Rode a Niken

Dirt_Dad

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#1


Just a quick spin. Thing rides exactly like a motorcycle. 3-engine modes going from sleepy to peppy. I thought peppy did a nice job. Very smooth engine.

I guess the selling point is confidence in the corners. Almost never worry about gravel, sand, tar snakes, or wet in the corners. Can't say I really spend much time fretting over those things, but good features to have. It did soak up bumps quite well. Beyond that, not sure what it buys you.

It is a nice looking vehicle. Dirt mom had just finished saying something negative about the flat paint job on the new Teneres, when she looked at the Niken and thought it was really good looking in the flat blue paint. I have to agree, it did look pretty sharp in person.

Overall, I have no problem believing it would be a fun beast to ride on the streets. I suspect it would merit many of the same gas station conversations we had back when my wife had a Spyder. Which is a fun way to meet people.

I was not persuaded to plunk down any money, but it does seem nice enough to grab some sales. Good luck Niken.
 

Sierra1

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#2
It reminds me, in a way, of the GTS1000. Not visually, but the in the way that Yamaha can/will flex it's engineering muscle. It will likely never be a sales leader, but I don't think it was meant to be. I still think it's cool, and would love to test ride one. Hey, Dirt Dad, how was the steering weight? The GTS's was pretty heavy, until the speed picked up.
 

richarddacat

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#3
I think it’s pretty cool but wonder who was asking for one?
I also think Yamaha’s scooter market could have outdone what Aprilia did with the MP3 by using the T-Max scooter and this design, but again, how many want a heavy three wheeled scooter that gets poor mpg?
Well, I always liked the MP3 and think it would be neat to have one.
Anyway, seems over engineered, looks heavy and costly come tire changing time but I still would like to ride one. I like this design better than the Spyders or a rear wheel trike.
 

Squibb

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#4
Interesting as a project the Niken, but there it should have been parked IMHO - it's trying to answer a question no one had asked. Too complex & heavy; it won't stand up by itself...yet. No parking brake; wet weather protection poor apparently, with spray from front wheels.

Just 2 registered here in the UK after launch in 2018 - several more Yamaha demos on trade plates. Getting flogged hard around the various Bike Shows & events - plenty of test riders, but no buyers - I suspect the same in the US.

If only this design energy had been used to update our Super10 more promptly - we don't want to find we get another 900 Tracer derivative instead.
 

Dirt_Dad

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#5
Hey, Dirt Dad, how was the steering weight?
Didn't notice it a bit. If someone blindfolded you, put you on the bike, took off the blindfold and told you to ride, you would never know there was anything unusual about the ride. There was no getting used to it. Just rides like any other nice handling bike.

I like this design better than the Spyders or a rear wheel trike.
This thing is light years away from the Spyder. We had one for about a year. It drives nothing like a bike. Took me around 1000 miles to figure out how to ride it aggressively. It can be done, and it can be fun. But the enjoyment wears off immediately. Ask me the next day if I want to ride the Spyder and the initial reaction is, yuk...not really. Get on it again and you go, oh yeah, this thing can be fun...I forgot. Couple that with the insanely unreliable nature and I don't miss it at all.

Definitely don't miss pulling into the hotel to fire up the Spyder forum to try to figure out what's going wrong now, or where is the nearest dealer. Once took it to a dealer service shop and the tech told me how fortunate I was for getting the manual transmission. With a sweeping motion of his hand he said see all those Spyders over there...they are all here for transmission problems. I really don't miss that thing.

The Niken is a Yamaha. Never worry about reliability with it. The biggest downside to the Niken vs the Spyder...forget to put down the kickstand the and Niken hits the ground. Spyder doesn't have a kickstand.
 

bimota

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#8
It reminds me, in a way, of the GTS1000. Not visually, but the in the way that Yamaha can/will flex it's engineering muscle. It will likely never be a sales leader, but I don't think it was meant to be. I still think it's cool, and would love to test ride one. Hey, Dirt Dad, how was the steering weight? The GTS's was pretty heavy, until the speed picked up.
on my 3rd gts 1000 love them.
 

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Sierra1

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#9
….The Niken is a Yamaha. Never worry about reliability with it....
Yeah, reliability never crossed my mind, just the possible weight issue. Surprised to hear about the Can Am reliability. Do their UTV/ATVs have the same issues?
 

Dirt_Dad

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#10
Yeah, reliability never crossed my mind, just the possible weight issue. Surprised to hear about the Can Am reliability. Do their UTV/ATVs have the same issues?
I can't answer that one. But I can definitely say the Spyder was the most unreliable vehicle I have ever owned in my life...and I once had a Chrysler Concord (POS). That some stiff competition.
 
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#11
I took my ST to the first 1000 km service to the dealer today and they gave me Niken to testride while they were at my bike. Well, what an interestng experience. For me it is a bike of contradictions. Its front end and rear end feel so different. The front suspension is extra smooth, while still very accurate in steering. The rear suspension is hard and you feel all, even the smallest pumps on the road. The wind protection on this particular bike was nonexistent, above 60 km/h my chest was full of wind and 100 km/h felt pretty awfull, I would not imagine doing any longer motorway rides on it, fighting the air resistance would take all your strength. In the citiy, in the other hand, it is a marvelous bike to ride. Easy steering and fast revving engine, the dynamic mode (in this bike mode it turns out 1 is the most dynamic and 3 is sort of touring mode) is especially fun to ride. When I first got it, I thought the 3 is the max power mode, so I rode it on that and thought it had pretty adequate torque. Then later, when I came into the city traffic and thought I would switch on more modest power delivery, i.e. mode 1, then, bloody hell, suddenly it was such a rocket, I was close to hit the car in the front ... By the way, the mirrors are terrible, there's a big blind spot behind you on both sides, so you need to do a lot of head turning when switching the lanes. All in all, pretty interesting piece of engineering. If they adjust the rear shock to be more in balance with the front forks and add decent windscreen, this may well be very rideable animal.

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EricV

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#15
I suspect this will be one of those vehicles that ends up with a cult following. It's an answer to a question no one asked, but it's a well answered question. Triple engine does well. Rides just like a bike a speed.

On the down side, 15" tires that are sort of an odd size. Twice as many fork seals to worry about, three tires to replace when due. More of several things when service is due. Got to love pulling the front wheels w/o any caliper removal. Rear is still normal double sided swing arm For this bike, it would have been interesting to go GTS and have a single sided swing arm on the back too.

I was looking closely at it last weekend but opted not to take it out for a demo ride. I should have, knowing a couple of the demo ride leaders.
 

scott123007

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#16
Fun putting one of the front wheels in a pothole and not even feel it! Lots of power.
Well, that's part of the problem, you DO feel it! What happens, is subconsciously, you're thinking your front wheel is in directly in front of you, because you are on a motorcycle, so when you swerve to go around a pothole, you actually end up hitting it with one of the front tires! LOL.
It would be nice if the other wheel muted the feeling, but it's no different than a car in that respect.
 

Dirt_Dad

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#17
I didn't try a pothole, but seems like it would have to be a big enough one to get both front wheels. Based on my extremely limited ride, the thing was shockingly good at absorbing anything I did hit.

Wheel placement is a skill all Spyder riders have to learn very early. The question inevitably comes up...what do you do about road-kill? It's not as easy an answer as you might initially think.
 
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