Originally Posted by SafariBerg
KTM have 4 options easily available to them
1) a sleeved down 690RR using the Rallye light approach like they did at the CER in 2008
This was done to great success with the 2005 450RR they made & raced, David Schwarz has said his 2005 Factory 450RR he used in Dakar 2005 is as fast as his 690RR
2) they still make the RFS motors for the quads, Annie Seel bought a new RFS motor from the factory for her Dakar 2010 bike this year, so a RFS motor based bike is easy
3) the XC motor with lots of factory mods to make it last the distance
4) use the Husaberg FE450 bike/motor. There were comments coming out of the factory rallye team this year at Dakar that they are seriously looking at using the FE450 platform for Dakar next year. This coupled with comments back in late 2008 and early 2009 that the next generation RR bikes would have sloper motors like the new Bergs, show very clearly that the benefits of that configuration for rallye are seen
Hi Safari' - I agree there are a number of possibilities, however, I can't see KTM using their 'old' technology (ie the RFS engine) in their flagship factory effort? - that would be an admission of failure, even though, as we know, the RFS engine has proved very reliable for what is still a competitive 'race' motor...
Likewise, there is no way KTM will use the Husaburg engine - if only from a marketing point of view, they can't be seen to admit that a 'competitor' (even if they are the parent company) has a better design than they do?
That is not to say they are not working on their own development of the sloped motor (not that any other manufacturers can really see the benefit so far?), but to KTM brand image (and to a no lesser extent, 'racing what you sell') is everything... if you look at the new generation 350cc SX bike, I think that is where we'll see the EXC's heading? I can't imagine for a moment that KTM would have a brand new (and unproven) motor ready for next year's Dakar - that would be far too risky - think of all the "KTM can't cut it in the 450cc class" headlines - nightmare!
Personally I still think we'll see a derivative of the current 450cc XC4 engine, in a simpler chassis (rather than the trellis of the 690s), but with a one-piece rear end, and a similar fairing design to the current 690... just my feeling...