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Old 05-24-2013, 03:53 AM   #225
JMo (& piglet) OP
Gone a bit Baja
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Joined: Apr 2007
Location: Somewhere west of Laramie...
Oddometer: 4,237
Originally Posted by 640 Armageddon View Post
All other problems aside, it looks to me that the real desert era may end up pretty soon.

Factories may disagree with prototypes, may be they want to associate rally racing machines with current models like once did (Tenere, Africa, DR big, Tuareg... etc) but leaving prototypes out of the equation is a no go for the future. At least IMHO.

By trying unique things in this environment, may be some things will find their way into production. Why not open the gates to privateers ? The 450 cc deal of course is better than larger capacity engines and there are lots of 450 engines around. But I feel that there is something missing in the rule book there which I fail to understand. The bike has to be in production. Much like the SBK's were. Why don't they add another category with prototypes that conform to certain basic rules? Engine capacity being one of them. But if you build a frameless 2x2 bike with a 450 engine and they don't allow it to race how on earth do you help in progressing things a little bit further ?

I hope this turns out the other way round from what it looks now Jenny
May be we should all order one LC4-50 and make it to the start line
A very good point, and a view that John (Rally Raid), Carl (Hagenblad) and myself share entirely...

Perhaps the day will come where prototype bikes are allowed their own catagory - after all, the 2WD buggies are essentially free rein other than maximum capacity and suspension travel specification...

Certainly it is a real stumbling block to development having to have the engine and mainframe (chassis) from the same bike, and a production one at that - although to be honest, when you strip away the subframe and ancillaries, the average MX/enduro beam frame really only connects the headstock to the swingarm and cradles the engine - so you can't really get any more minimalist than that! (Obviously a tiny MX style engine is not going to be strong enough to use as a stressed member in the same way as a Ducati V-twin is for example)...

As I say above, the ASO (and FIM) do have a caveat that allows the Elite riders/Factory teams to build a limited run of 15 bikes (ie. say six team bikes and a few test machines) and still compete - and I guess us privateers have to realise that the Dakar (and FIM world championship) while still open to non-professional riders and teams, is very much geared towards being the F1 or at least WRC of cross-country motor sport...

As far as they are concerned, we should be grateful we are even allowed to still play with the big boys! - so if we want to, then we have to foot the associated costs of joining the party, and comply with the regulations which increasingly favor the manufacturers and factory teams...

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