Originally Posted by DC950
A privateer has to be a dreamer, very brave, or well supported to ride anything but a KTM (or Yamaha and that's my assuming Yamaha France or someone has parts for sale every night in the bivouac). It would really suck to be out of the rallye if you can't get something like a new clutch master cylinder or ECU because you didn't pack one in your Elf box.
The odds are already long that you'll finish the most difficult rallye on the planet; why compound them by riding something besides a KTM?
I can see you rationale there DC, but isn't that the point of the new rules- to stop the Dakar being essentially a one-make series (certainly at the top end)?
At the moment I'd say there are enough Yamaha's already in the bivouac to give you a good chance of finishing well, and I'd say most competitors fielding a WR will have brought the essentials with them (not least a spare engine/loom seems to be the way to ensure you have every spare with you!) From what I understand, quite a number of people finished this year's event on one engine using the Yamaha...
I agree though that all these new bikes, are essentially 'converted' enduros, which in turn have been derived from MX bikes - particularly the engines, which I think are the weakest link in the whole 450cc equation?
Hell, I baulk and the price of tyres and mousses (and oil and fuel), I don't want to have to start considering a whole damn engine as a consumable too!