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'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

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