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Old 03-17-2013, 01:00 PM   #556
neduro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disodbediente View Post
To the memory of Wesley Beane.
That's a really great shot.

Thanks for all the support!

Have a long layover right now, thought I'd add a few thoughts while they are fresh.

I had such a fun time, it was great to do the things I love about rally without feeling the pressure that I put on myself with Dakar. It was also fun to be on a bike that was fast, the 505 is a weapon. Over and over, I wished I'd had that power on other bikes, it would just explode up a dune face or out of a corner. It turns out fast bikes are fun- who knew?

In time, I want to do a writeup of riding of the thing, but I need to get photos together first. A few thoughts to share independent of the story this year's event.

First, the race would not have been possible for me without the help and support of If You See Kay wine. Please "like" their facebook page, ask for it at your liquor store and buy a bottle (or two), and enjoy! There aren't many companies that get our passion for rally, anything you can do to show your support is appreciated by me as well as them!

Second, the event was even better than I thought it might be. The riding was really varied and challenging (that's a compliment!), the organization was generally excellent, the other participants great fun to be around. It's a moving party for a week, by the end of the race you'll have met some great new friends. There are a few niggles to pick (no food until 9pm!) but dollar for dollar, I thought it was a bargain and it was 100% a great time.

Tunisia was different to what I expected. While on paper it is not a rich country, it feels less desperate than some 3rd world places- newer vehicles, better roads, etc. It has so much promise... but it's also a country that is obviously at odds with itself right now. We were cheered, and booed, in towns we passed through, clearly public opinion is not settled as it relates to the West. I really hope that the government gets itself sorted out in a productive direction, because it's a place I'd love to visit again.

Third, and these comments are intended for those poor FF's out there thinking about other, bigger rallies... my advice to you will henceforth include participating in this rally or one like it. In addition to the points above, it will serve as an excellent benchmark to help you know where you stand. I think if you can comfortably finish all the days of the pro class of the Tuareg, you will not be over your head in the Dakar. The Dakar adds the pressure of "single elimination", has longer days (but generally, the additional distance is liaison or at least not harder than what's in the Tuareg), and another week of racing... doing the Tuareg is not the same as doing the Dakar, but what is clear is that if you don't enjoy the Tuareg, you will not enjoy the Dakar, and you will have learned that for about 1/8th the cost.

Finally, I want to say a heartfelt thanks to my teammates. Each of them was not just great company, but did their best to help in a million ways. In particular, Dave Peckham (GSNorCal) of RMS took care of my bike each night with care and precision, his work was absolutely perfect.
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:27 PM   #557
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neduro View Post
First, the race would not have been possible for me without the help and support of If You See Kay wine.

...

Finally, I want to say a heartfelt thanks to my teammates. Each of them was not just great company, but did their best to help in a million ways. In particular, Dave Peckham (GSNorCal) of RMS took care of my bike each night with care and precision, his work was absolutely perfect.

What's the saying about it "takes a village..."?

Well done Ned, and to all your teammates and those providing support! I'm sure the amount of support required is overwhelming - family, friends, teammates, support crew, etc. The motorcycling community is awesome!
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:08 PM   #558
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Nice post, Ned!

And very excellent advice on trying a 'Tuareg-level' rally first.
Which I will very much take to heart. :^)

When you do a more extensive write-up ... if it's on a new/different thread ... could you please come back to this thread and post a linky to your story?

Mucho appreciado!

Oh. And nice job of racing ... racing.

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Old 03-17-2013, 02:39 PM   #559
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Quote:
Originally Posted by disodbediente View Post
To the memory of Wesley Beane.
thank you.


And thanks again Ned and Jenny for bringing it home.
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Old 03-17-2013, 03:00 PM   #560
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neduro View Post

In time, I want to do a writeup of riding of the thing, but I need to get photos together first.
man you really got this rally bug don't you? congrats on your finish thats awesome. Is the 505 the $30K rally purpose built bike from KTM?

Is this the same bike you rode in the Dakar? I'm not much of a rally fan but I admire your passion for it I had no idea you were in Tunisia doing another big one. What the heck do you do if you need a rest room out there!!

Nice work, get home safe.

Scotty C
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:10 PM   #561
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Ned, even though Caselli is on the KTM team for future rallies, you are the American ADV guy we look up to in rally because you are one of us. Just more talented! Thanks for the commentary and hope for more when you are settled.
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:50 PM   #562
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Posted the same question over in your Rally Bike Rehab thread:


So now that you have put some good quality seat time on all three bikes (450, 505, 690), which bike would you take to the Dakar if there were no cc limitation?


I'm guessing it's between the 505 & the 690. The 505 gets credit for power and agility, while the 690 gets points for speed, stability and seat comfort on the long transfers.
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Old 03-17-2013, 10:44 PM   #563
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with the rally over and more time on my hands than I was expecting (In Tunis waiting for British embassy to open lost passport on rally) I have thought about Wesley and the outcome. Wes came to Tunisia to win, he rode fast, I met Wes only at the last two Tuaregs but I don't think he would be the guy to take advice from his closest friends who attended the rally or our team Torque Racing, We all assume we will get away with it until we dont then we pause look for a reason to justify why it happened' convince ourselves the circumstances are not applicable to ourselves then carry on. I don't think this is wrong just how we are programmed, On the few occasions I met Wes I found him generous with his time, his spares and advice but most of all encouraging to me. Wes loved the Tuareg and will be missed.
Roger Hawkins No 31

PS Well done Mark Smit winning with over half an hour clear, WOW
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:27 AM   #564
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Cool2

Quote:
Originally Posted by neduro View Post
That's a really great shot.

Thanks for all the support!

Have a long layover right now, thought I'd add a few thoughts while they are fresh.

I had such a fun time, it was great to do the things I love about rally without feeling the pressure that I put on myself with Dakar. It was also fun to be on a bike that was fast, the 505 is a weapon. Over and over, I wished I'd had that power on other bikes, it would just explode up a dune face or out of a corner. It turns out fast bikes are fun- who knew?

In time, I want to do a writeup of riding of the thing, but I need to get photos together first. A few thoughts to share independent of the story this year's event.

First, the race would not have been possible for me without the help and support of If You See Kay wine. Please "like" their facebook page, ask for it at your liquor store and buy a bottle (or two), and enjoy! There aren't many companies that get our passion for rally, anything you can do to show your support is appreciated by me as well as them!

Second, the event was even better than I thought it might be. The riding was really varied and challenging (that's a compliment!), the organization was generally excellent, the other participants great fun to be around. It's a moving party for a week, by the end of the race you'll have met some great new friends. There are a few niggles to pick (no food until 9pm!) but dollar for dollar, I thought it was a bargain and it was 100% a great time.

Tunisia was different to what I expected. While on paper it is not a rich country, it feels less desperate than some 3rd world places- newer vehicles, better roads, etc. It has so much promise... but it's also a country that is obviously at odds with itself right now. We were cheered, and booed, in towns we passed through, clearly public opinion is not settled as it relates to the West. I really hope that the government gets itself sorted out in a productive direction, because it's a place I'd love to visit again.

Third, and these comments are intended for those poor FF's out there thinking about other, bigger rallies... my advice to you will henceforth include participating in this rally or one like it. In addition to the points above, it will serve as an excellent benchmark to help you know where you stand. I think if you can comfortably finish all the days of the pro class of the Tuareg, you will not be over your head in the Dakar. The Dakar adds the pressure of "single elimination", has longer days (but generally, the additional distance is liaison or at least not harder than what's in the Tuareg), and another week of racing... doing the Tuareg is not the same as doing the Dakar, but what is clear is that if you don't enjoy the Tuareg, you will not enjoy the Dakar, and you will have learned that for about 1/8th the cost.

Finally, I want to say a heartfelt thanks to my teammates. Each of them was not just great company, but did their best to help in a million ways. In particular, Dave Peckham (GSNorCal) of RMS took care of my bike each night with care and precision, his work was absolutely perfect.
Thank you for sharing...,Ned

congratulations for the Race..
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:26 AM   #565
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neduro View Post
Third, and these comments are intended for those poor FF's out there thinking about other, bigger rallies... my advice to you will henceforth include participating in this rally or one like it. In addition to the points above, it will serve as an excellent benchmark to help you know where you stand. I think if you can comfortably finish all the days of the pro class of the Tuareg, you will not be over your head in the Dakar. The Dakar adds the pressure of "single elimination", has longer days (but generally, the additional distance is liaison or at least not harder than what's in the Tuareg), and another week of racing... doing the Tuareg is not the same as doing the Dakar, but what is clear is that if you don't enjoy the Tuareg, you will not enjoy the Dakar, and you will have learned that for about 1/8th the cost.
This
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:36 PM   #566
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Ok, the race is over, my body hates me, I'm broke, everything taste and smells like nothing, and I'm coughing my voice to pieces... So, when is the next one?

I started this rally with high ambitions, finishing 2:nd 2011, but that plan was soon in the thrash can as soon as the fever set in at day one. Rode sick and exhausted the first two days and then took it easy day 3. At the star wars day I went for it, and managed to stay on, but broke the sub frame and some other stuff on the bike. The rest of the week went ok, but as soon as I'm climbing the race is over. Pretty proud to have been able to push myself like this again, and 5:th will do just fine sick. A lot of comments I have to get to the Dakar start, and that also feels good to hear. Also, I got in the hall of fame now for 3 perfect Tuareg rallys.

Thanks for all the comments, photos, and attention.

Thanks all riders, it's been a pleasure.

Full story on this link: http://www.facebook.com/RaidDesigns (I can copy it here if anyone want)

/Calle


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Old 03-18-2013, 01:17 PM   #567
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Howdy all!

First time back in front of a computer for a few weeks. This rally was a blast! Do it if you can! I was laughing all the way. The results didn't show it, but I think I rode quite well. Things didn't go my way for a top finish, but I didn't fall down and always had fun. So, I got what I came for.

The Tuareg was challenging, with some decent terrain variety and medium-long days. You certainly get your money's worth in riding, but not the sadistic challenge of the Dakar.

I love the big XR, but maybe it was not the right bike for me in this rally. Around Douz there are some very soft sand dunes. My chassis setup was flat wrong for soft sand, so I had to muscle the bike through that shit.

The first stage started fine, for the first 3km! After the LeMans start, I was very near the front as we approached the first secret check a few km in. I saw the check and decided to cut a corner directly to it and make a few more passes. That's when I first buried the bike in the sand. Too much revving and clutching to try to free it got the bike pretty hot. Soon thereafter, I heard a big "pop" as my bike spewed steam from under the tank. I looked for the burst hose but could not find it. I added water and carried on. Through the first day, I stopped many times to add water and also got stuck plenty. That Honda got very very HOT! Essentially dry of coolant going slow in soft sand dunes all day! Rattles and pings, but it still ran strong. I managed to finish, but no longer anywhere near the front of the pack.

That night, I found that the small cross-over tube that equalizes pressure between the 2 radiators had burst. I replaced it and thought that I was good to go.

The next day Beaney crashed. I was a few minutes ahead of him and also working my way through slower riders in the dust. Easy to see how he could have crashed on such a fast track.

After the end of the Special, we had a "navigation" stage with no timing, but with checkpoints and a max time limit. Early on, the track through a silt bed was obliterated by the many riders in front of me. I think that the roadbook was also a bit ambiguous, but I suspected a secret check at that point. I searched for it for over an hour, going back to a known good point and trying over many times. But, I never found that check.

Next challenge was the "Thomas Garden", a downhill boulder pile in an canyon pass. When I arrived, there were 30 riders strewn throughout the canyon in different circumstances. Lots of smokey tire spinning and teams of riders carrying bikes over obstacles. Since I couldn't pass, I got off and tried to help others through, to clear my way. I spent about 3 hours in there mucking about. When I finally got going, I bopped through without a problem, needing no help, but plenty of paddling and pushing. Near the end, that dumb little hose popped and I was once again without coolant. I took the tank off and cobbled a fix, but the bike was still dry. All the wasted time meant that I timed out at the next check, missing the rest of the day's checkpoints and ruining my chances for a decent finish. That night I figured out that the hose was partly pinched by the tank. Re-routing the hose solved the problem for good.

The next day's stage was cancelled, which suited me fine since my rear brake caliper hanger had broken somewhere along the way. I found someone willing to weld it back together and stole Dirk's used brake pads and ground them into the right shape to fit the XR. Good to go.

The stage around Nefta was fun, especially since the bike ran without a hitch. I made all the checks and completed my 3 laps pretty quickly. Imagine my surprise when I discovered, at the next day's start, that I was seeded 70th. I was resigned to eating dust all day when Rainer, the boss, showed up at the starting line. I asked what had happened, so he booted up his laptop and looked at my timecard. Oops, they had mistakenly given me a 10 hour penalty. I should be starting in the 4th 4-rider row, not the 18th. I ran to my bike and managed to catch the 5th row off. Finally, it was fun to ride with some of the faster guys and not constantly worry about making clean passes through the dust. I'd make some passes and then make some dumb minor navigation mistakes and let other riders back past, only to pass them again pretty quickly. I think I started to develop a reputation for "going fast the wrong way." What a hoot!

The next technical challenge was the uphill "Silles Pass." Rocks and steps, but not as tricky as the Thomas Garden. I got off and walked the line before trying to ride it. As I was getting back on, about 8 guys piled into the rock garden and promptly got themselves stuck in the worst bottleneck possible. I rode up without incident, but halfway through my radiator spat some steam from a pinhole created by my new radiator guards. D'oh, dry again with lots of tough stage to go!

Despite running for more than 2 stages without coolant, that bike continued to run strong. It would rattle like a can of spray paint in the sand, but never failed to pull hard.

Second-to-last day we started out in some soft dunes. My bike handled better with some suspension tweaking, but the throttle stuck wide open a few times. Disconcerting. I couldn't close the throttle with the pull cable, so I took it apart to find the slide jammed in the carb. Most likely from sand in the carb, and disassembly in a sandstorm probably didn't make it any better. I freed the slide with some channel locks and continued. The bike was getting harder to start, probably from tight valves. 20 minutes of kicking every time the throttle stuck in the dunes wasn't much fun. The third time the throttle stuck, I decided that my day was over. Got to ride in the unstoppable 8-wheel drive sweeper truck.

The XR was done. I didn't want to ride with a stuck throttle any more. (Not a blown motor as previously suggested.) A bunch of beers into my expected "night off," Patsy Quick asked if I'd like to ride her personal 690 Enduro on the last day's stages. Absolutely!. I pulled my nav gear off the XR and clamped it to the 690 in about 10 minutes. That 690 rips! Patsy has it perfectly set up for the soft sand and it pulls quite a bit harder than the XR. The starter button, however, sometimes doesn't work. I guess I am destined to pull my tools out on every stage, so I had to take the 690 switch apart to get the bike started.

Great rally. Fun bunch of people. Thanks to IYSK Wine, Renazco Racing and the other sponsors.

fun fun
Charlie
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:08 PM   #568
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Yesterday night, at 1:30 PM, Polytimi arrived safely Home..., at Athens Airport, a welcome party between fellow Rally Raiders... begun...!!!

Well done Polytimi..., well done.....!!!
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:13 PM   #569
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We are very proud of you...!!! keep smiling Timi... !!!
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:39 PM   #570
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We are very proud of you...!!! keep smiling Timi... !!!
A big hello to Timi from my friend Giovanni Uliana who was assisting at the Energia & Sorrisi team, he told me today back in office that he helped a bit Timi on the last day as she was having some engine problem :)
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