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Niken GT ………..Fun or Folly?…a real owners view

Written by a 64 year old who has ridden since 12 and has owned every type of bike going and presently has a 40 year old Guzzi/1200 GS Adventure/Bobbed Yamaha Dragstar. 5 ft 10 tall with 32 inch inside leg so not longest match in the box.

I live in North of UK; not renowned for good weather [so the principle of this thing is great] but we have the benefit of amazing riding roads; Dales/Lakes/Moors/Coastline.

 

Point one…is it a bike/scooter or a trike? Or even something from a sci fi movie!!  Frankly I don’t care so long as it’s fun , so lets see what its like to live with

14/11/19 Day one….Picked it up from Craigs Honda in Bradford, second-hand, 2000 miles on it already. [By the way they were very helpful and do good coffee]

 It’s a cold damp and very windy day. Rode back some 35/40 miles. First impression was it’s a revelation in the real world. Total stability and confidence [perhaps too much?]; No slides on front [except back tyre and TC comes on a bit easily] Amazingly compliant and comfortable on the road. None of the usual jarring and bumping around on cats’ eyes or manholes.

Immediate  issues…Switchgear a bit ‘busy’ but I will get used to that. Air flow from screen buffets my head…….. Reminder… find a bigger one or a lip. Why no rear plate to take a top box? Seems a skimping exercise

Immediate best bits…Got to be the ride quality and handling in the cold wet conditions. Incredibly stable; Plus easy to get feet down. Feels quality. Fast enough but not a rocket ship.

Other odd point….. Filled up with petrol [why do bike shops only leave enough just to get a mile or so in the tank? Do they siphon out excess?] and immediately got barraged by questions from white van man…May get a bit annoying unless others start appearing on roads.

Next ride…… A proper one to be planned……..still cold and damp [it is the North and mid-November ,remember; we won’t see real good roads until April!]]

15/11/19 Day 2 …Not raining but damp. The novelty has not worn off. We all know what buying a new bike is like; first few weeks are amazing then it becomes the norm but it truly is a revelation. Bumps are non-existent. Acceleration is great. Its quiet [some will not like that] and its comfortable. It’s so good I’m thinking of selling the GS1200 as why have 2 bikes when one is much cheaper and doing the same thing [I would never take the GS off road] time will tell!

WEEKEND OF 17TH

First good weather ride Dry roads and cold but great fun

I am stopped all the time with ‘what is it;is it a bike/trike/custom’ etc and my stock answer is ‘’I don’t care so long as its fun’’…and it really is!!

On corners its amazing but the thing that really strikes me is smoothness of ride. Its pretty quick; certainly quick enough for me. Fuel seems to go down fast.

Seems well built as I have been under seat [fitted Optimate] and its well put together

Now going to fit sat nav….Not quite so simple as panels around tank are going to be interesting so I can hard wire it. Footnote…now done but it is a pain accessing under tank etc

Anyway roll on good dry days as so far …LOVING IT!!

ON ORDER…top box  arrived and will fit over xmas break

Now nearly Xmas and 1000 miles in all in awful conditions

 

Been out in snow rain hail etc as in North of England at this time of year its crap weather but the bike is awesome in ALL weather

I have ridden since I was 12 and I have never experienced anything like it

Put some silly stickers on to break up the huge fairing/tank shrouds and am thinking of wrapping it a bit as although the blue is great there is a lot of it!!

 

Downsides…tank range; no standard handguards; water/ muck thrown straight at legs…needs extenders on mudguards

Upsides….everything else!!  And finish seems to be okay but it is covered with protectant!

I STILL LOVE IT. Planning a trip to Mallorca in spring on it as I think it will be fantastic in Pyrenees

So roll on dry weather. I will have to wait another 3 months for that

 

January 2020

So how’s it rolling?

Pretty damn good as it turns out but the more you live with a bie the more you gret to know its little quirks and issues

So

  1. Put a huge top box on and it  makes it very practical, if not exactly stylish. It was second hand by Givi but why do you need to buy a top plate on a tourer? However look at pic… is it ok or not?

  2. The wheels throw crap straight at the engine and gearbox casing [not to mention feet] so I have temporarily fashioned some extenders until I can find something easier [and smarter] to fit. Far a bad weather bike this is a design flaw as the extenders make an enormous difference and save a lot of cleaning

  3. It’s a bugger to clean. Lots of nooks and crannies that seem to hold dirt especially when covered in protectorant

  4. I have had an issue with the TC when changed from stetting 1 to 2. Will not go into mode 1 without shutting off ABS? weird! Seems to be fine in mode 2 but its left the engine warning light on but nothing is not working. Going in to be checked soon.

  5. Rear passenger footrests don’t stay ‘closed’ Not major but annoying.

  6. No where to fix a video cam easily due to huge screen etc

Nothing particularly big here but things to iron out as the design gets better [particularly the fender extenders!]

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Good review, Glad that you are out and enjoying your bike. I have not seen a Niken in the "flesh" yet but the pictures look interesting. I think the legislation in the UK states that if the wheel base on an axle is less than 600mm then it counts as one wheel and is a bike, more than 600mm would make it a Trike. I would expect that the extra weight and bulk would make it much less fuel efficient than the Tracer but who puts fuel economy at the top of their list when buying a bike.

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Seems like everyone that I have talked too that rode the Niken came away impressed. Thanks for the review @reeves


He who dies with the most toys wins.

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