Test and previews Wed 01 August 2018

Yamaha Niken

The first on-the-spot impressions of our tester, Luca Sauro, directly from Bormio (SO), Italy, where he tested the new Yamaha Niken.

Safe fun; I think these words well define Niken, the bike Yamaha vigorously pursued to change the way of being a motorcycle.
I tested it on the hairpin bends of Bormio, cornering at high speed from the start.
As soon as I got on the bike, I felt comfortable; even if visually bulky its dimensions are smaller than the Tracer’s, the engine and structure of which are at the base of this project.
It leaned nimbly, the front didn’t move on slippery ground or if it hit a pothole. On tight bends, it handled very well and even if you are distracted while riding it hugs the road.
Electrically-assisted transmission over 4000 rpm, it grants fun if rode spunkily.
The test route also included a short off-road track where the bike transmitted a sense of extreme solidity and you can push it even on street tires.

Weights are well balanced for a good riding comfort. At first braking didn’t seem that great if one is looking for the limit and fast bends must be taken on with a bit of experience, but one only needs to get the hang of it.
During these months waiting for it to reach the market, skepticism and criticism surrounded it, but after you ride it once, you change your mind seeing it with different eyes and appreciating how it handles.
Is it the future? The market will tell!

Text L.C.

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