The Yamaha 2019 Niken channels the Olympics to deliver a new innovation to riding. In their marketing material, Yamaha draws a comparison between the Niken and a skier, and it’s not hard to see why. When you think of cornering at impressive speeds, skiing comes to mind, and with the Winter Olympics right around the corner, we’ll be seeing the best in the world demonstrating just how tight corners can be taken at extreme speeds.
So what’s the comparison between skiers and the Niken? The Niken has two front 15-inch wheels, a technology Yamaha has dubbed Leaning Multi-Wheeler (LMW). LMW is purported to reduce the effects of the environment while increasing stability, especially when cornering. The end goal is to make carving corners more possible and safe.
Cornering isn’t going to amount to much if you don’t have the engine to make those high-speed, tight turns. The Niken is powered by a 847cc liquid-cooled, DOHC, inline three cylinder with 12 valves. With a six speed transmission, the Niken is built on a double-tube, dual axis frame. It also features Yamaha’s ride-by-wire throttle system with adjustable throttle mapping, traction control, ABS, quick shifter, and cruise control.
You might not be hitting a giant slalom on the Niken, but from the looks of the bike, it might feel like you are when you’re out riding.