Writing about bikes for 20 years. Published in dozens of titles on five continents. Mildly obsessed with discovering how things work.
More than a year ago we revealed that Yamaha was planning a new mid-sized ‘Leaning Multi Wheel’ (LMW). That was confirmed when the firm showed its 3CT Prototype at last year’s EICMA show. And now we have pictures of the final production version of that bike.
They’re not official shots but renders created to allow Yamaha to patent the styling, preventing it from being copied or used for toys without a licensing deal, but they still show every detail of the finished version of the bike.
What’s instantly apparent is that it’s incredibly close to the 3CT Prototype. Where the last LMW to appear, the Niken, was preceded by two concepts – the GEN01 and MWT9 – and changed considerably before reaching showrooms, the 3CT Prototype was clearly a near-production machine when it first appeared.
Visually, the changes are mainly practical ones. The production 3CT’s screen is much taller than the prototype’s, and helpfully clear rather than blacked-out. The bike also loses the show model’s glitzy LED strips, which ran through the seat, and the seat padding itself is simpler and more conventionally designed.
Elsewhere, the big changes are legally-required add-ons. The production bike gains indicators where the 3CT Prototype had blanking plates, and there are mirrors bolted to the bars. The licence plate hanger is also new, featuring rear indicators and mandated side reflectors.
Other than that, though, the bike is unchanged. Even details like the wheels and exhaust system are carried straight over from the 3CT Prototype.
Technically, all the powertrain parts come straight from the XMAX 300 scooter, including the 292cc ‘Blue Core’ engine, making around 28hp, and the rear suspension. At the front, the tilting trike steering and suspension is derived from the Tricity scooter rather than the beefier Niken’s layout.
The bike’s official launch in production form can’t be far away now, and as we revealed earlier this year Yamaha is already planning yet more Leaning Multi Wheel machines including a sportier model to position above the Niken in the range.