Originally Posted by charapa
...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!).
Hi Toby! - thank you for such enthusiasm and support! - we may well be calling on you, if only to find out where to buy beer!
I do hope we've captured the imagination with the project - and not just because it is 'different' but that the benefits are also clear...
Not only do we consider this a good way to minimise mechanical issues during an event like the Dakar, but financially it makes a lot of sense [for a privateer] to use a bike/engine combination that isn't going to be scrap, or at the very least need a total engine rebuild after a season of racing (or one Dakar)...
The 690 chassis is also very stable, and the bike itself generally far more forgiving and comfortable to ride over extended distances - pretty much half the Dakar distance is liaison remember (and technically, more than half, as there were a number of stages this year that had long neutralised sections in the middle).
Certainly over this summer I will undertaking some long 'endurance' test rides on the bike, not least to see how the fuel-economy is affected by the reduction in engine capacity. The Rally Raid Evo2 Tank kit will mean we have about 22 litres on board, and a lot of the 450s are running as little as 25 litre tanks with, it seems, no real risk of running out?
Of course this bike will be slightly heavier than a converted WR/CRF/EXC style enduro bike, so where we gain in EFi fuel economy and mapping, we might lose again, especially is soft and sandy terrain...
But we also have the option of fitting Rally Raid's 5L auxiliary tank to the rear of the bike too, which ought to be more then enough for even the longest Dakar stage, but hopefully we won't actually have to fill that all that often.