NOW, WHAT ABOUT A RUN TO BIRDSVILLE?
Hi Clubby and Tania: Thanks for the Tragics ride. I was just starting to get the hang of it and I had to come home! I was thinking on the ride home that considering we had over 50 bikes, there were no mechanical reliability problems that were not rider related, ie: go around that rock, not through it! I was not thinking of going tomorrow, but some of us were talking of doing Camerons Corner and Birdsville. After reading about your trip last year, is there a good time of the year to go or is is it a bit of a lottery weather-wise? Anyhow, thanks again for a great ride.
-- Greg, Ténéré Tragic #18
While we did have a few tweaked bodies and bikes, Greg, you are right: the majority of the ride's issues could have been avoided by, shall we say, more judicious use of the throttle! Riders crashing, new XT660Zs shedding their rego plates and new 1200s punching holes in their sumps could all have been avoided by a careful shift in riding attitude. But hey, when you've got big long days in the outback, you just want to pin it, right?! I know I was so careful the whole ride about bottoming-out the underbelly of my 1200. In fact, getting the 1200's belly as high up off the ground as I could with a rear suspension raising link from Motorrad Garage was one of the first mods I made to the bike before heading west to join the Tragics pack. And then I tried hard as possible ALL THE TIME to ride the bike as 'light' as possible through the dips and G-outs to reduce the chances of grounding out. But hey, no matter how hard you try, I still hit the deck with the bashplate a few times and once even stopped and checked out the sump because the sound of the rocks belting the bashplate was scary! Thankfully the Yamaha bashplate did the job and my sump remained unscathed. Anyway, I am sure many lessons have been learnt, especially by the majority of Tragics who were riding the outback for the first time. Now, speaking of going outback, to Birdsville, it really is a lottery with the weather. We first planned our ride for April last year, but got washed out and re-scheduled to August, and even then only just got through in a couple of places. Obviously, avoid going in the hottest months of the year, but other than that, just take a stab in the dark at when you want to go and then cross your fingers like crazy that the weather gods are on your side! Go hard mate, and keep the Ténéré spirit alive! Finally, here's a pic of you punting your 1200 across one of the dry creek beds on the run from Yunta to Hawker. Nice style ... especially for a Tragic 63 years young! Was great having you along on the ride.
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1