Dave, Mikey and I shipped 6 bikes from Oakland today. The nice thing for the US-based competitors now is that we can't work on our bikes any more. We'll see them the day before the rally in Tunisia.
Left to right:
Ned's KTM 505XC
My mighty XR650R
Dirk's KTM 690E
Mikey's KTM 525
Jean-Luc's KTM 690E
Bart's KTM525 (ex-Jonah Street 2007 Dakar race bike.)
For me, prepping the XR was pretty easy. It was already set up as a decent desert bike, and the navigation equipment was ready and sitting on a shelf after the last time I used it at one of our rally schools. A few months ago, I sat down with a pad of paper, looked at the bike and made a list of things that could use fixing. Then, as the weeks went by, I looked at that list and crossed off things that I thought really weren't needed. (The closer to the shipping date, the looser the criteria for deciding what was necessary.) So, the list gradually got shorter as the bike sat in the garage. Not done: lacing up straight rims, putting on a better skidplate, new grips, bleeding the brakes, etc. Done: newish tires, mousse, chain, sprockets, front brake pads, new wheel bearings, adjust the valves and put on the too-nice new Renazco seat. Good to go.