Yamaha exec says more leaning multi-wheeled vehicles coming

The haters were all over the Yamaha Niken. Like it or not, it's likely a sign of the future.

Are they the future of motorcycling? Are they the enemy? Either way, it seems more leaning multi-wheeled vehicles are on the way, according to a Yamaha exec.

Yamaha brought one of the most controversial machines the show circuit has seen in years when it debuted the Niken leaning three-wheeler at the Tokyo Motor Show last fall, then later announced it was headed to production.

Reaction was mixed, to say the least. Some motorheads loved the idea of a three-wheeler that was designed to go around corners fast, with up-to-date engine and advanced safety electronics as well. Other motorcycle enthusiasts decried the idea of a three-wheeled vehicle ever being as good as “the real thing”—that is to say, a two-wheeled motorbike.

In a speech giving the company’s financials, Yamaha CEO/President Yoshihiro Hidaka mentioned the Niken, then said the company plans to bring more leaning multi-wheeled vehicles to market. That doesn’t necessarily mean leaning three-wheelers like the Niken, as four-wheeled prototypes sometimes appear on the show circuit as well. You can see the clip of Hidaka talking about the multi-wheelers here. He gives no other details; he just says Yamaha is working on more. Does that mean a parallel twin version might come soon, based on the MT-07? Or a four-cylinder version? Stay tuned.


  1. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! I have been lucky enough to ride the Niken, albeit on a closed course, but the front end grip and confidence that it gives the rider is truly incredible. I hope that the “purists” keep an open mind and understand that Niken (Two swords – a cool reflection on the twin fork set up) does not replace the two wheeler, but merely adds to the choice arsenal.

  2. I will ride before I decide. I know that gravel in corners is an ever present danger when riding hard on the BC backroads. I often do a 2 way sighting run on good sections before I start to really push it. I can see this adding a significant safety factor to avoid front end washouts. If it rides naturally like a 2 wheeler then I don’t care how wierd it looks. Function over form. Choice is good, anything to get more people out riding. And yes, I still wave at Can-Ams and Harley trikes, even if most HD riders are too superior to wave back anymore. Not sure when or why that happened. The arrogance that comes with being the slowest bikes on the road I guess. LOL Cam

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