Yamaha Hitches Ride in Tacoma for Hiring Heroes


Words and Photos: John Gunnell

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A Yamaha off-road dirt racing bike hitched a ride in the back of an all-new Toyota Tacoma pickup truck as part of a promotion to push the “Hiring Our Heroes” program that’s designed to find jobs for returning military veterans. The two vehicles were attention getters at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show.

The Yamaha was actually being used to promote a Toyota factory accessory called a Tailgate Extender. It is designed to make the job of carrying a motorcycle in a pickup a whole lot easier and safer.

Toyota is one of some 30 sponsors of Hiring Our Heroes, a program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. This program started in March 2011 and has found jobs for more than 25,000 veterans and military spouses.

The Tacoma pickup was decorated with a patriotic red-white-blue-and cammo graphic wrap to help publicize Toyota’s role in the program.  The graphics treatment paid tribute to Old Glory-the American flag-as well as to the branches of the U.S. military. The Yamaha motorcycle gave a nod to another industry that is hiring many heroes today. Both car and motorcycle makers and their dealers can qualify for tax credits by hiring vets.

With its own racing sponsorship decals, the Yamaha in back of the Tacoma was as exciting looking as the truck with its wrap. The GTYR decals on the bike stand for “Genuine Yamaha Technology Racing.”



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