After three years running the Yamaha Adventure Ride, 101 Adventures has absolutely nailed the concept of three days of epic riding around remote New Zealand.
Yamaha Motor New Zealand’s Motorsport Manager Josh Coppins went along for the ride last week - which encompassed over 1000 kilometres through the beautiful Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa regions - and summed up the essence of it perfectly.
“I’ve done all three Yamaha Adventure Rides and for me this was the best one. Beautiful scenery on the route from Napier and finishing in Masterton. It really makes you appreciate New Zealand, with what we have to offer here and where I got to go on the Yamaha Tenere 700 was amazing.”
“At the end of the day, it’s about mates riding with their mates, seeing great parts of our country and having a good yarn. That’s exactly what it is for me. It’s my favourite event of the year because Ben does all the work and I turn up and ride with my mates, rather than being involved in the organisation. I purely get to enjoy it and that’s exactly what I did,” Coppins says.
Designed to suit a wide range of rider abilities, from beginners to experienced adventurers, the route explored back country roads, private coastal farm access, bushland and forestry tracks, with riders experiencing some of the most breath-taking views of the outstanding Wairarapa coastline.
There were two route options available each day, including the main route and then for those riders who were up for the challenge, there were some difficult breakout sections, where they could really experience the adventure.
World-class guides accompanied the riders, sharing their experience and offering tips along the way. Support from a back-up/sweep vehicle, mechanics and a luggage van meant the riders could relax knowing that everything was taken of behind the scenes.
101 Adventures is owned by former top international rider Ben Townley and his wife Lucy and out of the three years they have been running the Yamaha Adventure Ride, this one certainly had its fair share of challenges.
Covid-19 caused a few riders to pull out and then they had to contend with a big weather bomb on North Island’s eastern side, 10 days prior to the ride.
“Ben had planned to ride on 27 private properties, which got whittled down to 13, due to flood damage. But despite all those challenges, the whole event was extremely well run. There were many happy customers and I feel like this adventure ride has now cemented itself as a big part of Yamaha’s future offering,” Coppins says.
Townley admits he had some logistics adjusting administration on his hands.
“Day one and two we changed a significant amount of the route but managed to still put together an awesome ride with a few challenging sections. All riders were willing to test themselves, which was great to see,” he says.
The highlight was yet to come and Townley described day three as “one of the best days ever on an adventure bike.”
“It’s going to be hard to beat to be honest. It was an absolute cracker. We got to Wellington and made our way all around the coastline to White Rock. It was spectacular and we had perfect weather for it,” he says.
For Townley, the ultimate reward was the positive feedback he received from the adventure ride attendees, who rode a fleet of Yamaha adventure bikes.
“They were absolutely fizzing about the 2022 Yamaha Adventure Ride and Lucy and I are too reflecting on what we’ve been able to achieve in this third year. We feel like we’ve really established the Yamaha brand for adventure riding in New Zealand. This country is absolutely the pinnacle for what we can offer in terms of riding variety. Bring on 2023 – we can’t wait!”
On behalf of Yamaha Motor NZ, Coppins wanted to say that it was great to see many Yamaha dealers in attendance and thank them for coming along and being part of the 2022 Yamaha Adventure Ride.
“Also, a big thank you to Ben, Lucy and their helpers for making the event such a success and for showcasing the Yamaha brand so well,” Coppins concludes.
If you would like to register your interest for the 2023 Yamaha Adventure Ride, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 021 543 101. The 2023 dates and location will be confirmed in the coming months.