The Crazy Three-Wheeled Yamaha Niken Motorcycle Is Coming to America at $15,999

Yes, it's real, and yes, you can buy one.

JONATHAN@JONATHANGODIN.BE/Yamaha

Yamaha raised a lot of questions in the motorcycling world when it unveiled the Niken last year. The three-wheeled motorcycle offered something totally new in the sport touring world, and other than wondering how that funky suspension works, the biggest questions were “when can I get one?” and “how much?” Yamaha has just confirmed it will be available in the U.S. starting this September with a starting price of $15,999.

Yamaha calls the Niken a Leaning Multi-Wheel (LMW) motorcycle. Even though that technically describes every single motorcycle out there, Yamaha's definition is a three-wheeled motorcycle that isn’t a traditional trike like the big, fat Harley-Davidsons you see with two wheels in the back. Rather, the Niken is a sport touring bike with two wheels up front to create an advantage in handling and stability.

If you want to buy one, it’s a little more complicated than going to your friendly Yamaha dealer and buying one off the showroom floor. The only way to get a Niken is to reserve one on Yamaha’s website, and they'll be distributed on a first-come-first-serve basis with the first ones being delivered in September. Reservations start today and go through September 30, 2018.

It’s hard to say whether the Niken is a good deal or not at $15,999 since there’s nothing else on the market quite like it. In Yamaha’s own sport touring lineup, it’s a little on the high end falling between the Tracer 900 GT and the FJR1300A. If we look at the competitors, the Niken is priced pretty close to the Kawasaki Concours 14, the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT, and a lower-end Ducati Multistrada.