Solid gold tenth Tragics

The annual gathering of Ténéré Tragics celebrated its tenth anniversary with a fun-packed five day adventure ride in the picturesque Victorian countryside. The 2020 Gold Rush Run welcomed the appearance of the all new Ténéré 700 adventure twin and invited a host of celebrity riders to join an 88 strong crew for the auspicious event.

Kicking off in the Victorian coastal resort of Lorne, the Tragics were treated to an  adventure bike training session from Yamaha legend and regular Tragic Stephen Gall. And the appearance of the CDR Yamaha Monster Energy race truck was explained when not only Tragic technician Gary Benn appeared on his XTZ750 Super Ténéré – but CDR boss and MX legend Craig Dack rocked up on a new Ténéré 700. It was Dack’s first time on an adventure bike and the Tragics wasted no time in asking him if he knew where the sidestand and indicator switches were...

Later that evening Gold Logie winning TV star and racer Grant Denyer snuck in after Dancing with the Stars finished filming in Melbourne. Denyer is a keen adventure rider and was looking forward to joining the Tragic crew and sharing some hilarious stories from both his car racing and showbiz careers. Needless to say, his appearance in small Victorian townships caused a stir among the middle aged female population. 

Dakar hero ‘Rocket’ Rod Faggotter joined for the last day and entertained the crew with his exploits in Saudi Arabia. Finally, the Tragics were treated to an insight into the fascinating life of global Ténéré ambassador and transworld explorer Nick Sanders. UK-based Nick had just arrived in Australia on yet another circumnavigation of the globe – and travelled straight to the final night’s stop in Sovereign Hill, Ballarat to explain what motivates him to embark on mega-endurance rides – round the world twice on a bicycle and eight times on a motorcycle and counting...

“This year’s event delivered gold in spades thanks to a wide range of celebrity entertainment combined with epic trails and scenery – taking in the sights of the Great Ocean Road and the Otway and Grampian ranges – and of course the arrival of the new Tenere 700,” explains Tragics organiser Andrew Clubb. “Little did we know that when we ran the first event to the Flinders ten years ago that the Tragic spirit would still be going strong,” he continues.

2020 Ténéré Tragics Gold Rush Run key specs and awards winners:
+ Number of riders: 88
+ Number of Ténéré 700s ridden: 23
+ Route info: 2250km over five days, starting from Lorne (Vic) on the Great Ocean Road and finishing at Sovereign Hill historic gold town, Ballarat (Vic), with overnight stops via Portland (Vic), Robe (SA), Hamilton (Vic) and Shepparton (Vic)
+ Special guest riders: Grant Denyer, Craig Dack, Stephen Gall, Rod Faggotter and Nick Sanders
+ Pre-event bLU cRU ADV Skills Session staged near Lorne by Stephen Gall
+ First registration: Colin Hayden
+ Last registration: Mark O’Callaghan
+ Oldest rider: Phil Turner, age 69, rode with his son Scott
+ Youngest rider: Alex Dostal, age 22, rode in memory of his father Keith (a multi-time Tragic), who passed away December 2019
+ Most kilometres to the event: John Wheeler, rode in from Darwin, over multiple stages
+ Happy Camper: Scott Glover
+ Best impression on the Sweeps #1: Ace photographer Greg Smith, who saved a horror high-side in the fog and mist in the Grampians, by launching his 1200 Super T into a roadside ditch and riding it out!
+ Best impression on the Sweeps #2: Dave Wilson, the former longtime Bike Stop Lithgow Yamaha dealer who never fails to help his Tragic brothers every step of the way
+ Champion Sweeps: Tragics crew members Clive Ward, Troy Mattson and Dave Turner for always having the backs of the Tragics 
+ Lock Me Up: Matt Parker-Charlton, forgot he had the disc lock on his ’83 XT600ZL Tenere and binned it in the car park
+ Captain’s Choice 600/660: First-time Tragic Sven Gade, at 6ft 9in, fronted on an immaculately prepped ’83 XT600ZL he has owned for over 30 years and romped around the course
+ Captain’s Choice 750: St George, Queensland, Yamaha dealer Josh Halpin wielded his classic twin-cylinder beast for the week
+ Captain’s Choice 700: Henry Willersdorf from Longreach, Qld, rode to the event via Haddon’s Corner: the first Ténéré 700 to visit the outback landmark
+ Truly Tragic Award: Neville Ham (age 68) from Brisbane, his XT660Z Ténéré started playing up on the Putty Road in NSW, so he limped on to Excite Motorsports Yamaha dealership, where a new black Ténéré 700 caught his eye and boom! … a deal was done. Neville traded the 660 on the 700, had all his accessories transferred across to the new machine, and then spent the entire Tragics Run grinning like the proverbial
+ Ténéré Spirit Award: Andy Patterson from Longreach, Qld, received a mercy call from North Queensland Tragic Francis Smith, whose XT660Z suffered terminal engine woes near Innamincka on his way to the Tragics Run. Andy offered Francis his spare XT1200Z, towed it all the way to Lorne, while Francis caught buses and grabbed a pillion ride with another Tragic (Henry Willersdorf) to get the start and ride Andy’s bike for the week
+ Mike Ruoso Memorial True Grit Award: A new award in memory of former 100 percent Tragic Mike Ruoso, who passed away last year from Cancer. The True Grit award went to Keiron Jeffrey from Toowoomba, who suffered an accident with a vehicle on the very first morning of the Run and is laid up in hospital with serious leg injuries. A $500 gift voucher from Motorrad Garage will help him on the long road to recovery
+ 100 Percent Tragics: Special plaques and Yamaha Gift Cards were presented to the riders who have ridden all ten Ténéré Tragics Runs:
   Dave Bottomley 
   Ian Carr 
   Dave Harrison 
   Col Hayden 
   Mike Haysom 
   Riaan Landman 
   Troy Mattson 
   Dave Wilson 
   Andrew Clubb aka Captain T