride environment and inspire front-end confidence when turning, and achieves sporty performance for navigating various changing road surfaces or carving through continuous tight corners on winding roads.
Thanks to the introduction of a new steering mechanism and other technologies that enhance the base performance of the LMW platform, this model features exciting performance underpinned by the front-end confidence unique to an LMW, a character resulting in little fatigue and riding ease for the user, cutting-edge styling and more. The NIKEN is the third Yamaha Motor LMW model following the TRICITY 125 released in 2014 and the TRICITY 155 launched in 2017, and is intended to promote the company’s strategy of a “growing world of personal mobility.”
1 Yamaha Niken: The product name was coined based on the Japanese words for two (ni) and sword (ken) for “two swords.” The front two wheels are like swords that will carve the way to a new world of riding enjoyment.
2 Leaning Multi-Wheel (LMW): A registered Yamaha Motor trademark (Japan Patent Office Trademark #5646157) for vehicles with three or more wheels that can lean through corners like a motorcycle.
New steering mechanism producing natural handling
In order to achieve a new level of sporty handling and front-end confidence, a new steering mechanism representing an evolution of Yamaha’s LMW technology (proven on the TRICITY) was adopted for theYamaha Niken. The NIKEN’s “LMW Ackermann steering geometry”* provides a more natural steering feel and lean characteristics while also reducing tire wear.
Furthermore, high performance has also been achieved through a fine-tuned balance of factors like the dual-axle steering mechanism, the 45-degree lean angle, the outside-mounted cantilevered front forks (dual-tube, upside-down type), and the 410 mm track.
“LMW technology” refers to a suspension and steering layout using a parallelogram link that contributes to achieving both nimbleness and front-end confidence.
*LMW Ackerman steering geometry: A Yamaha Motor exclusive steering linkage design using the knuckle-end and lean axle as independent systems optimized for mutual balance.
Hybrid frame for spirited riding and dimensions for excellent handling
Excellent handling has been achieved with the adoption of a hybrid frame, which uses a range of construction methods and materials carefully selected according to the strength, rigidity, and flexibility requirements in each area. The swingarm is made up of a combination of cast aluminum and panel welds to create an excellent balance of rigidity and strength.
Attention to detail was also paid to optimizing the design dimensions, from the wheelbase to swingarm length. The swingarm is 552 mm long (15 mm longer than the MT-09), and its balance with regard to the pivot point was a point of focus, helping to optimize the position of the swing arm relative to the ground during acceleration and deceleration, thus contributing to a greater feeling of stability when turning.
Specially developed LMW-specific 15-inch V-rated front tires
The front uses 120/70R15 V-rated tires specifically designed for LMWs in order to deliver the same handling and performance as a sports bike. Through joint development with the tire manufacturer, these tires feature excellent grip, wear resistance and wet-weather performance.
Dynamic styling showcasing the new mechanisms
The styling is based on the concept of a “New Type of Agility and Controllability.” Taking advantage of the twin 15-inch wheels and cantilevered dual-tube suspension forks, the styling evokes the excitement the ride delivers.
The body design is characterized by the strong impression of the front end firmly gripping the road and the suspension offering excellent tire grip and damping ability, leading to a very planted-looking front suspension assembly. Also, the body has a toned and athletic look to show the power and torque produced by the engine being converted into drive force.
The design of the standout front face has both aerodynamic efficiency and the light look and feel of a floating-mount part. Combined with the twin headlights that appear to glare at the road ahead and the dual position lights indicating the track, the result is sporty, yet functional look for the front face.
The Yamaha Niken color scheme uses a dark gray metallic base color with a high-quality feel together with the blue symbolic of the Yamaha racing spirit for the outer fork tubes and the wheels to denote this as an LMW for sporty riding.
Engine with optimized crank moment of inertia and fuel injection settings for riding ease:
The Yamaha Niken features a lightweight 847cc liquid-cooled 4-stroke, in-line 3-cylinder fuel-injected (with YCC-T) engine. Based on the latest MT-09 engine, the moment of inertia for the crank was optimized (18% increase compared to the MT-09) and the fuel injection settings tuned to create sporty yet easy-to-ride performance.
The Yamaha Niken comes equipped with several welcome features for touring, including a Traction Control System (TCS) to facilitate smooth starts and help maintain rear-end grip, an A&S clutch for lighter clutch lever operation and milder chassis behavior during shifts, a Quick Shift System (QSS) for fast upshifts, the Yamaha D-Mode system for selectable riding modes, and a cruise control system.