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Old 01-13-2013, 04:28 PM   #16
norm67 OP
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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!!!!!!

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Norm
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:29 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Moto Benny in MTL View Post
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'd echo what David has just said above - and it is basically what Lyndon did this year - bought a KTM 450RR (common and plentiful spares around the paddock, should they be required) and took his father along as his own personal mechanic, while using the team logistics and facilities of Front Row GB (Stan Watt's team) to ship and carry everything for him. Yes it costs money, but it minimises hassles and variables, which you just don't need, especially if it is your first Dakar.

There are other options of course, that might save you a few thousand here and there, but if you really have that sort of budget [$200K] for a Dakar, that would be the way to do it - then you can really concentrate on your own personal preparation and focus for the race itself.

Jx
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:40 PM   #18
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I am getting the message( this is exactly what kind of
Info I was looking for). Once again the wisdom of those who have preceded me is the sage advise. I will explore my options with "service providers" and customize it to meet my needs. Makes perfect sense!! Thanks for your input Jenny
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:44 PM   #19
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dinner to discuss dakar anytime

Hi again Norm,

It would be a pleasure to meet up with you or any of the others who are serious about doing it. I'll give you the true picture as best I can. About 5 minutes after my engine failure, I was already trying to figure out how to improve (my own driving skills, the car's reliability, etc.) for next time. It is such an amazing experience that "regular life" becomes really boring.... And my job is pretty heavy! But Dakar is still more challenging and stimulating.

I'll say one last thing since I'm in a reflective mood....

Doing it in a car is really tough - definitely the toughest thing you can do in a car. But doing it on a bike is the true challenge. I race it in a car but my spirit is always from biking. I go out of my way to help the bikers. I carried a spare handlebar and clutch kit in my car for Pat but we both agreed I'd give it to whoever needed it. Last year, we found an exhausted biker in the dunes. I jumped out of the car, kick-started his bike (battery was dead) and rode his bike the last 300 m to the top of the dune complex to get him out of there.

The bikers are the true heroes of the dakar.

(the true assholes are the Kamaz trucks)

good luck!
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Old 01-13-2013, 04:50 PM   #20
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GREAT comments David, I know where your heart is!!!!!! THAT is the spirit of the race that endears it to me more than anything else. LOok forward to talking with you!!!!
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:30 PM   #21
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Excellent information, thank you for sharing.

How do these costs compare with the cost to run a car in the event?
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:31 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by whitham_wannabe View Post
Excellent information, thank you for sharing.

How do these costs compare with the cost to run a car in the event?
Take the "supported riders" budget above, multiply by the number of cylinders of the car you want to enter, then if it includes a turbo multiply by 1.25. If the goal is to finnish 10th- 20th multiply by 2; 1st-10th multiply by 4.


Or you could rent Robby Gordon's 2nd Hummer supported for 1.5 million.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:50 PM   #23
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Take the "supported riders" budget above, multiply by the number of cylinders of the car you want to enter, then if it includes a turbo multiply by 1.25. If the goal is to finnish 10th- 20th multiply by 2; 1st-10th multiply by 4.


Or you could rent Robby Gordon's 2nd Hummer supported for 1.5 million.
Actually, the car costs are more like double what you'd spend on a bike. It really depends on the car and your goals. Last year we went with a live-axle car and a mild engine tune (3.0L turbo-diesel w 260 hp and 450 torque), both of which mean lower maintenance. We spoiled ourselves with 2 mechanics instead of 1 and we spent $125K to do the rally. In the lead up to that first attempt, we also did the Tuareg Rally twice (25K each time w similar support) and did 1 week of testing in morocco (15K). These costs are what you'd spend if your goal was to finish or perhaps touch the top 40.

To get into the top 30 you really need an independent suspension car, which then means 2-3 mechanics and not 1-2. You don't really need much more power, but it's nice to have, so that will use up other parts quicker (brakes, clutch, maybe a tranny). So this will be a $150K effort more or less.

The cost effective way to do it in a car is to enter the production class in a hilux or land cruiser. These are 10-20% slower but very tough and end up costing less to keep going for the race. This approach, with a sharp budget would mean $75-100K for the race itself.

None of these costs include the car. The production route is about 80K euros. Our live axle Desert Warrior with Reiger suspension and really well prepared was 105K euros. Our new car (that blew its engine on stage 2) was 175K euros.

After completing a Dakar, the good thing about a purpose built car like a desert warrior is that you can sell it for 80-85K euros, whereas a production based car will lose at least half its value.

Hope that helps.

If you have the riding skill, the fitness and the absolute confidence that you'll keep a level head and not get killed, do it on a bike! Current attrition stats are 1/200 riders - scary. 0.5% chance of being killed. Not injured - killed.

If you have 3 kids, are a good but not great rider, are in good but not great shape, and can afford it, do it in a car. It's 80% as much fun and 80% less painful! (but 100% more expensive...) that was my math and you only live once so f*ck it.
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:01 PM   #24
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"If you have 3 kids, are a good but not great rider, are in good but not great shape, and can afford it, do it in a car. It's 80% as much fun and 80% less painful! (but 100% more expensive...) that was my math and you only live once so f*ck it. "


PRICELESS!!!!
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Old 01-14-2013, 05:39 PM   #25
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I must just come from a different world than some of these posters... I can't even fathom spending as much as the house I grew up in on one race.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:19 PM   #26
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Different people put different values on items that add to their lives.... Who is anyone to judge...
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Old 01-15-2013, 04:18 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by KustomizingKid View Post
I must just come from a different world than some of these posters... I can't even fathom spending as much as the house I grew up in on one race.
Hi KK,

I worried that my transparent approach to explaining the true costs would perhaps elicit this kind of post. I agree that it's crazy amounts of money, but there is so much interest about Dakar on ADVRIDER that I thought I could help shed some light on the true costs.

One thing to keep in mind is that the race gets such great media exposure that it is actually pretty easy to get a large part of the race sponsored. Look at Patrick Beaule or Pyndon - in Pat's case, he covered 70% of his budget with sponsorship/support. I bet Pyndon did very well as well. So the numbers I'm quoting are the total budget but not the total spend.

You mention that it's one race, but in fact it's 70 hours of racing (typical day is 4 hrs of liason and 6 hrs of racing, x 14, with 2 easy days on day 1 and 14). When I raced hare scrambles, it was a 2 hr race, so it would take 4 seasons of racing to do the same amount of hours. So in a crazy way, it really is the "race of a lifetime".

I respect what you wrote and I have to tell you that I feel very fortunate to be able to afford to be there. When you drive through the poorer parts of SA, that feeling is even stronger, to the point of feeling guilt about it (i.e. "hmmm...what if all the $$ being spent on this race went to fixing up this village/city"). But in the end, men are men because we have crazy dreams and we push ourselves to achieve what doesn't seem possible.
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Old 01-15-2013, 05:59 AM   #28
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Running a bike: budget $50,000 at a minimum and up to $100,000
Running a truck or buggy: sell your house, rob a bank
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:00 AM   #29
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There is an adage about building a house that states "You know you are half done when your money runs out." I suspect that rally racing is similar. You will know you are halfway there when your savings run out and you start in on the credit cards.


I do have to say that the great thing about motorcycles is that anyone can go order a 450RR and for $40,000 to $50,000 depending on the Euro exchange rate you get a rally bike in the box....which may or may not buy spares access at the dakar. I am sure Robby Gordon will provide you a turn key Hummer for the Dakar but the price tag is likely in the $500,000 range. The 450RR will eat mousse and tires and chains and oil and brake pads but those are all reasonably cheap. Even a stock 450 dirtbike is pretty much a race machine compared to any stock 4 wheeled contraption that you might consider building.
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Old 01-15-2013, 06:20 AM   #30
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Dakar budgets are definitely out of my reach but if you compare it to other races the cost per mile is reasonable.

I spent about $10k on the baja 1000 last year to race a bike. That was a one day, well almost two full days for me , race. Take what I spent and multiply it by how many days Dakar is and its right on the money.

Off to buy some lotto tickets. :)

Edit. Not including bike but does include bike prep.
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