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New Yamaha NIKEN updates coming soon

Has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including most of the world’s biggest bike titles, as well as dabbling in car and technology journalism.



New Yamaha NIKEN updates coming soon | News | Bennetts


Yamaha’s NIKEN three-wheeler is by far the most ambitious mass-made take on the idea of a leaning three-wheeler and while it’s still a niche model Yamaha has unshakable belief in the concept.

As a result, a second-generation NIKEN powered by the uprated, Euro 5-certified engine from the 2021 MT-09 is believed to be on the way in the near future.

The NIKEN currently uses the 115PS (113.4hp) 847cc three-cylinder engine from the original MT-09, but since that motor only aligns with the outgoing Euro 4 emissions limits, the firm needs to update the bike if it’s to remain available in Europe. And with other countries including Japan increasingly aligned with Europe in terms of exhaust emissions, the pressure for an updated NIKEN is worldwide.

The simplest route to making the NIKEN comply will be to transplant the 2021 MT-09’s longer-stroke, cleaner-running triple into it. With a 3mm longer stroke at 62.1mm and the same 78mm bore as the old engine, the latest MT-09 has a capacity hike from 847cc to 889cc, with power rising to 119PS (117.4hp) in the process. Torque is higher, too, at 68.6lbft (up from 64.5lbft), which will be particularly useful on the relatively heavy NIKEN.

It’s not clear whether Yamaha will be able to simply swap the new MT-09 engine into the existing NIKEN chassis. The MT-09 and Tracer 9 that have gained the engine so far use a completely new frame, but the engine’s mounting points appear to be unchanged from the old 847cc unit, so it might be possible to transplant the Euro 5 motor into the existing NIKEN without major changes to the rest of the bike.

At the moment Yamaha hasn’t revealed anything official about the next-gen NIKEN, but given that Euro 5 emissions rules are in force across Europe from 1st January 2021 it’s unlikely to be a long wait before an announcement is made.


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