Yamaha Niken and Niken GT (2018-21) Maintenance Schedule and Service Intervals

This is the maintenance schedule and associated service intervals for the Yamaha Niken and Niken GT, first released in 2018.

The Yamaha Niken is a visually striking motorcycle with two front wheels. It has the CP3 engine used in the MT-09, XSR900, and Tracer GT, but with a few differences in tuning and in parts used.

So the maintenance for the Niken is quite similar to the maintenance schedule for the first-gen Yamaha MT-09. But there are a few differences, even though they share the same engine.

The maintenance schedule applies to the Yamaha Niken and Niken GT from 2018-2021 with the 847cc CP3 engine.

2019 Yamaha Niken

What you need to service the Yamaha Niken GT— Consumables and Special Tools

If you’re servicing the Niken GT, you at least need motorcycle maintenance tools — things like an oil catch pan, a paddock stand, and so on.

For the Yamaha Niken GT, the manual recommends the following specific consumables.

Engine oilUse Yamalube 10W-40 or Yamalube 10W-50. The manual recommends “Yamalube” and it’s affordable, so why not! You can also use a high-grade synthetic like Motul 7100 or Mobil 1 Synthetic. Don’t over-torque the bolt (spec is 43 Nm/31 lb-ft for the oil drain bolt per the manual) — use a torque wrench if you don’t have experience with how much torque is enough.
Oil filterNeeds to be changed every time you change the oil. Either get a stock oil filter (part 5GH-13440-50-00) or a Hiflofiltro HF204RC (has a nut on the end for easy replacement, and is better liked than the K&N filters). Torque for the oil filter is 17 Nm/13 lb-ft.
Engine coolantYamaha recommends Yamacool (a.k.a. “YAMALUBE coolant”), but the manual says any coolant with a 50/50 ethylene glycol pre-mix is the same.
Spark PlugsNGK MR9K9 should be used per the manual. Make sure it’s gapped correctly to 0.8-0.9mm (get a gapping tool) and torqued with a torque wrench to 13 Nm/10 lb-ft.
Air filterYamaha part number 1RC-14451-00-00, or the K&N alternative YA-8514.
Brake padsChoose OEM, or EBC for more bite and lower fade. You need two sets for the front (two discs, one on each side of the pair of wheels) and one for the rear.
* Front: OEM 5SL-25805-00-00, EBC FA252HH
* Rear: OEM 5VX-25806-00-00, EBC FA174HH
Yamaha Niken consumables

And the following general consumables are useful as well.

Paddock Stand — Makes maintaining your chain or doing other maintenance much easier.
Motul chain paste — one of the most highly-regarded chain lubes. Easy to apply, doesn’t fling off. If you need more stuff, get the Motul chain care kit as an affordable package.
Always good to have on hand lithium soap-based grease for lubing external pivot points (like the swingarm) and bearings.
Use Protect all cable life to lubricate your cables and controls.
General motorcycle maintenance consumables and tools

Yamaha Niken GT Maintenance Schedule

Below is the maintenance schedule for the Yamaha Niken and Niken GT.

The original maintenance for the Yamaha Niken is broken into two sections: periodic maintenance for emission control systems, and general maintenance and lubrication. But we’ve combined them in the table below.

Notes on the maintenance schedule for the Yamaha Niken:

  • Mileage figures come from the US manuals, but kilometre figures come from the European ones. Do the math and you’ll see they don’t line up exactly (but schedules are guidelines, anyway)
  • From the end of the maintenance schedule, repeat every 1, 2, or 4 periods, just as you see.
  • Yamaha recommends you just change the oil and filter, grease the chain, and lube a few external parts, saying “Items marked with an asterisk require special tools, data and technical skills, have a Yamaha dealer perform the service.”
  • Air filter
    • This model’s air filter is equipped with a disposable oil-coated paper element, which must not be cleaned with compressed air to avoid damaging it.
    • Replace the air filter more frequently if you often ride in the rain or dusty conditions
  • Hydraulic brake service
    • Regularly check the brake fluid levels. Replenish as necessary
    • Every two years replace the internal components of the brake master cylinders and calipers, and change the brake fluid.
    • Replace the brake hoses every four years or if cracked or damaged.
mi x 1000 (US manual)0.648121620
km x 1000 (Europe manual)11020304050
Fuel line*• Check fuel hoses for cracks or damage.
• Replace if necessary.
Spark plugs*• Check condition.
• Adjust gap and clean.
• Replace (NGK MR9K9)
Valve clearance*• Check and adjust valve clearance26K mi (40K km)
Crankcase breather system*• Check breather hose for cracks or damage.
• Replace if necessary.
Fuel injection*• Adjust synchronization.
Exhaust system*• Check for leakage.
• Tighten if necessary.
• Replace gasket(s) if necessary.
Evaporative emission control system*• Check control system for damage.
• Replace if necessary.
Air induction system*• Check the air cut-off valve, reed valve, and hose for damage
• Replace any damaged parts
Diagnostic system check (Dealer only)• Perform inspection with Yamaha diagnostic tool
• Check the error codes
Air filter element*• Replace (K&N YA-8514)24K mi (40K km)
Clutch*• Check operation
• Adjust or replace cable
Front brake*• Check operation, fluid level, and for fluid leakage.
• Replace brake pads if necessary.
Rear brake*• Check operation, fluid level, and for fluid leakage.
• Replace brake pads if necessary.
Brake hoses*• Check for cracks or damage.
• Check for correct routing and clamping
• Replace.4 years
Brake fluid*• Change (Castrol DOT 4)2 years
Wheels*• Check runout and for damage.
• Replace if necessary.
• Balance the front wheelsTime tires / wheels changed/ replaced
Tires*• Check tread depth and for damage.
• Replace if necessary.
• Check air pressure.
• Correct if necessary.
Wheel bearings* •Check bearings for smooth operation.
• Replace if necessary.
Steering system*• Check bearing play and steering for roughness12K mi (19K km)
• Lubricate with urea grease12K mi (19K km)
Swingarm pivot
• Check operation and for excessive play.
• Moderately repack with lithium soap-based grease.23K mi (50K km)
Drive chain*• Check chain slack, alignment and condition
• Adjust and lubricate chain with (Motul chain paste)
500 mi (800 km) or after chain gets wet
Chassis fasteners*• Check all chassis
fitting and fasteners.
• Correct if necessary.
Brake lever
pivot shaft
• Apply silicone grease lightly.
Brake pedal
pivot shaft
• Apply lithium soap-based grease lightly.
Clutch lever
pivot shaft
• Apply lithium soap-based grease lightly.
Shift pedal
pivot shaft
• Apply lithium soap-based grease lightly.
Centerstand and sidestand pivots• Check operation.
• Apply lithium soap-based grease lightly.
Sidestand switch*• Check operation and replace if necessary.
Front fork*• Check operation and for oil leakage.
• Replace if necessary.
Shock absorber
• Check operation and for oil leakage.
• Replace if necessary.
Rear suspension link pivots• Check operation
• Correct if necessary
Engine oil• Change (Yamalube 10W-40 or Motul 7100)
Engine oil filter cartridge*• Replace (HF204RC)
Cooling system*• Check coolant level and vehicle for coolant leakage
• Change coolant (ethylene glycol pre-mix)Every 3 years
Front and rear brake switches*• Check operation.
Control cables*• Lubricate thoroughly (Protect all Cable Life)
Throttle grip • Check operation
• Check throttle grip free play, and adjust if necessary
• Lubricate cable and grip housing (Protect all cable life)
• Lubricate grip warmer wire
Lights, signals and
• Check operation.
• Adjust headlight beam.
Yamaha Niken maintenance schedule

About the Yamaha Niken and Niken GT

The Yamaha Niken is a three-wheeled adventure sports tourer. Think of it like a Tracer or Tracer GT, except with those unmissable two front wheels.

Naysayers on forums like to say “is that a motorcycle?”. But raving fans of the Niken point out that a Yamaha Niken provides all the joy of a sport-touring motorcycle — head (or helmet) in the air, willing engine, the ability to lean into corners, and long-distance travel comfort — while solving one of the biggest danger issues of motorcycling — front wheel traction.

It’s not just having two wheels up front that gives you the increased contact patch. It’s also the fact that there’s added weight up front and independent suspension to keep them on the road. Having a greater contact patch up front means that as a motorcyclist you’re protected a LOT more from small things than can ruin a whole day’s (or lifetime of) riding, like hitting a large pebble, a small animal, a grease slick, a bit of gravel… all kinds of things that can upset the front around, especially when leaning.

Even though it’s a big, heavy motorcycle that weighs 263 kg wet and has three wheels, riding the Yamaha Niken is a lot like any other motorcycle. You rev it up to launch it and you push to lean into corners. And very adept riders CAN wheelie it, though it’s a lot harder due to all the front-end weight. Depends where your priorities lie.

Besides, 263kg isn’t prohibitively heavy for a motorcycle. There are plenty of heavier, less powerful motorcycles — like many cruisers on the market, for example. It’s just when you compare it to the featherweight MT-09 (that is so light it feels like a toy) that it becomes obvious.

Maintaining the Niken is a little tricker, given that you have two front wheels, but the GT model does come with a centre-stand to make everyday maintenance more pain-free.

Other than that, compared to maintaining the MT-09, the potential differences for the Yamaha Niken are:

  • Tyres: You may need an extra one, when it’s time to replace them. Double check that…
  • Forks: same. Only one pair has oil in it (the others are just empty guides)
  • Steering head bearings: Same as MT-09 — check them every 12K miles/20K km
  • Steering linkage: This is the only additional cost. It needs to be inspected and maybe lubricated at the same time as the steering head bearings.

Other than that, maintaining the Niken is the same — keep the chain lubricated, the fluids fresh, and you’ll be good to go for a while.

Like the Tracer GT, the Yamaha Niken GT comes with a few extra things for long distance touring, including heated grips, side cases/panniers, a passenger grab rail, centre stand, comfort seats, a touring windscreen, and an extra 12V electrical outlet. (Many of those from the colder parts of the world are screaming “You had me at heated grips!”)

Ultimately you’re going to cop a bit of heat from haters for riding a three wheeled motorcycle, but people who ride the Niken and aren’t destroying hills everyday on their regular commute love it — everyone agrees it’s a unique bike and worth a test ride. In fifty years time, just like all unusual motorcycles today, it’ll be an icon in museums.

Manual for the Niken and Niken GT

2019 Yamaha Niken GT Maintenance schedule screenshot from manual

The above information was gleaned from the owner’s manual for the 2019 Yamaha Niken GT. Nothing substantially changed since other years.

You can download it from Yamaha’s website here.

Similar Posts

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments