Thursday July 2nd 2020

For the information of all our readers - The Computer Network recently decided to update my CP, and in doing so, lost all my email contacts. - So if you are somebody who is often in touch with us. Please shoot us an email, in order for us to get you back on line. ( That includes you Stan)

Yesterday July 1st was the Yamaha Factorie’s  65th Anniversary building Motorcycles. Quite a milestone for the Company that has the Tuning fork emblem - because their main business was musical instruments. -

In 1976 on my first visit to Japan - We toured the factory where they make the Grand Piano - workers sitting on benches outside in the open - carving the wooden parts needed, by hand. ( Not being a piano player I can’t tell you the correct term for what they were carving)
- We then stepped through a door from this area that resembled a Wood yard  - onto a very large concert stage - where they had a grand piano ready to be played by a tall Japanese gentleman dressed  in full evening attire. - Yes we were very impressed. - If there is one thing I can tell you about all the years I worked for Yamaha - they sure know how to treat their dealers. -

It was nice - that when I was at the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame event  in 2018 - although I did not know the person  who gave me the medal -   I learned later that he worked for Yamaha Canada - I felt  that maybe. somehow ,- The Yamaha Family had a hand in this. - - Although. - in fact it was an old friend Harlow Rankin who decided to put my name forward, for consideration.
Without a doubt - working for Yamaha in the 70’s was certainly a good time, and maybe a time that will never be repeated, as the industry has changed a lot since then.

I could likely write a book on my experiences while working for Yamaha Canada - believe me the early days of 1973 were not easy. - As a company rep -  I covered a lot of Western Canada and was supposed to visit all the dealers once a month, - The main reason for this was because  the dealers had all their bikes/sleds on a finance plan and when they were sold  - a cheque was supposed to be sent to Yamaha. ( I would be driving approx 1500-2000 km per week)
As you  can imagine - lots of times I would visit a dealer and on checking ALL the inventory by serial number - against the monthly sheet that I got - if a unit was not on the floor - I had  to establish if it had been paid for. - If not I had to pick up a cheque. ( In some cases I  had to pick up bikes/sleds and close down dealers - this was rare but not a nice thing to do

After this I would talk to the dealer about any service. warranty./parts/ problems  - THEN I would see if I could sell them something!!  The reason that I relate this story is because I have retained a lot of friends because of my Yamaha days. - I understood the Mom & Pop store aspect -and because of this we sold a lot of Yamaha bikes. - If there was any interest in Trials, I would put on a Trials school.
In later years - all the Japanese Factories wanted  big numbers, and that is when I decided it was time for me to say goodbye - although not completely - as I went on to sell Yamaha Trials bikes for my friend Walt Healy - then into a dealership in first Vernon then Kelowna -

This was a strange time in my life - Because while I was setting up Yamaha dealers in Western Canada - one of the first questions I would ask people who wanted to set up with a partner or partners !!     I would tell them that the only partner that you can maybe be in business with long term - is your wife.

For me to forget this ( not really) but to be in a difficult situation - the partnerships I went into after leaving Yamaha Canada were a disaster. -  Looking back, it’s hard to believe the things that happened - but the shining light was when I opened Outlaw Accessories  in 1987 - and believe me  there’s a lot more to that story. - But at least this time I had the right partner - my wife Babs.
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This is one of the lads from Ontario ( name of Josh) looking good on the Ex Jon English Beta - looks like it’s fitted with an S3 header pipe.
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This is an old video - but still very good to watch - Takumi Narita on the 1994  Beta Techno.

( I met Takumi and his Dad at the 2004 World Round in the USA - very nice people) TRIAL MAGIC trial bike and music


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