One of the big standouts from EICMA in Milan back in November was the 2019 Yamaha Niken sport touring motorcycle, a new three-wheel bike with two wheels in front and one drive wheel in back. Three-wheelers have been slowly gaining prominence and it looks like Yamaha is making a commitment to the unconventional layout. The company just purchased Brudeli, a Norwegian startup.
Brudeli began in 2001 with the intention of “creating a new vehicle in the gap between motorcycles and small cars,” according to the company’s website and achieved its goal with the Leanster series of three-wheel motorcycles with a configuration not too different from the freshly unveiled Yamaha Niken.
According to MCN, the big difference between a Niken and a Leanster is that the Niken employs two sets of forks in front, not too different from a standard motorcycle front suspension, but doubled to accompany a second wheel. The Leanster, however, uses two transverse bars attached to a pair of shocks. It’s a very clever system that makes deep leans up to 45 degrees easy to perform maximizing the rider’s control of the bike while making it much harder to wipe out.
There are a few good reasons why Yamaha may have bought Brudeli. It’s possible Yamaha just wanted the ingenious patent of the Leanster’s front suspension system. Maybe the Japanese brand wants to limit any potential competition for the Niken. It’s also possible that Yamaha envisions three-wheel motorcycles growing in popularity and wants to expand its lineup of three-wheelers. In any case, we can’t wait to see what Yamaha comes up with in the future with its newly acquired asset.