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 (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 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, (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

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