Beauty is in the eye of the beholder... | GTAMotorcycle.com

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...

oomis

Well-known member
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TL / DR I bought a new bike, and you don't like it.

Last year when on a trip down to the Dragon, I rode past a motorcycle rental outfit that had a Yamaha Niken. I had seen pictures of them and seen one at a motorcycle show, but had never seen one in the wild. The opportunity to rent one for a day was something I couldn't pass up.

I don't know what my expectations were, really. I expected it to be bizarre; a laugh but to my surprise it turned out to be kind of brilliant. I had more fun on that bike than I had had in a while.

Backstory: Oomis - One of Our Own.

TL/DR My wife and I were riding in Newfoundland in 2017 and were hit head on. She passed away at the scene and I ended up cobbled together with 63 screw, 3 plates and 2 rods after 12 surgeries in 12 months, ~18 months in the hospital and almost losing my leg twice. After all of this, I wasn't 100% sure if I was going to keep riding.

Clearly.

Last summer I was still trying to decide whether or not I was going to keep riding, and the trip down to the Dragon was a part of my decision making process. So in riding it, when I found myself laughing uncontrollably, singing in my helmet and smiling to myself, I started to think that maybe there was something to this answer to the question that nobody had asked.

Moreover, I found myself just kind of staring at it when it was parked. It's just so bizarre and different looking, and I suppose I appreciate that. I've always been a sucker for the underdog.

Is the Niken perfect? Nope. Is it for everyone? Nope. But does Yamaha deserve kudos for bringing something to market that stands out like this? I think they do. We motorcyclists are a closeminded, conservative bunch in large part, and the looks of this bike are polarizing, for sure. Interestingly, I couldn't find one review where the reviewer wasn't laughing with joy while they were riding it, even if they couldn't get over the looks.

So when an insane deal came up on a demo GT version at a dealership in Ottawa, I loaded up the trailer and brought it home.

The worst thing that I found in riding the bike for the day that I had it was the crowds that it attracted. Like flies to sh... honey. And everyone had an opinion about it, or questions. That's not surprising, as it is a bizarre machine, and we are conservative.

I have about 700,000 kms under my belt, across a whole bunch of bikes, and not one of them made me giggle like this one. Even standing still, it made me smile. Given that, it made no difference to me what it looks like.

The best motorcycle in the world is always the one you're riding, and each of us has our own reasons. The point of this post is to just say that motorcycles are a really, really personal decision that we each make, and when you look at a bike or another rider we have no idea what those reasons are. And just because those aren't OUR reasons doesn't mean that they aren't valid.

And also to remind other riders that if we all turn our noses up at new ideas, we'll always get stuck with the same old thing. The Niken isn't ever going to replace 2 wheeled motorcycles, but it's a well engineered alternative that allows for insane front end grip, as tested personally on 129.

The Niken isn't perfect, and it isn't for everyone, but it made me smile and that's worth something. To me, anyway.
 

GreyGhost

Well-known member
Site Supporter
Welcome back. It's great to hear from you again.

Congrats on the new bike. You're right, I don't really see the point in it existing, but you love it and that's all that matters.
 

Iceman

Well-known member
Sweet. Glad you found your smile.

Sent from my SM-A530W using Tapatalk
 

thwak

Active member
Site Supporter
Great to hear you're riding again and what a bonus that you're loving it.
 

sburns

Well-known member
Good post, just enjoy the ride.
Now do we have some photos!?
 

sburns

Well-known member
Dude, is it that difficult to go on the Internet and find pictures yourself? This is literally the first hit I got:
Really you are pretty bad at the internet then... umm thanks for sharing.
So I can find a photo of their bike on the internet, the exact one sitting in their garage etc..not just some stock photo.
 

Joe Bass

*probably eating right now*
Site Supporter
Welcome back Oomis!
Enjoy!

Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk
 

Chrispy

Well-known member
Glad you're doing what you love, on a machine you love. I think that's all that matters. Kinda true how there's a lot of close minded people, motorcyclists or not , makes me not wanna pursue the scooter life lol. Looking at some 400cc stuff that just seems so damn practical, good storage, automatic tranny, etc. But lots of people including non motorcyclists think its.. Excuse my language, 'gay'. Thankfully my current bike is only half a year old, so I'm good for the next little bit.
 

Riceburner

Well-known member
We evolve our tastes. I'm at the stage to change bike type. Different to what I have ever had before. Not 3 wheels though....but that's just me. Tires are expensive.
 

KWDRZ

Well-known member
It looks like a ton of fun. The amount of extra front grip and confidence the two wheel design inspires seems great.
 

oioioi

Well-known member
Site Supporter
I don't know you personally but reading the backstory and news article...
Welcome back, glad you were able to get back on 2 wheels again (well actually 3).

Other people don't have to like your bike or think its "pretty". As long as it makes you happy and does what you need it to do than that's all that matters.

See you on the road.
 

MacDoc

Well-known member
Site Supporter
hah - was just thinking of you the other day Oomis. Glad to hear you are out riding. (y)

Lightcycle you getting cranky as you age ;)
 

nakkers

Well-known member
Site Supporter
What a pleasure to read this post. Thank you.

There are plenty of machines out there only a mother could love.

Within the ranks of motorcyclist, there is always the odd duck marching to their own tune.

No excuses are needed. No apologies either.

Good for you. Glad to hear about your return to the road and the joy it brings.

Cheers!




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Chris-CJ

Well-known member
What a pleasure to read this post. Thank you.

There are plenty of machines out there only a mother could love.

Within the ranks of motorcyclist, there is always the odd duck marching to their own tune.

No excuses are needed. No apologies either.

Good for you. Glad to hear about your return to the road and the joy it brings.

Cheers!




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
"Plenty of machines out there"
A perfect observation.
Supersports, ADVs, Motocross, Retros, Scooters, Three wheelers, etc .... all of these are "bike riders".
Welcome back to the fold!
 

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