-- Tenere Tragics hit Longreach
The GPS was set for Central West Queensland for the 2013 Ténéré Tragics Long Haul to Longreach ride in April.
The annual ride is now in its third year and has become a must-do event for Yamaha Ténéré owners of all ages.
Local Yamaha dealer and top Aussie in the Dakar, Rod Faggotter, was guest trail boss for the two day ride centred around the outback township famous for the birth of Qantas.
Seven original model 1983 XT600ZL Ténérés made the long journey to celebrate 30 years of the iconic model. And getting there was all part of the fun – as South African Marc Ashford discovered the hard way when he broke his ankle before arriving at Longreach. Fortunately two jillaroos came to his rescue by driving him to Blackall medical centre where he was soon fixed up.
Blackall was the penultimate stop on the Getting There ride and further drama ensued 100km south when the last five riders were caught in a flash storm that turned black sand into clay in a matter of minutes. That clay stuck to tyres like the proverbial causing wheels to seize up which meant that a normally easy 25km stretch became a two and a half hour ordeal for Tragics GMac and Maryann Eime, organiser Andrew ‘Clubby’ Clubb, Off Road Explorer’s Lance Turnley and sweep rider Clive Ward. When darkness fell the bikes were parked and a camp set up for the night.
The following morning bright sunshine turned the clay into a hard crust which enabled the bikes to be ridden on to Longreach for the start of the event.
Following the excitement of the Getting There ride, the event itself was drama free. The first day took in the sights of the outback on top of Mount
Slocombe where 360 degree views were enjoyed along with lunch provided by the local Isolated Children and Parents Association.
Day two went right past Rod Faggotter’s family farm – which doubles as his Dakar training ground. Miles of dry sandy river beds and rock strewn bluffs have proven to be the ideal preparation for Rod who finished in a hard
earned 14th spot in this year’s
Four times Mr Motocross Stephen Gall also rode with the Tragics this year. Gall piloted a Super Ténéré with all the skill garnered from a lifetime racing motorcycles at elite level. He was unlucky to double puncture on day one, but the bush fix for a dinged rim – using the sidestand of an XT660Z- was worth the entry fee.
All Tragics enjoyed a gala dinner and some serious bench racing at the Qantas Founders Museum where Trail Zone’s Tragic #1 Clubby and Tragic Organiser Tania Clubb handed out prizes for Ténéré owners old and new.
The eagerly anticipated 2014 event was announced to take place in the Victorian High Country next March. Bring it on!
Best Presented First Generation Ténéré: Colin Hayden, Dubbo
Best Presentend First Generation Super Ténéré: Jerry Young
Best Presented Second Generation Ténéré: Chris Kirk (30th anniversary tribute bike)
Best Presented Second Generation Super Ténéré: Ken Henderson (Worldcrosser themed 1200)
Oldest Ténéré: David Murray
Oldest Super Ténéré: Phil Halpin
Oldest Rider: Harley Drew (65 years young)
Youngest Rider(s): Matt Halpin (20), Frazer Baker (21)
Most Kilometres Ridden to Event: Peter Reading, Tasmania
Hard Luck Award: Tim Madden - cars, bikes, trailers, everything broke down on the way to the ride
First to Register for Event: Graham Dinning
Happy Camper Award: Maryann Eime. She camped with sweep Clive Ward on the side of the track in the gloop with bogged bikes south of Blackall Most Truly Tragic of Ténéré Tragics: Mike Haysom. Late leaving Melbourne on his '83 XT600ZL due to mechanicals, then smashed out Melbourne to Longreach in 2.5 days on the ol' banger!
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