Yamaha spent the week at the Tokyo Motor Show airing out a few truly ridiculous reference designs, but none were more outrageous than the Niken three-wheel bike. Tricycles aren’t new, and this isn’t even the 1st leaning trike. but it’s the 1st idea like this to come from a major bike company like Yamaha.
Being a reference design, there aren’t really any specs to talk of. Yamaha says that this “Leaning Multi-Wheeler” uses a liquid-cooled 3-cylinder engine and 15-inch wheels, but that’s about it.
Really, it’s all about seeing this thing in action. The video Yamaha released starts off with an actor pretending to ski down a road before doing the same action on the concept bike. (Well, technically, it begins with an actor swinging swords around while tapping touchscreen displays, but I digress.) The implication here is that the dual front wheels (and their discrete tubes and forks) would allow you to slalom down a winding mountain road more confidently and, hopefully, decrease the chance of eating it.
Whether or not Yamaha plans to bring the concept to a retailer close to you isn’t clear; the company is supposed to announce more details regarding the project at the Milan motorbike Show in Nov. but Yamaha definitely seems to believe the power of 3 wheels, because it declared an electric scooter concept (called “Tritown”) that uses the Leaning Multi-Wheel technology at the show as well.