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Good Bye Old Friend – Tenere Bites the Dust

I didn’t think this day would come – but – through gritted teeth –

I’ve sold the Tall Tenere —

She is still the same bike she always was – tough – dependable – would fight her way through the Frankfurt 80-100mph ‘rush hour’ with the bit between her teeth in torrential rain at the end of a 100mph/400 mile day and gallop solo or bimble two up through the endless forest roads of Dumfries & Galloway without missing a beat —

She is probably the most photographed bike I’ve ever had but no one in their right mind could declare that she doesn’t deserve to be —

Long days across Europe stretching down into the Balkans in her unforgiving saddle have caused me more pain and cost the NHS more money than I ever thought possible —

Five operations on my nether regions didn’t come cheap —

and probably account for my membership of the Ministry of Funny Walks —

Riding the bitch isn’t the problem —

but getting on —

and off —

her tall saddle —

is proving to be —

too much for my geriatric pins —

making climbing into —

and out of her tall perch —

a bit of an —

inelegant lottery —

Since buying her new in Feb 2009 —

I have had so many fun days aboard her —

and judging by the pics in my gallery —

many sunny days too —

I hope her next owner —

treats her with the same care and respect —

she has had from yours truly —

and reaps similar rewards in spades from this great bike 🙂

 

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2017 in Isle of Luing, Motorcycling, yamaha tenere 660z

 

Yamaha Tenere XT660Z

My Tall Ten has seen a fair bit of competition for her place in the stable come and go since I bought her new in Feb ’09 and up until now she has remained my ‘go to’ bike when a choice had to be made  —

No doubt her nose has been put out of joint with the arrival of the ‘bright young thing’ in the shape of the Honda CRF 250RAL – after all the Tall Ten has shared many an Adventure with me – some good – some bad.

Late winter snow on the ride home from Braemar —

It wasn’t too bad although the road over the Lecht was blocked and Landrovers were the favourite form of transport —

Cruising on the German autobahns on my way to the Balkans was restricted to 108mph til I pulled into a service station and got busy with my Swiss Army knife.

A spot of ‘fine tuning’ saw me cut through the 90 degree bend on the airbox intake allowing me to do the following couple of hundred miles at 113mph. Seemed important at the time – makes me shake my head now 🙂

Long 4-500 mile days across Europe in the unforgiving saddle eventually put me in hospital — enduring 14 days torrential rain on an autumn tour of the Outer Hebrides was the last straw and the subsequent botched operation on my ass put an end to my long-distance motorcycle touring.

Daytrips became the norm with lots of time for posing —

Although somewhere along the line the Ten and I did visit the Isle of Tiree and played on the white sands —

It was the greatest feeling on earth to be setting out for an early ferry with the panniers full and very little set agenda – it appealed to the gypsy in me —

I’m supposed to be selling that big blue bike to make room for the CRF but somehow I can’t see it happening —

Horses for courses —

It will take at least two bikes to replace the Tall Tenere 🙂

 

Tenere at South Cuan

Took a break from planting tatties this evening –  lifted the cover off the Tenere and  trundled up to South Cuan with coffees in the flask and and a sandwich or two in the tailpack. It was lovely up there and for once the lobster boats on the Sound were heading home at pace on the flooding tide instead of using an excess of fuel while battling valiantly against it – timing is everything —

While the lobster boat in the distance is heading round to Balvicar on Seil Island with the days’ catch – our local vehicle ferry – the Belnahua makes her last crossing of the weekend to Luing —

There she goes on the return leg. It only takes five minutes to cross Cuan Sound but with no Sunday Vehicle Ferry service – we are marooned here on Luing till Monday.

Luckily – it’s no hardship 🙂

 
 

More of the Tenere XT660Z

The Tall Ten is always my ‘go to’ bike despite the fact I have become disenchanted with her a few times during the six and a half years I have owned her. the-urr-018She will do a a modicum of off-road and is brilliant on stony tracks for instance – she will tour till the cows come home and hold her own in main road traffic. In addition – 150 – 200 mile day trips are meat and drink to her – especially with a variety of going so where does the ‘disenchantment’ set in.

Probably at her worst when conditions are gusty – passing trucks can be a lottery as sudden cross-winds make the Tall Ten dance across the road if you are not prepared.

Being a big single she will always vibrate – but not to excess. The most annoying thing is the ever-present rattle from the screen area which I have tried so hard to cure – even resorting to removing the bloody thing altogether and strapping it on the back at times.

Did I say ‘most annoying thing was the screen’? What about the seat? ‘Torture chamber’ on long hot days is too nice a description of it.

Doesn’t sound like much but it takes little or nothing to disturb a rider’s equilibrium on some long hauls. On one return leg from Croatia on my XJR1300 for instance I decided that the bend and height of my aftermarket alloy Renthal bars wasn’t suiting and I wasted hours checking out the few bike shops in Switzerland in my hunt for a more suitable set. Numpty that I am!

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But – after all that moaning she is still here —

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and I can’t wait to throw a leg over her.

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Living on the Isle of Luing will mean a full sea-change to my riding habits.

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No Sunday vehicle ferry for most of the year means I won’t be able to nip down to Lochearhead for a natter with my old mates by the fire on a Sunday fer instance.

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But – we will just have to adapt —

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where there’s a will —

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there’s a way 🙂

 

cheers – Don

 

Tenere on Tour

The Tall Ten came into my life early March 2009. The new model was designed and built by Yamaha Italy for the Euoropean market and went into production in 2008.

tenere-on-tour-3

I searched the UK Yamaha Dealers in 2008 for one – to no avail. ‘Oh – they are all being sold in Europe Sir’ – load of nonsense – I had been all over Europe that year and never got a sniff of the new Tenere till December when one turned up at my hotel in Cyprus. It had cost the happy owner over 9000 euros to bring it in from the Italian factory as a Direct Import.

tiree055

When they did arrive in the UK in numbers early in 2009 I was first in the queue with my pile of readies – less than £6000 for the bare bike plus a set of panniers and a few bits and bobs like engine protection bars and an essential centre-stand. Longer dogbones to lower the bike came later but were whipped off again after a fraught visit to a fussy MOT station one year.

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I took possession and had intended heading for Europe – down through Germany with the Balkans my target. Unfortunately the keys had snapped in the stiff locks of the panniers first time of trying and neither I nor the dealer could get Mr Yamaha to cough up a new set in time for my departure.

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As you can imagine Givit was real upset by this time. His humour improved when his local Timpson KeyCutter produced a fresh set of keys which did the job so well that he got on his way south and never fitted the spare lock barrels and keyset that had eventually arrived from Mr Yamaha by the time he returned to the UK.

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Yes she has had a taste of ‘weather’ but through both good and bad she has never missed a beat.

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We covered about 20000 miles those first three years – over to Eastern Europe – down round the Balkans – all over the UK too including a snow-bound Braemar – wind swept Tiree – beautiful Barra —

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and the rest of the Outer Hebrides where it rained virtually non-stop for two weeks solid. It will certainly make me think twice about going back there although islands don’t come lovelier than Berneray when the sun shines.

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The 60 odd mpg from her single cylinder motor is a blessing with the Ten – unlike the big four cylinder bikes I had become accustomed to.

tiree-213

I carried out some minor mods along the way – some worked – I pulled off the autobahn one day after hours of hammering her flat out at 108 mph. I took out my Swiss Army knife – lifted the seat and cut the right-angled snorkel clean off the air cleaner inlet.

airboxmod003

A ‘result’ – after brimming the big tank with fuel my next couple of hundred miles were covered at 113 mph!

Then there was the neat ‘chin’ deflector I made and fitted in an attempt to stop the 100 mph wind coming up through the fork leg aperture in front of the fuel tank. It worked well – until one very windy day scudding down the M74 – an extra strong gust in our faces almost lifted the bike and I over the banking into a roadside field. The neat ‘chin’ deflector soon joined the scrap pile of ‘bad ideas’ after that!

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All-in-all she has been a good buy. The tall after-market electric blue screen was a pleasure to sit behind although it did cut about 8 mph off her top speed. Shame I managed to break it in a clumsy attempt to modify it – something else for the scrap pile in the corner.

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I still have the Tall Ten although she has yet to join me on the Isle of Luing – but —

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after going through all my old pics of her for this post I have the urge to ride again and don’t be surprised if she arrives up here sometime soon.

 

Don 🙂

 

 

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