Tuesday, December 20, 2011


G’day Clubby: Progress is being made in converting the Bushpig from championship winning reliability trial weapon back to supreme vintage adventure tourer. The old girl is currently up on the bench getting a full service plus a few repairs and modifications. I have been able to find a ‘new' secondhand airbox to replace the original which has been more duct tape than plastic for the best part of this year's reliability trial season. New handlebars and Barkbusters are also to be fitted to replace the existing bent and battered ones. I have almost finished making up a set of frames to mount some hard panniers -- so no burning saddlebags this time! -- and there are still a lot of other mods and repairs to get done before March.
Russ’s recent mention of his fuel tank dramas seems to be a common story with Ténérés. However, I have managed to find the Holy Grail, a NNOS (Nearly New Old Stock) fuel tank, through knowing the right people and being in the right place at the right time. I was talking with Fred, a long time acquaintance and fellow reliability trial competitor, prior to the start of the Clare MCC Beryl Pearce trial in September, when the topic turned to the beat-up condition of the fuel tank on the Bushpig. Fred mentioned that he had a tank for a Ténéré sitting in his shed and asked if I was interested? Considering the battered condition of my tank, the answer was always going to be a resounding "Yes!"
A few weeks later we meet up again while we were both officiating at the Australian Moto Trials Championships at Eden Valley. Not being one to let an opportunity pass, I followed Fred home after the event to have a look at the tank.

The tank had sat in its box in Fred’s shed since he bought it from Pitmans Yamaha in late 1985 to fit onto a TT600 he was preparing for the 1986 Wynns (Australian) Safari. It seems that the tank came off of a Pitmans sponsored Ténéré that had been ridden in the original 1985 Safari and was removed before the bike was sold. Fred found it was too much work to try and fit to the TT600, so it was consigned back to its box and had sat gathering dust in his shed for the last 30 years.

Now, it's not perfect; having some stone chips on the front edges and a small dent, but it is rust-free and came with a new fuel tap and fuel cap. Even in its current condition it is far too good to put onto the Bushpig, so it will be kept in its box on the shelf in MY shed alongside the box containing a full set of new mudguards, side covers, headlight cowl etc to wait until I am finished abusing the old girl and get the time to restore her to original condition.

-- Colin, Ténéré Tragic #6.

That's a great yarn, Colin. We just love the way all these parts and pieces for old Ténérés keep popping up out of the woodwork. Take good care of that tank and we looking forward to seeing you at Mount Panorama in a couple of months.

-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1


Hi Clubby & Tania: I have attached a picture of my Ténéré and was wondering about a few things: I have been riding bikes most of my life and this will be my very first adventure run and it's on dirt so I'm very excited about it. But I am not sure what is required to take along on the Run and can you please recommend what you would take as in bike gear? I will be purchasing a front tyre and bike pants from Steve at AdventureMoto but I'm not sure what else I would need?
-- Marc, Ténéré Tragic

G'day Marc and welcome aboard the Ténéré Tragics express! For your first big adventure ride you'll be leaping in at the deep end but the good thing is you'll be amongst a pack of riders on the same bike as you and all brought together by a common bond: the Yamaha Ténéré. Now, to give you a few words of advice, let's get into it: Choose dirt-oriented tyres because the majority of the Tragics Run next year will be on dirt and you'll have a much better ride with tyres that offer as much grip as possible when you need it most -- Steve at Adventure Moto.com.au will be able to steer you right with tyre choice. Then make sure you fit heavy-duty tubes to reduce the chance of copping a puncture, but if you do get a flat, you need to be able fix it, either by replacing the tube with a spare you carry, or repairing the tube with a puncture repair kit. And to do that, you need to be able to get the wheels out of the bike (the XT660Z doesn't come with tools to help you remove the wheels! So check out Profastproducts.com.au as they offer a nifty front axle removal tool), as well as carrying tyre levers and a pump or CO2 bottles, so make sure you get all this sorted before the ride. You should also carry a spare oiled foam air filter element for your bike, so you can make a swap mid-ride, as chances are it's going to be dusty. It's a good idea to carry spare front brake, clutch and gear levers, just in case they get busted in a fall. Carry a small can of chain lube so you can lube the chain each day. As for you, wear a Camelbak-type hydration pack so you can keep up your fluids while you ride, as chances are it will be hot. Proper adventure riding gear including a jacket with armour in the shoulders and elbows is a must, as are proper boots. Try to pack as light as possible, because experience always tells us all we take way more gear than we need: do a first sort of the gear you think you will need, then halve it! After all that, well, just bring a spirit of adventure ... and in the meantime, get out and rack up as many kilometres as you can to get bike-fit and hone your riding skills. We'll see you soon!
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1

Hi Clubby, I've just been doing some work on the old Ténéré, in readiness for next year's Tragics run. I recently found what I consider might be a very rare GT80 Tenere, in an old hay shed ... out the back of Giligulgul. Thought I'd send this photo in and see what you thought of it? Do you think I might be able to run it in next year's Tragics ride?
-- Neil, Ténéré Tragic #37

Now Neil, mate, if you don’t ride it in next year’s Mountain to Mountain Run, I sure will!
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1


Hi Tania, Clubby and all the Tragics: I've been getting a fair bit of riding in on the old 3AJ Ténéré in preparation for next year's ride so the Super Ten 1200 has been feeling left out. I've recently had the suspension all rebuilt by Teknik which has made a huge difference, mainly because even though I have owned the bike since new in '88 I have never touched the suspension, not even an oil change for the front forks! So getting it sorted after 23 years has made it feel much better and an easier bike to ride. Other than that it's just regular oil and filter changes as well as wheel bearings, steering head bearings and brake pads.
Most of my rides lately have been with a group I like to call "Club KTM": they're a bunch of mates from the OffRoadExplorer.com forum. We've done a few rides through Yengo NP, up to the Watagans and an overnighter to Coolah Tops, as well as a bunch of day rides in the Blue Mountains closer to home.
One notable day out was up to Stockton Beach near Newcastle with my mate Chad on his F800GS and myself on the 600. We trailered the bikes up early one weekday morning knowing that we'd be too tired to bother riding the freeway home. Didn't really know what to expect up there, only ever doing it in the 4WD. We towed the bikes over the dunes to the beach and unloaded them but seeing the tyres sink into the soft sand was heart-wrenching and that was before I had my 118kg on the bike! We set off and I just gunned it, clicking up the gears, into third, on the pegs and it was like a boat coming onto the plane and in about half an hour we were getting used to it and only had a few low-speed falls for the day. I was surprised how much fun we had but also how much hard work it was. After a few hours we were stuffed, exhausted and muscles aching so we called it a day. We'll be back there again soon.
-- Dave, Ténéré Tragic

Nice one, Dave. Always good to hear about the ol' bangers getting freshened up and then put to good use. Riding Stockton on a pure dirt bike can be tough enough, let-alone doing it on a big-tanked adventure bike, so well done to you and Chad for having a play in the sand dunes on your adventure machines. We look forward to catching up again at Mount Panorama in March!
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I’ve just returned from a massive week in the saddle recce riding the course for our next TENERE TRAGICS Mountain to Mountain Run in the first week of March – and if I do say so myself, it’s shaping up to be pretty darn good!
I was super-lucky with the weather and managed to stay clear of the rains that have lashed much of NSW for the past couple of weeks – except for day one when some gnarly thunderstorms smashed the Blue Mountains as I made my way into Oberon after a long day’s loop from Bathurst – so I can certainly recommend the waterproofing on Klim’s Goretex gear!
As has been the case in recent months, the overwhelming memory from riding nearly the entire course is just how green large parts of NSW are at the moment – some of the views along the way of the rolling green countryside are just beautiful. I really hope it stays that way – although deep down I know summer has to kick in sooner or later and the temperatures will warm up and some of the green colour will start to dry off.
While I’ve been away a couple more riders have signed on for the 2012 Tenere Tragics ride, bringing the tally of participants to just over 60, meaning we've still got ten spaces left to fill. Those spots look set to be filled over coming weeks, so come March 4 we should have have a full pack of 75 thundering Teneres and Super Teneres as we descend on Mount Panorama at Bathurst for a mighty week of Tenere action!
If you want to get in on the action, email us at teneretragics@trailzone.com.au and request a Registration pack and then sign up and get into it.
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1

Hi Clubby & Tania: I thought I would flick you guys an update for the Ténéré Tragics blog page. Myself (2010 XT660Z Tenere) and a mate (XT660R) have just returned from a two week adventure ride. We travelled over 4,200km from Melbourne via the Flinders Ranges to Marree, completed the Birdsville Track with the detour including the ferry ride over the Cooper.

We spent a couple of days in Birdsville whilst dipping a toe into the Simpson Desert. The hot season is starting up there with 44 degrees reached upon arrival in Birdsville (which was just a little too hot!!). We then headed down to Innamincka via Cordillo Downs and spent a couple of days there. We swam in the Cooper Creek, visited the Dig Tree, Burke’s place of death etc etc.

We were told by several bikers and 4WDers at Innamincka to avoid the Cameron Corner route to Tibooburra so we took mining roads via Epsilon, Santos and then onwards to Tibooburra. They turned out to be great roads and the less explored route was a real bonus.

The Simpson, Cordillo Downs track and Innamincka were the highlight of the trip and I would go again in a heartbeat, just not so close to the hot season. Camping in such heat is not nice.

Apart from the heat, this has been the best adventure ride so far. The scenery and wildlife are just so beautiful. The later half became a competition between emus and us. Who would hit whom? The emus tried their best to collide with us, but we learnt very quickly, if an emu is standing still – power up, if they are running, slow right down. They’re amazingly large but stupid birds and boy do we have some great stories about them.

My Ténéré did not miss a beat and was surprisingly good in the short time we spent in the Simpson. The only bike problem we had was some chain issues less than 150km from home.

I’m looking forward to the 2012 Ténéré Tragics ride - see you then!

-- Richard, Ténéré Tragic #5

Thanks for the ride report, Richard. Definitely sounds like it was hot out there, for sure. Here’s hoping conditions should be a little bit cooler when the 2012 Ténéré Tragics Mountain to Mountain Run fires into life in the first week of March. We look forward to seeing you again then.

-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Hi Clubby: I picked up the Tenere tanks today and the good news is the 34L has been brought back from the brink. Meanwhile the '88 tank I bought in WA had a little bog but was otherwise very good, while the other '88 tank will make a good spare or at least fetch a good price on ebay once painted.
Looking at my list of acquired parts and given it gets a new engine, new plastics and paint, hydro-blasted fork legs and paint, repainted exhaust, replated nuts and bolts, new wheels and brake discs, the only thing that isn't getting done on the '88 is to bead blast the frame and swingarm and repaint!
Do you dare me to go all the way?
-- Lance 'Russ' Turnely, ORE webmaster & Tenere Tragic

Now, Russ, of course I dare you! That's what mates are for. I'm just stoked to finally see some movement in the ORE Garage and some of your fleet of various Teneres showing some progress. You can't possibly argue with me when I say, they have been a long time coming ... Now, as for all you other Tenere Tragics out there building bikes for next year's fast approaching Tenere Tragics Mountain to Mountain Run, let's see 'em! Send us a photo or two and some info on how you're going with the restos and we'll get the details up here for all the Tragics to see. Email me at teneretragics@trailzone.com.au and we'll take care of the rest.
-- Clubby, Tenere Tragic #1

Monday, November 21, 2011


Hi Clubby: My brother in London, who is a bona-fide Tenere Tragic, is asking if he can participate in the 2012 Tenere Tragics Run? He obviously can't bring his XT660 out for the event and was wondering if you would allow him to join on a hired 660 or 1200? So the question now is, do you know of any nice people he could hire a Tenere from for the eve
nt, either in Sydney or Brisbane? He had an '85 XT600 which was stolen and he bought a 660 a couple of years ago. He is considering a 1200 at the moment. Look forward to hearing from you mate.
-- Dave Smith, Tenere Tragic #35

Would be awesome to have your brother along for the next Tenere Tragics Run, Dave, for sure, especially if he's coming all the way from the UK. We've put a few feelers out and the only lead we've got for an outlet that hires Teneres in based in Melbourne: just Google Garner's Motorcycles and apparently they have a wide and varied fleet of bikes to hire, which includes both Yamaha XT660Z and XT1200Z models. Best of luck with it!
-- Clubby, Tenere Tragic #1

Hi there Clubby: Thanks for the information pack and rego pack for next year’s Tenere Tragics ride, I can't wait. What I'm after is some information regarding your new 1200. In particular the new handlebars and the Barkbusters. I ride trials, Renthal fat bars and find the standard bars on the Tenere just too wide and just feel strange.
I spoke to Waspworks and they mentioned bars and risers, then saw the white ride you have, with the gold bars and new Barkbusters. Can you please help me: the Tenere is an awesome bike, just needs some better feeling bars for me. Any info would be fantastic
-- Darryl Boorer, Tenere Tragic

Thanks for signing up to be part of the Tenere Tragics 2012 ride, Darryl - will be good! Re your questions about the flight deck on my XT1200Z Super Tenere, detailed below is what I did in notes I sent to the crew at Barkbusters HQ in Wollongong, as they have been getting requests from other 1200 riders after reading about my bike. Was not a straight bolt-on operation and some grinding/tweaking involved, but I am more than happy with the result.
Pre-amble: the stock XT1200Z bars were too road-oriented for my liking, too wide and too swept back. After fitting Barkbusters VSBars and risers to our XT660Z Tenere Project Bike last year, I was keen to replicate this flight deck on the 1200. I like to stand up a lot on dirt, and like to get weight forward over the front end of the bike to help steering on the dirt, plus I wanted the 1200's ergos to feel more 'dirt bike' than the stock set-up offered. I was confident the Barkbusters flight deck would achieve the goals I was after.
Bar risers were required to raise the VSBars due to their much lower rise than the stock bars. I was hoping to get a set of those wicked mega-adjustable Rox risers, but they never arrived in time for the 2011 Tenere Tragics ride. Had to make do with a cheap and cheery riser kit from the local bike shop: ended up with full lift via all spacers provided: 35mm lift in all. Note: no issues with cable lengths at all.
On the throttle side of the bars, the stock throttle tube is mega-long, like, road-bike long! So we cut the throttle tube down by 20mm to match the length of the off-road TAG grips I like to run, and with that done and Barkbusters bar end weight used, all controls fitted sweetly and easily on the throttle side of the VSBars. Front brake lever also fitted easily inside the VPS Barbuster alloy bar. Too easy this side!
Little more work required on the clutch side to get all controls to fit: 1). Dr Phil took the grinder to the clutch lever master cylinder and ground off the edge where it buts against the mirror perch mount. Doing this picked up a few millimetres. 2). Dr Phil also took the grinder to the ball on the end of the stock clutch lever and ground away most of the ball end, so as to give us clearance inside the VPS Barkbusters alloy bar. With these mods done, all controls on the clutch side fitted, plus, importantly, we had 5mm clearance of the front brake hose from the inside of the Barkbusters inner mount clamp.
As stated, no issues with cable lengths, and there is also a mountain of clearance beneath the bars from the tank on full lock, and heaps of clearance of the screen at the other end -- note I run the Waspworks/MotorradWorks screen adjuster set-up.
Mission accomplished!
Let us know how you go with getting your 1200's flight deck set-up.
-- Clubby, Tenere Tragic #1

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Attention all Ténéré Tragics: the new Motorbikin' 5 DVD is out and it features a chunky segment on the 2011 Ténéré Tragics Run to the Rocks in the Flinders Ranges.

The segment follows Phil Hodgens and Dalby Moto's Craig Hartley on their mission just to get out to the Tragics event from south-east Queensland, and then their even more eventful return trip home ... in which the aforementioned Mr Hartley Esq manages to punch the guts out of his XT1200Z Super Ténéré in a rocky creek bed not too far from Arkaroola, thus dumping its engine oil.

Then, some time later in the middle of nowhere, he manages to thump a rock and flat-spot both front and rear rims at the same time -- thank heavens he was carrying tubes, huh?

But, of course, the mighty XT1200Z Super Ténéré carries him through and the pair eventually do make it home.

For more details on what is a cracker adventure bike riding DVD and to order your copy of the Motorbikin' 5 DVD, check out the www.motorbikin.com.au web site.

-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1

Sunday, October 2, 2011


On September 17 I rode in the seventh and final round of the SA Reliability Trial Series, the Beryl Pearses Reliability Trial, which was run by the Clare MCC (my local club). It had been 18 years since the Clare MCC had run a reliability trial and everyone was eagerly looking forward to the event. The course comprised six competitive sections ranging from three to 10km in length spaced over a lap of 136km.
Once again I had entered on the trusty ’83 Ténéré, and in the spirit of the event I rode to the Main Control at the Clare Showground instead of putting the old girl on a trailer for the nine kilometre journey. I had drawn number 31, and was the first clubman rider out onto the course at 1:31pm, following hot on the heels of the Expert Solo riders. As I was still nursing a right boot full of broken toes from the Theo NixonTtrial at Mallala a month before, my plan was to just cruise around and enjoy a good day's riding.
The first paddock section was six kilometres in length, and started on a hill which gave a great view out over the section. Having arrived early into the start control I was able to watch a lot of the Expert Solos ride the section. Much of this section was flat-out over open pasture on the side of the hill, with the occasional twisty bit in and out of the gum trees around the creek in the bottom of the paddock. You know it is fast when you see and hear riders approaching turns tapped out in top gear. My riding was a bit more sedate, although I will admit to scaring myself at one point when I looked down at my speedo to find that I was doing over 100kph in fourth gear as I approached one turn.
The second paddock was three kilometres long and was a tight one over some rocky hills through stringy-bark trees. I don’t think I got any higher than second gear in this paddock. It was quite hard work try to muscle the Ténéré through the trees and up/down the hills. Having over 25 litres of fuel onboard didn’t help much either.
Paddock section three was four kilometres of narrow track, twisting and turning through a couple of paddocks on the hills around Barney’s (one of the organisers) house. The high point of this section was a sharp, bumpy right-left combination of turns coming down a steep hill towards Barney’s house. There were hazard markers in place and we were warned at the rider's briefing: get it wrong and you would land on the roof of Barney’s shed and from there fall into his spa. Any bike Barney found either on his shed roof or in his spa would be his!
Paddock section four was five kilometres long and had a true Clare Valley flavour. From the start you made a flat-out run around the edge of a vineyard before heading into a couple of paddocks of rolling grassy hills with the occasional large gum tree used for turning markers. The course twisted and turned up, down and across the hills and was quite fast, with a lot of 'Rollie Rocks' in the grass to keep you on your toes.
Paddock section five, at 10km, was the longest paddock on the course. This section was in an area called Camel's Hump, which is an apt description of the big barren, rocky hills with a covering of native pasture and a few stands of Black Boys. Fast wasn’t the word for this section, there has to be another word that means faster than fast. The only thing that made you slow down, apart from fear, were the numerous wash-outs and small gullies that the course crossed and occasionally ran along.
Paddock section six was eight kilometres of similar fast riding to paddock section five.
At the end of the lap, I surprised the officials and the main control by arriving before any of the Expert Solo riders had clocked in. Being a local, I was asked serious questions relating to cutting the course on the transport section from the final paddock section back to the main control. I just pointed to the Ténéré’s fuel tank, and said that with the fuel I had onboard, I could probably ride three laps of the course without having to refuel. That’s when it dawned on the officials; I had come straight to the control, while all the Experts had gone to the local servo that was the official fuel stop to fill up.
After a brief lay-over, I headed out for my second lap at 5:20pm. With the sun going down and darkness approaching my aim was to just maintain steady pace and make it to the finish without hurting myself or the bike. The lap was fairly uneventful, with the exception of losing my lights a few kilometres into the fifth paddock section. Being plunged into darkness while riding cross-country isn’t that much fun, but I managed to pull up with hitting anything. It only took a few minutes to find and fix a broken earth wire and once that was done I pressed on to the end of the lap.
I arrived back at the main control at about 8:40pm, happy to have finished another reliability trial on the Ténéré, and was presented with a commemorative stubby holder. After hanging around the finish for a while chatting with other riders and supporters, I put all my gear back on and rode the Ténéré back home.
So, after seven rounds the trusty Ténéré had taken me to a resounding Class M victory in both the Series and State Championship with the following results;
Second place Class M, Rd 1, The Phil Haydon 6hr Trial
Second place Class M, Rd 2, The Mike Connor 8hr Trial
First place Class M, Rd 3, The Robertstown 2 Day Trial
First place Class M, Rd 5, The Theo Nixon 6hr Trial
First place Class M, Rd 7, The Beryl Pearses 6hr Trial
Even though a 1983 XT600ZL Ténéré is probably one of the most inappropriate bikes to try and ride in these types of event, its shear reliability and indestructible nature saw it survive nearly 2,000km of competition/abuse with nothing more than a broken front mudguard, a bent foot-peg, a broken earth wire and a few more scratches on the fuel tank.
The trusty Ténéré has now been retired from competition. It will be given a full service and prepared for the forthcoming 2012 Tenere Tragics Mountain to Mountain Run.
Looking forward to seeing you all in Bathurst!
-- Colin Jay, Tenere Tragic #6

Congratulations and well done, Colin, on an impressive result! You're an inspiration to all your fellow Tragics: remind me to remind everyone at the Welcome Dinner at Bathurst at the start of next year's Tragics run to shout you a drink - you deserve it!
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Dear Clubby: Please find attached registration forms for my husband, Graham, and myself to participate in the 2012 Ténéré Tragics Mountain to Mountain Run. I would presume female riders are able to attend? I have been riding for 30 years and have owned my XTZ660 Ténéré for four years.
Graham and I have just completed a month on the road going out to Innaminka, Camerons Corner, down the Strez, to Hawker and then spending three days riding around the Flinders Ranges, What AWESOME riding! We covered all the tracks you guys did on the first Ténéré Tragics Run. We then rode from Hawker over to Coober Pedy where we put on new tyres (they were a bit worn after 4,500km). From Coober Pedy we headed to William Creek, then Maree, up the Birdsville Track and then, sadly, home. We did 7,333km and I LOVED every minute of it.
I would absolutely love to be part of the Tragics ride in 2012.
-- Janine Hannat, Ténéré Tragic #tba

Welcome into the Ténéré Tragics fold, Janine! And you, too, Graham. If you had such a good time on your outback trip, then you're definitely going to enjoy the ride we've got planned for next March. And hey, congrats on being the first-ever female Ténéré Tragic!
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1

Hi Clubby: I’m completely over the moon that the 2012 Ténéré Tragics Mountain to Mountain Run has finally been announced! Although I am already an official Ténéré Tragic after this year’s ride, I have been waiting and waiting, like so many other potential Ténéré Tragics, to see what 2012 holds.
I have convinced my very good friend Chris to enter for 2012, so here is his entry form all the way from New York, New York USA. Chris is just finalising a classic "The Americas: South to North" adventure ride on his R 1200 GS. He would have preferred a XT1200Z, but they hadn’t invented them when he bought his GS! Chris can’t wait to get back to the land of Oz and head for the Mountains with the Tragics. Anyone interested can catch his blog at wombatstravels.blogspot.com – Wombat is his GS! Here’s a photo of his beloved ’83, which he values so much he wouldn’t leave it with me while he was away!
I love the new 2012 Ténéré Tragics logo (which true Tragics would suggest is now in the ‘correct’ colours – I can hear the debate starting now). I just hope that Yamaha Australia sees the light and eventually brings the Euro white versions of the current Ténérés into the country sometime soon.
I now have to get back to rebuilding the donk in my second ’83 – I keep dreaming of shiny new gearsets, oversized forged pistons and high-volume oil pumps!
Congratulations on the release of details for the 2012 ride: we all know that this only comes after a lot of hard work and trail time. Keep up the great work on TRAIL ZONE, too!
In the Ténéré Spirit,
-- Mike Haysom, Ténéré Tragic #29

Thanks for the news, Mike, and congratulations to your mate Chris on becoming the Ténéré Tragics' first 'international' entrant! We're rapt to have him along and can't wait to hear some stories from his many epic adventures. Okay mate, get back into the workshop and get those '83s firing on all cylinders!
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1

With entries now rolling in thick and fast for the just announced 2012 Ténéré Tragics Mountain to Mountain Run, we've been asked a few times now, who's been first to register for the ride?

Drum roll please ... the rider getting the holeshot on his fellow Tragics for 2012 is none other than Colin Jay from South Australia (pictured).

Clearly a true Ténéré Tragic, Colin’s registration form spewed out of our fax as soon as entries opened and we are stoked to report he will once again be lining up for the ride aboard his classic 1983 Yamaha XT600ZL Ténéré.

Hot on Colin's tail were fellow 2011 Tragics, Richard Puffe from Victoria (XT660Z) and Ken Henderson from Queensland (XT1200Z).

More than half the field from this year's Ténéré Tragics Run to the Rocks in the Flinders Ranges have already registered for the 2012 ride, and we're rapt to see Paul Sitar from WA and Peter Reading from Tasmania have signed on to make the long trek to the ride. Good on you, guys: we look forward to catching up with all our Ténéré Tragic brothers again!

In the meantime, keep those registrations rolling in and make sure you spread the word to fellow Ténéré riders to get in on the good times of the 2012 Ténéré Tragics Mountain to Mountain Run.

-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1

Monday, September 19, 2011



Attention all Ténéré Tragics fans and followers: details have now been announced of the 2012 Ténéré Tragics Mountain to Mountain Run.

After the fabulous success of this year’s debut Ténéré Tragics Run to the Rocks in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia, the 2012 event will take the Tragics on a five-day run around south-east NSW, the ACT and into the northern edge of the Victorian high country.

The ride kicks off from Australia's home of motorsport, Mount Panorama at Bathurst (NSW) on Monday, March 5, and winds up five days later on Friday, March 9, at Jindabyne (NSW) on the edge of the Snowy Mountains.

In between, the wandering pack of Ténéré adventurers will make overnight stops in Oberon, Tumut and Batemans Bay as they follow a course that is tailor-made for putting Ténérés and Super Ténérés both old and new through their paces.

The registration fee for the 2012 Ténéré Tragics ride is $450 and this includes official welcome and farewell dinners, a showbag of exclusive Ténéré Tragics apparel and merchandise, a one-year subscription to TRAIL ZONE magazine, exclusive discount offers from ride sponsors that include Yamaha Motor Australia, Yamalube and AdventureMoto.com.au, daily route-sheets, daily riders briefing, sweep rider and sweep vehicle support and non-competitive event rider permit through Motorcycling Australia.

Accommodation recommendations at each overnight stop are also provided, for riders to make their own bookings to suit their budget requirements.

The Ténéré Tragics ride is open exclusively to Yamaha Ténéré and Super Ténéré machines (be they old or new) and already riders from NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia have registered for the 2012 event, such is the far-reaching enthusiasm of Ténéré fans right around the country. And yes, a flurry of riders on original 1983 XT600ZL Ténérés have already entered!

With entries for the 2012 Ténéré Tragics filling fast, please email the ride organisers from TRAIL ZONE magazine at teneretragics@trailzone.com.au to request full details and a registration form to be sent to you.

Or by all means call the TRAIL ZONE office on (02) 9905 9663 for more information.

We look forward to seeing you there!

-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011



On Saturday (August 13) I rode my 1983 Ténéré in the Theo Nixon Six Hour (the fifth round of the SA Reliability Trial Series), which was run near Mallala on the Adelaide Plains. The course comprised nine competitive special/paddock sections of two to ten kilometres long spaced out over a lap of 130km. The paddock sections were in great condition due to the rain that had fallen during the week and put just enough moisture into the ground to prevent any dust, without turning it into mud. The paddocks were a mixture of mallee scrub, salt bush flats, red loam sand hills and even a couple of excursions onto some not quite dry salt/clay pans.
Through a 'strange' quirk of luck the eight solo riders from my club (Clare MCC) all drew consecutive numbers in the 'random' ballot for starting numbers, so the ride was quite a social occasion, with everyone having a good time as we waited for our 'minutes' at the start of the paddock sections.
I was having a great ride and all was going well until I had a bit of an incident in the ninth (last) paddock of the first lap. This paddock section was a seven kilometre run through some medium density mallee scrub. It was about 4:30 in the afternoon and with the sun starting to set, visibility was crap riding in and out of bright sunlight and heavy shade. About a kilometre or so into the section, I was powering out of a reasonably tight left hand corner in second gear, when there was a God almighty thump to my right foot. After a lot of swearing, the pain subsided (well, my foot when numb) and l rode on slowly to the finish of the paddock, and then back along the final transport section to the main control. After a 15 to 20 minute lay-over at the main control/fuel dump, I was still able to kickstart the bike, so I headed out and rode the second lap rather carefully. I rode the last paddock a lot slower than on the first lap, and kept a good look-out to see if I could find what it I had hit. It turns out that I had hit a descent sized log/fallen branch about 15 to 20cm in diameter and about three to four metres in length, that was right on the edge of the track.
So ... foot versus log -- guess which won? You got it, the log won!
-- Colin Jay, Ténéré Tragic #6

Now, Col, there is always only one winner in the age-old contest between logs and feet ... and that's the timber! So what was the final prognosis on the toes? Any broken or just black and blue all over?! Keep that ol' banger firing -- and thanks for the report and photos!
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1

Tuesday, July 26, 2011



Okay all you Tragics with a hankering to add the most prized of all Ténérés to your fleet, another '83 XT600ZL has just popped up on eBay. She looks like she needs a bit of work – well, maybe more than a bit – and she doesn't have any rego, but hey, the nuts and bolts look to be there ... except for the hard to come by left sideplate!
Here's the link so punch it into your URL, and like I always say, bid to buy!
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1

Monday, July 18, 2011



Hi Clubby & Tania: Trust you guys are keeping well. I thought I would offer up some advice for recent questions posed by Ténéré enthusiasts on the Ténéré Tragics blog page:

For Glenn: I can’t help too much with Glenn’s radiator issues. With a part this complex Genuine parts are best, unless you can find a top-notch repairer to pass judgement on its repairability. This model didn’t go to the USA (so no price joy) and European prices (and shipping) are worse than here. Maybe fleaBay – I saw a complete XTZ660 frame, rad and engine (no bodywork or wheels/suspension) on there the other day. Check out Item 300577794335 (Perth : $26 and 4d 16h to go, as at 0030 18-Jul). Bid high and bid late!

For Peter: 1. Oil Pump – Yamaha has three different designs for the pump. The '34L' type (cast into back housing) is the smallest capacity. It does the job and is OK until you need to rebuild the engine or replace the pump. If the engine is genuinely low klm this shouldn’t be necessary. DON’T TEAR DOWN THE ENGINE UNLESS IT SHOWS CLEAR SIGNS OF NEEDING IT. The main reason is that some parts are getting hard to find and disturbing things means some replacements will be necessary. The '1VJ' type increased the pump volume about 25 per cent, within the constraints of the surrounding parts and can be a direct replacement for the 34L pump. * Note: Neither early-style pump is now available as a spare part. The only new pump available is the '3AJ' type, which has a 50 per cent volume increase over the 34L. It requires a new offset pump gear and a modified drive shaft. These parts come as a kit (99999-01858-00) for about $400. Again, unless you are rebuilding the engine with a view to riding the bike a long way into really remote and tough terrain, with low speeds and high loads, there is little benefit to be gained for the cost. Fanatics do it anyway, but it really is a swag of money that could be better spent elsewhere. Much better to just concentrate on frequently changing top quality oils and genuine filters! You can buy a lot of those for $400. Correct monitoring of oil levels is also crucial as, if the level gets too low, the pump (any of them!) sucks aerated oil (foam) from the tank and the engine-side feed pressure drops to zero (with obvious results – a bigend rebuild and stuffed cam bearings). Of course, good oil isn’t available in the middle of the Sahara, so some extra pump capacity was Yamaha’s insurance policy for adverse conditions.

2. Frame Colour – Yamaha’s official frame colour is 'Fire Red' (from the genuine 39E parts catalog). I’m not sure what the closest powder colour is for powdercoat (PC). There are only four main suppliers in Oz – Jotun, Dulux, Interpon and PPG and each has a similar red colour (probably 'Post Office' Red). The colour of #616 (my 39E) is a pretty close match but redder than the other three frames I have. I will be researching this much closer soon as I prepare #132 for a frame coating. I wish I knew what powder/colour #616 is but the previous owner had the PC done in NSW somewhere. PC colour match is difficult because the film build and substrate have an effect and the Coater will not buy 20kg of powder just for you to do a colour match. If you want to PC then colour doesn’t really matter anyway. The original frame coating was sprayed, so PC won’t leave it ‘concourse’. The protection level with PC is better though. Just remember to put used bolts into ALL the threaded holes before you do it, and then thin out the main engine mount joint areas before assembling.

3. Other Tragics – I’m on the exact opposite side of Melbourne (Kilmore) from Peter, but I’m sure I’ll be on the way to the next Ténéree Tragics Run! If he has ANY questions about the early XTs either myself, Dave (Springvale) or Ian should be able to assist. There are a group of local, Aussie and overseas owners of early Ténérés on the forum at www.tenere.co.uk (just be prepared for very ‘open’ language, politics and racial viewpoints) which, despite the domain name is primarily local. The founding member and administrator (Mezo) has four XT-ZLs also. They are a good bunch of Tenere enthusiasts and very happy to help.

4. Performance re: 550 – The ZL has incredibly high gearing, the rear sprocket is the smallest you can run without the chain hitting the sprocket carrier. It is one of the reasons they destroy fifth gear over time. The 550 had, I think, a 42 tooth rear which will make it more spritely. The standard ZL gearing is better for long highway stints, but as I now know, stinks when riding a rock farm section!

5. Pete can contact me on mail@mikehaysom.com about anything to do with his '83. It will be good to have more Vicco '83s on the ride. I only check emails every couple of days so he needs to be patient.

6. One final hint, join SR500 Club Australia, http://www.sr500club.org/ (joining fee $20, annual membership $25) and arrange an inspection to be eligible for Classic/Historic (red plate) rego. With VicRoads, you get 90 unrestricted days of riding a year (using a log book) for about $100 – and TP Property insurance is usually based on the reduced exposure. It sure beats the normal $525 rego charge! They are great guys, too, and love seeing old Yamaha singles being resurrected from the scrapheap and on the road again.

Hope all this info helps and thanks for everything Clubby and keep up the great work on TRAIL ZONE.

With you in the Ténéré Spirit, and best regards,

-- Mike Haysom, Ténéré Tragic #29

Hey Mike, thanks for that absolute fountain of information -- just awesome! When it comes to '83 Ténéré facts, figures and resto advice, you are clearly the man! Look forward to catching up again at next year's Ténéré Tragics ride.

-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1