Originally Posted by neduro
Great idea and look forward to seeing the execution.
The 450RR has proven itself to be amazingly reliable for what amounts to an uprated motocross engine, but to me, something died with the 450 formula. The days of the Malles Moto rider taking care of the same bike for long periods isn't the same in the new era... which is where your project comes in.
Will you use any of the good bits off a 690 RR (longer swingarm, etc)?
Hi Ned! - Yes, we were all set to debunk the 450RR this year after Dakar, only for loads of them to finish on a single engine (doh!) - although I think a lot of that was risk-tactics, especially at the top end of the field with the racing so close this year?
It certainly seems the Factory have got their act together regarding longevity from the 450RR engine now - although I still think it is a brave soul who would enter a bike like that without taking at least one spare engine 'just incase', which makes an extremely expensive bike even more expensive!
Taking a spare engine also means you are not eligible for Marathon class - which as you point out, and I'm sure many would agree, is very much the privateer spirit and the original ethos of the Dakar as a long-distance endurance event - where traditionally you stand or fall not just on your speed and/or navigation prowess, but on the very fact you can get your vehicle to the end of the rally without breaking it...
As I say, we are not setting out to prove we can engineer a front-running race bike, rather provide an excellent (in our opinion) platform for the clubman level rider who wants to race a whole season [or a Dakar] on the same engine, with low maintenance - essentially, as you suggest, something that would be an ideal Malle Moto machine - which in turn makes even the Dakar look a lot more affordable to enter?
ps. Final chassis spec is still to be decided, but John & Martin have a lot of experience setting up the 690 for rally racing, and I imagine they would prefer to keep as much of the bike as stock as possible (if only to retain the 'budget' ethos of building it around the 690E/R).
That said, as John alludes to above - we will be race-testing one of these new TracTive shocks on the Tuareg this year, with a view to incorporating it into the Dakar bike spec for April onwards... There is another version which is still in the development stage at the moment, and I'm sure John will be along with more info when they are in a position to release the final spec, but suffice to say, it has a very innovative damping set-up, which could revolutionize dirt-bike suspension!