Two new mystery Yamahas have been revealed in European type-approval planning documents – but what are they?
The codenames ‘RN82’ and ‘RN83’ have emerged in new European type-approvals filed by Yamaha for models in its 2022 range – but with no other details on file, we’re left to do some detective work if we’re to discover what the new mystery Yamahas are.
Fortunately, Yamaha’s codenaming system gives us plenty of clues. The first two letters – RN – show that these are street bikes with engines between 750cc and 1000cc. The initial ‘R’ would be a ‘D’ if they were adventure bikes, ‘V’ if they were cruisers. That still leaves the possibility of roadsters, retros, tourers, or sports bikes, but it’s a start.
The second letter, ‘N’, is more helpful as it indicates engine size, showing that these bikes are over 750cc but under 1000cc. Yamaha currently has just two engines that fit that description – the 889cc triple from the MT-09 and its sister models and the 998cc four from the MT-10 and R1. The two most recent ‘RN’ models to reach production have each used one of those, with the new-for-2022 MT-10 being the RN78 and the latest XSR900 going under the codename RN80.
What will the RN82 and RN83 be, then? There’s a strong chance that one of them is a new version of the unusual, three-wheeled Niken. The Niken is currently the last remaining Yamaha to use the old 847cc version of the MT-09 triple, and it doesn’t meet the latest Euro5 emissions rules as a result. Yamaha has a period of grace to continue to sell it in Europe, but that expires at the end of this year, so if the Niken is to remain on sale in Euro5 regions after that, it will need to be updated with the newer 889cc MT-09 engine.
The second new bike is harder to pin down. It might be another version of the Niken, as Yamaha has previously worked on the idea of a naked derivative with MT-09-inspired styling, and the simultaneous registration of the two type approvals might be a hint that the two bikes are mechanically similar. However, there are also other candidates. Last year Yamaha trademarked the name ‘R9’ in multiple countries, and with the YZF-R6 unable to meet modern emissions rules and the latest MT-09 gaining a Deltabox-style chassis, a fully-faired sports model based on the triple makes a vast amount of sense.
Other possibilities, deduced from the gaps in Yamaha’s current range, include the chance that the firm could be planning an XSR1000, based on the MT-10 but with neo-retro styling to sit above the XSR700 and XSR900 in the line-up.