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Old 01-31-2012, 04:36 AM   #62
GSBS's Avatar
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: Blount Springs, AL
Oddometer: 3,972

I put over 70K trouble-free miles on my Dakar before it was rear-ended two years ago. The Sertao has the same bulletproof Rotax powerplant and these two bikes appear to share the same basic structural components with mainly cosmetic changes on the newer model. I wouldn't be afraid to buy one, but 9-year-old Dakar still has many thousand more miles in her!

It was in legal limbo for over a year and a half before I finally settled the case and ended up keeping the bike, which had damage to the front end and rear tail section.

Right now I'm in the process of restoring her to road worthiness by replacing the spindly and wimpy front forks (same as the new Sertao) with a front end off a Yamaha YZ, beefing up the rear shock, removing the ABS (which sucked on this bike) and replacing the heavy exhaust cans with a lighter single silencer. Hoping the mods will save me 20-30 pounds.

Doing this project I've really been impressed with the quality of the fasteners and other components on the Dakar, compared to the Japanese bikes I've owned. And the fact that with regular service and maintenance my Dakar has been the most reliable and cost efficient to operate bike I've ever owned. Never used a drop of oil and always gets 60+ mpg!

These bikes are neither superlight dirt bikes nor super-comfy big-bore adventure tourers. However, they do better off-road than a 12GS or similar and better on the road than a 250-450. Pretty good at most anything...

At the moment I'm awaiting the shock to come back from the suspension guy and waiting on brake lines (from the ABS removal) before she'll be on the road again... in another week or so! After that the two remaining projects will be to fab up a custom tail section and change out exhausts. Then I hope to ride this bike for the next 10 years or more.

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