Motocross

Yamaha’s YZ65 ready to launch the bLU cRU further into the VictorYZone

Author: Aaryn Minerds

Author: Aaryn Minerds

Posted:

Yamaha’s YZ65 ready to launch the bLU cRU further into the VictorYZone
Its been just on a month since Yamaha launched the YZ65 on to the Australian market with a host of come and try days being held around the nation.

The Demo days proved to be a huge hit amongst both riders and parents, giving the next generation of motocross stars, and future weekend warriors the opportunity to test rider the newest junior race bike on the market. A completely new race bike designed from the ground up.

We were lucky enough to spend the day at the South Australian demo day, hosted by Shane Metcalfe at Gillman in South Australia, with the riders there getting to spend quite a number of hours cutting laps around a full prepared motocross track. It was not long until a handful of those riders were rocking up at recent race days aboard their very on YZ65's.

It was a theme that played out across NSW, Qld, Victoria and soon to be Tasmania.

While the YZ65 Demo day was a massive hit in our eyes, it did leave us asking some questions, so we hit up a couple of Yamaha Australia's leading players to find out a little bit more about how the YZ65 came to be and some of the new Yamaha lingo we have seen starting to pop up around the place.

Our first stop was Yamaha Australia's Marketing Manager, Sean Goldhawk to ask a few questions about Yamaha's entry into the 65cc junior motocross market.



Thanks for your time Sean, can you fill us in a bit about the development of the YZ65, how long has this bike been in the works and what lead to Yamaha re-entering the Minibike racing market in the 65 class

Yamaha has always been active in the junior race bike class starting with the YZ50 which became a YZ60 in the early 1980s. Unfortunately, this model was dropped from the lineup as the focus moved to the YZ80 for the race class. This left a gap from riders wanting to move from the PW/TT-R fun bike range into their first MX bike.

All I can say is the new model has been in planning a long time because the jump from fun bike to YZ85 has always been just that little bit too big.

You mention a gap for riders wanting to move up from the fun bikes to the bigger race bikes before the YZ65 being announced. One thing we have noticed of late is Yamaha mentioning "Step-Up" Can you tell us more about Yamaha’s Step Up philosophy.

Yamaha’s aims to offer a bike for every size and ability so that when a rider grows they are able to step up to the next model seamlessly. This means they can stay with a familiar set up with Yamaha and become a customer for life. If you consider an average customer may buy 20 bikes throughout his or her riding career, then it makes good sense to offer this.



How important is the YZ65’s role in Yamaha’s Step up Philosophy

The YZ65 is the first step on what we call the VictorYZone ladder – the entry point to the entire YZ range. And being the first rung is clearly a key role for our smallest YZ. This is where the first buzz of excitement is sparked and let’s face it, we all remember our first bike don’t we?

The VictorYZone ladder is something that we really took note of last year with the launch of the 2018 YZ450F and is something most of us have become familiar with over recent times. Another logo that was seen a lot at the YZ65 launch and in general regarding anything Yamaha, the Yamaha BluCru logo, can you tell us a little more about the BluCru and what it means to Yamaha.

bLU cRU is the name we give to the passionate community of riders in our blue and white world, which covers our road and off-road competition models – our blue bikes essentially.

We are fostering our bLU cRU riders by offering them training, places to ride, technical assistance and connecting them with our race teams. So bLU cRU offers aspiration and a place to belong. It also offers a point of difference for our members, and another reason to buy Yamaha and so is a key element in YMA’s marketing plan
Yamaha’s YZ65 ready to launch the bLU cRU further into the VictorYZone
Just day’s after the release of the YZ65 on to the Australian market, a new YZ85 was announced, between the two bikes it has shown Yamaha looks to be dedicated to the junior racing market, how important is the junior racing segment for Yamaha in Australia.

Extremely important for the reasons outlined above. Current 65/85 riders become future 125/250 and 450 riders. And the plan to roll out the new YZ65 with a heavily updated YZ85 was no coincidence. The two models offer compelling reasons to get involved in junior racing in Australia.

They have been developed on a similar platform, with many shared parts. This means that when you do step up from one to the other, the transition is an easy one for all involved. With these two bikes, we hope to attract new riders into the sport and grow it from the bottom up. Staying on a Yamaha is a bonus.
Yamaha’s YZ65 ready to launch the bLU cRU further into the VictorYZone
While Sean is the front man for Yamaha Australia's communication and marketing, when it comes to the on-track racing action, the place we will see the YZ65 in action the man in the know is Scott Bishop.

Bish's official title with Yamaha Australia is MX / SX Development Supervisor and Racing Communications. A former national-level Motocross and Supercross racer, Bishop not only overseas Yamaha's junior racing program in Australia (GYTR - YJR) with the support of a network of state team managers, he also runs the Yamahalube Yamaha National Motocross and Supercross team for Yamaha Australia.

We hit up Scott to get his views on just how important the all-new YZ65 for Yamaha's junior racing program and the type of support some lucky young riders will receive racing the new mini-motocrosser for the YJR team in 2018 and beyond.



Bish from your point of view as the main man behind Yamaha’s National Junior racing team, what does the new YZ65 mean for the landscape of junior racing in this country.

The YZ65 gives Yamaha profile in a very important category in junior racing and brings riders to the Yamaha brand early in their riding career. It also gives riders a viable and very competitive option in the 65 class and growing the sport within the junior ranks is always good for the long-term future of not just racing, but dirt bikes in general.

For 2018 you have 65cc riders on the team in most states riding aboard Yamaha’s for the first time, it must be a good feeling to be able to offer a younger generation of riders and earlier stepping stone onto what is the most active junior racing program in the nation.

We have been aware the bike has been in the pipeline for some time and desperate to get our hands on it. Some of the rider choices made in recent years with YJR has been based around the fact that we knew the 65 was due and we had to keep room for younger riders to enter the program. It also allows us to connect and support riders of a younger age and bring them into Yamaha and fast-track their development.



How are riders selected for the Yamaha junior teams and more so to race the YZ65 as part of the GYTR YJR national supported riders.

As mentioned, we have been aware of this bike for some time, and managers in each state have been watching the 65 races more closely to gauge and evaluate riders. We take a look at the body of work over time that a rider produces to show they can ride a variety of surfaces and conditions as well as off-track stuff that includes the way the rider and family conduct themselves.

What type of support to the GYTR YJR 65cc riders receive.

In the GYTR YJR program, all riders get the same support. So the newest addition on a 65 receives the same as what Liam Andrews gets racing his YZ125 and YZ250F in the 15 years classes. It is significant support from Yamaha, GYTR and Yamalube including bikes, parts and oils as well as enormous support from Ficeda Accessories and their range of products like AXO, SCOTT, Dunlop, Unifilter, NGK, DID, Just 1, JT sprockets plus many more.

The other big advantage with YJR is we have state managers who are ex-professional races or experienced riders who work hands-on with riders on and off the track. We don’t just dump stuff at their doorstep and see “see you in 12 months- good luck.â€

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