Launched at the 2017 Tokyo International Motor show, the Japanese brand set the pace with this stunning three-wheeled machine called the Niken (probably formed by the diminution of ‘Ni’ which means ’two’ and ‘Ken’ which means ‘sword’ in Japanese). It is a three-wheeled motorcycle based on the hugely popular MT-09 platform that gets double the grip on the front and heightened ride stability for carving corners with minimal effort.

Being the most talked about bike ever since its launch, the Niken showcases a crazy new innovation called the Leaning Multi-Wheeler (LMW), and finally, the Japanese Blue Team has released fresh new information explaining the workings of the LMW. Just what we were waiting for.

Yamaha is stepping up their game with the production ready 2018 Niken. Exterior
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It leans like a normal motorcycle would
Yamaha is stepping up their game with the production ready 2018 Niken. Exterior
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The front gets 4 upside-down forks
that completely changes riding perspectives
Yamaha is stepping up their game with the production ready 2018 Niken. Exterior
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Yamaha is stepping up their game with the production ready 2018 Niken. Exterior
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Runs on the same 847cc engine of the MT-09
liquid-cooled, in-line, 3-cylinder

There is two-wheeler, and then there is three-wheeler. But Yamaha says that their new motorcycle or whatever the heck it is, is a Leaning Multi-Wheeler (LMW). A fancy marketing acronym for sure used first at the 2016 Tokyo Motor Show when the brand had put up the leaning three-wheel version of the Yamaha FZ-09 on display.

This 2018 Niken is crazy, even by Yamaha standards. There is no denying in that. The front end gets not one, not two but four upside-down forks, two on each side that completely changes riding perspectives for any rider throwing a leg over the Niken. Yamaha says that it has "excellent performance for spirited and sporty riding on various road surfaces".

We now know what ticks the Yamaha Niken. The LMW explained Screenshots / Gameplay
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We now know what ticks the Yamaha Niken. The LMW explained Screenshots / Gameplay
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We now know what ticks the Yamaha Niken. The LMW explained Screenshots / Gameplay
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We now know what ticks the Yamaha Niken. The LMW explained Screenshots / Gameplay
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Coming to the business end of this technology, LMW makes use of the Ackerman steering geometry that keeps the front end parallel to each other. A bespoke parallelogram link design is responsible for providing the rider with a natural and sporty feedback and keeping this in line with the tie rods is the job of the offset joints.

It will be responsible for giving the rider greater front-end grip and better confidence to take the winding roads with maximum stability intact. Thanks to its dual-tube upside-down forks architecture paired with dual 15-inch front wheels that leans just like a regular motorcycle would, similar to the Dual Tilting Wheels (DTW) of the Peugeot MP3 family of scooters.

We now know what ticks the Yamaha Niken. The LMW explained Screenshots / Gameplay
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We now know what ticks the Yamaha Niken. The LMW explained Screenshots / Gameplay
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We now know what ticks the Yamaha Niken. The LMW explained Screenshots / Gameplay
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We now know what ticks the Yamaha Niken. The LMW explained Screenshots / Gameplay
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Then there is the hybrid frame which has both carbon steel with low-wax casting and the Aluminum with gravity casting. This ensures the bike to have the perfect combination for a dynamic and stable ride without having to compromise on rigidity and flexibility.

Hopefully, we’ll get more than the static big-engined three-wheelers like the Can-Am Spyder or Harley-Davidson Freewheeler which don’t offer the same experience as two-wheeled motorcycling. Meanwhile, stay tuned with us for further updates.


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