Tuesday, December 21, 2010



Okay all you Ténéré Tragics, still looking for a ride for our fast-approaching Run to the Rocks ride in March?

Detuned that you can't get your hands on one of those wicked XT1200Z Super Ténéré Worldcrosser concept bikes?

Even more disappointed that you haven't been able to track down a truly classic original '83 XT600ZL?

Then how about snapping up this little beauty?

Yep, it's a dead-set Team Yamaha France factory XTZ850R Dakar Rally race bike in the exact same spec as the bike Stephane Peterhansel raced in the Dakar in 1992/'93.

Check it out via the web link below, then bid like a true Ténéré Tragic ... you know you want it!


-- Clubby, www.trailzone.com.au

Sunday, December 19, 2010



G’Day Clubby: Even though I am really a SR/XT/TT500 nut (pictures of one of my XT500s that I have ridden in the past three SA reliability trial series’, including the 24 Hour, have appeared in issues 19 and 22 of TRAIL ZONE), I have always had a soft spot for the early Yamaha Ténérés.

By coincidence the same day that I bought issue 32 of TRAIL ZONE (in which the Ténéré Tragics ride was announced), I arrived home from work to find my brother’s ute parked in the driveway with his 1983 Ténéré in the back. We had spoken on the phone a few weeks earlier and he mentioned that he was considering selling it, as he hardly ever rode it, and it had an intermittent electrical/ignition problem and I said I was interested. So he brought the bike down from Broken Hill and I became the proud owner of a fairly original, but slightly rough Ténéré (top photo). It was therefore only natural that I send in an entry for the inaugural Ténéré Tragics Run to the Rocks.

A few days after the brother dropped off the Ténéré, I had a chance to take it for a quick ride around the paddock, which revealed a loud and nasty cam chain rattle. So out came the engine to have a look. The cam chain had long passed its use-by date, and the real horror was also revealed: evidence of a previous piston seizure in the final oversize bore (a legacy from the owner prior to my brother). So a major top-end rebuild is now underway.

I also checked the rear suspension linkages, and it was as bad as you would expect of a 27-year-old bike that has spent its life in the bush. A couple of hours with a hacksaw and drill had all the seized pins and bushes out. So for the past few weeks my “new” Ténéré has been spread all over my workbenches (lower photo), while I waited for a whole lot of parts to arrive. Maybe I will be able to convince the wife that all the parts were supplied F-O-C by a benevolent motorcycle magazine who wanted to do an article on the rebuild of an old warhorse ... but quite probably not.

Anyway, I hopefully will get most of it back together this weekend. I will then be able to take it out for a ride and start trying to sort the electrical/ignition problem and get some miles on it to run in the new piston and bore prior to the Tragics ride. If it all turns out okay, I will probably ride up to Broken Hill and join the Getting There ride. It has been a good ten years since I was last in the Tibooburra/Cameron Corner area and will be great to go back there again.
-- Colin, Ténéré Tragic #6

That's the spirit, Colin: endless hours in the workshop bringing an ol' banger back to its former glory ... in fact, that's the true Ténéré spirit! Look forward to catching up with you and that classic '83 Teenéré on the Getting There ride.
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1

Thursday, December 16, 2010



Hello Clubby and all: My name is Dave, I'm from from Brisbane and I'm a confirmed Ténéré Tragic (and yes, looking forward to getting my official number). My pride and joy and trusty steed for the big jaunt is my all original ’83 ZL, hereafter known as “Best Bike Ever Built” (BBEB). I purchased my gem in 1986 after much drooling in Yamaha shops about town and thinking the dollars were a bit much, but finally got my hands on the BBEB and I thought it was the ducks nuts and still do.
Attached are a few photos from a recent tour to the Centre with long-time touring mate Chris, and fellow BBEB owner, who can’t make the Arkaroola trip. On this ride tyre trouble 50km outside Boulia meant an overnight camp and a few ports around the fire. That’s me looking for the end of the tube in one photo, and the Boulia sunset is probably one of my favourite scenes. As for the middle photo, do you think this looks like a great woolly mammoth … oh! and also a big termite mound in the background.
Don’t be too alarmed at our touring set-up: it looks a bit agricultural but has stood the test of time, and we tend to think that if you haven’t got it with you, you’re probably not going to find it at the back ‘O’ Bourke.
Now, a couple of quick questions:
+ Will the young fast kiddies wait for the old fellas?
+ Do you think there should be enough sat phones floating around in the group?
Have just received the latest Ténéré Tragics newsletter and enjoy reading the latest news. I too am meeting the group at Hillston for the Getting There Ride and at this point am riding from Brisbane solo, probably via Dubbo but will keep an eye out for other Tragics en-route. Cheers for now,
-- Dave, Ténéré Tragic #8 and BBEB True believer!

Welcome aboard, Dave, and might I say right up front, you clearly qualify as a Ténéré Tragic of almighty proportions! As I have mentioned before, there are a handful of '83 XT600ZL Ténérés registered for the ride, which is absolutely fabulous, as that's the model that started the whole Ténéré religion (is that the right word? Are we Tragics part of a 'religion'? Or is disease a better word for it?!). To answer your questions, you are Ténéré Tragic #8, the young bucks can ride as fast or slow as they like as we've planned it that everyone ride can ride at their own pace, and I am guessing some riders will be carrying sat phones, but that's only a guess at this time. As stated from the outset, everyone needs to be entirely self-sufficient for the ride, so plan accordingly. Again, welcome aboard and keep giving that marvellous '83 BBEB plenty of TLC and she'll give it right back as you chug-a-lug through the Aussie outback with your 'fellow disciples' in the first week of March!
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1

Tuesday, December 14, 2010



My name is Dave, I live in Tannum Sands in central Queensland and I am excited to be part of the Ténéré Tragics Run to the Rocks. I purchased one of the first XT1200Zs in Queensland from Gladstone Motorcycles in late June 2010.
I was born in Scotland but spent my youth growing up in Africa, namely Zambia (four years) and Kenya (13 years). In my teens my hobby was riding and fixing up motorcycles for friends. I have ridden numerous brands of motorcycles through this hobby including Honda's MT5 and MB5 to XL185 XL250, XL500, CR480R Elsinore, CB400N Superdream, XR400R and XR650R. I've ridden Suzuki's TS125 and TS185 and Yamaha's GT80, DT100, DT125, DT175, DT250, XT250, XT500, XT600 Ténéré (both the ’83 and ’86 models), XT1200Z and XS750. I also rode a Kawasaki two-stroke triple 900, Norton 650SS and BMW K1000.
I moved back to Scotland in 1987 to start working, where I bought a CB400N and then a 1986 XT600 Ténéré. I emigrated to Queensland in 2000 where I purchased a brand new XR650R. I sold it a few years later and haven’t had a bike since. However I got bitten by the bug after watching Ewan McGregor and Charlie Boorman on the Long Way Round and Down. I was almost going to buy a BMW GS1200A until I heard that Yamaha was bringing out the Super Tenere in a 1200 version. I waited impatiently -- but I am glad I did! It is a fantastic bike.
My father built and raced motocross sidecar outfits in the mid to late 1960s and was the Scottish champion for five years running before retiring as No 1. He is a Norton man through and through and currently owns a 1957 Norton 650SS. He also has a BMW K1000, a Moto Guzzi 500 and a Honda 700 Deauville. My brother had a ’84 XT600 Ténéré which was unfortunately stolen from outside his flat in London. He has since replaced it with a brand new XT660 Ténéré.
The bikes I have owned are a DT100, XT500G, CB400N, XT600 Ténéré (1VJ model; blue and yellow with electric start), XR650R, and now an XT1200Z. I have always been a Yamaha and especially a Ténéré fan. I always wanted to do the Paris Dakar but never had the guts or money ...
I have enclosed some pics of some of my bikes for your perusal. The top photo shows me and my brother Mike touring northern France on our Ténérés in 1989 (mine is the blue one!). The second photo is my dad piloting his Norton 650 Ian Smith Special during a Scottish Sidecar Championship race. The third photo is my new XT1200Z parked at Sandy Creek near Turkey Beach in central Queensland.
Do you know if anyone is doing the Getting There Ride on the Tragics Run from north or central Queensland? If so can you let me know so I can ride down with them. If not I’ll try to catch up with the Dalby Tragics.
Thanks and best regards,
-- Dave, Ténéré Tragic #35

Thanks for your email, Dave, that's an awesome yarn! Loved the photos! Those first two photos are true classics! The other Queensland riders on the Tragics Run are all based down in south-east Queensland, but I will put the word out in the next Bulletin that you are looking to hook up with other riders. In the meantime I suggest you definitely contact Craig Hartley at Dalby Moto and say g'day and work on joining up with those boys.
Look forward to seeing you out there and talking Ténérés!
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1


Hey Clubby: You guys are doing a good job with this Ténéré Tragics ride! Now, I've got just a couple of quick questions: I'm wondering what Luke and my ID numbers are? Also, how big a fuel bladder do you reckon the 660 Ténéré will need?
-- David, Ténéré Tragic

Thanks for your email, Dave. Okay, here's the scoop: 1). You are Tenere Tragic #25 and your boy Luke is Tenere Tragic #26. Awesome that we've got a father/son combo along on the ride! 2). Re the fuel bladder, I just spoke with Steve Smith at AdventureMoto.com.au and he advised the bladders are available in 4, 8 and 12 litre sizes. When not in use they roll up to the size of a Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, so you can stash them in your luggage. Then when you need extra fuel range, you just get 'em out, fill 'em up and because they end up shaped like a pillow, you can just strap them atop your luggage, usually with a small elastic cargo net, or even direct to the straps on your luggage (as Clive is doing in this photo with the fuel bladder atop his V-Strom). As for which size you get, it comes down to what range you need and how thirsty your bike is. I am going to carry an 8 litre bladder for the run from Cameron Corner down to Arkaroola -- where we need around 470km range. After we leave Cameron Corner, I will stop after about 100km and empty some fuel from the bladder into the tank, and then stop again later and empty the balance in, then put the bladder away for the rest of the day. Like I said in the latest Ténéré Tragics Bulletin, the crew at AdventureMoto.com.au are doing discounts for Ténéré Tragics, so make sure you call them on 1300-GO-MOTO and say you are on the ride. Steve also let us know he's doing a special deal on SPOT trackers for just $199 plus subscription fee. If you've got a missus at home who wants to keep track of you and Luke on the ride, the SPOT trackers are a great way of doing just that -- although make sure you send an OK signal each night and turn it off before we hit the pub -- don't want the girls at home thinking we're all parked on bar stools each night for hours on end ... now do we?!
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1

Sunday, December 12, 2010



So there I was just the other day, kicking back in the TRAIL ZONE workshop, gazing wistfully at the wonderful array of adventure riding options presented before me by my 'fleet' of original '83 and current Yamaha Ténérés ... when the silence was broken by the slamming of car doors and the scurrying of pint-size feet down the driveway.

"Uncle Clubby! Uncle Clubby!" two voices squealed as my nieces, Riley and Brodie, crashed through the doorway and busted the silence of my treasured Ténéré cave.

"What are you doing? Where are you taking us this weekend? Can we watch Foxtel? Can we watch the Suite Life with Zack and Cody? Can we go to the beach? Can we make videos on your work computer? Did Tania tell you we're playing Junior Masterchef tonight in your kitchen? And we're cooking Tofu!"

Yikes! Two pre-teenage grommets raging away at 100mph. It's a shock to the system when the biggest domestic responsibility you have to worry about (save for SWMBO!) is Albert the cat from next door sneaking into the garage and curling up in your Giant Loop Great Basin bag.

Anyway, all was going swimmingly for the next couple of hours as Zack and Cody kept the dynamic duo entertained ... until Riley poked her head in through the TZ office door and decreed: "I'm bored!"


"Why don't you take these pencils and this paper and go and do some drawing?" I proposed.

Amazingly she did, and the for next hour or so peace and quiet returned to TZ HQ -- until Riley returned with her artwork and proclaimed: "Pretty good, huh?!"

Well knock me down with an 83 Ténéré foam air filter element!

Riley's Ténéré Tragics artwork was just awesome, and will be going straight into a frame and taking pride of place on the TZ office mantlepiece ... right alongside the classic '83 Ténéré fuel tank and autographed Shane Watts KTM sideplate.

Thanks Riley! You can come watch Foxtel at Uncle Clubby's place anytime -- but next time leave the Tofu recipes at home ...

-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1

Saturday, December 11, 2010



Good day Clubby:
Phil Hodgens (Ténéré Tragic #32) asked me to send you a couple of things on what we have done to our Ténéré here at Dalby Moto.
The bike has travelled 18,000km and the motor has run faultlessly. We advise as a precaution that people keep an eye on the cush-drive rubbers on the rear wheel, as we have had to replace a couple of sets and this can relate to the rear cush-drive bearing as well.
We fitted a high guard kit that was a simple modification requiring only a mudguard.
As for tyre choice, a Dunlop K490 or Michelin Starcross HP4 for the front along with a ultra-heavy-duty tube and wheel balance completes the front end, although after some heavy-duty use we have had to fit a new front rim but this is not necessary for most purposes. At the rear, we have found a Mitas tyre is a long-lasting and strong case tyre for the 17 inch rim, as this combined with the ultra-heavy-tube works well -- once again remember to balance your wheels.
For the suspension we have put heavier fork springs in the front with a new valve assembly and in the rear we have fitted a heavy spring, changed the oil and done some minor valving and this works very well considering the bike always has a load.
We have fitted a rear carrier and Dalby Moto pannier racks, along with Andy Strapz bags.
We were successfully running a TK Pipes muffler which has a blank chamber on one side to put tools and the like in, but we are now experimenting with just a single muffler, mainly to see if we could save any more weight, as well as to change the power characteristic a little.
We have fitted an Oxford tank bag which works quite well but after prolonged use it will wear a little paint around the filler cap of the fuel tank, so some clear contact would be a good idea here. Because of the shape of the fuel tank, we use straps on each side of the tank bag down to the plastic tank guards to stabilise the tank bag. This works well, it just means you have to loosen the straps off and move the tank bag slightly to one side to refuel.
Finally, we have fitted weather shield Barkbusters to the bike.
That's about it, while the fuel range of the bike is very good and can regularly run out to the 300 to 400 km range depending on how you ride the bike.
Hope this info is of help to the Tragics -- look forward to seeing you on the ride in March.
-- Craig Hartley (Dalby Moto, Qld), Ténéré Tragic #15

Thanks for all the info on the 660 Ténéré set-ups, Craig, and we're stoked to see you've rounded up a posse of fellow riders for the inaugural Run to the Rocks in March. Looking forward to sharing a quiet drink (!) with you and Philth when we catch up.
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1

Monday, December 6, 2010



Normally I am a man of few words (that is until I've got a few beers under my belt). I've been around now for over half a century and in that time at about 11 years old started riding bikes, aboard anything that had an engine and I could strip all the junk off and ride around a paddock. I got on the road at age 16 and rode various road bikes until my early 20s when the kids came along and with family and work commitments I only occasionally got to ride the odd bike until six years ago when I again started riding touring-type bikes. I decided about three years ago that I needed a bike that would do a bit more than just road work, so I bought a V-Strom and rode 18,000km in 15 months. I got the adventure riding bug and when the new XT660Z was released, I bought one and have used it since for everyday use and weekend runs out to the bush. When Yamaha announced the Super Tenere was to be released, I couldn't help myself and ordered one. The S10 was just what I wanted for the long-haul runs: I got the bike in mid-July, fresh off the boat and I've kitted it out with crash bars, soft panniers, top box, GPS and bar raisers. The bike is a joy to ride, light with a low centre of gravity, very easy to handle in traffic and off-road, with the ability to change your riding style with the flick of a few switches. I still have a few bits to buy for her, which will be done before the Tragics Run to the Rocks. So there we have it, although I am a new Tragic, I can say the Teneres have got me and I cant see myself parting with either of them. Cheers, and looking forward to seeing you all in March 2011.
-- Ken, Ténéré Tragic #13

With a new 660 and 1200 parked in your garage, that is serious case of Ténéré-itis you are suffering from there, Ken. But hey, when the bug bites, sometimes it bites hard! Thanks for sending us your photo and details -- we'll see you on the Run to the Rocks in March -- but which Ténéré are you going to bring???
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1

Sunday, December 5, 2010



Hello Tragics: Thank you for confirming my Registration for the ride: I can't wait to see you all at the event. I will also send a story and pictures for your web page when I have a little more time. For now, though, can you please let me know what that web site was for Ténéré aftermarket stuff? My bike is well set-up but I want one of those trick grill headlight protectors. Thanks!
-- Deano, Ténéré Tragic #49

You just made it, Dean -- you're one of the last Tragics to get a spot! If you're looking for a bunch of aftermarket gear for your Ténéré, then try one of our Ténéré Tragics ride sponsors, Steve Smith from www.adventuremoto.com.au -- just get onto the web site and have a hunt around through all the gear they've got. Then when you're ready to order, contact Steve and tell him you're a Ténéré Tragic and he'll look after you. As for the wire headlight grill that we have been running on our XT660Z Ténéré Project Bike in TRAIL ZONE magazine, that's actually a Touratech part that is available from Touratech Australia -- call them on (03) 5729 5529 to order.
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1


It's time to hang up the 'SOLD OUT' shingle on our inaugural Ténéré Tragics Run to the Rocks ride.

All 50 spots have now been filled and we've got an awesome mix of Ténérés and Super Ténérés both old and new that will be joining us in the spectacular Flinders Ranges in the first week of March 2011.

We've got riders coming from far and wide, including Tasmania and WA, proving the reaches of the Tenere brotherhood know no bounds.

Thanks to everyone who has registered to join us on the ride -- like you, we just can't wait!

And you Tragics who registered, look out for more event details in your Inbox over coming weeks.

-- Clubby, Tenere Tragic #1

Wednesday, December 1, 2010



Okay guys, what's the real story with the name Ténéré? Where does it come from and why did Yamaha choose it?
-- Dale, Ténéré Tragic Wannabee

Is this a trick question, Dale? Every Ténéré Tragic worth his salt knows the answer to this one! Yamaha borrowed the Ténéré name from a remote desert region in the south-central Sahara. The original Paris-Dakar Rally travelled through this area which was notorious for forcing many a DNF due to navigational and fuel issues. Of course you needed the large fuel tanks that featured on early model Ténérés in order to even contemplate tackling this area. If you want to know even more about this region, here's what Wikipedia has to say: Ténéré (Berber: Tiniri, literally: desert, wilderness) is a desert region in the south central Sahara. It comprises a vast plain of sand stretching from north-eastern Niger into western Chad, occupying an area of over 154,440 square miles (400,000 km²). Its boundaries are said to be the Aïr Mountains in the west, the Hoggar Mountains in the north, the Djado Plateau in the northeast, the Tibesti Mountains in the east, and the basin of Lake Chad in the south. Okay, Dale, now you know!
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1