The Yamaha Niken is one of the most out-there bikes of the last few years. People react to it in very different ways. We wanted to know how Mossy, one of the UK’s top road testers would feel about it, so we asked him to do a long-term test on one.
I might not be able to look into the future, but I predict my time with Yamaha’s Niken is going to be emotional. The majority of feelings are likely to be very positive as I’m a huge fan of the bike. But if my experience so far is anything to go by, there’ll be some negative emotions to endure too – because many bikers aren’t fans of the Niken! We’ll come to what annoys me in due course. In the meantime, let’s begin with some optimism.
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Contentment was very much in evidence when I first collected the Niken from Yamaha. I have plenty of very fond memories from my 800-mile UK test on one last year and expected to rekindle some of those recollections. With zero miles on the clock it was my job to run it in, and introduce it to the world.
Not being able to rev the three-cylinder motor very high didn’t prove much of a problem. It makes more than enough usable lower end power and torque to happily short-shift and maintain less heady engine speeds. Given the Niken’s amazing front-end grip I’d be able to use more of the chassis performance to compensate anyway. Or that’s what I thought.