Words: Mike Ryan
Photos: Yamaha Motor Australia
Is there a collective noun for a group of MT owners? Pretty sure no such label exists at the moment, but one is needed, as the numbers of those devoted to Yamaha’s Maximum Torque naked bike range seems to be growing and growing.
Those devotees like to gather, too, as evidenced by the first ever Australian Yamaha MT Owners' Meet, organised by Leon Cutts and held back in August, 2018.
COVID and other complications put a kink in plans to make this gathering an annual event, but it was back for 2021, and the bonus this year was that the meet coincided with the Australian release of the MY21-spec MT-07 and MT-09 models.
Get to the Grey
Following the successful pattern set by the first Aussie MT Owners’ Meet, this one also involved MT owners gathering from all points of the compass for group rides to the Grey Gum International Café in Putty, New South Wales. For most, that meant a ride along the Putty Road, which is one of the state’s favourite riding roads - not just for MT owners, but motorcyclists of all persuasions.
Set down for Sunday, 16 May, the response to this year’s MT Owners’ Meet was immediate once the event was announced by Yamaha Motor Australia on Facebook. As such, numbers were expected to comfortably eclipse the 2018 event.
MT owners didn’t need much prompting to take part this year, especially those who were part of the first gathering. But, for those on the fence, there were some temptations in the form of a full display of the MY21 Maximum Torque range provided by Yamaha, along with Dave McKenna’s wild MT-based stunt bike to ogle.
Yamaha also put on a free BBQ lunch, exclusive to MT owners and provided by the Grey Gum International Café.
Biggest Gets Bigger
Around 100 MT owners and enthusiasts turned up for the first MT Owners’ Meet in 2018 (cheekily dubbed ‘Australia’s Biggest MT Meet’), but this year’s event easily outdid that.
As it turned out, close to 400 gathered at the Grey Gum International Café, including Yamaha Motor Australia (YMA) staff, Yamaha dealer representatives and hundreds of riders, including more than 100 MT owners.
Amongst those representing the latter were MT-Riders Sydney, a Facebook group established back in September, 2019, and already boasting more than 900 followers.
Plenty of other bikes from the Yamaha family (from T-Max scooters to the Niken three-wheeler) made the journey, along with more than a few ringers, too, but the MT owners community is a friendly bunch, so everyone was welcome, no matter what form of two-wheel transport they arrived on.
The weather gods smiled on the gathering, with cool, but dry and sunny conditions - a welcome contrast to the first event!
“It was great to see so many smiling faces and so many MTs in one place,” said YMA Sales and Marketing Manager Matthew Ferry. “The Australian MT owners group turned out in big numbers for our first event back in September 2018, despite the wet weather on that day.”
Ferry and YMA brought along the full MT range for owners and fans to inspect, with the just-released MT-07LA and 07 HO, and MT-09 and 09 SP proving particularly popular.
Also popular was Yamaha-backed stunt rider Dave McKenna’s wild MT-10-based custom. This supercharged beast puts out a whopping 250hp (186kW).
More to Come
While an MT-themed event, the response this year showed that the MT Owners’ Meet has become a broader motorcycling event, which can only be a good thing.
“Getting out for a ride on a sunny day and connecting with like-minded people is what it’s all about,” Ferry added. “These types of customer events are fun for everyone, including our staff who all rode here on MTs. The amount of positive feedback we have received has encouraged us to expand such activities in the future.”
A date for the 2022 MT Owners’ Meet has yet to be locked in, so keep an eye on YMA’s Facebook page for details on not only this ride, but other Yamaha-organised and supported events in the future.