Yamaha Motor Company’s Leaning Multi Wheel (LMW) technology will now be featured on a true sport bike. Till now, LMW, which leans the two front wheels with the body, was available only on the 125cc and 155cc Tricity scooter.
At this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, Yamaha showcased its NIKEN, a Leaning Multi-Wheeler equipped with an 850cc three-cylinder engine along with two wheels at the front and one at the back. The name ‘NIKEN’ evolved from the words ‘NI’ (two) and ‘KEN’ (swords) to describe the dynamic performance of its two front wheels.
In defining the safety of this technology, Kazuhisa Takano, Group Project Leader of Yamaha Motor’s LMW Development Division, said “The stableness of its body provides riders with the sense of security to ride freely in all situations.”
Also, it most certainly offers sport-riding enjoyment. That’s because before joining the LMW Development Division, Takano was in charge of developing racing machines for the MotoGP and Dakar Rally.
“The NIKEN can withstand cross winds and all kinds of surfaces, and if one side was to slip, the other wheel would help maintain balance. It offers the pleasure of exceptional cornering on a large motorbike, which can only be realized through two front wheels,” said Takano.
The NIKEN is the result of Takano’s pursuit of greater stability based on his years of developing the world’s top racing bikes. The Tricity, released in 2014, surprised many with its cornering capability, and riders can now enjoy this along with the stability it provides on much larger sport bikes.
The NIKEN is scheduled for release to developed markets in 2018.
Written by Takao Aoki
(Translated by Masayuki Shikata)