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Old 07-30-2014, 08:49 AM   #1
Mad Cow OP
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Tuareg Rallye 2015

I'm doing the Tuareg Rallye in Morocco next March!

But first a bit of background....

After starting Rally Racing in 2011 at the early age of 50 (actually it was only 12 days before my 51st birthday), I have been competing in the British Rally Series; the All Terrain Rally Challenge (ATRC) and whilst I'm never going to be a contender for the podium, I have been reasonably pleased with my progress to date.

Now the ATRC is not quite the same as the Dakar or the Tuareg any other international rallies to be honest. Our little crowded island doesn't have the wide open spaces to facilitate road book navigation of the type most of you will be familiar with.

So our rallies are pretty much like extended time card enduros, and always based on multiple laps. The same rules apply as time card but are a bit more relaxed, a mixture of liaison sections with time limits. However there is no penalty for being early and none for being late, although more than 30 minutes late at a check in theory means you are eliminated. I say in theory as unless you are running really late, you'll just get waved through. Mixed into this are relatively short timed special stages, a couple of miles is typical. And overall the laps vary from 20 miles up to 120 (but that long is rare).

Also UK rallies are nearly all bike only, a couple do allow sidecars and at least one allows quads but we never get to mix it up with cars or buggies. They have their own race series the BCCC (British Cross Country Championship)

And navigation? It's a case of "just follow the arrows". Most of our events use heavily regulated land controlled by a Government Agency, The Forestry Commission. And they are worried that if we were allowed to navigate for ourselves we might get lost and ride where we are not allowed, so to date road books have been a no go area and courses have to be marked out with fluorescent arrows.

However this has started to change as earlier this year one rally, The Pikes Peak Baja (no not that Pikes Peak, it's a nickname given to a big hill in Wales by the BCCC boys) had an optional road book liaison section, this proved very popular and managed to impress the powers that be, so things could be changing.

But for the last couple of years, I have been campaigning the ATRC on my rather elderly CCM 604E (for those not familiar with Clews Competition Machines, a 600cc air cooled Rotax engined, WP suspended, Brembo braked, Acerbis bodied bitza in a british frame made in Bolton, England).

However for 2014 I have finally joined the crowd and gone orange, buying a 2006 KTM 450 EXC with a couple of big boxes full of rally kit, including nav tower, F2R road book holder, RNS Tripmaster, 13 litre tank and Baja Designs rear tank. It took me a while to build it back up and add a Dottori Rally fairing but it finally hit the tracks a couple of weeks ago at the Ryedale Rally in Yorkshire. I was very pleased with its performance and even more pleased with my 6th in class which leads me back to the topic in hand....

Now what's the point of having a fully blown rally bike with all the toys if you don't go and ride in a proper road book rally?

So having got my new fairing painted by a friend, who happens to compete in the BCCC and Desert Rallies in his Mitsubishi Pajero Evo. I was collecting my bike (and fairing) from his workshop when he asked "what are you doing next March?"

He asked in such a way that he already knew the answer, so I answered "I don't know, what am I doing next March?"

"You're entering the Toureg Rallye" he announced and then told me that he had entered and decided there was plenty of room on his trailer to fit the bike on there (he had actually measured it up whilst he had it) and he was prepared to transport it to Morocco and back for me.

Now that's represents a major saving on the cost of any rally and it got better. When I mentioned this to another friend (Finbar, another ADV inmate) he announced he would come along as my "support crew" and was more than happy to pay his own way.

So the decision was pretty much made for me, so I sent in my entry, booked the time off work and a few days ago received my confirmation email that I was in.

So I aim to keep you nice folk up to date on my progress.

Preparation has started already, one of my problems in racing is insufficient time on the bike so last Sunday I booked on a five hour enduro practice day. I certainly got a few strange looks hooning around on a fully kitted rally bike amongst all the enduro bikes but had a good time. It was also hot and dusty... OK nowhere near Sahara heat or dust but certainly different to the torrential rain we had got in Yorkshire two weeks previously! This Saturday we have a 120 mile trail ride planned (believe me that's fairly long here in the crowded British Isles)

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Mad Cow screwed with this post 08-26-2014 at 03:36 AM
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:21 PM   #2
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Best of luck will be watching this space
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Old 07-30-2014, 11:34 PM   #3
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Excellent! Will follow with interest.
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Old 07-31-2014, 11:58 PM   #4
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Tony, next time you're having a mess with the bike, maybe just take a look at the cables


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Old 08-01-2014, 06:03 AM   #5
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Mike

Tell me about it! one of the screws on the cable clamp pulled out of it's thread causing the cables to come loose. The brake cable got a bit of abuse to the plastic layer over the braiding but is still OK, the speedo cable not so good, ending up between the disc and the pad severing the wires.



All sorted now, the thread in the fork protector was miraculously OK and the clamp still works fine. The speedo cable has been re-soldered and reinforced with some extra heat shrink and I've beefed up the brake hose with some plastic spiral wrap, although I'll most probably fit a new hose just in case.
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Old 08-10-2014, 05:58 AM   #6
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Tuareg 2015 Assistance

Great to see a thread already on the go for Tuareg 2015. It an exciting return back to Morocco, and we are expecting it to be a busy event.

We have the Organisations official Race magazine here at Torque Racing if anyone interested and would like one sending out.

Email us at: torqueracingservices@gmail.com

http://torqueracing.net/events/tuareg-rally-2014/
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Old 08-21-2014, 02:20 AM   #7
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Thanks guys, i'll have to pop over. Have you moved yet?

The countdown continues.....

My deposit has been paid so once step nearer and I've been getting some quality bike time in.

First off, two weeks ago I did a two day "coast to coast" trip across Northern England with the Trail Riders Fellowship (TRF). Now by road the Distance from Hest Bank near Morecombe on the Lancashire (west) coast to Scarborough on the Yorkshire (east) coast is only 125 miles. But seeking out the increasingly rare (in the UK) unsurfaced roads we covered over 300 miles in total, with some great trails, mountain scenery, river crossings and café stops

For this trip I took the 990 on knobblies, so a bit more of a challenge but much better for the 200 motorway miles to Lancashire and the 250 miles back home before and after the trip.

Returning late on a Thursday night it was a quick turnaround at home on Friday and load up the EXC on the trailer for a drive to Mid Wales for the Beacons Rally based near Llandovery.

This went well, with no particular incidents and an impressive (for me) 6th place in the Rally Class.



On the whole the weather was good on Saturday with only one very heavy shower at the end of lap one but due to rain over the previous weeks, we did get a little damp!



Sunday started off very wet but did improve as the day went on, a pattern that was set in for the following week.

Following the Rally I headed over to a friends house, just over the border into England, along with another friend (all three of us having raced the Rally) where much jet washing of bikes and kit and washing machine loads of filthy gear ensued.

Monday we headed back into Wales to a campsite at Rhayader where we met up with another couple of mates and the five of us spent the week trail riding throughout Mid Wales.

The only significant problem was my trailtech sidestand breaking, so unless I could find a convenient wall or fence post, I was pretty much excused "gate duty" all week.... and believe me the Welsh trails have a lot of gates!

So a few repairs to do as the side stand needs sorting and the repair I did to the speedo cable didn't last, so new sensor and cable has been purchased and will be fitted this weekend.
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Old 08-26-2014, 04:17 AM   #8
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Fitted the new sensor and cable and I have a working speedo again!

Managed to bodge my side stand for the time being, so....

Went out for a trail ride on Saturday with my mate John (Finbar) I didn't manage to keep the EXC for long as John suggested I have a go on his KTM 690 that has the full Rally Raid Products Kit (Adventure style fairing, extra front tanks, pannier/luggage rack). This is not his bike but the same spec....



I didn't want to give it back! At first I treated like I would the 990 (i.e. with a lot of caution) but within ten minutes I was riding it more like the EXC. It's a 2014 model with ABS but John has fitted the optional "off Road ABS dongle" which allows the rear wheel to spin, so was able to use the power to get the back end to drift, very nice and controllable especially when compared to the 990 (But I guess that's the difference between 67 bhp and 116 bhp).

On the road it did everything the 990 can do, decent enough wind protection from the fairing, decent cruising speed, not too vibey (although definitely more than the LC8 motor) but best of all John reckoned it gets over 300 miles from it's 22litre fuel capacity, whereas the 990 is lucky to get 150 miles from 20 litres.

Luckily John was enjoying the 450 so we kept each others bikes for the rest of the ride. Certainly gave me food for thought, the 690 in that spec (essentially a 690 Adventure) looks like it'd be the perfect bike for me!

Anyway back to the Tuareg, the Rally bike ended the day with very wobbly wheels as both front and rear wheel bearings are way past their best. I have new ones on order that should be arriving today but best of all I don't have to fit them! John decided that if he is going to be my support crew. he had better get to know my bike a bit better. So next weekend will come round and fit the wheel bearings for me!

On the subject of support crew/team manager/pit bitch, that afternoon John signed up for the rally too, so one step nearer!

Since yesterday the heavens opened and it has been pouring with rain ever since. A friend posted on Facebook that it wasn't very good weather for desert training...... he's not kidding! A very cold and wet thirty mile ride to work today
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Old 08-27-2014, 09:35 PM   #9
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Good onya mate. Good luck.
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