Pol Tarrés climbs highest volcano on earth on Yamaha Tenere 700 World Raid

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Yamaha 03/2024

Pol Tarres climbing a mountain on his Yamaha World Raid

Two years after making history and setting an altitude world record aboard a Yamaha Ténéré 700, Pol Tarrés recently returned to Chile and set the bar even higher, not just by smashing his own record, but also by setting a new altitude record for a single-cylinder motorcycle.

Reaching an incredible height of 6.677 metres with the Ténéré World Raid GYTR in full stage 3 setup, Tarrés set a new record for the highest altitude achieved on a twin-cylinder motorcycle. During the reconnaissance phase of the attempt, Tarres also set a new record for the highest altitude ever reached on a single-cylinder motorcycle, ascending to 6.756 metres on the cross-country specific Yamaha YZ450FX .

Being a Ténéré ambassador, Tarrés was determined to achieve a new record on the 700 World Raid. Both records were registered on a dual GPS and verified by three guides as the guidelines prescribe. Official ratification of the two world records will take several weeks.

The expedition team comprised Pol Tarrés, Javi Echevarria (project manager), Miguel Echevarria (film crew), Ahikar Azcona (Yamaha ambassador & team support), Joan Espasa (film crew) and mountain guides, Gerardo Bauty, Cristian Órdenes, Thomas Caballero, and Juan León. Supported by Yamaha Motor Europe, Marc Bourgeois and Yamaha Motor Chile.

“Preparing for this challenge was difficult, many said it could not be done,” declared project manager, Javi Echevarria. “But we as a team know that exactly that is what drives Pol, to do exactly what no one thinks possible. It was really a team effort – and would have been impossible without everyone involved.”

The target was to ascend Ojos del Salado, the highest volcano on earth, the second-highest mountain in the Andes and the highest summit in Chile. Several other athletes have attempted to conquer this uninhabitable place, with its steep rock inclines, scree slopes and snow drifts, yet none have enjoyed the same success as Tarrés and Yamaha thus far.

Having learned important lessons from the previous attempt, Tarrés and the entire TRECE Racing Society Team took two weeks to acclimatise in the Andes Mountain range. Even with Tarrés’s incredible physical condition, the altitude is a force that humbles most humans and altitude sickness was a constant companion for the team during this acclimatisation process.

After acclimatising, Tarrés and the TRECE team started to explore potential routes to conquer the mountain, utilizing both the YZ450FX and the Ténéré to complete this reconnaissance phase, whilst also dealing with disruption caused by unexpected snowfall.

The weather also played a significant role in dictating the timing of the record attempt. With high winds forecast, the team were forced to accelerate their plans and make the attempts on the 6th and 7th of March. Due to the snowfall, the routes to the West and Central summits were rendered impassable, so the highest summit and principal crater of the volcano became the goal chosen by the team.

Starting from Refugio Murray at 4.522 metres, Tarrés and the Ténéré reached the record altitude in only 50 minutes.

“Above 6.000 metres everything seems to go super slow, the physical exhaustion is indescribable and there is no room for mistakes,” commented Pol Tarrés. ”Even walking is a challenge, let alone riding a Ténéré at this altitude.”

One problem encountered on the previous record-setting expedition in 2022 was that of fuel consumption, which is significantly heavier at altitude than at sea level. For the most recent attempt at the record, this issue was addressed with the GYTR kit, specifically the GYTR ECU assembly and extra fuel capacity, which allowed Tarrés to ride for longer without the need to refuel.

The GYTR parts from the second stage or handling kit, including more rugged Haan Wheels, KYB 48mm front fork and Paioli rear suspension, also ensured optimal handling performance on the challenging terrain of the Vulcano.

The mental, physical, and mechanical challenges faced by Tarrés and his team during this testing challenge cannot easily be conveyed with words alone. To tell the full story of this momentous endeavour, the TRECE Racing Society and Yamaha Motor Europe have collaborated on a documentary, to be premièred at the end of this year, that will take viewers on the same incredible journey on which Tarrés embarked on both 2022 and 2024.