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December 21, 2010

Pete’s Pics

By Danny Brault

If there’s one thing you can count on at a Yamaha event, I mean any event, like we could be promoting new brake levers or grip donuts, it’s that Peter Swanton will be there and he’ll be taking pictures. Jokes aside, Swanton, Yamaha’s National Motorsports Sales Manager, is one passionate motorcycle man and does everything he can to help the company.

After an event, Pete normally organizes a PowerPoint presentation full of interesting pictures and notes and then sends it through to colleagues. With snow falling across Canada, Pete is now swamped selling snowmobiles and he didn’t have time to put together a report from the Toronto Motorcycle Show on December 10-12. But rather than let his flawless photos fall to the wayside, I thought I’d share some with you. I hope I make ya proud, Pete!

For those of you who are passionate about Yamaha, motorcycle technology or adventure touring, you’ll understand why the 2012 Super Ténéré garnered so much attention in TO. Although the bike isn’t available in Canada until June 2011, you can order one now (and receive some bonus incentives). It has many impressive features, like a unified braking system, ABS, D-Mode, adjustable suspension, double-T style rims, and much much more. Long story short, it’s a really cool bike.

To give fans a better view, our service department stripped down a ST (the one that endured this off, on and everything in between road trip) and offered a more intimate look into the machine.

Women riders are becoming a much more common sight on the road these days, and we think that’s great. Friday night was ‘Ladies Night’ at the TO show and that meant free admission for them. The new Stryker (above) with its low seat height and cozy ergonomics was favoured by many ladies… does that mean we can’t say it delivers “badboy” attitude any longer? “Badperson” just doesn’t have the same ring to it…

Mr. Tough Guy: You’re going to laugh, but I’ll be honest: performance and handling aside, riding the Raider makes me feel like the toughest, baddest rebel on the road. Seriously–this bike oozes appeal. What’s also funny is the time I brought a Raider home for a weekend. I was at a Tim Horton’s (the unofficial hangout of MCists everywhere) and two Harley dudes came outside to check it out. They were impressed, but after asking what it was and I said “Yamaha,” they turned their backs and walked away….

People are always asking “Can I buy anything?” when visiting our corporate booth. Unfortunately, we normally have to tell them to keep their money. Not this year! Kelly’s Cycle Centre stepped up with their booth, and retailed a boatload of quality Yamaha leathers and casual wear at heavily discounted prices. Way to go, team.

The new Stratoliner Deluxe is making friends everywhere. It’s amazing the difference, visually, simple bolt-ons, like a shorty fairing with windshield and hard saddlebags, can make.

Start’em young! The Yamaha Riding Academy (YRA) has become a mainstay at Motorcycle Shows across Canada. It’s no wonder, as Clinton Smout and his band of riding professors have a very methodical and practical approach to teaching not only kids, but anyone how ride. In an attempt to offer better visibility and “cleaner” conditions, the YRA setup was moved into the main showroom. By all accounts (except for a minor smoke alarm sounding) it was a success.

The kids are outfitted with the latest gear and protection and mini-bikes from Yamaha. There are a few thrills and spills, but most every kid leaves with a big smile on their face. And isn’t that what it’s all about?

2010 was another big year for Yamaha on the motocross front. For the third year in a row, we captured the MX1 Canadian National title with Dusty Klatt, and Tyler Medaglia won his first MX2 crown. Even though the MX crowd is the minority at the TO show, we still had to display our racing honours. To help, we had Blackfoot Motorsports ship us Klatt and Medaglia’s championship winning Yamaha’s. Pictured here is Klatt’s one-of-a-kind ’94 YZ inspired 450F. Kudos to his mechanic, Andrew McClean, for the creativity!

You know what’s really cool about Blackfoot’s factory race bikes? You can buy them! Yep, that’s right. Each fall BF sells off their riders’ practice and race bikes (at a pretty good price, IMO). View them all here.

Scary fast: That cliche rings true when looking at the new 2011 YZF-R1. The world champion inspired, crossplane turning crankshaft, sweet sounding supersport is now available in this ghosty red styling that has to be seen to truly appreciate. Speaking of scary and cool, if certain things come together, you may see a very unique “UFC” inspired R1 in the near future….

Like father, like son.

The Northern Stars Riders’ Assoc. were in the house. If you’re from Western Canada, or looking to plan a motorcycle adventure, we suggest looking into the Stars’ Cruise-In next July in High River, AB.

Hey, that’s not a motorcycle!?! That is correct, however, the new Apex with Power Steering is a must-have at all of our powersport shows. Our techs have re-jigged this unit to allow people to experience the ease-of-steering, sans snow. Ask anyone who has tried it (at the show or on the snow), this ain’t no gimmick!

What, outboards?! Again, with an impressive piece of machinery like Yamaha’s V8 outboard, you gotta show it off. Size matters.

Not sure why this guy is so angry…

…Pete found something to smile about.

If you like what you saw here, then be sure to visit an upcoming Motorcycle Show near you:

2011 Motorcycle Show Schedule
January 7-9: BMO Centre, Stampede Park – Calgary, AB
January 14-16: Edmonton Expo Centre, Northlands – Edmonton, AB
January 20-23: Trade Exhibition Centre, Abbotsford – Vancouver, BC
February 4-6: Centre de Foires – Quebec, QC
February 11-13: Moncton Coliseum – Atlantic Canada
February 25-27: Montreal Convention Centre – Montreal, QC

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