Great project! I don't know how you do it, but these kind of projects really mess me up! I can sleep anywhere and at anytime I choose to, EXCEPT when I have a project like this on my mind! I guess it is the Mechanical Engineer nerd in me coming out! When I get something like this project in my head, I just can't sleep... I end up doing CAD in my head all night. Now... If I could only do CAD in my dreams... then we could get some sleep AND get some things figured out!
I grew up in the Amazon jungle on a large mission base. Everything was motorcycles for us. We had the run of machine shops, aircraft "clean" rooms and aircraft parts, TIG welders and more. I grew up thinking every 14 year old knew how to run all this stuff! What we DIDN'T have was "off the shelf" parts available. So we made and adapted our own. We would take our Honda XL100s and put Honda 305 dream pistons in them and use carbs off other bikes. Compression was so high we had to run 100/130 aviation fuel! We split our own cranks, repositioned the pins, shortened rods and then balanced them ourselves... Was this NORMAL for a JR High kid???
They sometimes blew up, but it was great fun!
So... I follow with bated breathe this thread. As I now live in Peru (again) and operate a Moto Adventure company, I follow each SA Dakar personally and will be there cheering you on (and lending any technical or logistics support you may need while in Peru!).