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

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