Honing Skills through Competition to Offer One-to-One Service
IWATA, JAPAN – November 27, 2023 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – The World Technician Grand Prix (WTGP) is an international competition where Yamaha Motor’s best motorcycle technicians compete against each other with their skills, and boasts the longest history of such a contest in the motorcycle industry. Although Yamaha was not able to hold the event over the last few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is scheduled to make its return in 2025 and is where one of the roughly 34,600 Yamaha-certified technicians will be crowned the No. 1 Yamaha motorcycle technician. This issue provides a general overview of the competition and introduces its goals.
34,600 Technicians Competing for the No. 1 Title
After clearing national or regional events, technicians compete at the World Technician Grand Prix armed with the skills and knowledge acquired through their daily duties (photo from the 2018 event).
To ensure Kando experiences for each and every customer, the Yamaha Motor group’s service department’s global ideal is “One-to-One Service.” Three factors lie at the core of this ideal: the high maintenance skills, expert product knowledge, and reliable support provided by Yamaha’s technicians when they take care of a customer’s motorcycle. To manifest these factors at a high level, Yamaha Motor established the Yamaha Technical Academy (YTA) as a globally standardized training program for its technicians. YTA-certified technicians help support a safer and more enjoyable motorcycling life of customers.
There are approximately 34,600 such technicians around the globe and the first competition in which they pit the skills and knowledge honed through their daily work against their colleagues is the National Technician Grand Prix (NTGP) held in each country. Those who emerge as the winners of their respective NTGPs qualify to compete for the No. 1 title at the World Technician Grand Prix (WTGP), which has been traditionally held every two years since 2002.
The WTGP puts entrants up against a wider range of more practical skills and knowledge tests. These include the Technical Skills section; where participants compete by demonstrating their skills in troubleshooting and conducting repairs, point checks, and the final inspection; and the Customer Relations section, where the technicians communicate the details of the point checks to the customer in an easy-to-understand manner while providing additional value to make it a Kando-creating experience. Winners in the sportbike class have hailed from Switzerland, Japan, Canada, and other countries, while the commuter class has seen winners from countries like Indonesia, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
Customer service is also scored as part of the competition at the WTGP.
A 2025 Restart Planned Following the COVID-19 Pandemic
The first NTGP champions since 2018 were invited to
an awards ceremony held in Japan in October 2023.
“As a competition expressly for motorcycle technicians, the WTGP has the industry’s longest history and those that qualify for it consider it quite an honor,” explains Yukio Tanaka, who is charged with organizing the event. However, the global COVID-19 pandemic put a hold on running the competition and it has been postponed or canceled since 2018, resulting in a five-year hiatus. Still, Yamaha technicians around the world have continued to hone their skills through their everyday work and online YTA training sessions during that gap period. Plus, new national champions were crowned in countries that were able to hold NTGPs during the pandemic.
“These national champions rightfully won their tickets to the WTGP, yet were unable to compete against their colleagues from around the world,” says Tanaka. “So we invited them to Japan in October this year to properly congratulate them on their achievement at an awards ceremony.” The national champions were handed trophies from President Yoshihiro Hidaka himself and he thanked them for their daily efforts to take care of customers’ motorcycles.
Mohammed Tarek Shikder was at the ceremony as the champion from Bangladesh: “The WTGP is like the Olympics for Yamaha motorcycle technicians, and while it was disappointing that it was canceled, I’m still proud to represent my country and come to Japan to receive this award.” The WTGP is scheduled to be restarted from 2025 and the national championships around the world that kickstart the road to that final stage are about to begin.
Yamaha technicians that won their respective national championships received trophies from President Hidaka.
World Technician Grand Prix (WTGP)
Message from the Editor
Yamaha Motor has been running the WTGP for nearly 20 years with the aim of raising the prestige of being a motorcycle technician and encouraging them to take pride and passion in their work. The job requires advanced knowledge and skills, but there are few opportunities for the public to see these skills on display on a regular basis. The WTGP takes place with many people watching, whether it is the judges or participants’ family members that have come to cheer for them. It is a grand stage for technicians from around the world to stand on shoulder to shoulder and demonstrate the skills they have acquired and refined.
The awards ceremony held in October this year gathered together a total of 16 champions from 13 countries. From my seat in the audience, I could see their faces light up with how proud they were as they were given their trophies. I’m looking forward to 2025 when we’ll have the first WTGP in seven years and again get to see Yamaha technicians from around the world show off their skills.
Source: Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd.