The one and only “King” Kenny Roberts celebrated his 70th birthday on Friday, Dec. 31, with a very special gift presented to him from his family and friends of a “one off” Yamaha RMAX 1000 LE Side-by-Side built specially for him by Yamaha’s factory in Newnan, Georgia.
The RMAX 1000 was a birthday gift from his family and friends including his son and 2000 World Champion Kenny Roberts Jr., three-time world champion Wayne Rainey, their management team of international racers, and other close industry friends who all contributed to honor the legend and celebrate with their special gift to him.
The Special RMAX 1000 was built by an enthusiastic team of engineers at the factory in Newnan, all of whom are big fans for the three-time world champion and styled the machine after Kenny’s 1978 OW Yamaha 500 World Championship-winning machine.
“We all wanted to do something special for my dad’s 70th birthday; something from all of us, and without the help of Yamaha, none of this would’ve been possible. Yamaha actually reached out to us once they heard we were trying to get one for my dad from a dealership and that shows all of us, that my dad truly has a special place in Yamaha’s history,” said Kenny Roberts Jr. “They secured the RMAX 1000 for us, and their factory made a special one-off livery that reminds all of us of the Roberts and Yamaha memories. Both Wayne and I had the pleasure of working directly with the Team in Newnan, Georgia, to come up with the design and something that we all thought my dad would appreciate. It’s quite a unique situation being able to have Wayne, the team at International Racers, other close industry friends, and myself be able to give a gift that without Yamaha’s help we could never have done. It was a fun experience, and exciting trying to keep it a surprise. It turned out just great. What a fun deal!”
“Kenny is a true legend and icon in our sport,” said Yamaha Motorsports president Mike Martinez. “The team at our factory here in Georgia was indeed honored to build this special RMAX 1000 as a gift from his family and friends for his 70th birthday. All of us at Yamaha truly wish Kenny a very happy birthday and sincerely appreciate his tremendous contributions to our sport!”