Originally Posted by neduro
I don't think this machine would be eligible for Marathon in any event- looking at an older rulebook but:
When I studied the book in depth, Marathon has become largely irrelevant to anything but the KTM 450RR- you're not allowed to change anything from standard (down to handlebars), meaning there's only one machine that is capable box stock.
I think they've made the category largely irrelevant, but what do I know.
Long rod motors are cool. The longer rod means a longer dwell time, which can really change (and increase) power characteristics. With that said, that's a pretty darn oversquare motor!
One last thought- the Dakar has become increasingly technical in years past, and I think that trend will continue. Do you think the LC4 based machine (with higher weight than a comparable converted enduro bike) will be a disadvantage in that light?
These are good points Ned!
I ran my WR450F in Marathon in 2010, as I was fortunate that my bike was built around a European spec WR (that comes fully road legal and most importantly, with homologation papers and a specific chassis number designation compared to the Enduro spec bikes you get in the UK and USA), but almost fell foul as I also presented my spare 'just incase' engine for scrutineering, as you have to do... Patsy ended up sweet talking the officials and they let me stay in Marathon, but also scrutineered the second engine*
*Just for info for anyone else reading this thread (as I'm sure Ned is aware), any spare engine/s you may have with you for Dakar need to be scrutineered as well as the main bike - presumably in an effort to stop people changing out a 450 EXC lump for a 530 engine for example (or a bigger bored version of any other brand).
I think you are probably right that the scrutineers may consider this bike is too far removed from a stock or homologated machine - although that said, the chassis and engine numbers will correspond to the paperwork, so technically
it might be eligible - the wheels, brakes, swing arm, forks and exhaust will all be stock (or manufacturer options - we intend to run an Akrapovic end can for example), and you are of course allowed to add tanks and a fairing...
Ultimately though, it is not so much the [Marathon] class as the principle we are trying to follow here - as Doyle says above, the Dakar is continually evolving, with lighter machines and more technical terrain (although to listen to Lyndon's final thoughts video from this year, he said he was [pleasantly] surprised that the stages were not as technical as he had feared), and certainly at the sharp end, it has become essentially a two week series of daily sprints - with a total overall every night, so the bikes are essentially as new again.
As I said in my introduction to this thread, as each year goes buy, the Dakar gets more and more expensive for the privateer to enter, or at least to be competitive. However, to start considering an engine as a 'consumable' still goes against the grain for me, and for many people [outside of a professional racing team] I suspect?
This project is really about retaining a degree of [financial] realism for the privateer rider who wants to use their participation in the Dakar not so much as a race against the other competitors, but more a personal journey of endurance against the Dakar itself...