A total of 75 Yamaha Ténéré riders took part in the recent Tasmanian Devil Run which covered a lap of the Apple Isle on dirt roads and byways.
Around 1830km was covered by the Tragics during the course of the five-day run on a range of machines from the first 1983 XT600ZL Ténéré to the latest 1200 twins.
The Tasmanian Devil Run was unanimously received as the best Tragics Run in the event’s seven year history.
The combination of fabulous riding on both tar and gravel roads, eye-popping scenery, superb hospitality and Tasmania’s enthusiasm for the tourism industry made this Tragics Run a ride to remember.
“I stated at the welcome dinner that this year’s Tragics Run would be hard to top, and that’s just the way it played out,” enthused event organiser Andrew ‘Captain Tragic’ Clubb.
“Conditions were perfect, there were no major incidents – just one bruised wrist and some none too serious panel damage, while every Tragic that started the run, finished the run.”
MX legend Stephen Gall made his now annual Run with the Tragics and kicked off event proceedings with an ADV Skills Training Session for the Tragics before the evening’s official welcome dinner at Launceston’s Country Club Casino resort.
Yamaha Yamalube Factory Racing team Dakar Rally racer Rodney Faggotter took time out from managing his Centretune MCs Yamaha dealership at Longreach in central Queensland for a surprise visit to the event on the afternoon of day three.
Rod arrived at Lake Pedder Wilderness Resort in south-west Tasmania to take part in a special Q&A session with MX legend Stephen Gall.
The Dakar Factory team member then rode with the Tragics for the final two days of the Run aboard an XT660Z Ténéré.
Yamaha Motor Australia brand manager and Tragic rider, Peter Payne said “YMA has supported the Ténéré Tragics from the first ride, seven years ago and the event has become a pillar of our bLU cRU acitivities and a must-do event for anyone who owns a Dakar-inspired Yamaha.
“The camaraderie shown by this group of riders has to be experienced to really appreciate the fun to be Ténéré Tragic and Yamaha Factory Dakar rider Rodney Faggotter (left) and MX legend Stephen Gall enjoy the Tassie scenery had on these rides.
“Add in spectacular Tassie scenery and five days of sunshine and you have a recipe for motorcycling nirvana.”
Truly Tragic Award (awarded to the Tragic who displays the true Ténéré Spirit during the course of the Run): Jointly awarded to two recipients for 2017:
Matt Parker-Charlton, from Melbourne, Victoria. Matt lined up for his first-ever Tragics Run aboard a 1983 XT600ZL Ténéré and his challenges started with a leaking head gasket and continued through the Run with fuel, electrical and sidestand issues. But through it all, Matt kept giving his legendary old beast the TLC it deserves and he completed every day and you could not wipe the smile off his dial.
Colin Hayden, from Dubbo, NSW. Col is a 100% Tragic and has ridden all seven Tragics Runs. Riding an XT1200Z Super Ténéré, Col and his posse of fellow Tragics from central NSW maximised their time in Tassie on the Run, by working in brewery tours, stops at oyster farms, bakeries, cafes, pubs and museums, and even the Ghost Tour at Port Arthur historic village, on their lap of the island.
Rod Faggotter Recognition Award: Rocket Rod was asked to determine an award for the Tragic who caught his attention and it was little surprise he selected Chris Kirk from Mudgee, NSW, who rides an immaculately prepared Sonauto-replica XTZ750 Super Ténéré. The thundering blue beast moved Rod to comment: “If only I was born 20 years earlier, I could have raced Dakar on a bike like this!”
Most Kilometres Ridden to the Run Award: WA’s Odin Cann had a lock on this category, riding his XT660Z Ténéré all the way from Perth to Tasmania, and then home again. His three-week trans-continental Ténéré tour dé force should see him rack up almost 15,000km.
Hard Luck Award: Queensland rider Keiron Jeffrey lost third gear in his XT660Z Ténéré on the afternoon of day two of the Run. He limped home some 70km to the next overnight stop at Port Arthur using just second gear. Word was immediately spread via the Ténéré Tragics 65-year-old Victorian David ‘Beak’ Murray was the oldest Tragic on the ride Facebook page seeking a Ténéré for sale in Tasmania that Keiron could purchase to continue the Run. Multiple responses were received and ultimately Keiron was offered a Ténéré to loan from a Ténéré enthusiast in Launceston, and he was able to limp his broken bike back to Launceston the next morning, climb aboard the loan Ténéré and rejoin the Tragics the next night at Lake Pedder to continue the Run. That’s the Ténéré spirit!
Oldest Tragic Award: At 65 years young, Victoria’s David ‘Beak’ Murray represents the timeless Ténéré Spirit. A former Australian Safari, off-road and road-race competitor, Beak rides a 1983 XT600ZL Ténéré and travels light, rolling out his swag at each overnight stop and revelling in the camaraderie of his Ténéré brothers. Beak is a former Truly Tragic Award recipient
More Ténéré spirit:
Yamaha Dealers: Four Yamaha dealers rode in this year’s Run: Dave Wilson from Lithgow Bike Stop, NSW; Dave Readford from Readford’s Motorcycles in Dubbo, NSW; Mark Counsell from Toowoomba Yamaha, Queensland; and Phil Halpin and sons Matt and Josh from Halpin’s Motors Yamaha in St George, Queensland. These Yamaha dealers have all now ridden the Tragics Run multiple times.
Seven Tragics rode the Run aboard Yamaha’s legendary first model XT600ZL Ténéré: Neil Asplin, David Murray, Matt Parker-Charlton, Peter Hickey, Jose De Olivera, Graeme Baker and Captain Tragic.
Four Tragics rode the Run aboard Yamaha’s legendary first generation XTZ750 Super Ténéré: Chris Kirk, Dave Harrison, Jerry Young and Craig Danson
Breaking News: The Ténéré Tragics made headlines in Tasmania, the Run being covered by WIN TV News and The Mercury newspaper in Hobart when the Tragics pack made a stop at local Yamaha dealer, Horizon Motorcycles.
Dealer Support: Tasmanian Yamaha dealers Launceston Yamaha and Horizon Motorcycles offered fabulous support to the Tragics. Launceston Yamaha threw open their workshop to assist Tragics on the eve of the Run and supported Stephen Gall’s ADV Skills Session on Sunday morning, while Horizon Motorcycles opened their doors and providing a coffee stop on the Wednesday morning of the run.
Sponsors of the 2017 Ténéré Tragics Tasmanian Devil Run included: Yamaha Motor Australia, bLU cRU, Yamaha Motor Finance, Yamaha Motor Insurance, Yamaha Genuine Spares, Yamalube, GYTR, Adventure Moto, Motorrad Garage, Touratech Australia, Barkbusters and CTi.