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biggo

Thinking of buying a Niken

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Hi .  I have been thinking about buying a Niken to replace my 4 year old 900 Tracer. The Tracer has been a great bike but I love the engineering of the Niken and find it all intriguing.

I had a short test run on one a couple of years ago and didn't want to like it but gave me a big grin on the day.

A couple of question.

1. It is a fair amount heavier than the tracer ( one of the things I love about the tracer is the relatively light weight ) how does it handle the weight ? I had an ST1300 that was a great bike but I found the weight intimidating i.e. you had to careful where you parked it with a view to getting out. I have read that the Nikens are top heavy can you give me some feedback on this please

2. How is tyre wear on these ? I probably do between 15/20000 kms per year I get about 15000 out of PR5,s on my Tracer 

Thanks Phil

Edited by biggo
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It is significantly heavier than a tracer or Mt09 - so as you surmise you do have to park it carefully and think about how you will get it out. On the road the weight is less noticeable as the front end is so clever - a steep rake, small/light wheels and a hybrid of leaning and ackerman operation means all manouvers are the same as regular.

I find on the road, the only time it has caught me out is pulling off dodgy overtakes, as it can take more effort to haul back if the overtake is short.

Tyre choice is limited. Personally i hated the OEM tyres - A41s. I find they slide far too easy and are too hard - the rear spinning up all the time. I've put Pirelli Diablo Rossos on, which i havent had enough time to try lockdown/wet etc, but think they will be better as they are less stiff and are a superior compound. Considering the stunning engineering, as usual Yamaha (suzuki and kawa do the same) fit utter rubbish.

It's difficult to know if tyre life is better or worse as everyone rides differently (even road surfaces affect wear) but it shredded the rear A41 in 3000 miles. It's worth noting that the extra tyre means more cost to change - also if one of the fronts gets a puncture and is wrecked then both need replacement. Factor that as a cost. I have my own tyre changer (well a share in one) and so dont have to worry about this. The Pirellis cost £240 for the set (about $330us), tyres are slightly cheaper here in the UK i think.

Edited by pilninggas
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On 1/12/2021 at 11:17 PM, biggo said:

I had a short test run on one a couple of years ago and didn't want to like it but gave me a big grin on the day.

I had the same experience after riding one during Yamaha "demo days" last summer.  Its over 100lbs heavier than the equivalent Tracer GT so it might be a burden pushing it around in the garage but the extra weight was not very noticeable once underway.  For its size, I was really impressed with the comfort, easy of steering and flicking side to side.

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

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I can't speak to tire life as I only put 325 miles on mine before winter set in. 

It's not a light bike but I don't have any problems moving it around. One of the reasons I traded my Triumph Tiger 1200 for the Niken was that it was so top heavy. The Tiger weighs about the same but it's much taller and could get leverage on you. If you got the slightest bit off center it felt like it wanted to fall away from you. Nearly dropped that bike several times and I haven't dropped a bike in years. I have not experienced that so far with the Niken. Just pushing the bike around the garage it reminds me more of my K1300s. Not light but low enough that it's not a problem.

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Depends on the style of riding you do. I used to have a '04 BMW R1150R which I loved. Light, quick enough, and easy to maneuver. But my riding habits in recent years started going more and more long distance touring style. I was seriously considering a BMW K1600GTL, Honda Goldwing DCT, Ducati Multistrada 950S, or a BMW 900XR, before I stumbled upon the Niken GT by accident. The Niken GT's  comfy seats, more upright seating position, cruise control, solid engineering, and relatively lower running costs (in comparison to the German/Italian fare)  made it a great GT bike for me. 

Haven't put enough miles on yet to determine how quick it'll go through tires. But I am planning on getting a NoMar tire changer in the near future since I do plan on swapping tires out myself to save some money e.g. local shop charges about $30-50 per tire to replace/mount/balance new tires on my ride. After about 4 tire changes the machine will have paid for itself and I can use it to swap out my summer car tires with winters and swap back again. 

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2019 Niken GT
First time Yamaha owner - BUSA!

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Thanks for all your replies Picking up my 2018 Niken on Thursday cant wait :)

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7 hours ago, biggo said:

Thanks for all your replies Picking up my 2018 Niken on Thursday cant wait :)

Congrats! Welcome to the group. Look forward to pics of your new ride!


2019 Niken GT
First time Yamaha owner - BUSA!

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