YAMAHA would be forgiven for experiencing some nerves at the moment. Having revealed its MT-09-powered NIKEN three-wheeler, it now faces the task of getting some motorcyclists to embrace the idea by buying it.
When the Niken was shown at a press conference in Milan earlier this month, it seemed clear that the firm sensed a potential challenge ahead. Yamaha Europe's Chief Operating Officer Eric de Seynes ended the press conference by saying: “Please, please, please, test it, try it. You will discover another way of riding and it is fantastic... never judge it before to test it. Please.”
It probably is brilliant to ride - but are we ready for a third wheel? We (and Yamaha) will find out soon enough. In the meantime, here are 10 other revolutionary motorcycle ideas that drowned in a sea of conformity:
10: Hub-centre steering
If there was a template for concept bikes, the first thing on the must-have list would be hub-centre steering. It’s been endlessly touted as the ‘solution’ to the problems of telescopic forks, separating braking and suspension forces and theoretically allowing better setups. Bimota’s Tesi and Yamaha’s GTS (pictured) are the notable production examples of the idea, but it’s never caught on in the mainstream. The closest it came was probably the Italjet Dragster scooter, which was a sales success with a single-sided, hub-centre-steered front end.