Every bride needs something old, something new, something blue … and something Yamaha, HA! While going through fan photos on Facebook, I was overwhelmed by how many owners include a Yamaha into their Big Day.
Below are some of our favourite wedding shots featuring Yamaha. (If you have one to share, please upload to our Facebook page – Facebook.com/YamahaMotorCanada – or email to email@example.com.)
Brad Smith and Cassandra Richardson. Port Stanley, ON
Clayton and Penny Edwards. Duncan, BC
Dianne Lawson. Kelowna, BC
Marcy & Jamie. Kelowna, BC
Jeff and Grejanka Kamlah. Gull Lake, AB
Natalie Bergeron Ottawa, ON
Gerald Nadon and his son, Martin, on their way to Martin’s wedding. Quebec.
Let’s go back in time for a moment…. Just over 2 years ago, friend and work colleague Chris Anderson entered a rally in Gatneau, PQ on his BWs scooter. It was the first time I had heard of the Mad Bastard Scooter Rally (MBSR) and suddenly another friend, Percy, asked if I could help him locate a scooter to ride in the same rally. I just so happened that I was in the process of destroying a pre-production C3 scooter, so I delayed the job long enough for it to get “one last ride.”
Both guys competed and had a “really fun time” as Chris said to me after. He asked if I would consider riding in the next rally and I replied that if he was going, then I would be there too.
A few weeks later, Chris became a victim in a motorcycle accident and was lost to this world. But I remembered the promise to him, and along with Percy’s encouragement, registered for the 2011 rally. Back to the future and here we are, June 2011.
Consider a bunch of scooter riders, all dressed in silly costumes, riding more than 700 kilometres (the kind of distance that would make the average touring bike rider think twice about doing in a day), and collecting clues and photos in the hope that they get the most “mad points” and get back to the starting point within a time allowance. Of course, do it all for charity and then you have the basis of the Mad Bastard Scooter Rally.
The map of madness.
With the well wishes and sponsorship of many people from Yamaha, along with the use of a new 2012 BWs 50 scooter, Percy (aka Scooterman) and I, the Dragon Slayer (such testosterone-filled titles) started on the journey on a cold, wet Saturday at just before 4:30 am. Yes, that’s right, early in the morning. The lightly modified BWs sprang to life and along with Scooterman’s C3, we left the hotel start line as team “Chris’ Caped Crusaders.”
The 2 little scoots have similar performance, so we raced along with throttles wide open, drafting each other and generally trying to outdo the other for speed whenever possible. Every so often, a stop to check the directions we had been given before the start, then back to racing.
The route wound east out of Barrie (a city 90 minutes north of Toronto) and eventually took us on some beautiful back roads of southern Ontario. On a 50cc scooter, there is plenty of time to see the scenery – I counted all 37 cows in one field as we zoomed past.
Stopping for fuel at the compulsory stops became part of the competition between Scooterman and I. We both vied for putting in the most fuel but in most cases there was no difference – he put in 2.72 litres and I put in 2.73 at the first stop after 138km. It was like that each time. We laughed that we could probably complete the whole rally on a fuel budget of 10 bucks each!
The roads wound north from Gooderham up into Bracebridge and Huntsville before swinging South West to Collingwood and into the party beach town of Wasaga.
Here, after a total of 13 hours riding, we had a choice to make: bonus route or not? Keep in mind it is only 30 minutes back to the hotel and the call of the lounge, or some really serious mad points for riding another 5 hours. But we were going for the win, so West we went, up and over the Blue Mountains. The directions mentioned the hills were steep and we were a little concerned, but those four-stroke engines wouldn’t quit and up we went, no problem.
A required stop in Orangeville with the dark closing in on us and we headed back north to Barrie. We rolled into the hotel lot and the finish tent just after 10:30pm for a grand total of 18 hours “in the saddle.”
Scooterman wins the 2011 MBSR!
Result? Scooterman got the overall win (thanks to my direction reading and clue deciphering) and together we took the Team to 1st prize. Scooterman won the grand prize of a new Kymco 125 scooter, but we had already considered the prize ahead of time and agreed to ask it be raffled and the proceeds donated to the charity (Kids Help Phone).
The team prize? A case of Tankhouse beer! We decided to keep that and toasted the memory of our lost friend Chris, who no doubt had a helping hand with the win.
Building a custom motorcycle takes creativity, skill and A LOT of patience. In celebration of UFC coming to Toronto, for the first time ever, Yamaha Motor Canada and Flat Out Industries partnered to create a special, one-of-a-kind TapOut Edition YZF-R1. The idea came from Flat Out’s Sean Mance, and we’re glad he shared it with us.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, ultimate fighting is the sport right now—and Toronto can’t get enough of it (the event had a record sellout of 55,000 tickets, nearly doubling the prior record, held by Montreal’s Bell Centre). We knew it would be a great opportunity to expose our brand to new eyeballs and play a part, even a small one, in the sport’s history.
Where to start … first we had to get TapOut and Authentic Brands Group’s approval (ABG bought TapOut and thus has a major say in promotional partnerships). We needed permission to use their logos and also to display the bike inside TapOut’s booth at Toronto’s UFC Fan Expo. After getting the greenlight, Sean and I started discussing bike design and what this “street fighter” was going to look like. It wasn’t easy, as both of us, and many others, had different opinions. With a little compromising, we settled on a theme: a race replica supersport with a touch of bling!
The BodyWorks in Guelph, ON helped to “dress” the TapOut bike.
We ordered a brand new R1 and a box of performance parts. Yamaha P&A Specialist and sportbike enthusiast, Richard Irwin, secured us front and back BRAKING wave rotors, steel braided brake lines, GYTR chain and sprockets, ASV levers, Harris Rear Sets, and a trick set of Italian Marchesini Wheels. Because this bike is a “show piece” we didn’t feel the need to alter anything internally (and hey, let’s be honest, does the R1 really NEED anymore jam?).
Once the bike arrived, Yamaha tech Matt Helmer stripped the bike down to its barebones and began installing the new parts. Meanwhile, Sean picked up the body panels, Marchesini Wheels and swingarm and delivered them to The Bodyworks in Guelph, ON for painting. It’s a small, humble operation, but the BodyWorks trio is full of talent and hilarious to work with. Unfortunately, due to lack of communication—and an actual rendering of the proposed bike—we had Bodyworks paint the swingarm twice. I’ll admit it, I’m a rookie…
We used TapOut’s NASCAR design as inspiration for …
… the TapOut Edition YZF-R1
To avoid this from happening again, we put the project on hold until we had a concept in our hands. After some debate, Yamaha’s graphic designer Nick Sang and I tossed around ideas and came up with a visual. Considering TapOut’s dark and gritty look, we used a lot of black, with red and white as our secondary colours. Sean made a good call on adding a big, white stripe down the centre of the fairing, tank cover, gas tank, and rear fender. It definitely improved the look and really grabbed your eye, even from a distance.
With only three weeks before the Fan Expo, I was getting nervous. Our big debut was almost here and there was still a lot of work to be done, not to mention marketing and promotional materials had to be created to support the initiative.
The team kept it pinned and Matt and I traveled down to Mance family’s machine shop in Guelph for two very late nights of work. As Sean programmed and machined custom engine and chassis components (which were then sent to RealChrome for chrome plating) and Bodyworks completed paintwork, Matt made sure everything was tight on the R1. (Matt’s a major R1/road racing fanatic, so he took great pride in this project, making sure this bike was ready to hit the track, if need be.)
Mechanic Matt was a huge help, and I’m so thankful he stayed in the fight, no matter how much we stretched his patience.
Tuesday April 26th … our last day of work before the Fan Expo … or so we think. Matt and I met with Sean in Guelph, hoping to finish the deal. Our goal was to finish up around 8pm, conduct a photo shoot and then head back to Toronto with the finished piece (move-in for the Expo took place Thursday April 28 from 12-5pm. Show opened at 9am the next day).
Like everything I touch, things didn’t go quite as planned and we didn’t finish the bike until midnight. Not a huge deal to the three of us, as we all hold great passion for motorcycles and rather enjoy tinkering on them. Sadly, I can’t say the same for the photographer or Sean’s models … I don’t think they were too thrilled to be up past their bedtime.
Matt, Sean and I show off the fruits of our labour … I wonder who would in a fight?
All of the late nights were worth it though. Once we had everything bolted on and polished up, the three of us stood back and smiled. This bike was, as a fight fan would say, “Badass!” But what about TapOut? And what about the fans? Would they share the same opinion?
Keeping things consistent, we once again scrambed to move the bike into the Direct Energy Centre (DEC) on Thursday afternoon. We arrived at the DEC moments before the doors closed. The stress of it all floated away, fortunately, as we rolled the bike into the building and everyone who walked by complimented the machine or ran up and shot a pic with their cell phone…
The bike attracted a lot of attention at the UFC Fan Expo …
… especially when the ladies joined in!
The next morning, Yamaha’s motorcycle tech specialist, Nick DiCristofaro, and I showed up at TapOut’s booth, ready to mingle with fight fans. It was quite overwhelming, really. I knew UFC was big, but I couldn’t believe how many people jammed into the Expo. Over the two day event, more than 40k fans walked through the DEC! It helped that we were located right at the entrance, inside TapOut’s booth, and parked beside TapOut’s autograph line. Punkass and Skrape signed autographs and took photos with fans over the two day event, along with their fighters, including Jake Shields, who would be fighting Canada’s own George St- Pierre that evening.
The bike was a hit, especially when a beautiful young lady (or two or three) climbed aboard. We had posters printed up of the bike and TO’s Punkass and SkySkrape were kind enough to sign them and give away to fans. Both guys loved the bike, but what’s better, is the fact that both of them ride (as did their late, former leader, Charles Lewis, aka “Mask”). Punkass rides street, while Skrape has a garage full of WRs, YZs, and TT-Rs, and this funky R1/Hayabusa hybrid.
TapOut founders SkySkrape (fro) and Punkass (shades) weren’t so happy that their sponsored fighter, Jake Shields, lost to GSP in Toronto’s Main Event, but they liked the bike!
The goal of the project was to partner with a cool, hip brand, like TapOut, and get in front of new potential riders. The crowd was alive, young and showed great interest in our “Ultimate 2-Wheel Sreet Fighter.” Considering that, and the positive response from TapOut and their crew, I think it’s safe to say we met our objective.
If you wish to see this bike in person, tune into Yamaha ‘s Facebook page to see where it will be next. It will be on display at many dealers across the GTA, as well the Blocko 8 sportbike rally, corporate bike shows, and many other events during 2011.
The Western Canada Motorcycle Power Tour kicked off its first week on beautiful Vancouver Island, BC. My travels included stops at select Yamaha Dealerships in Duncan, Courtenay, Parksville and Victoria, demonstrating new 2011 Yamaha Motorcycles.
Being springtime, a lot of motorcycle enthusiasts come out of the winter humdrum looking for dry, warm weather to ride their motorcycle or look for a new ride! There are lots of you already on the road.
Our participation at each dealership was good to great, but … as we all know,the rain can sometimes hamper our “test drive” demo rides. Nevertheless, it’s a good time to polish up the ride!
Meet your author: Jamie Moberg.
Riders all of all ages are coming out to see the 2011 Yamaha motorcycles, hence our future Yamaha Stryker rider.
This week the Western Canada Power Tour travels to the Lower Mainland of BC with stops in Chilliwack and Langley, and then travels to Vernon and Kelowna in the Interior. Click here for a complete Power Tour schedule.
I’m looking forward to seeing all of you motorcycle enthusiasts as you discover: “What Kind of Yamaha are You?”
Yamaha’s Annual Motorcycle Power Tour is on! Coordinator Jamie Moberg checked in with this update and photos from stop #1 on Vancouver Island:
The 1st Stop of the Western Canada Yamaha Motorcycle Power Tour started out with a great response, with fantastic weather and a full day of riding 2011 Yamaha Motorcycles. The Staff of Duncan Motorsports, Vancouver Island, BC, were extremely positive about their Power Tour day and it showed by the turn out of riders … some all the way from Victoria … on a Wednesday!
With a possible total of 88 rides throughout the day, 87 rides went out … all positive. The Stratoliner Deluxe was the ride of the day as it was booked up for rides before any of the others. A popular choice!
See attached pictures for a better visual on the day. The guy with the Yamaha Tuning Fork Tattoo owns a Raider S and is a true “Yamaha Man”!
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.
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….
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
The big day is almost here … nope, I’m not referring to my birthday (May 31!) but International Female Ride Day! On May 7, women around the world will be riding their bikes, celebrating our great sport. It’s no secret that women and motorcycles are becoming a much more common sight on the tracks, trails and roadways.
In my personal experience with motocross racing, not long ago I could count the number of Ladies’ racers on my fingers and toes—now there are separate classes for beginners and experts and the CMRC has been running a National Women’s Championship since 2006!
As far as street bikes go, I’m sure everyone has noticed the increase of women on the road. I think it’s great. To me, there is nothing more fun than riding a two wheeler and men and women deserve to share the experience together. (In fact, Yamaha’s Facebook Photo Contest winner was a woman rider, Katrina Bryant, who owns an R1).
To be honest (not that I’d ever lie to you ), I didn’t know much about International Female Ride Day, so I called up someone who does, the founder and extreme motorcycle enthusiast, Vicki Gray.
Bike Blog: What’s your background with motorcycles and what is MOTORESS?
Vicki: My background includes 27 years of riding, licensed back in 1983. I decided to get into motorcycling because I grew up as sort of a thrill seeker/tomboy. I’d climb trees, build rafts and ride snowmobiles. I really had an interest in motorcycling, but it wasn’t until I moved to the East Coast of Canada and was very busy with a corporate career that I took the opportunity to take the training. I needed an outlet to get away from the stress of work. I tried sailing as well, it’s nice and calm, but didn’t give me that kick I found from motorcycling.
Tell us about MOTORESS.
It’s a one-stop shop for women and motorcycling. MOTORESS didn’t just come out of the air; it’s a take-off from a brand that I had in the community called RaceGirl Motorsport in Europe. In Canada, I did a lot of riding and teaching here, but in 1989, I left and went to the Caribbean. I lived there for six years and within a year I opened my own training school. So this whole journey of MOTORESS is stuff that happened in between.
I think what spurred it on was when I started racing in Europe in 1998. Again, it’s a guy’s world there, especially in racing. I decided to start a brand and community called RaceGirl, which encouraged women into motorsports and through the non-profit organization, I gave higher skills training. I gave lessons to men as well and held track days. I worked with TT Circuit Assen during MotoGP and World Superbike. I was constantly interviewed when these races were in town, and I always spoke of women and encouraging them to get into motorsports. All of that and my passion seemed to grow like crazy! It was only a hobby but RaceGirl started to get so big. I was working in the telecomm industry at that time, which was having its up and downs. I kept changing jobs and then sat down and made a business plan for MOTORESS. To be honest, all along I searched for a way to make my passion my livelihood.
Vicki raced throughout Europe, and in the first ever European Women’s Cup, supported by the renowned Ten Kate Honda Team.
Now, you’re the founder of International Female Ride Day. What goes into creating an official “day?”
It was an idea … as you can imagine, in 1983, I was a woman riding a motorcycle and there were many women before me, but even then, I was part of the very small number of women riding. Of course, we have challenges keeping it in our lives but we really do have so many women riders out there. In North America—in Europe it’s not such a phenomenon to see a woman on a bike—yet it still gets a lot of response. I thought if we introduced a day, where women would just get out there, we’d show everyone first hand how many of us there are! The day also promotes women in motorcycling. Women are role models in themselves, and they influence other women. You have younger and older women, on cruisers, sport bikes, dirt bikes and it’s so diverse, I thought this concept, synchronized would show other women how wonderful and fun it is.
What’s your take on where women and motorcycles are at now?
It’s really evolved, just like women have. Social values and choices have changed; women buy houses alone now. The whole role of women has changed. Women go exploring other stuff, like motorcycling. Some women are terrified of them [laughs], and I meet some men who are too. I think it’s how we are brought up; generally women are not pointed in the direction of more dangerous “deemed male” activities, like the guys.
What advice do you have for those women who are shy and nervous about riding bikes?
[Laughs] Things are not as they appear. You know, that whole illusion theory and perception-motorcycling looks intimidating but once you’re sitting on a bike, have some good lessons and skills under your belt, you’ll see the other side of motorcycling that catches us all; it’s the same for racing.
Favourite bike you’ve ever owned?
I don’t have one because I love them all! They all bring something different to the road. Obviously my Ten Kate Honda race bike was exceptional, and riding that thing, on my God! Even Honda Japan would come to see how they tune their bikes. I really love the Yamaha R6. When I teach at F.A.S.T. I often use that bike.
Where do you see women going in this sport? And what can dealers, manufacturers, anybody do to help promote women’s involvement?
I think you (the manufacturers/industry) are already doing it. You guys have ladies events, you have a great array of motorcycles that are available and you’re underlining these to women; the clothing is getting better. There isn’t much more to do, but it’s accepting the fact that women ride. For instance, when I see women at motorcycle shows, my mindset is that they are there because they ride. The goal of MOTORESS is to show women that motorcycling belongs in their life, and it should be placed higher on the priority list.
Unfortunately, for the average women, we have so much to juggle in our lives. There are big debates to that, but studies have proven, women, unlike men, can’t leave domestic duties alone for too long. After a day of work, arriving home, tending to say a partner, children, household demands … when all is said and done, if we have any time or energy remaining, what will receive the priority? With MOTORESS, we’re trying to bring it to an easier belonging, a lifestyle and make motorcycling that choice priority.
With that, what do you hope for International Female Ride Day, simply to get women on their bikes and ride?
Of course! There is so much going on around the world it’s unbelievable. I received an email from Cape Town, South Africa where women are organizing a ride day. Women riders just seem to take such pride in being a part of it. It’s awesome! This year, I even had to translate the logo into Hungarian so they could post it and use it. I would really like this to one day, similar to Mother’s Day, be recognized by the country as an official day.
Hey ladies (and guys) are you going to be out supporting In. Female Ride Day? If so, please comment and let us know! Feel free to share your bike of choice as well!
As I type this, I can hear the carbide choir singing …. “let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…” Winter is officially here as snow is falling faster than Tiger Woods bank account. Zing!
Before we get too far, did you notice the cool new video we incorporated into the Bike Blog header graphic? Neat, eh. A big thanks to our web developer, Emily, and graphic designer, Nick, for making my little dream a reality. I think it brightens this place up.
There’s no business like show business, and there’s no business like motorcycle show business! This weekend marks the first round of the Canadian Motorcycle Shows, which kicks off at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in, you guessed it, downtown Toronto….
Last week we featured a video tour of the Team Toyota Yamaha OTSFF pits and rig. Today, we’re introducing you to the racers, Kevin Lacombe, Tony Kasper, and Royce McLean. It’s a pretty unique combination we have between these guys.
Lacombe, who finished on the podium in both classes last year, is obviously our flagship rider and is the most capable of taking down the green goblin, Jordan Szoke. Flanking him is Minnesota’s Tony Kasper, an accomplished racer in AMA racing and snocross, and 14-year-old phenom, Royce McLean.
Learn a little more about these racers by watching the video below …