Yamaha Tricity 155 Problems: 6 Known Issues (Explained)

One of the rare three-wheeled scooters on the market, the Tricity is a beginner-friendly option for city riders.

It’s easy to use and offers a compact-but-comfortable seating design.

Moreover, the presence of a second wheel at the front increases Tricity’s road grip and stability. If you’re looking for an affordable and efficient three-wheeler to zip around town on, the Tricity is a suitable option.

However, it is important that you are familiar with the common problems, so you know what to prepare for.

Based on our research, here are the most widespread issues affecting the Yamaha Tricity 155 models:


1. Widespread Engine Stalling Problem

Let’s start with the most notorious; in 2017, Yamaha initiated a recall on Tricity Scooter manufactured between 2014 and 2017.

The recall was a response to excessive complaints about engine stalls on the Tricity 155.

The stalls went on for a few years before a trend was established.

Finally, Yamaha traced the problem to the primarily fixed sheave nut was loosening. According to the recall information given, the loosening nut was the result of improper tightening torque.

A few cases happened that once loose, the primary sheave was exposed to the crankcase cover, causing the engine assembly to make a racket and, even more frustrating, engine stalling.

Luckily for the owners, Yamaha recognized the problem.

It further instructed owners to take their Tricitt 155s into Yamaha mechanics for inspection and repair via increasing the primary sheave nut’s tightening torque.

If your Tricity scooter stalls for no reason, measure the tightening torque on the primary sheave nut. If it’s not up to spec, use a torque wrench to tighten it.

However, if your inspection doesn’t reveal any problem with the nut, then it’s advisable to have a mechanic check your scooter.

Yamaha is aware of this issue, and if your Tricity 155’s manufacturing date falls between the date mentioned above, it won’t hurt to have Yamaha punch your VIN in and see if it’s been brought up to the updated spec or not.

2. Scooter Doesn’t Start

As with any vehicle, a Yamaha Tricity has to be properly maintained on a maintenance schedule, and, for the record, a scooter that’s been sitting unridden is still susceptible to wear and tear as a scooter that’s being ridden, in some ways more so.

Some owners have complained about starting problems on the Tricity 155 models, but many of the reports we encountered outlined details alluding to a scooter that’s been in storage without proper battery-tender etiquette in place.

Let’s take a few of the common culprits to investigate when diagnosing a scooter that won’t start.

I. Bad Battery:

Let’s start with the basics.

The battery is always the first thing to examine if you’re scooter’s having starting problems.

If the battery is inadequate or the terminal connection is insecure, your Tricity problem isn’t getting enough juice to fire up.

Battery terminal connectors are the metal positive and negative ports on the battery and the correlating parts on your scooter that screw your battery into the wiring harness.

If you’re lucky, the starting issue could be just that the attachment between the two is loose.

Pop the battery compartment cover off, check the connections, screwing them down tightly if they’re loose, and fire the scooter up to see if it starts.

If the issues continue, take the battery out and lug it to an auto-parts store and have them examine its voltage output and make sure it’s reliable, unless, of course, you have the equipment to test it yourself.

II.”Parasitic” Battery Drain:

If you leave your Tricity sitting for a long period of time without the upkeep and proper storage, you may have issues starting it next time you try.

This is because parts on the bike always pull from the battery, even when the bike is off.

Scooters and motorcycles use a stator component that generates power while the bike is in motion to charge the battery. If the bike isn’t moving, the electronic system is draining power from a battery that isn’t charging. Eventually, it’ll diminish, and your bike won’t start.

If the bike is sitting for an extended period, hook the up to a trickle charger to supplement the lack of charging.

Be sure to use a charger compatible with your particular battery, and follow the instructions carefully to avoid the battery’s damage.

III. Bad Stator or Rectifier/Regultor

The stator is the coil of wire that lives inside the engine case. A magnet spins inside of it, generating an AC (alternating current). The AC passes through the rectifier/regulator, transforming it to DC power at a consistent output.

As engine speed accelerates, the stator outputs more and more power, and if left unregulated, it can overcharge the battery and cause the engine to explode.

That’s where the rectifier/regulator comes in.

The rectifier/regulator is the component responsible for sustaining the appropriate current. If your rectifier is bad, the battery will be damaged. If the stator is bad, your battery isn’t charging while riding, meaning it’s outputting more power than it’s producing, and eventually, it’ll die.

If you’re riding your scooter constantly and your battery won’t keep a charge, you’ve replaced the battery. The new battery is having the same issue. Inspecting the stator is good territory to move into next.

If you’re having issues with batteries overcharging and exploding, there’s a good chance the issue is the rectifier/regulator.

III. Faulty Electrical Components:

One reason many people hate electrical problems is because of the laundry-list of electrical components involved.

Here are some electrical-related things that may be responsible for your Tricity’s starting issues :

  • Blown fuses
  • Faulty starter
  • Bad ground connections
  • Dirty/fouled spark plugs.
  • Faulty ignition coils

3. Riders Experience Excessive Vibration

Some Tricity riders complained about the tendency of the scooter’s handlebars to vibrate during rides.

Per reports, the stiff suspension and increased air pressure in the tires may be responsible for handlebars vibrating excessively.

In recent years, Yamaha updated the Tricity with rubber isolators between the forks and the bars to absorb some of the vibrations, but the problem continued.

A quick fix for this problem is reducing the air pressure in the tires if you plan on riding soft or bumpy roads. This will help decrease the wobbling and eliminate the handlebar vibration, as soft tires absorb more road-shock than hard ones since they have more cushion.

That said, the Tricity is built for around-town city cruising that takes place on smooth roads—riding this three-wheeler on uneven roads can be uncomfortable.

We’ve also seen a small handful of complaints of Tricity’s tendency to vibrate excessively while idling, e.g., at a red light. You can stop the vibration by revving the engine.

4. Storage Capacity Is Poor

While the Yamaha Tricity is a good scooter, its inadequate cargo capacity is a sore point for some of its owners.

Compared to other scooters, the Tricity has limited storage options.

For example, there are no mini-compartments for small objects such as wallets or phones. The under-seat storage can only fit one full-face helmet, which may disappoint if you have more than just a helmet to store or if you want to throw a helmet in there while it’s already occupied.

For a scooter its size, the Tricity’s lack of storage space is disappointing.

There is a solution, though; you can purchase the optional luggage rack/case for increased cargo-holding capacity.

5. Performance Is Underwhelming

The fact of the matter I that a scooter of this size isn’t going to generate high horsepower; an automatic scooter can’t contend with a gear-driven motorcycle.

In our opinion, this reputation is a little unfair, but let’s take a look.

The Yamaha Tricity was originally designed with a 125cc motor. It was around this time that the complaints surfaced.

The previous Tricity used a 125cc motor that produced 10.9 horsepower and 7.7 lb-ft of torque.

Yamaha upgraded it with a new and improved, upsized 155cc engine. This new engine did bring up the margins a tad, with 14.8 horsepower and 10.6 lb-ft of torque.

While the Tricity isn’t the fastest scooter out there, these numbers aren’t bad for a beginner-level scooter.

If you want a speed-demon, you may be looking in the wrong market.

6. Seating Is a Bit Uncomfortable

Some riders have complained that the Tricity model’s seat is too cramped, especially for taller riders.

Like other components we mentioned, the Tricity Motorcycle seat is designed for short trips around town.

This isn’t a vehicle designed for the long haul.

The discomfort isn’t pronounced around town, but sure, long trips may leave you feeling sore.

There is a “comfort seat” available that comes with a backrest, but it will set you back a tidy $400.

Like the storage luggage rack and trunk add-on we mentioned earlier, if you’re looking to take longer trips, you might spring for the set-up required to make this modest little scooter travel-ready.

General Pros and Cons of the Yamaha Tricity 155

Here are some benefits and drawbacks of the Yamaha Tricity 155:

Pros of Yamaha Tricity:

The following are some qualities of the Yamaha Tricity 155:

Unique Three-Wheel Chassis:

The Tricity uses light but sturdy three-wheel chassis design.

This allows for increased control and stability regardless of road conditions.

Besides, the low weight of the Tricity’s chassis helps increase its maneuverability.

This makes it suitable for novice and expert riders.

Good Brake Performance:

The Tricity comes with dual 220mm diameter front brake discs and a 230mm rear brake disc for increased stopping power.

It also comes with Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS), which prevents wheel lockup under hard braking.

Even better, it features Yamaha’s Unified Brake System (UBS), which helps improve brake performance.

This feature optimizes the front and rear braking power when you pull the left lever and when you operate both levers simultaneously.

This ensures you get smooth and efficient braking.

Good Ride Quality:

Unlike the Tricity 125, the Tricity 155 offers plenty of ride comfort for riders.

It features a bigger and wider footboard that reduces pain in the legs during trips. The motorcycle also has a longer and flatter dual seat that gives riders a comfortable riding position.

Besides, the seat is designed such that riders can get on and off the scooter quickly.

Innovative Leaning Multi-Wheel System:

Exclusive to Yamaha, the LMW system offers riders confident handling and control.

This is particularly useful when attempting to twist at corners as it gives you more confidence during those turns.

The LMW system features a parallelogram link and dual telescopic forks, both of which allow the two front wheels to lean into corners.

This makes the Yamaha Tricity an absolute joy to ride always.

Impressive Fuel Economy:

Thanks to Yamaha’s Blue Core technology, the Tricity doesn’t guzzle fuel.

The model’s 155cc four-stroke engine produces enough power to propel you quickly across the city. Still, it sips fuel, demonstrating Yamaha’s commitment to performing using less fuel.

If you’re looking for an economical way to move around, the Yamaha Tricity is an ideal option.

Cons of Yamaha Tricity

Here are common issues with the Yamaha Tricity:

  1. Engine Stalling Problem
  2. Scooter Doesn’t Start.
  3. Riders Experience Excessive Vibration
  4. Storage Capacity Is Poor
  5. Performance Is Underwhelming
  6. Seating Is a Bit Uncomfortable

What Do the Reviews Say?

“All in all, Yamaha’s 125cc Tricity is an enjoyable machine if you take it for what it really is and not mistake it for a beast. If smooth, silent, and economical commuting is boxes that need to be ticked on your list, you really must consider this three-wheeled machine.”

[Source: Autoevolution.com]

“The Tricity is an innovative lightweight urban commuter featuring an exclusive 3-wheel design that gives a special feeling of stability and riding confidence on different road surfaces. Featuring twin front wheels positioned closely together, the Tricity is agile and easy to ride, making it an ideal choice for everyone.”

[Source: Totalmotorcycle.com]

What’s The Resale Value On the Yamaha Tricity?

Year Mileage Price ($)
2019 2,458 3,614
2014 6,257 2,804
2015 9,856 1,738
2016 26,000 2,617
2018 5,574 3,427

NB: You may have to import these bikes into the U.S.A.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.