Friday, May 13, 2011



Hey Clubby: I trust that you and Tania are keeping well. Mate, the old banger (the ol’ Ténéré 660, that is) has spat the dummy and decided she needs a new clutch. Do you know of any good aftermarket clutch kits and if so, where? I know I could go for an original Yamaha kit but I don’t like the associated costs. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.
-- Morgan, Ténéré Tragic #52

Good to hear from you, Morgs, and always great to read about an ol’ banger getting some tender loving care! Gotta be honest and say I have not had any experience with aftermarket clutch kits, as I’ve instead stuck with genuine parts with my '83 XT600ZL, however let’s throw this question out amongst the Tragics and see what they come back with? Can anyone help Morgan with advice? If so, send us your thoughts to and we'll pass it on.
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1

Wednesday, May 11, 2011



While surfing about on the web today, I happened upon the much updated web site.

Now, if you don't know who Dalby Moto are, be advised they are a leading Yamaha/KTM dealer in south-east Queensland, which is fronted by confirmed Ténéré Tragic (#15) and legend Aussie adventure bike rider, Craig Hartley.

It's taken Craig and his partners plenty of blood, sweat and tears to build the Dalby Moto empire into the major moto emporium it is today, and his reward is getting plenty of time to scratch the adventure bike riding itch, which means more often that not he's out in the boonies racking up the miles on the latest Dalby Moto project bike, rather than kicking back in the showroom with his feet up on the desk.

Anyway, I happened to notice Craig's thrown up on his web site a few report cards for various bikes he's been riding, one of which is the XT1200Z Super Ténéré he rode to the Ténéré Tragics run to the Flinders in March.

Craig's report on the XT-Z makes real interesting reading, especially his comments on the bike's ABS brakes -- and I have to agree with his impressions on this topic: for serious dirt riding, you need to be able to turn the ABS off.

There are also plenty of handy tips included in the editorial, as well as details on service costs, so all you blokes running new Super Téns, study the words of a bloke who sure does know his stuff right here:

If the direct link doesn't work, just copy it into your web browser and hit 'Return'.

-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1


G’Day Clubby and fellow Tragics: I rode my ’83 Tenere in the Philip Haydon Six Hour Trial at Tarlee, last weekend (Saturday, May 7), which was the first round of the SA Reliability Trial Championship. For those unfamiliar with reliability trials, they are a type of off-road endurance event ranging from six to 24 hours in duration. Public road transport sections are used to get competitors around the course to a variety of competition (paddock) sections on private-property. These competition sections are generally run cross-country and are timed to the second. No outside assistance is allowed during the event and you must carry all tools and spare that you might want.
The course was about 104km in length, with seven competitive sections ranging from two to 12km in length and two laps were to be ridden. The paddocks were typical of the Tarlee area: lightly wooded rocky hills, large gullies and creeks and like all Gawler MCC events, a couple of good sized mud holes. Because I was late getting my entry in, I ended up with number 118, which saw me start at 2:57pm, meaning that I would only just get the first lap in before dark.
I always find the start of the competition sections interesting. A lot of the riders blast away from the start with a full blown MX race start to try and shave every possible second off of their time. Myself, well I thank the control keeper for coming out and officiating, and then just ride off as if I was heading down the track looking for a latte and baguette. A few seconds lost at the start don’t make much difference to my times through the paddock sections.
Overall I had a great ride, the paddocks were challenging, but in no way difficult, so they were probably real easy for those on modern enduro bikes. The biggest problem for me was the Ténéré handled like a pig due to tight/dry steering head bearings (I had been meaning to regrease them for the past few months but just hadn’t got around to it, along with a lot of other maintenance and preparation work). This made it a real wrestling match in and out of the trees, especially early on when I had a near full tank of fuel.
On the second lap, the old girl started running poorly after riding through a mud hole in the fourth paddock section. I thought I had gotten a bit of water into the air box and pressed on thinking that it would clear up, but things never improved. I was barely able to get the engine to run much above 2,000rpm, and had absolutely no power. I didn’t bother stopping to look into the problem with it being dark and the bike being covered in mud, so I just pressed on and rode the rest of the lap, about 50km, slowly towards the finish.
I got stuck in a river crossing/mud hole in the second last paddock for about 10 to 15 minutes because the bike didn’t have enough power to pull itself up the bank, and it was too slippery for me to push. I ended up getting a bit of assistance from some spectators, which is totally against the rules, but again I didn’t think it would affect the results too much. Further into the paddock an even bigger mud hole had developed on another river crossing, and I chose to walk the bike across a bit downstream from the worst of it as there was no one around to help if I got stuck again.
After a long and slow last transport section I made it to the finish at about 9:45pm and I was presented with my finisher’s medallion after I passed through the final machine examination. All bikes are checked to ensure that they still comply with the road traffic rules and points are lost for things like broken mirrors, or lights that don’t work.
The provisional results have me placed 87 overall and second in Class M (Bikes pre-1990). So I beat four sidecar crews -- yes, people are mad enough to ride sidecars in these events, and the 10 people who DNFed.
On Sunday , when I stripped the bike to clean it I found a section at the rear of the air box had been broken off, possibly by a rock thrown up off the rear wheel, and this had allowed the airbox to basically fill up with mud, which explained the poor running. I also got around to fixing the steering head bearings, so hopefully it will handle a bit better for the next round!
-- Colin Jay, Ténéré Tragic #6

That's a great yarn, Colin, and congrats on taking the fight right up to the modern-day enduro bikes in the opening round of the SA reliability trials series! But, hey, I don't believe for a moment you would have been slack on your pre-ride maintenance?! What's happened?! You getting slack since the Tragics run?! I only have memories of your '83 running like a Swiss watch and a well oiled machine ... save for the oil pissing out on the ground and the sideplate melting against the muffler as you rolled into Hawker! Maybe you've been chasing too many lattes and baguettes and not spending enough time in the workshop?! We all look forward to your report from round two ... bring it on! And you will be lining up in the SA 24 Hour in July ... won't you?!
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1

Monday, May 9, 2011



Hi Clubby, Tania & the TZ Crew: This is just a quick email to say hello and thanks for yet another great issue of TRAIL ZONE. All is going great here at home in Victoria: we had a ride on the big bikes on the weekend from Heyfield to Licola via Mt Useful for fuel and morning smoko. Then it was up the Howit High Plains road past Howit Hut and on to the Zeka Spur Track and into the Wonangatta Vally for lunch at the old homestead. After lunch it was into the hill climbs out of the valley and on to Dargo for a bite to eat and a quick 100km-plus trip home in the dark. It was a great ride for all with bikes ranging from a DR-Z400 to Honda 650 Transalp, Kawasaki KLR650, the Baby Tenere (mine!), a KTM 990 and last, but not least, a mighty Super Ténéré. There were no major issues, as it was dry, even a bit dusty, with a few rivers to cross and a great test of the big bikes. A total of 430km was covered for the day and the scenery was in good condition after the fires a few years ago! Please find attached a few pics from the ride. Keep up the great work on the magazine, and remember, I'm counting down the days to the next Ténéré Tragics event -- Tragic #31 will be there rain, hail or shine!
-- Troy Mattson, Ténéré Tragic #31

Thanks for the news and the ride report, Troy. We were down in the Vicco high country a couple of weekends ago ourselves, and did a two-day trail ride with Australian Trail Bike Tours out of Eildon. The high country is an awesome part of the world, and no matter whether you are riding a trail/enduro bike or an adventure bike, you'll find trails perfectly suited to you, your bike and the riding you want to do. Look forward to seeing you again at next year's Ténéré Tragics ride!
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1