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Old 01-13-2013, 10:21 AM   #1
norm67 OP
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Dakar budget

This topic is being discussed on the racing thread ( lack of things to discuss on the rest day until the ASO changes everyone's position)

What I would like to know from those who have the experience is some of the REAL costs for doing Dakar from North America. I want to know the obvious expenses ( registration etc.) and the not so obvious expenses the ones that you didn't expect or anticipate.

I would like to do my own show use my support people and support equipment. I have spent years running the numbers in my head , it is now time to get serious and I would like to plan for 2014 or 2015.

If there is a thread that already covers this , I apologize for wasting your time , please supply the link if you have it...


I appreciate any assistance any of you are able to share.

Thanks, Norm
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:38 AM   #2
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http://www.rallymanagementservices.c...he-dakar-rally
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:55 AM   #3
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Thanks for the response. I would rather have my team as opposed to a hired support crew
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:16 AM   #4
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Entering that race can cost a moto racer anywhere from $25,000 to 100,000 without figuring your bike...You do know they need a racing resume of some sort to let you enter prefering to see on it marathon rally entries like the Suertos or Pharons. You will need to brush up on how support trucks are entered in the race and the cost of hiring or importing a support truck and RV.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:24 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by wrk2surf View Post
Entering that race can cost a moto racer anywhere from $25,000 to 100,000 without figuring your bike...You do know they need a racing resume of some sort to let you enter prefering to see on it marathon rally entries like the Suertos or Pharons. You will need to brush up on how support trucks are entered in the race and the cost of hiring or importing a support truck and RV.
I am aware of the racing background required. All part of the plan. It is the additional cost that I am concerned about. As you mentioned importing a truck and crew costs etc.

Thanks norm
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:34 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by norm67 View Post
I want to know the obvious expenses ( registration etc.) and the not so obvious expenses the ones that you didn't expect or anticipate.
I would like to do my own show use my support people and support equipment.
I have been 2 times as rally support in S.America and this year only shipped some supplies to Lima, but I have mega experience racing and here's my take...
If you aren't comfortable with simply guestimating on 90k then don't bother. And with your "own show" go ahead and double it.
You're going to start with the link above and multiple visits to Jimmy (see thread "i want to do Dakar the right way") and a bike set-up to learn.
Then later you'll build or have built (my suggestion) or rent a race bike.
Then of course the actual event.
To supply your "own show", holy crap, expensive. Shoot, I just sent a support vehicle to Dakar this year and shipping 1-way was $13k plus my expenses of about $7k. And I guess IF it ever comes back to the US it'll be more shipping $$ and it will probably be destroyed (was worth about $41k).
Why do that when you can hook up with Rally Pan Am, Freedom, or even Dez Rose who have all the supplies you'd want and tons you wouldn't even think of and the crew aren't rookies so they know the ins & outs of how it goes down. If you had a rookie crew they would be lost, really.
Plus, it would be a smart idea to do more learning like Americans Mike J. & Pete H. did last year by going to the Dakar as support on others teams just to get a clue how it happens (good thinking) or even another smaller rally to learn.
So IMO the actual cost to go do Dakar is not even close to the big picture.
There's always Malles Moto.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:37 AM   #7
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The entry fee is $20k. The bike is $20-50k. I figure costs $100-$150k for a serious privateer effort when you purchase support from an established team and I'd guess it would be double to provide your own if you have to buy a race rig. Even entry fes for your crew are $15k, I read.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:45 AM   #8
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You'd have to be a little insane to bring your own team with no prior experience. Or just have money to burn.

Entry fees for two trucks of crew and two riders are well over $100,000. That's just entry fees.

Then you start getting into the expensive stuff like trucks and bikes and spares and flights and training bikes and training and and and.

A good privateer moto effort for one, you're looking $50-90,000, depending...
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:06 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the feedback. I have been criss crossing North America for the last 20 years running with grand am, American lemans and NASCAR at a variety of levels of management. Logistically I feel confident about Dakar. Financially I have had the 200k number floating in my head as I have spent many hours running scenarios through my head.

All of you have brought up some very valid points. My plan is to spend some time talking with the people that I know in this years race and get their input. Maybe using an existing service is the way to go.???

Thanks again
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:08 PM   #10
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I'm involved in logistical support for a race team that races 2 Trophy Trucks in SCORE and depending on the race we will have anywhere from 10 to 50 crew members. Here is a pic of part of the Oshkosh team in action I did the logistics for in the 2010 Baja 1000.



There were 15 people involved in this pit, Oshkosh had 2 vehicles entered and we had 80 people and 23 support vehicles.

What you could spend totally depends on how much you are willing to spend on your support, that is, how much support do you want to have? How many people on your crew? Single support vehicle or multiple? What are you going to use for a support vehicle? You going to build the support vehicle yourself? In South America when the bivvy is close to a town, many teams put at least some of the crew in addition to entrants up in hotels. Are you going to sleep on the ground in tents every night? How soon before the race are you going, how long is everyone going to stay after? What amount of spares? How many wheels?

If I were you, I would put into your budget paying for a seat in a support vehicle and be part of the race the year before you plan to race so you can see what & how others are doing it.
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:25 PM   #11
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It is definitely part of the the plan to chase the rally from an observation stand point a and learn as much as possible.


Realistically I was thinking 2 mechanics for 1 bike and two additional people to take care of administration and logistics ( this could become one person but I like redundancies ) add in a couple of sponsors that would attend some or all of the rally. All of that out of one support vehicle, additional transport based on number of people.

All good questions to consider , thanks strong bad!!!
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Old 01-13-2013, 12:37 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norm67 View Post
It is definitely part of the the plan to chase the rally from an observation stand point a and learn as much as possible.


Realistically I was thinking 2 mechanics for 1 bike and two additional people to take care of administration and logistics ( this could become one person but I like redundancies ) add in a couple of sponsors that would attend some or all of the rally. All of that out of one support vehicle, additional transport based on number of people.

All good questions to consider , thanks strong bad!!!
I guess I stepped away from the 'puter in the middle of my reply and didn't get to see either BBM or Robb's replies before I sent mine. I've YET to get to ASO's Dakar, so I bow to the expertise & experience of these two gents.
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:25 PM   #13
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dakar costs - from experience

Hi Norm,

I just got back from Dakar 2013, where I was racing a 4x4 car. We had an engine failure on stage 2. Last year I finished 39th in the car class with my co-driver, Patrick Beaule. This year Pat is entered on a bike and is currently running 63rd. I am one of his sponsors and he has shared the details of his budget with me. I'd like to try to help provide you some info. I'll focus on Pat's effort since your interest is to do it on a bike.

Patrick is a former cdn off-road (enduro) champ and is a strong rider. I would call him a AA vet at this point. He's an excellent mechanic and a very organized professional guy. I mention all this to give context to what is to follow.

The cheapest way to do Dakar is to sign up with Malles Moto, which means they carry your personal gear in a metal trunk and the carry fluids and large tools for the riders to use. These are the true privateers - they do their own maint. and less than 30% of them finish. Not counting the bike itself, these guys are spending $40-60K to do the Dakar.

The next step up is to join a rally team (assistance team) and share 1 mechanic between 2 riders. For those who just want to finish, this is a good option and relatively good value for money. The advantage of the rally team (e.g. Rallyraid UK, Memo tours, Desert Rose - those are the principal english speaking companies) is that they'll carry a bit more stuff for you, they'll take good care of you (set up tent, provide shade, cold water, little things) and you'll have a few other mechanics/riders to lean on for help. This option would be 60-85K not counting the bike (my pricing includes flights, hotel before and after event, etc.)

Patrick took the rally team approach but added a bit of cost by doing a few things differently:

1. He has one dedicated mechanic for himself. Having seen how his Dakar has gone so far, this was a great call
2. He brought two extra trunks of spare parts just for his own use. He has absolutely everything you can think of, except a spare engine (his plan was to do the event on one engine, but he was forced to replace it on day 5).

Not including the cost of the bike, Pat's total expense using this approach will end up being $100-110K.

Now let's talk about the bike choice. Pat's riding a 450RR and he believes strongly that it's worth every penny of the $45K it costs. It is so well built and such a common choice that it opens up options if you're missing parts or need help. If you're a master builder, you could start with a 450 EXC but I really believe the RR is worth it. I have ridden it and it is awesome. When the rally is over, you'd have no trouble selling it for 30K. Problem is trying to get one from KTM!

I understand your perspective of wanting to do it with your own support team - I am the same type of guy. The reality is that one seat in an assistance vehicle is $15K - that is the ASO cost plus any reasonable amount of expenses pre and post rally. If that person also gets paid, you're looking at $20K very quickly. To truly be solo, your minimum team would be a driver and a mechanic. The driver can help set up camp each night and the mechanic can sleep on the road. If you could afford it, go with a 2nd mechanic who could also help with personal stuff - riding gear, camelback, road-book, food prep (going to the bivouac cafeteria is a waste of time at breakfast when you need to leave at 4.30 AM) and parts inventory. These three could ride in an HD pick-up and you'd be in great shape. Problem is you'd be at $45-75K just for the crew and you still need to get the HD pick-up to SA.

ASO do an amazing job blasting through customs with their ro-ro boat from Le Havre. Anyone from NA always gets screwed at customs because you end up being a real exception and you'll be dealing with customs solo - a very very stressful experience and if you pad time for it, you'll have less time for testing and prep before shipping.

I think the ideal scenario is to join a rally team but to bring 2 of your own guys. There's no need to reinvent the wheel. There is so much hardware in europe already set up to do the rally. Why build your own and go through all the admin and hassle? The rally teams have generators, welders, tons of space, trucks that already pass the ASO rules, and they have dedicated drivers so you don't waste money on that seat. SIgn up with a rally team but tell them you want xx metal trunks and 2 seats in the assistance vehicles. Specify what heavy tools you want them to provide - if they don't have them, spend your budget on that. Buy a KTM (or Husky or Honda) parts card so you can use their on-rally assistance, but spend budget on your own parts (they're cheaper from home than on the rally and you'll save time and stress getting them at the Biv - which is a 2-3 square mile space by the way).

I think this approach would cost you approx $130K, leaving you 45K for a killer bike and $25K for testing and a "pre-race" (something to build up your resume and experience) to round out your $200K number. It's easy to spend money fast on the Dakar!

I hope that helps.

David
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Old 01-13-2013, 01:32 PM   #14
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Great post, David
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:13 PM   #15
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Thanks for the incredible insights David. I do plan on speaking with yourself and Patrick after everything settles from the rally. I was extremely disappointed to get the news of your engine failure on day two, this too is a reality of any race!! I will be sure to call the next time I am in Montreal , I will buy you dinner and we can catch up on your journey to becoming a Dakar finisher!!!!!!

Regards,
Norm
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