News 7 Nov 2009

General: Yamaha supports Dutch riders' trip around Australia


Yamaha Motor Australia is proud to support Dutch couple, Annemiek van der Ham and Huub van Loon in their 17,000 kilometre journey around Australia through the provision of two Yamaha XT660’s.

The couple are currently 13,000 kilometres into their 17,000 kiloemetre journey and said the concept for the trip was born five years ago when van der Ham discussed with van Loon the period she spent growing up in Perth.  During this time her father travelled to Bridgetown and made a promise to the community, that upon retirement, he would travel across Europe taking photographs of the graves of all the servicemen from the community that did not return home.

“When my father was in Australia he too used to travel around on a motorcycle,” Annemiek van der Ham said, “He travelled to Bridgetown and while he was there he made a promise to the community that he would find the graves of the servicemen who had died when he went back to Holland.”

“He looked up all of the graves for the boys from Bridgetown and took pictures of them so their families now know where they died.  Now after he has finished the project, I was fortunate enough to plant a lone pine in honour of the men who died and my father and his project.”

After starting in Darwin on August 28, 2009, the couple, onboard two Yamaha XT660’s which were loaned by Yamaha Motor Australia  have travelled the Gibb River Road before passing through Exmouth, Carnarvon, Perth, Bridgetown, Albany, Kalgoorlie, Uluru, Alice Springs, Adelaide, Melbourne, Albury, Sydney and the New South Wales Coast.

Despite the many highlights across the journey however the one thing that has stood out is the performance of their XT660R’s, which have particularly excelled when it comes to the anticipated fuel consumption for the journey.

“Fuel consumption has been the one thing which has surprised us about the bike, we figured we would get 20 kilometres to the litre during the off-road part of the journey but we were actually getting between 22 – 24 kilometres to the litre – so the bike is fantastic on fuel,” van Loon said.

“The bike has been very reliable and very forgiving in the rougher terrain and it is extremely easy to handle.  I would like to thank everybody at Yamaha Motor Australia for all their help with organising the bikes for us,” van der Ham said.

Ray Howard from Yamaha Motor Australia said the company was proud to support the couple through the provision of bikes for the journey.

“We have a mutual agreement with Yamaha Motor Europe and when we’ve sent riders and staff across to Europe they have always done their best to help us by looking after our representatives,” Howard said.

“When they [Yamaha Motor Europe] requested that we provide assistance to Annemiek [van der Ham] and Huub [van Loon] we were only happy to help.  The journey is not only a great story but it is also at showcasing what the XT660 is capable of both on and off the road.”

The couple are now preparing for the final leg of their journey which will take them through central Queensland before they arrive at their original destination, Darwin towards the end of the month.

The journey has also been designed to raise money for the Dutch Cancer Society with van der Ham and van Loon hoping to donate to the organisation a Euro for every kilometer the travel as part of the trip.

For more information on the Yamaha XT660 visit with additional information on Annemiek and Huub available at