How about some speculation on the motorbikes to be used in next years Dakar (wherever it may be). As far as the rules state (at least for today
), Elite listed riders will be restricted to 450cc's, none elite riders will still be able to use a bike over 450cc's, but anything over that capacity must use the ASO provided restrictor for 2011 with the over 450 machines gone for good after 2011. There seems to be a grey area in the rules whereby the upper limit for the singles is not defined which is why the top KTM boys were speculated to have 730cc engines.
All that being said, I expect a lot of the non-elite 2011 riders will be scooping up this years restricted KTM 690 Rallys. How about the factory guys? Hopefully we will see Casteu and his squad back on 450 Sherco's. Of course, Fretigne will pilot the venerable 450 Yamaha. What's left for a top ride? Will KTM utilize the chassis of the 690 and scale down, take a current 450 and scale the chassis up, or create a new rally bike around the 450 limit? Certainly KTM will be keen to hang on to Despres and Coma at the very least, so they must come up with some sort of competitive machinery, right?
Other than Sherco, there really wasn't any major push from any other manufacturer to take advantage of the 450 rules, but with the top guys now forced to the smaller displacement and the certainly improving economic climate, might others jump in with a more serious effort since most already have a 450 bike?
The BMW base certainly looks promising if not slightly temperamental. With a stage win (lost to a technicality), certainly there is momentum there, but has BMW already squashed that momentum with their recent announcement not to promote the racing program of the G450X and instead, some muddled, mixed program with Husqvarna?
Aprilia is off to a great start over the past few years so with increasing reliability and rider dedication, perhaps a more concentrated effort from the factory is in order?
So there it is, let loose your wild speculation.