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Old 01-26-2013, 03:04 AM   #1225
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Apr 2007
Location: Melbourne, Au
Oddometer: 366
Stem vs bar mount

Here is an interesting quote from Jake Smith of the GHR Honda team when discussing his 2011 Dakar bike and the 2013 Dakar bike:
With the Safari bike, the map roller is bolted to the cross-brace of the Twin Walls, so you do feel that extra weight through the bars. The benefit of that set-up is that it keeps the weight further back and lower, plus there's none of that pendulum motion that Dakar bikes can get with their tall nav towers. But at the 2011 Dakar, where we had all our nav gear mounted off the bars, it made the bike really fatiguing to ride. Actually, after two weeks, it was a nightmare.
Brother Todd Smith's comparison of the (Australasian) Safari bike vs Dakar bike:
The thing that struck me was that, because the Dakar bike's nav gear is all frame-mounted, there's none of that weight on the handlears. That makes it a bit nicer to ride because you get more feedback and it feels more like a motocross bike when you tip it into corners. That said, you do have all that added weight up higher on the Dakar bike, which you need to compensate for when tipping the bike into slower corners. The Safari bike takes more effort to correct the bars if you unexpectedly hit a rock, because all its nav gear is mounted on the bars. In a straight line, the bikes are both really stable and have a similar feel, and it's only when you hit the brakes that ou notice the Dakar bike transfers more weight onto the front wheel.
Quotes from Jan 2013 Transmoto magazine, some great extra info in their about their Dakar bike setup.
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