Originally Posted by Jan from Finland
Thanks, those are pretty cool pics, and the bikes don't appear damaged, but are there ANY rocks in Dakar, and did any of those pictured bikes actually go down? I can't recall seeing anything but sand and more sand in pics of the race. I've heard of bikes hitting rock ledges at speed, but they are often ledges submerged in dust.
Sand is pretty forgiving stuff for crashing in, unless you're a rider buried in it and choking.... Also, I bet that the pit crew changes out crash damaged bodywork as soon as possible (the pic of the mechanic riding the body-less 109 bike - nice shoes BTW!), because it simply does not look good on camera, and the advertisers and sponsers don't like to see it.
The trouble is, I fall a LOT more than those pro Dakar riders do - if I had alloy pannier tanks I could never go off pavement ;(