Bypassing the traditional-style college degree that his mother desired for him, but still working on his MBA in life, with a major in “Motorcycles,” Keith McCarty, Motorsports Racing Division Manager for Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., was inducted into the American Motorcyclist Association’s Hall of Fame, in a ceremony held on Saturday night at the Orange County Convention Center’s Chapin Theater in Orlando, FL.
In Keith’s poignant and humorous speech, and with his mother Helen in attendance, he spoke about how he is still working on the college degree that his mother coveted for her son. He said he attends “YMU,” which he said stands for “Yamaha Motor University.” He is part of the “Yamaha bLU cRU,” which he rightfully referred to as a “fraternity,” and he said he was finally getting a “Class Ring,” which is the coveted ring given only to those people who are special enough to be inducted into the AMA’s Hall of Fame.
Keith went on to comment that he has always been a student because he learns something every day from the, as he put it, “smart people who he surrounds himself with.”
Joining Yamaha in January 1977 as the mechanic for AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Legend Bob “Hurricane” Hannah, Keith has remained in Yamaha’s racing division ever since, working as mechanic, supervisor, department manager and, most recently, division manager for all of Yamaha’s U.S. racing activities.
Keith, who lives in Orange, CA, with his wife Vicky–a former Yamaha employee herself–is known not only for his technical knowledge, but also for his inspirational prowess and organizational acumen that transcends racing disciplines.
“I want to congratulate the other inductees tonight,” Keith said. “I want to thank my Yamaha family. The thing about being in a family is being certain that someone has your back no matter what, through wins and losses. I’m so proud to be a member of the AMA and to receive this honor tonight.”
Keith went on to thank Vicky, his daughter Kristina and son Keith Alan, along with Yamaha Vice President of Motorsports Dennis McNeal and many others. Several members of Yamaha’s U.S. road racing teams, including riders and crew members, were in attendance to witness Keith’s induction, along with many other Yamaha Motor employees.
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