Originally Posted by BigMike40
This is probably an ignorant question, but can I ask why you couldn't just take a 690 frame and drop in an RFS engine? Or just use an RFS bike and strengthen the frame and subframe?
Hi Big Mike! - not an ignorant question at all, but as Barrier has just reiterated above, there are a number of additional benefits to retaining the basic 690 bottom end, and of course the 690 engine is EFi too.
That said, it is certainly another option to drop in a different [Enduro based] engine - basically what the Factory did with the 450RR... and the older (RFS design you refer to) engines are one of the few that might well go the distance... unfortunately they are very hard to come by now (and are all of course secondhand), while the newer XC4 design engine is even more highly strung and has had issues of its own regarding oil circulation etc.
Ultimately, we feel the 690 Enduro (with the addition of the Rally Raid Evo2 tank and faring kit of course) is a solid and dependable 'open class' rally bike for the privateer... what we are doing is making it conform to the Dakar 450cc regulations with hopefully the minimum of changes - allowing us to showcase it on the world stage, and prove it's reliability in what is undoubtably ultimate endurance event. If it is successful, then the engineering offers other riders (and owners of older 690RRs for example) the option to campaign a similar machine in the future.
And yes, perhaps we're just a little bit crazy too!