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isthatahemi

New Niken GT owner here!

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I stumbled upon this forum looking for how to do the muffler mod, but more on that later.

I am a sport bike rider 20 or so years ago, having since then owned half a dozen snowmobiles, 3 quads, a Can Am Spyder RS-S, and currently a 12 second nitrous assisted 2016 "sleeper" F150. I used to ride a Ninja 600R, and found that as an aggressive rider, there is not recourse if you are pushing a 2 wheeled machine and front end grip is lost.

 

So I moved away from bikes for 17 years, got into hot rodding trucks. 3 years ago I bought a Spyder and my wife and I started searching out twisty roads, what a blast, a thumping V-Twin pounding through an FMF pipe. Finally a platform that could be pushed without risking much! Low cornering limits and a VSC system that was over-intrusive which we partially bypassed, we had a blast, although it's more like riding a snowmobile than anything else! We did 15,000 miles in 2 seasons, 2 trips to California, one riding all the way from Manitoba, a 5000 mile round trip! We had a couple incidents that reinforced my thinking I wouldn't ride a 2 wheeler. ! was a small rock / gravel slide on a blind corner, which we were moving around rather quickly, the second incident was a truck that ejected a load of 4"x4" square lengths of Styrofoam. Either of those situations coulda woulda shoulda ended badly on a 2 wheeler. Got to busy, sold the Spyder to optimise a tax situation, and it was played out.

I said to my DW September 2017 that if they (Honda or Yamaha) ever release a real leaning trike, we are buying it! A month later Yamaha announced the Niken was coming!! I immediately wrote Yamaha and said "don't screw this up like BRP did the Spyder". I went on to explain that I was the target demographic, and they should give us a machine that has all the features, and not pretend to be a sportbike. At the time I asked for integrated luggage, heated grips, cruise control, and a reasonable seating position. Spring 2018 the Niken appears to the rest of the world. DW and I discussed getting one. When the Niken was announced in the US, we planned on ordering one and travelling to get it. Nov 2018, Yamaha announced the Niken GT, I was #4 in Canada to place a deposit. I placed a few conditions, such as I won't pay any more than MSRP, and I forget what else.

I got a phone call in mid February telling me the bike was enroute, would I mind if it they put it in the showroom? I said when it's in, I'm picking it up. We started a plan to haul it in the truck from Manitoba to Florida for Spring Break. The bike was deliver late February, and into our garage. What a stunning machine; I mean when I first saw it in person, it is visually jarring. To me the engine sounded terrible, practically no exhaust note, just mechanical noise and whining. (normal for a stock mufflered triple I suppose)

We got it home and immediately the exhaust system was taken off, cut open, and the stock exhaust mod was done. Sounds nice now. 

Then it was on the horns, why do bikes have weanie horns? Anyhow, 2 hella horns added and now it has some decent honking power.

After that we added a Shad E4 pinlock tank bag, a tank protector, 2 way motorcycle cam, and dual usb charging ports hard wired to batter and ran to the tank bag. We cleaned up our helmets, added a helmet cam to DW's helmet, and replaced the mic's on our communicators. Ready to go!

We have a top case and Yamaha brackets waiting at a dealer in Monticello, which we will pick up on our way Florida. 

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@isthatahemi - Congratulations on the new Niken GT!  Thanks for participating on the forum... I’ll be following with great interest, as I’m really intrigued with the Niken concept and looking forward to more owner feedback.  

While I’m not convinced - yet - that it’s for me, I’m definitely keeping an open mind.  The ride reviews indicate Yamaha is really on to something here, and I’m eager to actually ride one myself.   

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No description on how it rides? I mean there are reviews online by paid journalists but would like to hear your impressions.

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'15 FJ-09 w/ lots of extras...

Fayetteville, GA, USA

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11 minutes ago, duhs10 said:

No description on how it rides? I mean there are reviews online by paid journalists but would like to hear your impressions.

Yes, I too would love a real "hands-on" ride report.  So much has been said about the lean angle and cornering stability - I am intrigued about this machine and would jump at the chance to take it out for an extended ride through some canyons or mountain sweepers.

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***2015 Candy Red FJ-09***

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On 3/16/2019 at 9:42 AM, betoney said:

Yes, I too would love a real "hands-on" ride report.  So much has been said about the lean angle and cornering stability - I am intrigued about this machine and would jump at the chance to take it out for an extended ride through some canyons or mountain sweepers.

 

On 3/16/2019 at 9:26 AM, duhs10 said:

No description on how it rides? I mean there are reviews online by paid journalists but would like to hear your impressions.

Well, I do live in Stony Mtn Manitoba Canada. We have about 3 feet of snow on the ground and have been hovering between -5 to -20C for the last week, and just got 20" of snow in the last week just south of us. We are in the full grip of winter. That said, the Niken is going to Florida in my truck next weekend. Florida is going to be a slacker ride. August trip from here to San Diego, and north to BC will be the canyon carving trip of a lifetime.

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1 hour ago, isthatahemi said:

August trip from here to San Diego, and north to BC will be the canyon carving trip of a lifetime.

Sounds good to me, I hope you ride the wheels off of that thing buddy!  👍

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***2015 Candy Red FJ-09***

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On 3/16/2019 at 9:42 AM, betoney said:

Yes, I too would love a real "hands-on" ride report.  So much has been said about the lean angle and cornering stability - I am intrigued about this machine and would jump at the chance to take it out for an extended ride through some canyons or mountain sweepers.

A quick thought on the lean angle. A street rider (and I was as aggressive a street rider as anyone) will seldom drag the pegs, the Niken will help us get there, but lean angle limitation on these things is a Myth imo. 43-45 degrees just isn't a limitation on the street.

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Okay - 1300 miles in 5 days - here is the review. 

Context - I'm the guy if a product sucks, is defective or has issues, will be direct about it. If it's boring but good, I'll tell ya.

The Niken is UNBELIEVABLE. The handling is crazy razor sharp, to the point it is the most aggressive handling I have ever ridden, and that is comparing to the sportbikes I rode. It just wants to dive into corners, it tries to tighten the line in corners, never standing up. Brakes or throttle don't make it stand up at all.

First off the negatives: (pretty minor stuff)

-Check engine light comes on for silly reasons, no self clearing or simple reset (Idling in gear on stand to lube chain - Please refrain from the safety lecture)

-Cruise control cancel is very abrupt, annoying to passenger

-Buffeting from windshield. I'm 5'11', and the windblast catches most of my head, which is fine, but the buffeting between 65 and 70 mph, well, kinda sucks.

THE GOOD

-Everything else. Handling as noted is so good.

-Riding position, perfect for me, except the seat height is strangely high. 

-The ride is so smooth it doesn't even make sense

-Suspension adjustability works really well. I was able to dial it in perfectly for 2-up with luggage. And I mean perfectly.

-Engine - not sure what to say here, it's a CP3 with a quick shifter. Pure gold. Nothing wrong here at all. I would greatly prefer a V-Twin though.

-Brakes - again, work astoundingly well. Feel is a bit stiff pull and rubbery, a strange combo. ABS rocks. Need to stop? Grab a handful.

-Traction control - I had it on aggressive and it does the job, maybe too well.

-Gauges - very easy to see, tons of info. Fuel gauge is odd though. 

 

I am stunned at how good this bike is, it does everything very well, doesn't seem to have any real quicks or defects. As you can probably tell, I'm nearly speechless. I have been so unimpressed with EVERY Yamaha I have owned, and would have never bought another if not for the Niken. 

Shad E4 Pin Lock back - handy but humorously small. Don't buy

Meknic A7 camera - Works very well, picture quality and functionality is top notch. Very pleased

Exhaust mod - Sounds good, still too quiet at cruise, but will likely stay the same

50L Top case with backrest - Excellent for touring, still short on space, but this was the biggest we could get from Yamaha.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I was just at the Barber Motorsports Museum in Birmingham AL USA and they prominently feature a Niken as the (potential) design landmark bike of the future.

The first bike you see after taking the elevator to the top level where the display starts is a Niken. The write up on it notes that over the years  there have been certain motorcycles designs that revolutionized the motorcycle industry (e.g. Honda 750 four) and they speculate the  Niken might be one.

They also describe it as a Tracer GT with dual-fork front end.

Great to finally see a Niken close up and personal!  Can't wait to ride one.

cb

Edited by nhchris
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1968 Triumph Bonneville 650
1971 Norton Commando Roadster
2002 Harley 1200 Sportster
2003 Honda ST 1300
2016 FJ 09

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Our local dealer received a Niken GT, and I was able to test ride it. It was an amazing experience. Looking at the bike you would expect a heavy front end feel with slower transitions taking turns; not so. It feels like my GT 900; slight countersteer pressure results in immediate lean that truly feels as light as a two wheeled bike when in motion. Very precise and effortless. Slow speed full lock u turns are very stable and easy. I spoke with another rider who said that if you didn’t know it had two front wheels, that you would be hard pressed to tell it was not a normal two wheeled bike. I would agree after riding the bike, but never would have before riding. So what is the Niken? It is NOT a crutch type bike for the aged and infirm. It is a sport touring motorcycle with with the agility of a sport touring bike with increased front end grip and bump absorption. It also garners a lot of attention and curiosity from other motorists. Be prepared for lots of interest and questions from others. 

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Closing in on 3000 Miles. WOW. I was not expecting it to be this good. Love it. Only complaints so far are the cruise control is too abrupt when cancelling (I know, big deal.....the wife hates it so I have to throttle on while tapping the brake), and the latching check engine light when I lube the chain. Bought an OBD scanner and Yamaha OBD adapter, problem, band-aided. (Don't start on me about the buffoons who can't keep their fingers out of a moving chain, and the subsequent horror stories please and thanks).

Seems I'm lubricating the chain every week, so it's just the way it's gonna get done. It hasn't perceptibly stretched though, and I checked it very closely and tightened it ever so slightly, on one side only, as it was visually a little bit off.

 

A early flawless machine, objectively, probably the best toy I have very owned (this is toy #17, excluding all 4 wheeled toys)

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9 hours ago, isthatahemi said:

...........Only complaints so far are the cruise control is too abrupt when cancelling (I know, big deal.....the wife hates it so I have to throttle on while tapping the brake)

Not sure if you are aware but on the Tracer you can also disable the cruise control by closing the accelerator passed the stop point. This does it in a way which is a lot less intrusive than by activating the brake or clutch. Might be worth checking if the Niken has the same option.

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That’s exactly the issue, the Niken has shorter gearing, so when you shut it off, it pitches into decel. Doesn’t matter what method. The only way around that is to use the throttle and the brake and then roll off the throttle. Yamaha applies a lot of smoothing to the throttle application when using the cruise function, if they would give the throttle 1/4 second to close, that would solve the issue. Again, it’s only a thing for the passenger, and it’s more the surprise of the throttle shutting a abruptly, the suddenness than the actual decel. 

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