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

Saturday, July 16, 2011



Hi Clubby: I noticed I'm still on the tail end of the Tragics Blogspot (April 12th) looking for Tragic assistance to find an original 1983 XT600ZL 34L. It was soon after that article I spotted a fresh one on the Web and settled the deal quick. It's a nice original straight one that's had an easy life. Even the tank is straight. So they are still out there, although I haven't seen one advertised since. I have to say I reckon the old 550 might beat it off the mark, but with that bike on Flinders Island I can't compare. So you might have a new 34L contender for the next Ténéré Tragics event! Now, a couple of questions to throw at the other 34L owners: I've read the oil pump is a bit light-on and a 3AJ one is the go for longer engine life and a cooler running temp. Can anyone confirm? If so, are they an easy fit? Secondly, sometime in my bike's past life a nong has sprayed the frame in grotty gunbarrel grey. Can anyone confirm a code for the red frame color for a re-spray or powdercoat? Finally, if there are any Tragics near the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria I could be interested in hooking up with them for the annual event next year. Attached here is a photo of the beast.
-- Peter Crawford, Potential Ténéré Tragic

Thanks for your email, Pete, and welcome to the marvellous world of original '83 Ténérés -- you have joined an exclusive club indeed! Okay, we'll throw your questions up on the Ténéré Tragics Blogspot and stand-by for a response. I'd say it should not be long before some fellow Tragics chime in with the information you're looking for!
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1

Wednesday, July 13, 2011



Hi Clubbly & Tania: It's Glenn, here Tragic #14. I need some advice on where I can purchase a new raditator for my XTZ660 '96 model? I have currently welded the old one but it is only a band-aid for now. I can buy a new one for 800 big ones but cant justify the cost -- even though I work for Yamahas Pitmans here in SA. Myself and a friend are riding up though Birdsville, Innaminka and then down through Arkaroola and the Flinders Ranges to home in August. I was hoping Micheal Tucker could make it on his clean '88 Ténéré, but he has work commitments. The questions I am asking is do you know where I can get a new raditator from, plus I am stuck for what to take on a week-long journey? We have the Spot tracker, and would love to take a fuel bladder but a 10 litre jerry will have to do. Is there a check-list which you personally use, that you go though for a trip? Knowing that you have so much more experience in these adventures. It will be sick, I cant wait !!!!! Thanks, Clubby, and we're just letting you know Caron says hello and is looking forward to being the Adelaide sweeper on the next Tragics run!
-- Glenn, Ténéré Tragic #1

Thanks for your message, Glenn -- great to hear from you and Caron and we know you will be there with bells on for next year's Ténéré Tragics ride. Now, first up, if you have already been through Yamaha's national spare parts network, then we can't directly shed much more light on the subject for you. However, the best thing we can do is throw your request for a radiator up on the Ténéré Tragics Blogspot web page and we bet it won't be long before a fellow Tragic comes to your rescue with a lead on a replacement radiator -- so stay tuned! Okay, as for your second question re what to take for a week-long ride, let's get into it: My first priority is to have the bike prepared as best as possible before the ride and attempt to rule out any potential mechanical hiccups -- but that is easier said than done with some of the old bangers we love to ride! So get your bike sorted first up. Next, I take aim on the tools and spares needed to keep your bike mobile when you do strike typical problems, such as punctures, dirty air filters, busted chains, busted levers, bent bars, dud wiring connections and the like. A good tip is to get all your tools sorted that you will take on the ride, and then get in the garage and do some work on your bike using ONLY these tools -- that way you will fast know if you've got the right tools onboard. Then there's the issue of fuel range. I've become a big fan of AdventureMoto.com.au's fuel bladders, as they are so convenient and small to stash away when not in use. But if you're running a jerry, so be it. Just make sure you have enough fuel range for your longest stretch -- and don't underestimate increased fuel consumption caused by being fully-loaded and head-winds! When all that is dialled, then come the maps so I know where I am going (yes, I am a hard copy map guy!), plus I like to research contact numbers for the main stores, van parks, pubs and police stations in each outback town along the route so you can get a handle on road conditions as the weather changes during your ride -- which has been especially important on outback rides in recent months. Next comes a first aid kit, because accidents do happen and the better prepped you are on this front, the less drama a potential injury can be. Food and drink is the next consideration -- if you're camping, then you need to carry cooking gear and be self-sufficient and stock up with provisions along the way. You'll also need a tent or swag. After all that, then you can think about your clothes and toiletries, but when it comes to this stuff, try to pack light! The bare minimum of gear will save weight on the bike and make your ride just that little bit more enjoyable. Finally, think about renting a Sat phone for the trip, if you want to be able to stay in touch with family and friends wherever you are -- although on your route, you'll be passing traffic every day, so help -- if required -- should not be too long away. Your Spot Tracker is a great way for your family and friends to trace your ride back at home. Sure, all this sounds like a heap of preparation, and it is, but the better prepared you are, the more enjoyable your ride will be. And when you get it done once for your first 'big ride' you'll do it easy on the next trip. Good luck, son!
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1