Quad Squad Grizzly joins Powerhouse museum collection

One of the three record breaking Quad Squad ATVs has been donated to Sydney's Powerhouse Museum by Yahama Motor Australia.
One of the three record breaking Quad Squad ATVs has been donated to Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum by Yahama Motor Australia.

The YFM700FAP Grizzly ridden by Jamie Kenyon joins a collection of vehicles used by Australian adventurers including renowned balloonist and entrepreneur Dick Smith.

In 2010, the Quad Squad, which included Sydneysiders Valerio De Simoni (aged 23 years), Jamie Kenyon (aged 24 years) and Ted Davant (aged 26 years), achieved a new world record for the longest ATV journey by riding through 38 countries and covering 58,000km in 14 months. Their journey from, Istanbul to Sydney via Africa smashed the previous record by over 30,000km.

Tragically, the youngest team member Valerio De Simoni was involved in a fatal accident in Malawi half way through the expedition in March 2011.

However, fellow riders Jamie and Ted continued the journey-of-a-lifetime in honour of their mate Val, and officially broke the Guinness World Record when they rode into Sydney on 22 October 2011 (see http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/records/longest-journey-on-aquadbike-(atv).

Unlike many vehicles that are adapted to undertake such extreme journeys, the Yahama ATV was not modified in any way for the expedition. “The Grizzly 4WD Auto model is designed for farm and recreational use and not intended to travel long distances. But they are designed to be tough and cope extemely well with harsh environments.

We also know that farmers have racked up long hours on them. But the 58,000km is an achievement that will be hard to beat,” says YMA Director and General Manager Steven Cotterell.

“We have great respect for the incredible achievements of the Quad Squad and thank the Powerhouse for adding one of the record breaking ATVs to its permanent collection,” he adds.

The Quad Squad Grizzly will be displayed at the Powerhouse Discovery Centre, the Museum’s publicly accessible collection stores in Castle Hill.

The ATV will join the Powerhouse’s historic collection of material from other notable Australian expeditions over the past century that have survived some of the world’s most extreme regions in some of the most daring journeys.

Powerhouse Museum Director, Dr Dawn Casey, said: “It is interesting that more Australians per capita have broken more long distance records by bike, car, plane and boat in some of the world’s most harsh and remote environments.

“I am not sure if it is our climate, outdoor lifestyle, or the fact that we live in such a vast and rugged country that has inspired Australians to go places where no-one else has been and to achieve something amazing.”

Among the famous adventurers whose feats are represented in the Powerhouse collection is Donald Mackay, who in 1899 cycled around Australia covering 17,700 km in a new record time of 240 days, 7 hours and 30 minutes. His bike is on show in the Transport Gallery of the museum, along with Sir Patrick Gordon Taylor’s Catalina flying boat, Frigate Bird II, in which he piloted the first flight from Australia to South America in 1951 across the vast South Pacific Ocean.

For over twenty years the helicopter that renowned Australian adventurer Dick Smith flew in 1982 in the first solo circumnavigation of the world was suspended from the roof of the Powerhouse Museum. The small yacht of another solo record-breaker, Dr David Lewis, who sailed his 32 foot (9.7m) Ice Bird in the first single-handed voyage to Antarctica in 1972 is currently undergoing critical restoration work by the Museum.

On display at the Powerhouse Discovery Centre in Castle Hill is a wheel and undercarriage leg from the Lockheed aircraft Lady Southern Cross that pioneer aviator Sir Charles Kingsford Smith flew in his fatal flight in 1935 when attempting to break the England to Australia speed record.