Originally Posted by JMo (& piglet)
I agree, although to be honest it would make a lot of sense for both Honda and KTM certainly to test their 'new' bikes in South American conditions (and under 'race pressure' too) - as it was suggested that part of the problem Honda suffered this year was that they hadn't properly considered the effect of the altitude/sand/weather etc found on the 2013 South American route...
Of course neither Argentina or Brazil is likely to offer exactly the same conditions as they found in Peru or Chile - but it would certainly be a help? Fiambala looks to be back on the menu again this coming year, and hey, once the teams are down there they can skip over the Andes and spend a few weeks razzing around in the Atacama to make sure there are no other 'fueling' surprises next time!
Can't specualte how far either of them are on with the bike development, but it's unlikely that they would be ready in time for race conditions this summer (winter in SA).
Last year HRC were only race ready for Morocco, but that was debateable, as it was for the Dakar really - from memory though they started testing in August.
Having said this and from what I understand 2 of the issues were weight and power/speed, so perhaps they have had a head start in these areas and maybe larger & lighter fuel tanks
Generally though and whether the results were good or bad they will have had a year's testing and experience as a team, which can only be good