‘JUST BE­ING DIF­FER­ENT ISN’T AL­WAYS ENOUGH’

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Contents - ANDY CALTON

It takes quite a lot to get a room full of sea­soned jour­nal­ists ex­cited.

Stuff that’s cre­ated a stir in the MCN of­fice in re­cent years in­cludes the H2, the Pani­gale V4, the Nor­ton V4 and now… the Niken.

Sel­dom has a bike sparked more de­bate or more of a clam­our for the keys. Af­ter it com­pleted the MCN 250 test (see page 25) the thing has hardly had a mo­ment’s peace as staff mem­ber af­ter staff mem­ber queues up for a go. Re­ac­tion has var­ied from: “It’s the best thing I’ve ever rid­den” to “I don’t get what all the fuss is about”. So I had to see what the Yamaha was like for my­self.

Once you get over the looks only mother could love and the heavy front end, it’s ac­tu­ally an en­gag­ing ride. Hit a bump and al­most noth­ing hap­pens. Chuck it into a cor­ner a lit­tle quicker than you in­tended and it just goes round like it’s on rails.

Whether it sells or not re­mains to be seen, but Yamaha have cer­tainly com­mit­ted to do­ing some­thing very dif­fer­ent, very well and it’s cer­tainly cre­ated a buzz in the mo­tor­cy­cling mar­ket.

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