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Tenere Tragics 2019 High Plains Run - Cessnock - Bathurst - Goulburn - Tumut - Cooma -Thredbo (NSW Australia)


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 Link to photo album https://sitdownman.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Ternere-Tragics-High-Plains-Run-2019

2019 Logo


This year the three musketeers would become four with Tragic virgin Shane joining Andy and Richard both on XT660Z’s and myself on a 99 XTZ660. Shane who has been a riding mate for years had expressed an interest in joining us on one of these rides after listening to our adventures and seeing the ride on you tube (although he initially looked up the KTM Rally).

Nominating with the rest of us, Shane didn’t even have a bike but was looking through Gumtree at a 96 model that would fit the bill. However, Mark from Toowoomba Yamaha came to the rescue and sourced an original 83 Tenere that Shane immediately fell in love with. Arrangements were made for payment and Andy who was travelling back from the coast brought the bike back to Longreach.

With the bike purchased it was now a case of sorting out luggage etc in preparation for the event and doing a couple of shakedown runs. These were done locally and gave Shane the opportunity to get used to the bike and to look at luggage options. In the end he went with a Rear Throw Over Saddle Style Luggage System from Third Gear combined with my wolfman Enduro Tank Bag which he borrowed.

P3070571Horseshoe Beach Newcastle

Andys bike was looking mint with a change in colour scheme and bike was running sweet following a total rebuild after his around Australia trip last year.

For Richard and I, our bikes had been serviced and fresh rubber fitted where I was trialling a new Mitas E13 front instead of the usual Dunlop D606.

I had also

  • replaced my carbies with a second-hand set sourced from Canada via eBay to overcome the rough idling problem

  • fitted LED lights + spotlights

  • installed a USB Socket and Ram Mount to take my Samsung Tab Active with Memory Maps App and Hema 4WD Maps which I utilise as a GPS.


The only other change for me was I was now wearing a new KLIM Carlsbad Jacket purchased from Adventure Moto during their 20% off boxing day sale with the money that my family had gifted me at Christmas time specifically for the purpose for replacing my existing 10 year old jacket.

Both Myself and Andy were leaving a week early so Shane would travel with Richard who would leave the car and trailer at Dubbo which was sort of central to both the start (Cessnock) and finish (Thredbo).

Saturday 23/2/19       Longreach – Alpha - Springsure     Opening Speedo 72687

With a week up my sleeve I started off on Saturday the 23/2/19 with another Tragic - Francis (XT660Z) who was also on his way to the event and had stopped over at my place the night before. The plan was to visit Salvator Rosa and Carnarvon Gorge as I had got washed out last year when attempting the same. Not far from town I immediately ran into trouble when the bike started spluttering between 90 and 100 kph. I indicated to Francis to continue on while I made the decision to return to Longreach to investigate the problem with Rod at Centretune Motorcycles. Draining the fuel and confirming no water or foreign particles in the carby made no change to the problem and with bookings made at Salvator Rosa and Carnarvon Gorge I decided to continue on as the bike seemed to run fine at higher revs ie higher speed so I could live with it.

Little did I know that this would be my undoing as it was not simply a case of revving through the “splutter” but the bike was running horribly rich and was using fuel at a horrific rate as I found out when I hit reserve after filling at Alpha just 140kms previously.

During the ride form Alpha to Springsure I managed to find a rain cloud that seemed to hover over me all the way to the Dawson Developmental Road. This made me appreciate the new jacket which kept me dry.

The rain cloud seemed to be following me

When my bike switched over to reserve at just 140 kms I realised I would not have enough fuel despite carrying an additional 10 litres in anticipation of my detour into Salvator Rosa so I made my way directly to Springsure feathering the throttle at a steady 80kms/hr or less which seemed to be the sweet spot.

At Springsure I set up camp and phoned Rod and discussed the symptoms. After listening to some possible solutions, I decided I would look at it on the Sunshine Coast where I could hopefully pull the top off the carby to adjust the needle position.

Sunday 24/2/19          Springsure – Carnarvon Gorge

Today I headed off to Carnarvon Gorge taking the Rewan Rd which as well as avoiding the bitumen allowed me to keep my speed down to conserve fuel. I arrived at Takkarakka Bush Resort marvelling at the views on the winding road in and once again set up camp before heading off to explore Carnarvon Gorge. I had arrived in ample time which allowed me to explore the lower gorge including Mickey Gorge, Warrumbah Creek Gorge, The Rock Pool, the Nature Trail and the visitor centre and still be back at the resort in plenty of time. I also took a look around the resort and was impressed – the amenities were fresh and clean and the facilities available were great although the bar and bistro were closed as it was out of season.

It was now that I decided that instead of staying 2 nights as planned, I would stay just the one and upgrade to a safari tent which would allow me to have my bike mostly packed so I could get an early start the next day. The resort was happy to accommodate my request, so the deal was done. I also purchased some steak to cook at the camp kitchen. With phone reception available I caught up with Andy who was making his way to the Gold Coast with his bike in the back. It was Andy that suggested I try and take the bike in to Toowoomba Yamaha where fellow tragic Mark could possible have a look at it for me. That seemed like a better option to me, so I rearranged my plans and forgot about visiting the Auburn River National Park – instead deciding to head towards Toowoomba the next day.

That night I had a little visitor at the tent which I believe (as I looked it up later) was a Rufous Bettong although it is hard to tell in my photo.

Monday 25/2/19         Carnarvon Gorge – Injune – Taroom – Miles – Chinchilla

Up early I set off back to the main parking area to explore the middle gorge which was a 14km walk covering 4 of the gorges main attractions – Art Gallery, Wards Canyon, Amphitheatre and Moss Garden. Following the advice from the manager at Takarakka I walked to the furthest point first and then made my way back walking in to each of the attractions on the way back. The walk took about 4 hours and each attraction was worth visiting providing me with heaps of photos to remember the experience.


Leaving Carnarvon Gorge, I stopped briefly at the site of a memorial to a C47 Dakota airplane that crashed during an electrical storm on 16/11/43 en route from Darwin to Brisbane killing all on board including 5 US Army Air Corp, 7 RAAF and 7 Australian army personnel.


Refuelling at Injune I called ahead to Toowomba Yamaha and arranged to bring my bike in the next morning. The back road to Taroom was a little rough and bull dusty in places but I made good time and then continued on down the bitumen to Chinchilla where I stayed overnight catching up with Andy at the motel. Whilst the bike was running well at 105+ the fuel economy suffered - dropping to 10L/100 – about what I get in my Triton!!

Tuesday 26/2/19        Chinchilla – Toowoomba

Today I simply followed Andy into Toowoomba where we arrived at Yamaha and spoke with Mark and the crew at the shop. I unpacked the bike in preparation and Andy continued on his way. After listening to me describe the symptoms and taking the bike for a ride Mark suggested that we try something that had worked previously for a bike with similar problems – remove the uni filter pre filter which I set about doing. Mark took the bike for another run and the difference was amazing – the bike ran better and when I tried, I could only get it to “splutter” under heavy load going up the hills. This was an interim solution and I was warned that atmospheric pressure could still make an impact on the bikes running but they were reluctant to proceed to pull apart the carbies as the parts were not available and my old carby which we could have raided was back in Longreach.

Footnote: as it turned out this was exactly what happened and for the rest of the trip whilst at lower altitude the bike would run fine but play up as the altitude increased. I learnt to live with it during the days when we were in the hills but arranged with mark to return the bike for them to work on when I finished and after I they had access to my old carby.

Whilst this was happening, I rang an old riding mate who had moved from Longreach to Toowoomba a year ago and as luck would have it he was returning from his FIFO job today so I arranged to stay with him and catch up which we did at the local Westbrook Tavern.

Wednesday 27/2/19 Toowoomba to Cooroy via Wivenhoe Dam, Mt Glorious, Mt Mee

With the bike running better I took the scenic route to Cooroy where I was staying with a mate. The route took in some of the iconic riding areas including Mt Glorious and Mt Mee and I stopped at Wivenhoe Outlook and Gerard’s Lookout to take some photos. I also confirmed that my fuel economy had improved and travelled 228 kms without hitting reserve and used only 17 lts!!!.

Once at Cooroy my mate took me for a drive in his 2 day old Rugged X Toyota to Gympie.

I also took the opportunity to do a bit of washing and took great delight in hanging out my Yamaha Tragic shirts on his clothesline as he is a KTM fan and owns a KTM690 with Yenkro Fairing etc.

Whilst out and about I phoned Tragic Mike Russo who would be attending the ride this year but would be transporting the bike to the start. Mike advised me that Dave and Ken would be riding down and gave me some ideas about some roads to take including Paddys Flat and Rocky River.

That night we had tea at Mals local and made arrangement to go for a quick ride the next day out through the forest tracks and back roads to Imbil.

Thursday 28/2/19      Imbil loop

Joining us on the ride today was a KTM 1290 and a Husky 501 the riders who were Mals mates I had ridden with last year. The back roads were a blast and all too soon we were at Imbil for a spot of brekkie at the Rattler Café (a biker friendly café) before returning to Cooroy a 103 km round trip.

Imbil ride outside the Rattler cafe

Friday 1/3/19              Cooroy, Strathpine, Beaudesert, Woodenbong, Urbenville to Duck Creek Rd, Rocky River Rd, Tenterfield

With the advice on some back roads in the back of my mind I set off, stopping in briefly at Strathpine to surprise family, and made my way to Woodenbong where I left the bitumen to take one of the aforementioned back roads into Urbenville. It was here I pulled into the Crown Hotel which is well known as a biker’s pub and after a quick beer snapped some pictures of the photos and related biking memorabilia on the wall. This was also where the KTM Rally had been previously and where Chris Birch rode his KTM down the internal stairs.


After the break it was on to Duck Creek Rd that joined up with Paddy’s Flat Rd then Rocky River Rd which took me all the way in to Tenterfield where I called it a night and managed to get myself a cabin for $60. The bike that had started off running well was now starting to play up as the altitude increased - especially on the climbs when under load.

Saturday 2/3/19         Tenterfield, Glenn Innes, Guyra, Armidale, Uralla, Walcha, Gloucester, Cessnock

I was away from Tenterfield early and at Glen Innes decided to take some back roads in a round about loop to Guyra then on to Armidale. It was on this loop that I discovered Henry River so I couldn’t resist and took a photo of my bike in front of the sign.


Whilst at Armidale chatting with other adventurer riders (a couple on an Africa Twin and KLR650) I noticed that the new front tyre was cracking on the inside of the outside knobs right around both sides of the tyre. This didn’t give me the confidence to continue too much more dirt, so it was onwards to Uralla then Gloucester via Thunderbolts Way and Walcha. On the way I called at Thunderbolts cave and a lookout not far from Gloucester.

Tyre at Armidale

At 4.00pm in Gloucester whilst googling accommodation I looked to see how far Cessnock was and as it was only another 152kms to Potters Brewery in Cessnock where the 2019 Tragics Ride was commencing I thought bugger it – I will keep going. I rang Potters Brewery and arranged accommodation for the night and next day and continued on. When I arrived, I rang Andy hoping to surprise him, but he had been following my progress via my spot tracker.

Potters Hotel Brewery Resort is set in the heart of Wine Country and offers a range of accommodation to suit everyone's needs. With 68 well-appointed rooms and suites situated on eleven acres of landscaped gardens, Potters provides the perfect setting for your Hunter Valley experience.

My room was a King Villa and was huge boasting a king size bed Kitchenette with Sink, Microwave and Bar Fridge and a private courtyard.

That night we had dinner at the brewery and discussed ideas for the next day. Both of us were keen to visit Newcastle so the plan was made.

Sunday 3/3/19            Cessnock - Newcastle

Sightseeing was the order of the day so after washing my bike at the nearby car wash it was off to Newcastle for Andy and I where we went to Knobbys Beach, Horseshoe Beach, Flagstaff Hill and Fort Scratchley where we got to see them fire the time cannon.


Fort Scratchley, was formerly a coastal defence installation, now an interactive museum. Located in Newcastle East, a suburb of Newcastle, New South Wales in Australia. Built in 1882 to defend the city against a possible Russian attack. However, its guns were not fired in anger until 8 June 1942, during the shelling of Newcastle by a Japanese submarine.

The Australian Army vacated the site in 1972.

Lunch was eaten in the park area opposite “Harry’s Café de Wheels” where we enjoyed a pie and a drink.

After returning to Potters via Maitland, we registered and signed on with Clubby and Madame T then caught up with fellow Tragics as they started to arrive.

Later that afternoon Richard and Shane arrived having left the vehicle in Dubbo and riding the rest of the way down with Col and the Dubbo tragics.

Monday 4/3/19           Registration and welcome Dinner

First off today was a visit to the local Yamaha Shop Chris Watson Motorcycles where I had the front tyre replaced with a new Pirelli MT21. The shop had been forewarned about the event and many Tragics had booked ahead or took advantage of the shop to make repairs and/or replace rubber.

The rest of the day was spent changing rooms (as I was sharing with Richard for the rest of the trip) washing clothes and catching up with more tragics prior to the welcome dinner that night.

As usual there was a welcome photo and pre dinner drinks prior to the formal “Welcome” - all held on site.

Welcome photo

Tuesday 5/3/19 TT High Plains Run Day 1 Cessnock to Bathurst via St Albans Bilpin and Lithgow               403kms


It was a 7.00am start for us as we headed off on Day 1 with flowing trails through the Watagan NP to Wisemans Ferry stopping at the start of the Convict Trail - Great North Road Bucketty Wall Precinct before enjoying morning tea at the Settlers Arms in St Albans.

Although the route had us turning just before the Hawkesbury River I stopped for a photo before continuing on towards Lithgow and then Bathurst which was our stopover for the day. Some of the uphill sections were particularly rutted and rough and the dust was a problem in some of the sections.

After we checked in to our rooms most riders took the opportunity to go for a lap around Bathurst’s famous Mt Panorama Race Circuit. It really gives you a deeper appreciation of the skill of the drivers as they race their cars around this circuit.


Wednesday 6/3/19 TT High Plains Run Day 2 Bathurst to Goulburn via Oberon and Crokwell             380kms

Today would see us strike a little bit of rain which was a blessing as it laid the dust although it did catch a few riders by surprise as they had packed their rain gear away. The route would take us through the Blue Mountains and a lot more forestry road that were perfect on our bikes. On the way we stopped to catch up with one of Andy’s relatives who had a property alongside our route.


Once we had arrived at Goulburn, Richard and I visited the Rocky Hill War Memorial which provided great views from the top of the hill although the museum itself was closed due to renovations.

Goulburn War Memorial was built as a lasting tribute to the gallant men of Goulburn and district who served in World War I. It was opened in 1925.


The War Memorial is a square tower of stone conglomerate and concrete standing 20 meters high, with Rocky Hill as it's pedestal. Inside the tower is a tablet inscribed with the names of those who enlisted from the district. The lookout gallery at the top of the Memorial gives unparalleled views of Goulburn and the surrounds.


A valuable collection of WWI artefacts is housed in the adjacent cottage. It consists of weapons, personal items used by soldiers, memorabilia and medals. The local history room displays Goulburn's association with, and contribution to, the two world wars. Each object tells a unique story of survival, mateship and the history of warfare.


The Goulburn War Memorial, Rocky Hill and the avenue of trees to Enlisted Soldiers along lower Memorial Road are listed on the register of the National Estate


Thursday 7/3/19 TT High Plains Run Day 3 Goulburn to Tumut via Braidwood, Bungendore and Murrumbateman              442kms

Today would start off quite cool so it was thermals for me today having learnt my lesson yesterday when I hadn’t geared up for the cold.  After breakkie at Hungry Jacks we hit the road – next stop Braidwood for smoko at famous Braidwood Bakery then on towards Bungendore stopping at Clarkes lookout on the way to Murrumbateman.


It was at Murrumbateman that I spied a car with a Henrys number plate so again I couldn’t resist a photo. Whilst refuelling a lady approached me and enquired about the bikes and was quite interested in what we were doing. As it turned out, during the conversation she revealed that she was Tayla Jones (current top ranking female motorcycle rider in Australia and part of the 6 times ISDE winning Australian Women’s World Trophy Team) mother.

From Murrumbateman we made our way via Wee Jasper to Tumut which was our overnight stop.

Friday 8/3/19 TT High Plains Run Day 4 Tumut to Cooma via Tidbinbilla, Adaminaby, and Berridale               369kms

Today we would be riding through the Brindabella NP and into the ACT where we would be stopping at the Canberra Deep Space Communication Complex. The complex was well worth the visit and most of the riders went through the complex viewing the displays as well as grabbing a bite to eat and something to drink from the café. On the way to Adaminaby I stopped briefly at Lambrigg Lookout and again at Brayshaws Hut.


At Adaminaby we stopped for Lunch and of course the obligatory photo of the “Big Trout” after which it was back on the bike towards our penultimate stop – Cooma.


At one of the local pubs the Tragics were introduced to special guest Rod Faggotter who was interviewed by Steven Gall and gave us an insight into his 2018 DAKAR campaign - cut short on day three with a mechanical failure.

Saturday 9/3/19 TT High Plains Run Day 5 Cooma to Thredbo via Candelo and Bombala                     406kms

Whilst rain threatened to cause an upset to the days route it was case of worrying about nothing as the little bit of rain overnight did not extend that far and simply settled the dust however it was a bit cool in the morning, so thermals were worn once again. Pipers Lookout would have provided fantastic views, but fog obscured the sights.


The café at Candelo did a roaring trade as the 70+ riders hit town looking for warm drinks and something to eat. The rest of the day passed quickly and most of the riders were safely at Thredbo by mid afternoon where parking arrangements were being managed by tragic Mike who did a sterling job directing rider to parking bays trying to get 4 to a bay so we could all fit.

After taking all of our gear to the room it was a quick change of clothes before heading out for a bit of a sightseeing by taking the 15-minute journey by ski lift to Eagles Nest – Australis highest restaurant at 1937 metres. Unfortunately, it was closed so after taking some photos from the viewing platforms we headed back down snapping more photos of the mountain bikers beneath us. At the bottom we settled for a hot drink and some fresh donuts before heading back to the room to get ready for the end of event photo shoot and farewell dinner and awards.

IMG_20190309_152502Finish Photo

Andy picked up the Captains Choice award for his unique XT660Z and Francis got the Longest Travelled having ridden all the way from Burketown.

Sunday 10//3/19         Homeward Bound via Cessnock     640kms

Over the past few days I had discussed the return journey with Andy and we had decided that we would simply ride straight back to Cessnock where he had left his car and I would load mine on his car as well and hitch a ride with him to Toowoomba where I was going to leave the bike at Toowomba Yamaha to have the carby looked at. Andy would then continue on to the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast whilst I would catch the bus home.

After breakfast at Thredbo we bade our farewells and hit the bitumen travelling through Jindabyne, Canberra and Goulburn before skirting Sydney and finally arriving at Potters Hotel Brewery Resort in Cessnock at approximately 3.30pm – back where we had started 6 days ago.

Once we had collected our room keys I went and washed my bike and took off the rack bag in preparation for loading. Andy had cleared the back of the tray so we loaded both bikes then his large “tool box” which fitted between the bikes and we packed with our bike riding gear. The rest of our gear went on the back seat.

After an early dinner we hit the sack ready for a 6.00am start.

Closing Speedo         77903                          Total Distance travelled       5369kms

Spot Route

 Monday 11/3/19 Homeward Bound via Toowoomba

With not much to load we were up and away before 6.00am stopping briefly for a cuppa and breakkie at a café then on to Toowoomba where we arrived in heaps of time to unload my bike and get me to the bus interchange where I would catch the Brisbane Mt Isa bus to Longreach. The bus departed at 17.25 and I arrived home Tuesday at 10.25.

 Link to photo album https://sitdownman.smugmug.com/Motorcycles/Ternere-Tragics-High-Plains-Run-2019

During the event yamaha Australia released the pricing and ETA for the Tenere 700 so on Wednesday I preordered my new Tenere 700 in Power Black with my local dealer Rod Faggoter
Edited by Sitdownman
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