On-going Yamaha events offer 'very best experience' across all motorcycling levels
Yamaha Motor New Zealand’s (YMNZ) innovative activites are in full-swing and they are proving popular with Kiwis wanting to experience the brand’s motorbikes, across the range, in a variety of environments.
The Yamaha Off-Road Demos, bLUcRU Kids Camps and Ténéré Tour 2020 - Central Plateau, have kept Yamaha’s Motorsport Manager Josh Coppins, his fellow former international motocross star Ben Townley and Yamaha’s brand ambassadors busy over September and October. Along with his team, Coppins is looking forward to rolling out more opportunities for a wider audience to be introduced to the Yamaha brand throughout the up-coming months.
Yamaha Off-Road Demos
Launched in September 2020 in conjunction with Townley’s 101 Adventures company, YMNZ is halfway through the Yamaha Off-Road Demos.
Bayride Motorcycles was there in full support at the Yamaha demo day held on 25 September at Pirini Motorsport Park.
Working their way around a series of North Island venues, the demo days have been extremely well-received, with riders given the opportunity to try out a variety of Yamaha off-road motorcycles, including the YZ250X, YZ125X, WR450F, WR250F, YZ450FX and YZ250FX. The point of difference is the customers have two of New Zealand’s best-ever motocross riders Coppins and Townley on hand to set up their motorcycles for them.
“We can discuss the advantages of the particular bike they are riding, or why certain things may not suit them and suggest a different model that might be better for them,” Coppins explains.
“Ben and I are really just making sure our customers get the very best experience and can understand the full potential of the model they are looking to purchase and all its set-up possibilities.”
“So many customers have a perception of the motorcycle they need, or should have based on what they used to ride up to 20 years ago. For the investment they are making in a motorcycle, making the right choice is important for safety and we think it is really important that the customer experiences everything the bike has to offer,” Coppins concludes.
He and Townley will now head to the South Island for three more Yamaha Off-Road Demos in November. Customers can go along to their closest Yamaha Off-Road demo venue free of charge and get their motorcycle of choice set up as per their personal preferences.
Townely says: “It has been a really cool experience taking all of the Yamaha off-road models around the North Island to give riders the opportunity to experience how good the range of FX and WR 4strokes are, as well as the 125X and 250X models.”
“The off-road models Yamaha have to offer are so good! I’ve been able to experience them with my international trail riding customers through my 101 Adventures business and with New Zealand’s borders shut, I’ve had time to give Kiwi riders the opportunity to test them as well. Josh and I have loved getting riders comfortable with their individual set up so that they can experience the bike in its best form!”
Dates and locations for upcoming Yamaha Off-Road Demos are as follows:
4th November – Mt Venus, Canterbury
6th November – Titri Park, Dunedin
8th November – Wakefield, Nelson
bLUcRU Kids Camps
After becoming aware of a “real gap in the market for kids, parents and families wanting to ride their motorcycles in a controlled environment and not necessarily a race” Coppins and his team put together a plan for the bLUcRU Kids Camps.
“We got IME Management on board and worked with them putting the camp structure together. Our first event was massive and it went off really well,” Coppins says.
The first bLUcRU Kids Camp was held at Burt’s Farm in Matata, on October 2 to 4 and was a great success, with just over 100 riders attending.
The weekend began with a welcome and mechanics workshop led by Coppins, who along with his across-divisions Yamaha motorsport role, also manages his own Altherm JCR Yamaha motocross team. Then the riders hit their tents for a good night’s sleep, to ensure they were ready to maximise riding the tracks over the next two days.
Riders’ briefing commenced at 8.15am both mornings and then the four track levels - from easy to expert - were open from 9am. There was a track to suit everyone, allowing the riders and their families to participate in an activity they could all enjoy.
Once the tracks closed on Saturday a fun evening schedule commenced, including a lolly scramble, treasure hunt and a sausage sizzle. On Sunday afternoon there was prize giving for all the riders, including prizes for the most improved rider, most laps ridden over the weekend and the colouring-in competition winners.
Throughout the weekend Rhys Carter, of Carter Coaching, did some one-on-one training with riders which they had pre-paid and registered for, while out on the tracks there was support and advice available from Coppins, Tommy Watts (bLUcRU supported rider), Scott Henderson (YMNZ Dealer Development Franchising Manager) and Joe Davis (Altherm JCR Yamaha mechanic).
Coppins enjoyed getting back to the grass roots of what riding bikes is all about.
“It was great to see how many riders made big improvements with their riding over the weekend, whilst building confidence on their motorcycles. There were so many families spending time together appreciating the outdoors, which was awesome to see, especially considering what a tough year 2020 has been for a lot of Kiwis,” he says.
“It was super rewarding working with the kids. I got to ride with all of them at some point and I enjoyed seeing the smiles on their faces and watching them excel, or improve their riding, by the end of the weekend. By Sunday, some of them were tackling harder tracks, which they wouldn’t have dreamed of doing on Friday evening.”
Dates and locations for upcoming bLUcRU Kids Camps are as follows:
20th to 22nd November 2020 - Private property, Glen Murray
22nd to 24th January 2021 - Taikorea MX Park, Palmerston North
23rd to 25th April 2021 - Private Property, Gore
7th to 9th May 2021 - MX Venus, Canterbury
21 to 23 May 2021 - Northland
Ténéré Tour 2020 - Central Plateau
Following on from the Ténéré 700 nationwide launch in 2019, YMNZ in conjunction with 101 Adventures’ founders Ben and Lucy Townley, held the first Ténéré Tour 2020 - Central Plateau, earlier this month.
Seventeen Yamaha customers and dealers rode this dual-sport adventure model off the beaten track exploring New Zealand’s scenic mid-North Island countryside.
Starting from the Great Lake, Taupo, the Ténéré riders navigated across the base of the Central Plateau mountains, before traversing their way through native bush and farmland. They experienced some of the most breath-taking views of the stunning lakes that the Central Plateau has to offer.
The Ténéré Tour was an amazing 1200km all-inclusive trip, staying at some pristine accommodation, like the outdoor enthusiast’s playground Blue Duck Station in the Ruapehu District.
Participating in what was his first experience of adventure riding, Coppins headed along on the tour.
“I have to say, I’m hooked! I loved every minute of it. I’ve spoken to a few mates and said this is the future for us - a little bit more casual having a beer at night and stopping at the coffee shop. Enjoying the day at your own pace, which is new to me!” he says.
A new-comer to the Yamaha brand, the Ténéré has become one of its best-selling motorcycles.
“To be able to take it on the Ténéré Tour and ride with our customers and have them experience it has been instrumental to us. It’s helped us understand the market and best of all we’ve been able to enjoy the Ténéré alongside them,” Coppins says.
101 Adventures owner Ben Townley says that given the success of the tour “we are currently working on dates and locations for future Ténéré Tours.”
“When the opportunity arose for our company 101 Adventures to offer an adventure ride for the new Ténéré customers, we jumped at it. The planning for this first annual ride had been in the pipeline for 12 months after being held up by Covid-19, so it was great to finally get the riders together and experience 1200km in three days around the North Island’s Central Plateau. The tour took us all to some nooks and crannies of New Zealand that you’d never see from the seat of a car!”
“I was absolutely stoked with our first offering. We had no major incidents and the riders thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They were able to really put their new Yamahas through their paces. I’ve started planning for next year's ride already and it’s going to be another ripper!” Townley promises. Email email@example.com to register your interest.
Yamaha Motor New Zealand General Manager Alan Petrie says: “Having Ben and Josh involved in the brand’s activations means they are professionally run by two of the motorcycling industry’s most motivated individuals.
“They bring credibility and a vast amount of knowledge to the brand. We feel fortunate that our customers have their experience to draw on across these three initiatives.”
Coppins concludes: “We expect these activations to evolve, grow and become a platform of our business and the Yamaha brand. Racing is important to us and always will be, however overall we are trying to capture a wider audience and ensure we can offer all our customers the very best experience across all levels of motorcycling.”