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Old 12-05-2011, 10:02 AM   #1
J Lewis OP
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Joined: Apr 2003
Location: Pahrump, NV
Oddometer: 510
I Want To Do DAKAR (The Right Way)

Usually, right before the Baja 1000 I start getting e-mails. Riders looking for training for rally, specifically Dakar because they are likely going.

"Can you help me?"

I may seem cynical when I ask, “With what?” but at that point in the game it is true. What have you done already and what is your goal?
Now I know most riders are looking at my experience knowing I can teach them something about navigation or riding fast and navigating. But I’m no magician and it takes a lot more than a couple of days out in the desert to learn just a small fraction of what you should know. On my first Dakar I learned something that saved my life ever day of the event I rode. And got a helicopter ride out because I didn’t know enough. No, I didn’t even crash!
Now you can learn a lot from reading posts on this forum, most of the mistakes and lessons learned have happened to all of the guys who have done rally racing at one time or another. But to put it out there for anyone who is thinking about a 2013 Dakar effort, you should be doing your learning and training now.
I know some other guys have done some rally training in the past and it was not a viable business operation due to many factors, I have tried to do the same in small versions and had the same result. So to put it in front of a large majority of fans and participants I am considering to do a full-spectrum training series over the course of 2012 if there is enough interest to make it so that I don’t loose my ass in doing it. Since I have moved to an Editor-at-Large position with Dirt Rider, I have the time to do this properly.
This is basically a feeler to gauge interest and try and put something together. I have had some limited discussions with a few guys who are going this year and some that are planning on going some time so there is just enough interest right now to spark this to make it work.
The idea is that in March we would do a 2-3 day introduction class. I have a pretty good basic program that explains a lot of the navigation techniques and strategies as well as setting riders up on training schedules. This would also be a good time to evaluate the level of riding ability and fitness to see if something needs to be addressed here. Then there is the all-important mental aspect of the whole thing and I have some stuff on that front too.
Following that we would set up 2-3 day training sessions where riders will do rallies and some training activities I have set up.
Our facility is based out of Pahrump, NV which is very close to Las Vegas if riders were to be far away. Flying in and out of Vegas is simple and right now we are working on some ideas on bikes for training as well, as I said this is all in its beginnings. In fact one of the ideas we are kicking around it to have a parallel course with riders who want to do a “fun level” rally training at the same time where they get to “observe and help” the serious guys. We do not have anything posted up about this on our site yet and I’m still not 100% we can pull it off, but I wouldn’t know unless I asked. My selfish reasons for doing this include trying to find and train some younger riders for the future as well as include the training (mostly the mock rallys) to some of the top American guys today.
So if you have an interest in this at any level, feel free to post here or e-mail me at
I was told by a very successful motorcycle racer, "It is not what you did yesterday, or last week, or even over the last month that will help your result tomorrow. It is what you have been doing for the last years that really makes the differance." I totally agree with this and am trying promote this kind of thinking whe it comes to doing something as big as a Dakar. Even if you are just a priveteer. When you think about how much you are going to spend I amazed at how little investment goes into training to finish and succeed.
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