Originally Posted by ibafran
Noob-type Dakar questions:
Why are the cars and trucks so much faster than the first bike if the event is so tough? Is there that much wide open expanse to let the 4-wheelers take commanding advantage of top speed so that when the terrain favors bikes there is no way to make up much deficit??
Way, way back in the day, the bikes used to be fastest in the Baja 1000 because the terrain was so rough that the cagers equipment couldn't do as well as the bikes. Then the cagers started building big time suspension and big motors to go with it. And the route was more acceptable to cages as it was on 'roads' as opposed the the virgin brush. Is Dakar so cage friendly that bikes no longer/never have a chance to finish first over-all, over-everything?
Is there a significant difference in racing mileages for the bikes vs cages?
Is that the bikes have to navigate for themselves such a detriment compared to the cages' designated navigator?
Anybody got any idea what the racing mpg is for the average top ten vehicles in class?
If there is a link to such basic data where a noob can read all about it, please share it?
I first noticed this around 2010, when Carlos Sanz (in the VW) finished ahead of Cyril Despres by a couple of hours in the overall...
I think there are a number of factors, but this year (2013) particularly there was a significant difference between the final stage mileage for the car and bikes - as a couple of days were cut/short for the cars (due to weather/flooding), but the bikes still raced the original distance...
Those two [shortened] stages were also typically in more technical terrain, so had the cars completed the distance (especially in poor weather conditions) I imagine the overall times would have been far closer - although that is still not to say a bike would have won the overall...