Lastminuteracingdotcom... FIM WCCC round II (Tunisia Rallye)
So, if you had two weeks with nothing much to do, what would you choose? Nice beach holiday somewhere perhaps? spend a bit of time in the garden now that spring is here? read that stack of books you've been amassing but somehow never got round to?
Or buy a brand new motorcycle and try and build a Rally bike in time for the second round of the FIM World Cross-country Championship - the Rally Oilibya De Tunsie, which starts on the 1st of May this year...
Yeah, I'm kinda thinking that was a silly idea too, but hell, it's too late - I paid my entry fee today!
So, this is where I'm at... so far, I have a sexy new WR450F sitting in the shed:
Over the past couple of weeks I've managed to get 600 odd miles on the beast (and boy it is a beast!) and the valves checked and adjusted - hopefully they will be good for the rest of the season now...
Fortunately we have some lovely mountain roads in the arse-end of Wales where I currently live, so it was a joy to run the bike in:
And some right sh!tty trails to ensure the bike is now thoroughly secondhand:
The eagle-eyed amongst you may have spotted it is a Euro [homologated] version of the WR450 - that is it comes complete with a full lighting kit (inc larger 55w headlight) horn, brake lights etc which is a bonus... and a shockingly restricted and heavy cat equipped exhaust which would be a pain, were it not for the fact that the bike is also supplied with the proper 'off-road' exhaust system and jets, throttle stop screw etc to get it back to full power - yea!
Larger headlight - this is a particularly good thing, as you'll find out later:
Speedo will be removed, tell-tail lights and ignition switch will stay:
Neat rear light/licence plate holder... will be on ebay soon x:
Suicide side-stand spring and bolt will be replaced with the 'other' sort:
Obviously I removed the huge tail-light, mirrors and indicators almost before it came off the trailer, and likewise the AIS plumbing has now been consigned to the bin...
So far, all I've fitted are a pair of Renthal RC High-bend Fat-bars (my favorite) Barkbuster Storm handguards (excellent!) and a DRC Anato rear light/licence plate holder...
As you can see, I've also fitted a white (Acerbis) rear fender, which is more appropriate to the colour scheme I have planned.
However, over the past few days various boxes of various sizes have been arriving, and some of them (make that all of them) have contained some utter Rally bike porn!
First off, and most importantly perhaps, is the JVO Rally 'Lite' kit - this includes twin front fuel tanks (20L total), a carbon kevlar (yes really!) fairing and low front fender, plus the most intricate and elaborate Navigation tower for the front end...
Polythene opaque/white tanks:
Stealth-bomber matt black gel-coat:
Want to leave it unpainted inside!:
The Nav tower really is a work of art and very nicely thought out - fully adjustable and with mounting plates for the nav gear, GPS/Iritrack aerials and (as I found out today when my Sentinel fitting kit arrived) a dedicated pre-drilled space for the Sentinel mounting bracket - these crazy Spaniards think of everything!
Talking of Nav gear, I stumped up for one of [Tony] Schattat's excellent Rally remotes - it really is beautifully made, and works a treat with my MD roadbook and Touratech IMO 100R50 computer - result!
Along with fitting in a visit to the hospital to have my various medical and treadmill tests, so I can send an obscene amount of money to the governing body and get my International FIM licence, I have also done my best to co-ordinate and order all the other bits I think I'm going to need to ensure this bike goes together first time, in time...
• The JVO kit includes brackets to reposition the WR radiators, plus allows fitting of a pair of fans (KTM type)... I've elected to just fit one at the moment.
• To supplement the 20 litre fuel tanks on the front, I've also taken the precaution of ordering a rear 5 litre Safari [Aqualine] tank, which should give me the required 250km range for stages up to and including the Dakar. Certainly Tamsin Jones managed the Dakar this year with a 15L front and 10L rear set-up on her WR, although I must say, I am surprised how juicy the WR is on fuel... I'm lucky to get 60 miles from 6 litres...
• I've ordered a set of Talon 'rally spec' wheels including a cush-drive rear hub (similar to those I fitted to the Tenere last year), but the Yamaha pattern hubs mean I can get away with using the stock WR discs and sprocket, which are more than adequate and saves a significant amount of £££s! Tyres and mousses will be Michelin Deserts of course. The nice thing about the stock WR wheelset (Excel rims as standard) is they will be fine as a second/spare set on the events, albeit without a cush-drive of course.
My intention is to try and keep the basic bike as standard as possible - the nice thing about building a Rally bike from a well specified enduro machine is you already get nice things like magnesium footpegs, decent (and well set-up) suspension, quality brakes and controls etc.
• I have already assembled a box of spare parts - cables, levers, gear shifter, brake pads, wheel bearings, spokes, sprockets, chain, grips, air and oil filters etc. but hope on this first outing at least, nothing much will need replacing, other than regular oil changes...
• For the skid-plate, I have decided for this event to run a regular style Flatland Racing aluminium enduro guard (just hope it arrives in time from the US!) and have also ordered one of their odometer eliminator/spacers for the stock WR front wheel. I am hoping that [initially at least] I can use the void between the twin tanks under the front of the seat to stow the 3 litre water container required for FIM events. Yes, I know this means that weight is higher up than the typical skid-plate position, but then I am saving the weight of the aluminium water tanks themselves, and in the grand scheme of things, I don't think it will make a noticeable difference having the water between the fuel tanks... and don't forget I rode a 175Kg behemoth to Dakar last year!
• Electrics wise, I intend to run the stock (120w) stator on this first event, and see how it copes... the 55w headlight unit on the Euro-spec WR is noticably larger than the 'Enduro' version you usually get on the UK/US machines, and fortunately is the correct size to fit in the aperture in the JVO fairing - saving me €100 if I'd had to buy the Euro one seperately - result!
• I believe it is still an FIM requirement to run a second/high intensity rear light on bikes, and have a DRC Phantom to surface mount on the rear fender above the Anato - my intention is to simply wire the Phantom brake light bulbs to come on constantly, or perhaps even flash using the [now defunct] indicator relay... we'll see... x
I'm sure there will be a 101 sundry other items I come across in the next few days, and please do excuse me if I don't update this thread particularly regularly until the bike is in a fully working state... like I say, I will be up against the clock these next couple of weeks (fortunately my paintwork will be ready this Wednesday) ensuring everything goes together, works, and rides nicely...
Methinks I should really be pressing Red Bull for some sponsorship - at least in kind!
So, settle back with your popcorn smilies fellas, and enjoy the ride!
Yer nuts. :loco
I like it. :thumb
Excellent stuff, Jenny.
Brilliant stuff! :clap Talk about leaving everything to No. 99! :huh
Im doing exactly the same thing (apart from the rally next month!) with the american WR 450 I got, apart from the lights (HID), water tank (to be fitted underneath), suspension (upgraded), and I´ve forsaken the rear fuel tanks for now.
I´ll be following this thread very closely! :deal
I am sure that I will follow that one closely!
Link to the NPO Rallye Oilibya De Tunisie website...
It is my intention to race all three rounds of the Desert Trophy this year...
Ok, I'm jealous! You must be independently wealthy and relatively young to be able to do these rallies. Can I get on your team?:evil
From Atlanta, :wave
I love rally bike build threads!
Are you riding marathon or will you have service?
It is my intention to race the three NPO 'Desert Trophy' rounds this season - that is Tunisia (FIM) in May, Egypt (Sphinx Rally) in September, and the final FIM round in Morocco in October.
I figure that the cost of these would be the same (or less) than one Dakar - and while the Dakar is undoubtably the #1 event on the calender regarding media coverage and general public interest, I have to factor in how much riding/racing and the kind of terrain I'll be riding in.
It was always my intention to enter the Dakar in 2011 - particularly if it had returned to Africa - it was muted to start in either Barcelona or Monaco, then head through Tunisia, Lybia and Egypt - all of which I'll essentially get to race during the NPO rounds this year.
Of course, should the financial situation allow, it is also my intention to enter the Dakar in South America in January next year - using this bike (but possibly with a fresh engine)... however, I am already baulking at the entry fees for these NPO rounds (for what is 'only' a week's racing at a time) - paying three times as much for a two week Dakar doesn't make any sense...
But then neither does trying to build an FIM spec Rally bike from scratch in two weeks?!
ps. Johnboy - I'm mental and creaking more like! But hell, time is running out, and if you don't do it now... etc.
See you there, Pats is brining my bike this race also. Fun, fun, fun.
:lurk Keep it coming!!
S*&t, another great Jmo story to keep me off the trail.
Awesome, Jenny! :lurk
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