YAMAHA DEALER MEETING: Multi-year product push part of ‘new era’

Publish Date: 
Jun 14, 2013
By Arlo Redwine

Yamaha has been promoting the Bolt across “all media platforms,” including recently launched Star Facebook and Twitter pages. The company also has added two Bolt demo trucks to its fleet, and has made a commitment to make more demo stops at both military bases (with an emphasis on safety) and bike nights across the country.

In its “most aggressive Ride First demo program ever,” Yamaha is giving away a pair of $100 Yamaha Electronics headphones to test riders.

About 500 dealers now participate in the RIDE program Yamaha launched in 2011 to encourage more dealers to offer demo rides, events and rider training.

Yamaha did not reveal any new Star models at the meeting but did announce MSRP reductions of up to $2,000 for most of its over-1300cc cruisers (at press time the reductions listed on the Star consumer website ranged from $600 to $900). Yamaha said it will price-protect dealer inventory affected by the reductions.

Launched in Vegas is a new Star Certified Pre-Owned program to help dealers be more competitive in the used-bike market.

In the fall Star Motorcycles will begin a “dealer customizer program to give local riders more inspiration to personalize their bikes with Star custom accessories.”

Off-road market
During the second half of the presentation, the momentum shifted toward the off-road market — an easy transition given the new motocross bikes, the revamped Grizzly 700 and YFZ450R, and the new Viking side-by-side.

To support the YZ launches, Yamaha created its new Blu Cru support program for amateur racers.

“For years we’ve been the leaders in professional racing and rider support,” Mike Martinez, vice president of Yamaha’s RV Group, told the dealers. “So now we’re doubling down on support for the amateur market because that’s where your customers are.”

Blu Cru offers riders factory-supported technical information along with riding, maintenance and performance tips. Dealers can offer unit discounts, while Blu Cru riders can earn credits of up to $500 off Yamaha parts and accessories. Finally, Yamaha has expanded its amateur racing contingency: the number of positions, the amount paid and the number of events.

Yamaha announced that the YZ two-stroke dirtbikes are returning for 2014. In addition, the company will release the 2014 WR450F this month and the 2014 TT-R models in September. (continued)