Tuesday, December 20, 2011


G’day Clubby: Progress is being made in converting the Bushpig from championship winning reliability trial weapon back to supreme vintage adventure tourer. The old girl is currently up on the bench getting a full service plus a few repairs and modifications. I have been able to find a ‘new' secondhand airbox to replace the original which has been more duct tape than plastic for the best part of this year's reliability trial season. New handlebars and Barkbusters are also to be fitted to replace the existing bent and battered ones. I have almost finished making up a set of frames to mount some hard panniers -- so no burning saddlebags this time! -- and there are still a lot of other mods and repairs to get done before March.
Russ’s recent mention of his fuel tank dramas seems to be a common story with Ténérés. However, I have managed to find the Holy Grail, a NNOS (Nearly New Old Stock) fuel tank, through knowing the right people and being in the right place at the right time. I was talking with Fred, a long time acquaintance and fellow reliability trial competitor, prior to the start of the Clare MCC Beryl Pearce trial in September, when the topic turned to the beat-up condition of the fuel tank on the Bushpig. Fred mentioned that he had a tank for a Ténéré sitting in his shed and asked if I was interested? Considering the battered condition of my tank, the answer was always going to be a resounding "Yes!"
A few weeks later we meet up again while we were both officiating at the Australian Moto Trials Championships at Eden Valley. Not being one to let an opportunity pass, I followed Fred home after the event to have a look at the tank.

The tank had sat in its box in Fred’s shed since he bought it from Pitmans Yamaha in late 1985 to fit onto a TT600 he was preparing for the 1986 Wynns (Australian) Safari. It seems that the tank came off of a Pitmans sponsored Ténéré that had been ridden in the original 1985 Safari and was removed before the bike was sold. Fred found it was too much work to try and fit to the TT600, so it was consigned back to its box and had sat gathering dust in his shed for the last 30 years.

Now, it's not perfect; having some stone chips on the front edges and a small dent, but it is rust-free and came with a new fuel tap and fuel cap. Even in its current condition it is far too good to put onto the Bushpig, so it will be kept in its box on the shelf in MY shed alongside the box containing a full set of new mudguards, side covers, headlight cowl etc to wait until I am finished abusing the old girl and get the time to restore her to original condition.

-- Colin, Ténéré Tragic #6.

That's a great yarn, Colin. We just love the way all these parts and pieces for old Ténérés keep popping up out of the woodwork. Take good care of that tank and we looking forward to seeing you at Mount Panorama in a couple of months.

-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1


Hi Clubby & Tania: I have attached a picture of my Ténéré and was wondering about a few things: I have been riding bikes most of my life and this will be my very first adventure run and it's on dirt so I'm very excited about it. But I am not sure what is required to take along on the Run and can you please recommend what you would take as in bike gear? I will be purchasing a front tyre and bike pants from Steve at AdventureMoto but I'm not sure what else I would need?
-- Marc, Ténéré Tragic

G'day Marc and welcome aboard the Ténéré Tragics express! For your first big adventure ride you'll be leaping in at the deep end but the good thing is you'll be amongst a pack of riders on the same bike as you and all brought together by a common bond: the Yamaha Ténéré. Now, to give you a few words of advice, let's get into it: Choose dirt-oriented tyres because the majority of the Tragics Run next year will be on dirt and you'll have a much better ride with tyres that offer as much grip as possible when you need it most -- Steve at Adventure Moto.com.au will be able to steer you right with tyre choice. Then make sure you fit heavy-duty tubes to reduce the chance of copping a puncture, but if you do get a flat, you need to be able fix it, either by replacing the tube with a spare you carry, or repairing the tube with a puncture repair kit. And to do that, you need to be able to get the wheels out of the bike (the XT660Z doesn't come with tools to help you remove the wheels! So check out Profastproducts.com.au as they offer a nifty front axle removal tool), as well as carrying tyre levers and a pump or CO2 bottles, so make sure you get all this sorted before the ride. You should also carry a spare oiled foam air filter element for your bike, so you can make a swap mid-ride, as chances are it's going to be dusty. It's a good idea to carry spare front brake, clutch and gear levers, just in case they get busted in a fall. Carry a small can of chain lube so you can lube the chain each day. As for you, wear a Camelbak-type hydration pack so you can keep up your fluids while you ride, as chances are it will be hot. Proper adventure riding gear including a jacket with armour in the shoulders and elbows is a must, as are proper boots. Try to pack as light as possible, because experience always tells us all we take way more gear than we need: do a first sort of the gear you think you will need, then halve it! After all that, well, just bring a spirit of adventure ... and in the meantime, get out and rack up as many kilometres as you can to get bike-fit and hone your riding skills. We'll see you soon!
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1

Hi Clubby, I've just been doing some work on the old Ténéré, in readiness for next year's Tragics run. I recently found what I consider might be a very rare GT80 Tenere, in an old hay shed ... out the back of Giligulgul. Thought I'd send this photo in and see what you thought of it? Do you think I might be able to run it in next year's Tragics ride?
-- Neil, Ténéré Tragic #37

Now Neil, mate, if you don’t ride it in next year’s Mountain to Mountain Run, I sure will!
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1


Hi Tania, Clubby and all the Tragics: I've been getting a fair bit of riding in on the old 3AJ Ténéré in preparation for next year's ride so the Super Ten 1200 has been feeling left out. I've recently had the suspension all rebuilt by Teknik which has made a huge difference, mainly because even though I have owned the bike since new in '88 I have never touched the suspension, not even an oil change for the front forks! So getting it sorted after 23 years has made it feel much better and an easier bike to ride. Other than that it's just regular oil and filter changes as well as wheel bearings, steering head bearings and brake pads.
Most of my rides lately have been with a group I like to call "Club KTM": they're a bunch of mates from the OffRoadExplorer.com forum. We've done a few rides through Yengo NP, up to the Watagans and an overnighter to Coolah Tops, as well as a bunch of day rides in the Blue Mountains closer to home.
One notable day out was up to Stockton Beach near Newcastle with my mate Chad on his F800GS and myself on the 600. We trailered the bikes up early one weekday morning knowing that we'd be too tired to bother riding the freeway home. Didn't really know what to expect up there, only ever doing it in the 4WD. We towed the bikes over the dunes to the beach and unloaded them but seeing the tyres sink into the soft sand was heart-wrenching and that was before I had my 118kg on the bike! We set off and I just gunned it, clicking up the gears, into third, on the pegs and it was like a boat coming onto the plane and in about half an hour we were getting used to it and only had a few low-speed falls for the day. I was surprised how much fun we had but also how much hard work it was. After a few hours we were stuffed, exhausted and muscles aching so we called it a day. We'll be back there again soon.
-- Dave, Ténéré Tragic

Nice one, Dave. Always good to hear about the ol' bangers getting freshened up and then put to good use. Riding Stockton on a pure dirt bike can be tough enough, let-alone doing it on a big-tanked adventure bike, so well done to you and Chad for having a play in the sand dunes on your adventure machines. We look forward to catching up again at Mount Panorama in March!
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1

Sunday, December 18, 2011


I’ve just returned from a massive week in the saddle recce riding the course for our next TENERE TRAGICS Mountain to Mountain Run in the first week of March – and if I do say so myself, it’s shaping up to be pretty darn good!
I was super-lucky with the weather and managed to stay clear of the rains that have lashed much of NSW for the past couple of weeks – except for day one when some gnarly thunderstorms smashed the Blue Mountains as I made my way into Oberon after a long day’s loop from Bathurst – so I can certainly recommend the waterproofing on Klim’s Goretex gear!
As has been the case in recent months, the overwhelming memory from riding nearly the entire course is just how green large parts of NSW are at the moment – some of the views along the way of the rolling green countryside are just beautiful. I really hope it stays that way – although deep down I know summer has to kick in sooner or later and the temperatures will warm up and some of the green colour will start to dry off.
While I’ve been away a couple more riders have signed on for the 2012 Tenere Tragics ride, bringing the tally of participants to just over 60, meaning we've still got ten spaces left to fill. Those spots look set to be filled over coming weeks, so come March 4 we should have have a full pack of 75 thundering Teneres and Super Teneres as we descend on Mount Panorama at Bathurst for a mighty week of Tenere action!
If you want to get in on the action, email us at teneretragics@trailzone.com.au and request a Registration pack and then sign up and get into it.
-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1

Hi Clubby & Tania: I thought I would flick you guys an update for the Ténéré Tragics blog page. Myself (2010 XT660Z Tenere) and a mate (XT660R) have just returned from a two week adventure ride. We travelled over 4,200km from Melbourne via the Flinders Ranges to Marree, completed the Birdsville Track with the detour including the ferry ride over the Cooper.

We spent a couple of days in Birdsville whilst dipping a toe into the Simpson Desert. The hot season is starting up there with 44 degrees reached upon arrival in Birdsville (which was just a little too hot!!). We then headed down to Innamincka via Cordillo Downs and spent a couple of days there. We swam in the Cooper Creek, visited the Dig Tree, Burke’s place of death etc etc.

We were told by several bikers and 4WDers at Innamincka to avoid the Cameron Corner route to Tibooburra so we took mining roads via Epsilon, Santos and then onwards to Tibooburra. They turned out to be great roads and the less explored route was a real bonus.

The Simpson, Cordillo Downs track and Innamincka were the highlight of the trip and I would go again in a heartbeat, just not so close to the hot season. Camping in such heat is not nice.

Apart from the heat, this has been the best adventure ride so far. The scenery and wildlife are just so beautiful. The later half became a competition between emus and us. Who would hit whom? The emus tried their best to collide with us, but we learnt very quickly, if an emu is standing still – power up, if they are running, slow right down. They’re amazingly large but stupid birds and boy do we have some great stories about them.

My Ténéré did not miss a beat and was surprisingly good in the short time we spent in the Simpson. The only bike problem we had was some chain issues less than 150km from home.

I’m looking forward to the 2012 Ténéré Tragics ride - see you then!

-- Richard, Ténéré Tragic #5

Thanks for the ride report, Richard. Definitely sounds like it was hot out there, for sure. Here’s hoping conditions should be a little bit cooler when the 2012 Ténéré Tragics Mountain to Mountain Run fires into life in the first week of March. We look forward to seeing you again then.

-- Clubby, Ténéré Tragic #1

Thursday, December 1, 2011


Hi Clubby: I picked up the Tenere tanks today and the good news is the 34L has been brought back from the brink. Meanwhile the '88 tank I bought in WA had a little bog but was otherwise very good, while the other '88 tank will make a good spare or at least fetch a good price on ebay once painted.
Looking at my list of acquired parts and given it gets a new engine, new plastics and paint, hydro-blasted fork legs and paint, repainted exhaust, replated nuts and bolts, new wheels and brake discs, the only thing that isn't getting done on the '88 is to bead blast the frame and swingarm and repaint!
Do you dare me to go all the way?
-- Lance 'Russ' Turnely, ORE webmaster & Tenere Tragic

Now, Russ, of course I dare you! That's what mates are for. I'm just stoked to finally see some movement in the ORE Garage and some of your fleet of various Teneres showing some progress. You can't possibly argue with me when I say, they have been a long time coming ... Now, as for all you other Tenere Tragics out there building bikes for next year's fast approaching Tenere Tragics Mountain to Mountain Run, let's see 'em! Send us a photo or two and some info on how you're going with the restos and we'll get the details up here for all the Tragics to see. Email me at teneretragics@trailzone.com.au and we'll take care of the rest.
-- Clubby, Tenere Tragic #1