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Yamaha Kids Camp and Demo Days Underway

Yamaha Motor New Zealand’s (YMNZ) decision to combine the Yamaha Off-Road Demo Day, with a bLUcRU Kids Camp, proved to be a huge success, with families flocking to the Hawkes Bay venue last weekend.

The beautiful Argyll farm owned by Tom Twist had hosted a race meeting that YMNZ’s Motorsport Manager Josh Coppins rode in two years earlier and he booked it in for the three-day activation.

Yamaha ambassador and 101 Adventures owner Ben Townley ran the Yamaha Off-Road Demo Day with his wife Lucy. Rain over the preceding days petered out and sunshine greeted the 26 riders who came through from 10am to 3pm on Friday and tried the variety of motorcycles on offer. They were spoilt for choice with the Yamaha bike models available for half hour time slots and could try out the YZ450F, YZ250FX, YZ250 (2-stroke), WR450, WR250 and YZ125X (at up-coming demo days, the YZ450FX will be available as well).

Ben Townley says the track was similar to those laid out for the 2020 demo days and its condition “just got better and better as the day went on.” “Riders were able to experience the Yamaha off-road range to its absolute potential. The most popular model was the YZ250FX. Like last season, riders were really impressed by what the smaller machine had to offer, especially from a horsepower perspective. There was also great feedback on the new ergonomics of the 2022 YZ250 (2-stroke).

For the younger generation, the YZ85 was an incredibly popular bike,” Townley says. Each rider was given a tailored bike fit and advice on its set up. They were also able to try out multiple motorcycles on the day to determine their preference. “It was great to have the local Yamaha dealers involved in the demos and to be there to chat with the customers so thanks to both Motoland and Hewitts for their support. All in all it was a successful first stop for the Yamaha summer of activations,” Townley adds.

The following two days were dedicated to the bLU cRU Kids Camp and the youngsters were able to demo Yamaha’s PW50, TTR50, TTR110, TTR125, YZ65 and YZ85SW. “A total of 73 riders attended, which was a great turnout considering the uncertain times, especially the week leading up to the event. The majority of kids were aged between 6 to10 years old and were of the novice/intermediate level of riding which suited the track and conditions,” Coppins says.

They could choose between an absolute beginner loop, an easy loop and also a larger loop that was split into intermediate and expert sections. “Most of the riders were on the intermediate track and it was awesome to see how many girls and little kids on 50cc motorcycles were getting around the tough tracks, with guidance from Yamaha ambassadors when required. It was a massive couple of days riding for the kids. One boy clocked 100kms on his odometer in one day and another put 7 hours on his YZ65 over the weekend!” Coppins adds.

Yamaha ambassador Rhys Carter from Carter Coaching ran one-hour coaching sessions with groups of 6 to 8 riders, based on their riding skill level. Coppins says: “These sessions were really well attended and the kids then got to practice their learnings over the rest of the weekend. Parents were able to listen and learn too, so it was valuable to everyone.” The bLU cRU Kids Camps are open to children aged 14 years and under, plus their families and will be run around New Zealand from October onwards. “This is the first time we combined the demo day and kids camp and it absolutely made sense to bring them together. Everything ran smoothly and it was a great opportunity for us to share the new Yamaha products with our customer base,” Coppins says.

He also enjoyed a different perspective away from his usual role on the side of a racetrack. “It was really nice to see kids having so much fun with their families. I feel like we are offering a great, broad base for our customers, whether it be demoing the bikes for adults and children, plus the coaching and kids camp. Parents can feel comfortable that their kids are learning to ride safely in a supportive environment.” “I’m looking forward to our next camps in Nelson and Christchurch at the end of November and start of December,” Coppins wraps up. The

Covid-19 situation has meant the second bLU cRU Kids Camp at Glen Murray in the Waikato region will now be run in February.