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Tenere Tragics conquer fifth ride

Yamaha XTZ660 Tenere

The Yamaha Tenere has been around since 1983 and is named after a region in the southern Sahara, so those dedicated to this tough-going bike are called Tenere Tragics.

Yamaha has now been running Tenere Tragics events for the past five years and the recent event in northern NSW attracted 65 riders on Yamaha Teneres right back to the original 1983 model.

The riders on bikes of all sizes and ages up to the most recent 1200cc Super Tenere were joined by four support crew. They started at Nambucca Heads and ended four days later at the Riverside Downs resort near Dungog, after 1700km of dirt roads and twisting tarmac.


The youngest rider was Queenslander Josh Halpin, 19, and the oldest was Harley Drew, 68. The longest distance ridden to the event was John Wheeler who travelled more than 5200km from near Darwin. Fourteen riders have now completed all five events.

Special guest and Aussie MX legend Stephen Gall made his third appearance at a Tenere Tragics Run piloting an XTZ1200 Super Tenere. The four times Mister Motocross once again shared his vast knowledge by hosting a special riding skills and bike and rider set-up lecture during the event.

Organisers Andrew and Tania Clubb have promised more Yamaha Ténéré fully supported adventure rides and you can keep up to date on their Facebook page.

Tenere Tragics

Other awards:

  • Best Presented current XT600Z Ténéré: Francis Smith (QLD)
  • Best Presented current XT1200Z Super Ténéré: Justin Hayden (NSW)
  • Best Presented first-generation XT600/660Z: John Wheeler (NT)
  • Ténéré owners celebrate completing the 2015 event at Riverwoods Downs near Dungog, NSW
  • Best Presented first-generation XTZ750 Super Ténéré: Chris Kirk (NSW)
  • Hard Luck Award: Chris Warnaby (NSW), his 1988 XT600Z Ténéré expired on Day 2 at Inverell, but he promptly traded it in on a second-hand 2012 XTZ660 and will be back for next year’s Run!
  • Captain’s Choice Award for Truly Tragic Tragic: Dave Bottomley (QLD), riding a 1983 XT600ZL Ténéré
  • 100% Percent Tragic awards: Dave Bottomley, Ian Carr, Andrew ‘Captain Tragic’ Clubb, Dave Harrison, Colin Hayden, Mike Haysom, Ken Henderson, Riaan Landman, Troy Mattson, Steve McMillan, Grahame Pavitt, Mike Ruoso, Curtis Williams and Dave Wilson.
  1. Hi,
    We toured Portugal and Spain for a 4 week holiday this year (2015).
    The two Tenere xtz 660s’ we used were very nearly faultless.
    They are light to manouvere and offer a great touring/riding position.
    I used to have a Tiger 955i which was fantastic, very powerful, but very heavy when fully loaded with tent and
    I am now a Tenere Tragic as you describe.
    Removing the cat from inside the standard exhaust (Simply cut out an access hole & remove cat. Re-weld cut out access flap) and putting K & N Air filter in changes the ride noticeably at low revs. (This is a very low cost power improvement).
    Further by keeping the stock exhaust system you can hang Givi/Yamaha panniers on both sides with no aftermarket exhaust getting in the way.
    Oil backwash into the air box was a MAJOR problem on my 2012 model, I had to buy an updated breather
    box which has more baffles in it to stop the problem. My son’s 2009 model had already had the mod applied.
    Question, why has Yamaha still sold bikes with the non mod breather box when they know it is an issue?
    Poor build quality on fixings/fastenings and spokes let it down terribly.
    I am however converted to this bike. I was however yearning for my Aprillia or Tiger on some of the wide open twisties
    offered to me on our recent tour. The 660 is no “road” bike and at 80mph, fully loaded it is very unhappy when pushed.

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