Japanese manufacturing brand Yamaha has signed a new partnership with the Tour de France and other leading cycling events staged by organiser Amaury Sport Organisation.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it commenced with last week’s Paris-Nice event. Yamaha will serve as an official supplier with its new three-wheeled model, Niken, replacing the traditional motorcycles used during the staging of the races.
At Paris-Nice, a dozen Niken bikes featured after being adapted to carry out duties such as controlling traffic, making sure riders get their drinks bottles, transporting race officials and journalists, and accompanying the publicity caravan.
Frank Meneghini, who is in charge of the ASO car and motorcycle fleet, said: “We made our first visit to Yamaha a year ago and we have put in a lot of work with them to make the needed modifications for the different functions that we carry out in the races.
“For example, we install radio communication equipment that changes weight distribution. The Niken also has to be equipped with a specific support for the race information slate or a tall windscreen that is not available on the standard model.”
Yamaha launched the Niken model in October 2018.