Originally Posted by JMo (& piglet)
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!
Don't know about crazy, I think it's an awesome idea... Careful of checking, double checking and checking again on the scrutineering part for the Dakar, I seem to recall a whole bunch of modified quads (Macachek included) being disqualified at the last minute for Dakar '12... that would suck big time, not trying to be a nay-sayer, just pointing out the sometimes fickle ways of the organizers
This is certainly a platform I would be looking into for the future, maybe not for the Rally Lite races around my neck of the woods, where all you need is an enduro bike with a larger tank + basic nav equipment (think Sardegna), but seeing as the Africa bug has bit hard, I am looking into some races like the Africa Eco Race (where you can still race a 690) or the Tuareg... this looks to be awesome, and I don't just mean the engine conversion but the whole Rally Raid UK Evo2 kit.
Onwards & upwards team LC4-50