Originally Posted by Brimstone
Thanks for the thorough explanation! Always challenges when doing something no one else has dared. I was wondering how the rule book would affect this project. Is putting a regular 450SXF engine in the frame out of the question? I mean, only if the FIM doesn't rule in your favour...
Hi Brimstone - as Ronin says above, the motivation for the project (certainly from John at Rally Raid) was to utilise the 690 engine - not only because it potentially offers far more strength and reliability, but trying to fit an alternative engine into the frame (unless you have the resources of the factory of course) would be plagued with small but niggly issues, and require far more testing and set up than a simple piston/crank swap and EFi reprogram which is the extent of the mods we are planning with the 690 lump.
However, perhaps even more importantly, we would still fall foul of the FIM rule book - which states that the engine and mainframe (plus swingarm) must come from the same [450cc production] machine... so we would be in no better position with them - in fact it would be worse, since the engine would have come from one model and the frame from another - at least our way the engine and the frame are still from the same production machine.
I'm still looking forward to how this turns out! Would be great to see a more endurance friendly bike option for privateers in the Dakar. Not every competitor can afford a factory 450RR and all the bazillion parts and spare engines to go along with it. And it seems to me that the Dakar bike class has more privateers than factory boys anyway so that is where the lion share of entry fees are coming from. Of course, we all know the ASO likes to get as many of those bikes out of the rally early on!!
Certainly that was John's intention - to offer a realistic, affordable and reliably alternative to the current crop of 450cc enduro/mx derived bikes...
However, the current FIM regulations do not allow for 'prototype' bikes (Maybe we should just build a 2WD buggy instead eh?) - so unless we were to going into full-scale production and make at least 100 examples and have it homologated, I can't see this bike being widely adopted for Dakar or any FIM championship event under the current rules... Alternatively, if they did relax the rules (which they have no reason to do) to allow prototypes, it then potentially opens up a lot more avenues for cheating at the sharper end of the field?
It is frustrating, as this really is my only realistic chance of getting back to the Dakar this year...