One of the coolest events I’ve ever attended was the True American Heroes dinner held at roadracing icon Kenny Roberts’ ranch and private museum near Modesto, California, which was followed the next day with charity ride that included racing legends such as Eddie Lawson, Mert Lawwill and Kenny Junior. Please take a look at the article we produced from the 2012 event, which gives a look at what will be on the cards this weekend at this year’s annual event. —KD


Press release: On Friday night, the True American Heroes Benefit Auction will be held at Kenny Roberts’ legendary ranch in Modesto, California. The Auction is part of the Fifth Annual True American Heroes Weekend, a fundraising event sponsored by Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., which benefits “Welcome Home Heroes” and the Cpl. Michael D. Anderson Jr. Memorial Foundation. The True American Heroes Weekend is co-sponsored by Wells Fargo.

The featured item at the Auction is a brand-new Bolt C-Spec motorcycle donated by Yamaha. The Bolt C-Spec has been expertly transformed into a one-of-a-kind, fully street-legal Kenny Roberts flat-tracker tribute bike by Team Roberts, Jeff Palhegyi Design, and Roland Sands Design, with additional assistance provided by Öhlins USA, Motion Pro, Vance & Hines, Saddlemen, Two Brothers Racing, Braap Shop Yamaha, and Cycle Gear.

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“The look and style of this custom ‘KR Replica’ Bolt C-Spec is a perfect tribute to the true heritage of Yamaha racing as defined by the great Kenny Roberts himself,” said Bob Starr, Corporate Communications Manager for Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., “We know that the monies raised from the auction of this special, one-of-a-kind motorcycle will go to a very worthy cause that Kenny and all of us at Yamaha are so passionate about!”

The True American Heroes Benefit Auction will take place this Friday night following the True American Heroes Dinner. Justin Trick, Auctioneer, will conduct the live auction right at King Kenny’s ranch to benefit Welcome Home Heroes. Along with the brand-new “KR Replica” Bolt C-Spec up for bids, the Auction will also include Team Roberts memorabilia, other signed racing-related items, and lots of additional motorsports merchandise.

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Phone-in bids are also being accepted for the Auction. To place your bid via phone, call Michael Utt at 209-765-9317.

Seating for the True American Heroes Dinner is very limited, and tickets are $600 per person. To attend, call Michael Utt at 209-765-9317 or email your inquiry to Info@KennyRoberts.com or uttopia@me.com.

The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at 1150 Ninth Street in Modesto is the official hotel of the Fifth Annual True American Heroes Weekend. To make room reservations, guests can call DoubleTree Central Reservations at 800-222-TREE, or call the hotel directly at 209-526-6000 and provide the three-letter code “KRW,” or ask for the Kenny Roberts Welcome Heroes Group Room Block.

Guests will be transported from The DoubleTree to the Roberts Ranch where they’ll get a personal tour of Kenny’s private museum located right at the ranch, followed by dinner catered by celebrated chef Alan Greeley, owner of The Golden Truffle in Costa Mesa, CA.

12th Annual Cpl. Michael D. Anderson, Jr. May Day Memorial Ride

As a special follow-up to the True American Heroes Dinner, the 12th Annual Cpl. Michael D. Anderson, Jr. May Day Memorial Ride will be held the next day on Saturday, May 14. Kenny Roberts and several other American motorcycle racing heroes are scheduled to ride in the event aboard motorcycles provided by Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. The ride is free and open to the public, and hundreds of Marines, soldiers, sailors, and airmen are expected to attend.

From its start in Modesto to its completion at Castle Airport in Atwater, CA, the Memorial Ride will be escorted by motorcycle units from the Modesto Police Department, the Stanislaus Sheriff’s Department, and the California Highway Patrol, ensuring a safe and uninterrupted run through central California.

At the Memorial Ride’s Conclusion at Castle Airport, there will be a special Salute To Peacemakers, Peacekeepers and Protectors, along with live music, free food and drinks, a custom motorcycle display, and a display of military aircraft.

About Welcome Home Heroes

Welcome Home Heroes is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation organized to provide assistance to local Central California veterans of the U.S. military in their transition from active duty to private life. Last year, the True American Heroes Dinner and Cpl. Michael D. Anderson, Jr. Memorial Ride raised more than $130,000. Visit TrueAmericanHero.org or WelcomeHomeHeroes.org for more information.