Originally Posted by Trang
The One thing that I love of Dakar Bikes, as compared with Dakar Cars, is that you can actually buy a Dakar Bike from your local dealer ( to some extent) and ride it on the weekend.
Dakar Cars however really only have a brand/model name in common, and often have nothing in common with the real machine (aka Hummer)
Hi Trang - certainly that used to be the case - basing the Dakar bikes on production large-capacity dual-sports, with bigger tanks and fairings, and essentially racing modified production bikes...
However, these days with the 450cc rule, every race bike is now based on a lightweight MX/Enduro machine, and while you can certainly buy a stock CRF/YZF/EXC-F etc. they bear little if any resemblance to a modern Dakar bike - other than the KTM factory 450 RFR, you would also have to spend just as much again (and usually more) to buy the corresponding Speedbrain / JVO / Meca'system etc. kits... and the bikes are so specialist these days that it really is a one-trick pony, built specifically for racing at high speed...
I can't see the current crop of ultra-performance 450s translating into anything commercially meaningful, other than the minimum number required for homologation - I guess we can only hope that the manufacturers build a similarly 'styled' mid-capacity dual sport bike for the adventure/trail market?
Personally what I would like to see (and John from Rally Raid and I were discussing this just the other day) is a refocus on the Marathon class in Dakar - one where you are only allowed one engine, and it if it goes pop, you're out - simple. That ought to inspire the engine builders to produce something that is genuinely applicable to the commercial marketplace?
But then I guess racing is all about who crosses the line first - the Dakar is no longer the ultimate endurance test in the same way it was...