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Old 10-27-2011, 07:22 AM   #46
ThomasVolomitz
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Wow, you are living the dream. When you were riding the 950 in Wayne I thought that the bike was too big for the trails but it didn't deter you.

Subscribed and interested to watch your progress, best of luck.
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Old 10-27-2011, 07:54 AM   #47
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Originally Posted by Rasthomas View Post
Wow, you are living the dream. When you were riding the 950 in Wayne I thought that the bike was too big for the trails but it didn't deter you.

Subscribed and interested to watch your progress, best of luck.
Hi Rasthomas, good to see you around here! She's a lot of work in the tight stuff, but it teaches you a lot of skills!

And you are right, this is a dream coming to reality, I feel like the luckiest guy in the world...
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Old 10-27-2011, 06:32 PM   #48
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Just curious, how do you go about recruiting sponsors?
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Old 10-27-2011, 07:35 PM   #49
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Just curious, how do you go about recruiting sponsors?
Hey Meef. I'm planning a pretty extensive post about that, so for now I'll keep it short.

Basically it boils down to communication. I approach companies whose products I believe in, and tell them what I'm doing, the details of my project, and how I can help them promote their image and product. If it's a good fit, they gain too. It helps to be organized, to have a solid plan, and to be completely honest about what you feel your abilities are.

I am currently sponsored by Galfer USA, MX1West, Super Plush Suspension, and Woody's Wheel Works (more sponsor profiles coming soon). All are enthusiasts, and most are racers themselves, and they were excited for me, and wanted to help.

A basic rule of sponsorship is while you might not get everything you want, you are guaranteed to not get what you don't ask for
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:40 AM   #50
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Hey Meef. I'm planning a pretty extensive post about that, so for now I'll keep it short.
I will be looking forward to that post. I am just now starting to think about sponsorship. My expectation is I will certainly need to fund most of it myself but whatever extra cash (or free/discounted products) I can get from sponsors will be helpful.

Of course "self funded" means there is no chance of me doing the Dakar until the market turns around a bit. That might delay things a few years.
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:46 AM   #51
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I will be looking forward to that post. I am just now starting to think about sponsorship. My expectation is I will certainly need to fund most of it myself but whatever extra cash (or free/discounted products) I can get from sponsors will be helpful.

Of course "self funded" means there is no chance of me doing the Dakar until the market turns around a bit. That might delay things a few years.
Hey Doug, keep that dream alive, you never know what the future holds! Thanks for stopping by, and great 2-year update! Being ready for the Dakar is certainly the most important step of the preparation. I know that sounds obvious, but I think people get caught up in their original plan and force the issue to make the date they intended. Give yourself some leeway and only go when you are ready. Rallye du Maroc is a great race, I am conisdering that too. It's the one Ned raced before commiting to the Dakar.

By the way, your comments on your blog about not being the fastest are spot on. Speed only matters if you are in the top 10 guys of a serious Rally, which for mortals like you and me is pretty much unachievable (but not impossible). For everyone else, what matters is stamina, and determination. Slow and consistent will beat fast and crash-prone any day, twice on Sundays.

Now c'mon, join me on the Vegas to Reno in 2012!
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Old 10-28-2011, 04:59 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by miguez View Post

By the way, your comments on your blog about not being the fastest are spot on. Speed only matters if you are in the top 10 guys of a serious Rally, which for mortals like you and me is pretty much unachievable (but not impossible). For everyone else, what matters is stamina, and determination. Slow and consistent will beat fast and crash-prone any day, twice on Sundays.
Well yes and no. Slow and steady is fine but if it takes too long to finish each stage you have less time to deal with issues, less time to rest and eat at the bivy, then it all snowballs and the next day is worse because you are worn out due to too little rest.

So, I need to get more comfortable with speed so I can still ride 80% of my max and have that be a reasonable speed to finish each day with some time left. Honestly right now I am not there, but I am improving which is the key part.
Quote:
Now c'mon, join me on the Vegas to Reno in 2012!
Am considering it, planning on doing a BajaBound tour in Baja in the spring, will pry them for insider info and then might do V2R using them for bike rental and pit support.
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:02 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by drc42 View Post
Well yes and no. Slow and steady is fine but if it takes too long to finish each stage you have less time to deal with issues, less time to rest and eat at the bivy, then it all snowballs and the next day is worse because you are worn out due to too little rest.

So, I need to get more comfortable with speed so I can still ride 80% of my max and have that be a reasonable speed to finish each day with some time left. Honestly right now I am not there, but I am improving which is the key part.
Right, I should've qualified it, 'slow' meaning 'relatively slow'. The snowballing effect will destroy your race.
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Old 10-28-2011, 05:08 AM   #54
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T minus 3 weeks and counting

Alright, three weeks to go, and I still have lots to do. I've been following Ned Suesse's Dakar prep, and can completely sympathize with the feeling that things are mounting up close to the deadline.

So in an effort to help me get everything done I'm making public my To Do list, and will cross off things that I've done already, and add things that need doing that didn't yet make the list for different reasons.

And for the record, this opening up to the world is a weird feeling...

To Buy
  1. SPOT tracker
  2. Acerbis racing package (jersey, pants, gloves, and Ariete goggles) from MX1West
  3. Helmet
  4. Leatt Brace
  5. Spark plug tool
  6. Ultra Heavy Duty rear tubes, 3x
  7. Ultra Heavy Duty front tubes, 3x
  8. Skidplate (maybe)
  9. Galfer brake lines and rotors
  10. Fork seal boots
  11. Trailer spare wheel and tire
  12. New tire for trailer
To Mod
  1. Canisterectomy
  2. ABS removal
  3. Pre-filter
To Do
  1. Grease bearings on trailer
  2. Register trailer
  3. Finish 2-into-1 installation
  4. Change air filter
  5. Reassemble bike
  6. Test ride bike
  7. Load tracks onto GPS
  8. Run fuel system cleaner on SUV
  9. Modify rear DVD system on SUV
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:03 AM   #55
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To Buy
  1. Fork seal boots
Waste of time and (not much) money. All they do is trap dirt, etc. inside.
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Old 10-28-2011, 08:27 AM   #56
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Waste of time and (not much) money. All they do is trap dirt, etc. inside.
I've heard both sides, and was planning to test them out. One of the things I've heard is that they trap dirt, and I wanted to see if/how much they did...
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Old 10-28-2011, 02:04 PM   #57
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The Science of Sponsorship

WAIVER: Iím a noob, and will be for a while, so this is simply my opinion and experience, feel free to chime in with additional details or advice.

One of the things I knew when embarking on this journey is that I couldnít do it on my own, and I mean that in many ways. I would need both psychological and financial help (my wife agrees on the psychological help, but she means it in another way).

On the financial front, running a rally is very expensive. Others have shared their experiences and budgets here on ADV, itís not cheap. I have a certain amount of disposable income, but I knew it wouldnít be enough. So having sponsorship partnerships would be a necessity.
How to go about it? Iím a no one, with no off-road racing experience, and this crazy idea of running a huge bike where others run half the displacement.

What You Have To Offer

I started by doing research. There are quite a few really good websites out there detailing how to hunt and acquire sponsorship. Of course, all of them start by having you put together your resume showing years of racing experience. Great, I thought. But then I started to think ďCímon, you have something pretty unique here. Itís not every day that a KTM 990 Adventure is made into a 990 Rally, and itís definitely not every day that one shows up to the races. Letís go with that.Ē And go with it I did.

I laid out my entire plan, and thought about it from a sponsor side. What would attract me? That gave me a good perspective on the whole thing, and I started to have ideas.

Sponsor Selection

A sponsored athlete needs to understand, first and foremost, that once you obtain a sponsorship, you are now an ambassador for that brand. They are not in it just to get exposure through you, although thatís certainly a part of it. They hope you choose them because you like their products, and want to use them more than the other brands. That makes a huge difference. Instead of mass-mailing a bunch of companies, I hand-picked those that I really would buy from.

The Approach

The next step was the first contact. I have always been a very honest and direct person, so my first email to each company started off by a quick introduction and the statement that I was going to race Vegas to Reno and then Sertoes on a KTM 990, and that I had never raced off-road. I then explained what products they had that interested me, and how that would increase my chances of successfully completing these races. Finally, I asked if they would have any interest in being part of my adventure, and how I thought I could help them.

Exposure and Feedback

Getting the word out is important, of course, and I figured this is one of the areas where I could shine. I mentioned the fact the bike itself would probably attract a certain amount of attention on its own. Then I discussed how I planned on sharing my adventure with the world. ADV was a big part of that, but thereís also Twitter and Facebook (more on that soon), a dedicated website, possible articles on magazines (stay tuned), and my enclosed trailer. The latter is a great tool, I realized, since Iím going to take it to all races stateside. So why not create a nice graphic-intensive vinyl wrap for it? Hey, all the pro teams have that, and although it might be kind of funny for an amateur to have one, why not? Why not indeed. So Iím doing that too. It helps establish myself in the racing world, and itís a wonderful way for my sponsors to be seen. Remember, Iím proud to be using their products, so I like others to know.

Another strategy I have, and thatís mainly the engineer and perfectionist in me, is that I provide feedback to all sponsors on their products. You may think ĎWhoís he to provide feedback?í Well, itís amazing what a fresh set of eyes can catch. The fact Iíve never raced before means that I sometimes spot things others just accept, since theyíve been that way for a long time. And smart sponsors know that, and welcome that feedback. Maybe 9 out of the 10 things you tell them they already knew, or were supposed to be like that, but that one thing might be news to them, and important.

Sponsorship Types

Looking for money? Itíll be really tough. The vast majority of companies out there have little to no interest sponsoring you with cash. Why? Because itís a lot cheaper and cost effective for them to just give you a break on their productís price, and they know thatís what youíd do with most of the money you got any way, buy parts and gear. Sure, youíll need some money for gas, entry fees, travel, etc., but itís much easier obtaining a product sponsorship than cash.

You can expect anything from 10% to 50% discounts, depending on what you are buying, who the company is, what races you have planned, how experienced you are, etc., I think you catch my drift. Most companies are staffed by people that race themselves, so theyíll be eager to help, chances are theyíve been there, but it has to make sense for them.

Constant Communication

Youíve obtained your sponsorship, life is good, now you can sit back and relax, right? Wrong. You are now in the toughest, most work-intensive part of your agreement. Sponsors like to see updates, and so do the people that are following you. That means constant messages on Twitter, Facebook, ADV, emails, pictures, etc. Staying connected is the best way to show your sponsor you are honoring your side of the bargain.

And they might want to use one of your updates for their marketing purposes, so try to get as many shots of their products in action as possible, no one will complain youíre sending them too many pictures.

The communication channel should also be used for feedback on how their products are doing out in the field. What do you like about it? What would you change? Can it be made better? Are there weaknesses that need to be worked out? Is it compatible with other gear? Howís the reception of people you bump into? This is all valuable information that you should be sharing.

Thank You

By now we all have a good understanding of how sponsorships work, and what each party gets out of it. But at the end of the day, everyone likes to be thanked. Take the time to thank your sponsors, and let them know how much they have helped, and that they made your dream possible, because hey, they did!

If anyone has any questions, Iíd be glad to address them here, just ask away.
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Old 10-28-2011, 03:28 PM   #58
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You are obviously a stickler for detail and that is going to be essential in becoming a successful rally raider. I help sponsor Jonah Street and if you come up with any kind of package I would be glad to sponsor you too.
Even just a t-shirt would be cool and a low investment for a start.

Jonah's jacket and shirt have his sponsors on them and his signature, among other things.

Just a thought.
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Old 10-29-2011, 04:52 AM   #59
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Why race then ? That's what racing is, competition. If you don't want to, or can't compete, go trail riding with your buddies until you are ready.
Sorry, stepped away. Ok, if you are going to be competitve, go all in. Don't ride a 450lb, 950cc bike. Get a 250lb bike. That is what i mean. If I read right the dude is racing a ktm 950 or something huge like that. He'll probably be the only one out there with one of those for a reason, it's not competitive with the smaller bikes. I'm betting he's going to get pretty smoked fighting that thing for 500 miles. That's my point.

Regardless, I hope you do great. By the way you are training and preparing you will be fine. I have a some things written on the insides of my handguards; on the left one: "patience and discipline"; and on the right one: "smooth and steady". These are 4 ingredients to staying safe and finishing long desert races.

I hope to see you there.

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Old 10-29-2011, 05:27 AM   #60
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Miguel,
My friend Steve has contacted you regarding your Kawasaki for sale. I told him that we had ridden together and that you take care of your bikes.

He is an international pilot for Delta and I told him you were a pilot also.
He rode my DR650 the other day while I was on the Tiger XC and we had a great time. I think he will pull the trigger on your Kawasaki.

Good luck with the sale.
Tom
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