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Published on July 10th, 2019 | by Boris

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TALES OF THE NIKEN – EPISODE 13 – THE GT INCARNATION

In which our hero is given a new incarnation of the Niken which deals efficiently with several issues the original Niken had. These issues mainly centred around brutalised buttocks, frozen hands, facial wind burn, the danger of ocky straps, and the lack of an ancient but useful anachronism called a “centrestand”. All of which have now been properly rectified in the Niken GT.

 

“I woke up this morning with the sundown shining in
I found my mind in a brown paper bag within
I tripped on a cloud and fell-a eight miles high
I tore my mind on a jagged sky
I just dropped in to see what
condition my condition was in”

Behold the grandness of the touring.

 

It’s been a while since we last spoke.

I’ve been away.

I’m back now.

And, as good fortune occasionally attends me despite me being a sinner with no redemption, I would tell you I have acquired a Niken GT.

Now then, if you’re one of those capering piss-weasels still keening and bleating about this three-wheeled marvel of technology, just stop.

I don’t care if you don’t like the Niken.

No, seriously. I don’t.

Feel free to start writing pieces about how much you hate it. You might want to ride one first so it will sound like you know what you’re talking about, but don’t let it stop you if you haven’t.

I love the damn thing. You hating on it only makes me love it more. I’m an old Shovelhead rider. Hate fuels me and makes me smile. Regular readers would have worked that out by now.

So given that buying a Niken is not compulsory, nor is the mere existence of the Niken a threat to the Sacred Motorcycle, can the haters stop running around like greasy lizards in a jar just because Yamaha built a three-wheeled thing that leans and handles like a motorcycle, but isn’t a motorcycle, and is immensely rewarding to ride in spite of that?

Now that I have removed that burden from my chest, I am pleased to advise the Niken 2.0, or the GT as it is known, is a better dance-partner than the Niken 1.0.

As we all know, ‘GT’ stands for Gran Turismo – which is Italian for Grand Tour.

I should have put it on the centrestand. But I was cold and I was not thinking clearly.

The original Niken fell a little short in the Grand area. It Toured fine…but its seat was a little harsh for all-day banging. And you don’t really wanna be walking like a gunslinger unless you are one, especially in some of the places I go to.

The seat on the GT is superb. Yamaha understands a comfy seat when it wants to. Ask anyone who’s ridden its FJR1300. A German superhooker couldn’t love your bottom better.

The GT’s seat is firm, but giving – like a whiskey-drinking aunty who sneaks you chocolate when your mum’s not looking. It no longer chews into your sensitive inner thighs after six hours. And there is a heated version you can get. Justin at Trooper Lu’s had one fitted to the Turbo Niken, but a heated seat is a luxury I still somehow feel unworthy of. I always kinda imagine like it’s loosening my bowel a bit when it’s on high.

But I’m just giving you options, OK?

So the seat is a vast improvement.

It also has a taller screen, which is neither here nor there for me. Yes, it works and keeps more wind-blast off you if that’s what you’re after. But I think the smaller screen looks better. And I like the wind. It’s satisfying on my face.

See? The screen is taller. There are panniers. Also pictured is the better seat and heated handlebar grips. No, the centrestand does not scrape.

And then there’s the panniers. They come off easy, go on easy because Yamaha, but they are semi-hard rather than hard. They do up with a zipper , they’re fully lined, and they come with those elasticky cross-strap things inside which I have never used in my life.

I don’t think they’re totally waterproof, and you can’t fit a helmet inside them, but they sure as shit are convenient if you do go touring. Yes, I’m old enough to appreciate panniers on long trips.

Heated handlebar grips (three settings) are also a very welcome addition, as is the centrestand. If you don’t have a centrestand (they used to be a thing on every bike) but suddenly needed to put your bike on one for whatever reason, you’ll understand what hopelessness really means.

They can be a very handy jigger.

Getting the Nike’s three footprints horizontal when needed is a good thing.

That’s it. That’s the GT package.

You’ve already got some of the best suspension I’ve ever ridden on, that beaut smooth engine, and front-end grip like you’ve never experienced (but should), so to my mind the Niken’s touring credentials with these additions are now complete.

Yes, it could stop sucking juice like sludge pump, but then I could stop fanging the shit out of it.

But hey, I did tell you I am without redemption, didn’t I?

 

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About the Author

is a writer who has contributed to many magazines and websites over the years, edited a couple of those things as well, and written a few books. But his most important contribution is pissing people off. He feels this is his calling in life and something he takes seriously. He also enjoys whiskey, whisky and the way girls dance on tables. And riding motorcycles. He's pretty keen on that, too.



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