2023 Yamaha Niken GT in detail: New engine, chassis changes, electronics updates

Yamaha has launched the 2023 Niken GT, which might be one of the most significantly changed, pre-existing motorcycles for 2023.

2023 Yamaha Niken GT. - Yamaha

Yamaha has revealed the 2023 Niken GT as part of its sports tourer range, featuring changes to the engine and chassis, as well as new connectivity updates.

The Niken GT might not have taken the headlines from Yamaha’s sports tourer launch for 2023, but appearing alongside the Tracer 9 and Tracer 7 series’ it certainly holds its own, and has its own raft of updates for the new model year.

Perhaps the most significant changes for 2023 are related to the engine. Yamaha has updated the 890cc CP3 motor for 2023 in its Niken GT spec to mean an engine capacity increase of five per cent. The ‘bore x stroke’ is now 78mm x 62.1mm, and newly reshaped crank webs have an increased mass compared to the previous version of eight per cent.

That is all intended to create more controllable power delivery and therefore increased rideability low-down in the rev range.

The new engine has required a different engine position, too, as it now has a five-degree forward incline. There is also a new crankcase, as well as a new radiator. 

Electronically, the engine is operated by a Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) and a ride-by-wire Accelerator Position Sensor Grip (APSG), which replace the analogue system from before. There are also revisions to the ‘start assist’ to make sure “appropriate,” Yamaha says, rpm levels are maintained when the clutch is engaged. 

Continuing with the electronics, the engine modes are revised for 2023 to match the new engine. There are three D-Mode (engine character) options: “Sport”, “Street”, and “Rain” with progressively smoother throttle response. Additionally, the maximum power is reduced by 18% in “Rain” mode. 

Three levels of traction control intervention are available. Labelled simply “1”, “2”, and “Off”, the ‘number one’ setting is the weaker of the two ‘on’ modes, while ‘off’ is quite self-explanatory. Each mode is also integrated with the D-Mode setting selected, so setting the TC to 1 with the Sport D-Mode selected will give a different intervention level to having the TC set to 1 and the D-Mode set to Street, for example. 

For 2023, the Niken GT also comes with a two-way quickshifter, and when riding in fourth gear or higher it is possible to engage cruise control (not radar-guided as seen on the Tracer 9 GT+) which is speed-adjustable in 2kph increments. 

The engine character is also adjusted by a new exhaust and a new air intake. Part of the adjustment here is to make the bike quieter so longer rides are less aurally disturbing, but the exhaust has also been designed to ensure the 2023 Niken GT meets Euro5 standards. 

An additional benefit of the new exhaust design is that it offers increased ground clearance, and another part of maintaining that ground clearance is of course the suspension. In the case of the 2023 Niken GT, Yamaha has updated the rear suspension to include an all-new rear shock linkage arm made from forged aluminium which saves 236 grams of unsprung weight compared to the previous version. 

Yamaha says about the new rear suspension: “This new lightweight arm features a revised lever variance ratio which, together with new rear shock settings and a smaller diameter shock spring, provides a smoother solo ride and gives firmer and effective rear suspension performance when riding with a passenger.”

The suspension is not the only part of the chassis to be updated in 2023, as the mainframe has also been altered. These adjustments have been made in order to compensate for the change in engine character from the adjustments made to the engine, as well as the new position it takes within the frame.

Ergonomically, the 2023 Niken GT features new switches, a five-way joystick to navigate the TFT display, a USB-A outlet, a 12V outlet, and heated grips as standard.

Meanwhile, underlining the three-wheeler’s touring credentials are the 30-litre hard cases fitted to either side.

Finally, the 2023 Yamaha Niken GT will be available in only one colour: “Yamaha Black” while individual components will be painted bronze.

2023 Yamaha Niken GT technical highlights:

  • Dual leaning front wheels for feelings of stability
  • LMW-Ackermann steering – high agility with corner carving confidence
  • New more powerful 890cc CP3 EU5 engine
  • New 7-inch full colour TFT multiscreen meter
  • New smartphone connectivity
  • New Garmin full-screen navigation
  • New ECU and enhanced electronic control technology
  • New ride-by-wire throttle
  • Redesigned handlebar switches
  • New grip heaters
  • New up & down quickshifter
  • New Assist & Slipper (A&S) clutch
  • New +/- 70mm adjustable screen
  • New comfort rider’s seat
  • Redesigned main frame
  • Revised rear suspension linkage and settings
  • Quieter intake design
  • Revised exhaust system
  • New radiator
  • Hard side cases with new mounting stays

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