For those who followed my Dakar story last year, you'll recall that I loved the bike overall, but really wanted more power.
The strengths of the package I took- comfortable ergonomics, simplicity, reliable, familiar, and low budget (relatively!) were things I didn't want to let go of... but let me restate how much I really wanted more power. I sold the Dakar bike to a collector (it now lives in a garage with 3 desmosedicis!), and wanted to find something to fill that slot in the garage.
A great deal came along on a 505XCF (with a 2moto kit!) and my mind started running. Here would be a bike that I could fit the RMK on for trips to Nevada and Utah, that would also be a kick-ass new sport for winter. On a whim, I bought it.
As an aside, here's the 2moto kit in action, on my XCW (since the XCF had already shipped):
It's awesome fun but I hate the cold. If you're interested in it, drop me a PM, it's for sale and I'll make you a great deal.
Back to rally stuff: For those who aren't familiar with the XCF, it shares a similar frame to the XCW, but that's about it. The motor is an oversquare twincam derived from the SX-F (a very similar architecture to the 450 Rally engine), and the racing lineage comes through loud and clear. On most dynos, they make at least 10hp more than the XCW does, but even more, the way they make power leaves no question that the intent is winning motocross races, not threading tricky singletrack somewhere. It is one step away from violent.
This one has a big stator and heavy flywheel, which make it much more pleasant to trailride, but after using it this summer on the high skinny stuff, it was clear to me that its home was in the desert. So, I loaned it to Pyndon when he visited, made him jet it (which he did perfectly!) and then chased him around on the toughest trails I could find doing my best to torture him. If it were someone else, it would have been mean, but he was going to Dakar, so it was training. Here he is in Idaho:
When the call came to go to Tunisia, I knew what bike I was going to build.