Originally Posted by doyle
With the cost of Dakar nowadays, the cost of a second motor and a spot on a truck the bring it along are relatively minor in the grand scheme.
I do really like where this is going though, I am just not sure that the ASO is heading in a direction that is compatible with the true privateers/amateurs any longer.
I would agree to a point - however, at least half the field are still what one would call 'amateur' riders (ie. not sponsored in any meaningful way and essentially footing the bill themselves), and I believe that ASO still need them - as the part of the reason the Dakar is so impressive is the shear size of the entry list?
As for the costs - the current Dakar entry fee is €14,200 Euro.
If you enter Malle Moto (€500 extra) - then technically you are not allowed* any outside assistance to carry stuff on your behalf, other than the two trunks & wheels the Orga transport for you... and I guess at a push you could squeeze a spare engine into a trunk...
(*of course in reality I know of at least one Malle Moto rider who asked/paid a team to carry their extra tyres and mousses for them x)
Therefore, if you are going to play it by the book - buying a spot with a third-party assistance team essentially costs the same again - in the region of €12-14,000 Euro with a shared mechanic, then add in the the cost of at least one spare engine (say €2500 Euro for anything decent, or €4-5000 Euro if you buy a brand new one) and you are looking at more than double the budget you'd need for a single-engine Malle Moto entry and a few sets of tyres?
Now I'm not suggesting for a moment that this bike/project is going to be the answer to making the Dakar any more affordable for the vast majority of people who choose to enter - as you say, in recent years especially the Dakar has evolved into far more of a race and far less of a traditional endurance event - but what it does offer is at least offer an option for the hardy privateer to perhaps make the start-line after all, without having to typically re-mortgage their house!