Kiwi freestyle motorcross legend Levi Sherwood has bagged the perfect vehicle for transporting his motorbikes to performances around the country – a 2020 Toyota Hiace.
As the new Hiace Ambassador, Levi will be showcasing his brand spanking new Hiace – wrapped in striking graphics designed by Levi himself – at freestyle motorcross (FMX) shows throughout the country following his retirement from FMX competitions last November.
“I’m very excited to be partnering with Toyota with the release of their new Hiace van. The new Hiace is a great fit for me and my bike, so I’m looking forward to spending more time in the van as I travel around New Zealand riding,” Levi said.
Levi is no stranger to Toyota. He grew up in Palmerston North – the home of Toyota New Zealand – and already has a 2008 Toyota Hiace and Landcruiser on his rural Manawatu property. The Landcruiser is very handy when it comes to shifting Levi’s home-built steel FMX ramps from his workshop to his private training ground on the farm.
Toyota New Zealand’s General Manager of Marketing, Andrew Davis, said bringing Levi into the Toyota family as a Hiace Ambassador was a no-brainer.
“Levi is not only an amazing FMX rider but also a self-taught engineer who loves creating, customising and building motorcycle parts and ramps in his workshop.
“The versatile 2020 Hiace van is ideal for Levi. The van is easily customisable and can be purposed for a wide range of jobs and activities,” he said.
A new feature of the 2020 Hiace is the semi-bonnet design which helped improve its safety rating to ANCAP 5-star. Levi, who picked up several injuries during his career, is a fan of the Hiace’s safety system as it matches his personal interest in safety. He has a new business venture to make giant safe landing airbags for FMX shows and training.
As well as the sharp graphics adorning Levi’s new ZR van, the team at Toyota New Zealand in Palmerston North added a few features such as the blacked-out alloy wheels, black nudge bar and tinted glass that sets off the white van and cool black and orange graphics.
Over the past 10 years, Levi has become an international star on the FMX circuit. He wowed audiences in his first Red Bull X-Fighters competition and, despite a late call-up to replace another rider in the 2009 Mexico event, the then 17-year-old took out the first place against vastly more experienced riders.
He went on to build a career in X-Fighters and Nitro World Games. Over the past decade, Levi has been a regular rider in both the Crusty Demons and Nitro Circus shows. He is known for his dedication to training and continually pushing the boundaries in his performances.
Levi stepped back from competition at the end of 2019 and will be concentrating his time and attention into growing the sport in New Zealand and performing in shows throughout the country.
Words and Images from Toyota New Zealand