Last May 18, Yamaha Motor Philippines Inc., held the first Yamaha Club touring event of the year. But unlike the previous YClub touring events, the Yamaha Tour de Rev was exclusive for those who have a Yamaha motorcycle with a displacement of no less than 150cc, and who have been riding consistently for 3 years. Some 50 YClub members passed the screening process and were allowed to join.
On the morning of May 18, all the riders assembled at the Yzone in Greenfield District in Mandaluyong City. Their bikes were composed of a variety of Mio Aerox, Nmax, Sniper 150, TFX, FZ16, SZ16, and R15, while members of the media were issued the new Xmax 300 maxi-scooter to use. After the pre-ride briefing and morning prayers, all the riders formed a neat line and headed off towards Banaue, Mountain Province via MacArthur Highway.
Having Petron as one of the event sponsors, several stops were made in different Petron stations along the way. Each rider was given their own Petron E-fuel card so they could experience the benefits and convenience of the service. Our second stop was at the Balete Pass Grill and Restaurant on the boundary of Nueva Ecija and Nueva Vizcaya in Dalton Pass where we had lunch. With roughly 134 kilometers more to our destination, we hurriedly ate lunch and went on our way towards Banaue.
We were probably enjoying the speed, comfort and excellent handling of the Xmax 300 that we arrived at the Man-An Hotel in Banaue a couple of hours early. Either that or we were just riding really, really fast. It’s probably both. The rest of the contingent arrived an hour later. Upon checking-in and eating dinner, we spent the rest of the evening exchanging ride impressions about the Xmax 300.
The following day, we all woke up early for our ride to La Union. Before going down, we stopped by the Banaue Rice Terraces for some photo opportunities. After which, the media group peeled off from the main group to make a quick segue to Sagada, before rejoining again in Buguias. Going to La Union, we took Halsema Highway then took a right turn in Abatan, Buguias towards the incredibly scenic Bessang Pass towards Cervantes, Ilocos Sur. With the excellent guidance of our ride marshals, the entire contingent arrived safely without any incident at the Hotel Ariana in Bauang, La Union shortly before 5pm.
In the evening, we dropped by the Inside Racing Octane Beach Soiree happening at the Del Moral Beach Cottages a few kilometers in San Juan, La Union, the highlight of which was the live performance of Ely Buendia with the Oktaves. With plenty of energy left, some YClub members and members of the media even joined the flat track racing on the beach.
On the third and last day of the Yamaha Tour de Rev, we took our sweet little time since the ride from La Union to Mandaluyong was less demanding. Since we were all riding sub-400cc motorcycles and were not allowed on the expressways, we took the old MacArthur Highway route back to Manila. Although quite far at 300 kilometers, the routes were all straight provincial highways. By lunchtime, we were already at the Dampa sa Tarlac Restaurant in Tarlac City where we had a festive lunch, and by 4pm we were already in Yzone in Mandaluyong City. After a short welcome ceremony, all the riders were awarded with a certificate of completion and finisher shirts. A buffet dinner was also prepared for the tired but happy riders at the Motora Azul Cafe.
The Yamaha Tour de Rev touring event was more about the ride itself than the destinations, proving once again that you really don’t need a big displacement motorcycle to enjoy touring long distances on two wheels. Sometimes, all you need is a 150cc Yamaha motorcycle. The next Tour de Rev legs will be held in the Visayas and in Mindanao in the next few months.
(This story also came out in the July 2018 issue of C! Magazine)