Tuesday, April 12, 2011



Hi Clubby: I picked up the latest copy of Motorcycle Trader magazine to hunt for an early XT600z Ténéré and there on page 11 is a story on the 'Tragics'. I never knew the club existed, let alone that the old Ténéré has a growing fan club. I've been riding an old '83 model XT550 (with a 600 disc front end) for years now. The bike sits in a container down at Flinders Island (middle of Bass Strait) and gets hauled out whenever I can get down there. The island is brilliant for big thumper enduro riding -- with the exception of too many hopping kamikaze marsupials. I'm really keen on picking up an '83, '84 or '85 Ténéré (pre-electric start) and was wondering if you could give me any leads or contacts? The older bikes are fewer and farther between, with many that have done huge kays. I'm keen for a project bike and reckon they are a brilliant old beastie. The 550 is a great old bike but lacked the front disc, so it's not a great original restoration project unless I go back to a crappy drum front end. The 600 was what it should have been. I guess there's no guernsey with the Tragics with a 550, either? Any leads would be greatly appreciated.
-- Peter Crawford, via www.trailzone.com.au

I've quickly discovered the same thing, Peter, that there are a whole stack of Ténéré Tragics out there just like me. Like I wrote in the story that just came out in the new issue of TRAIL ZONE, when we launched the Tragics ride, I wondered if we'd even be able to get 50 starters ... hah! That was the least of my worries! Now, you're right about the 550 not being a starter for future Tragics rides: the first rule is, No Ténéré, No Start. So that means tracking down a Ténéré, and when it comes to finding early models, you have to act fast and bid like a man when you spot one on eBay or www.bikesales.com.au. You know, a lot of blokes blame me for the prices of early Ténérés going through the roof of late. Ever since I got my '83 XT600ZL and started running stories on the old banger a couple of years ago, interest in the bikes has climbed, and so too have the prices they are bringing. So to everyone out there reading this and dreaming of an original '83, sorry! Anyway, your request is now on the Ténéré Tragics blog site for all to see, so if any of the Tragics email me with any details or leads, I will be sure to pass them on. Good luck with the hunt -- hope we get to see you at next year's Tragics run.
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1