another amateur rally racing thread

Discussion in 'Racing' started by Vicks, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. Vicks

    Vicks gets stuck in sand

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,231
    Location:
    Abu Dhabi, UAE
    I know, i'm just another amateur who wants to get in to the rallying scene, like the thread title says and i may end up realizing that i'm completely unfit for it. I have been "actively" participating in the scene using an i5 equipped laptop navigation kit and the ultra high performance couch long stroke engine from the comfort of my home. I did give the "Raid de Himalaya" a shot back in 2007 on a Royal Enfield. The bike packed up on Day 1 !!! Since then life happened, i got married and somehow we chose not to have kids. So now i'm thinking why not put the time and money to good use ? and do some rallying.

    I know i like riding off-road but i'm not an accomplished racer in any way. I just try to take my LC8 places where she should not be and end up in positions that we should not be (her on top of me !!) in. I happen to work (for a living) in AbuDhabi so there are a few rallies that happen in the vicinity, notably the North African, Mediterranean and Central Asian rallies which i "think" i will enjoy. I'm not even talking about the ADDC and Qatar sea line rallies as i "know" they're not for me right now. Not until i gather some experience with riding fast while navigating using a road book. Oh, i should have mentioned this first. I have never used a road book and i want to get in to rallying. There, i said it. In the Raid de Himalaya, we were given the same road books (spiral bound, no less!!) as the cars and i made my own notes on a piece of paper, which i stuck on the fuel tank. I was fully prepared to stop at cross roads in the middle of a SS, whip out the road book and look for directions !!!

    Just to set all our expectations (mine especially) straight, my plan is to get in to some entry level (skill & competition wise) rallies with the sole target of finishing. That's it. By now you might have noticed that i haven't used the D-word at all because, that's not my target and frankly speaking i don't think i can ever come up with that kind of money, ever. I like to see where i stand in terms of capability and if i can stomach the shit an entry-medium level rally throws at me.

    I've contemplated writing this thread for long and held off. Then i woke up this morning and thought you folks are probably the only ones who "get it". I will use this thread to chronicle my story and hopefully small successes if any.

    I've now put my '07 990S up for sale and looking forward to use the money to buy a better suited bike for my rallying dreams. One thing for sure it will be either Orange or Blue-Yellow in colour.:D
    #1
  2. bikyto

    bikyto Dans le doute...gaz!

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,200
    Location:
    Northern Cali
    I'm with you, mate!
    Knowing that you put your 990 for sale feels weird. Come visit the OC still.

    Good luck with your project and adventure, you're going to have a blast. :clap
    I've done a few myself and don't regret it for one sec. The D-word also crossed my mind... One day maybe (doubtful) :freaky
    #2
  3. Vicks

    Vicks gets stuck in sand

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,231
    Location:
    Abu Dhabi, UAE
    Thanks mate !! every word of encouragement (and warning) helps. :clap


    So now, first thing first - Bike selection.

    Option 1 : 2010 KTM530 Exc - Rally prepped, approx 9,500USD. Used in a few rallies previously so, comes with the following.
    - 5ltr Meca system rear tank
    - Rally fairing kit including trailtech lights, Md road book holder, twin ICOs, remote switches, mounts for Iritrack etc
    - Suspension work (4.8Nm springs)
    - rebuilt engine (top & bottom ends)
    - Steering damper
    - 13Ltr front tank
    - Rally Raid sump guard with tool box
    - Single sump conversion
    - various pretective bits for clutch slave, hand guards etc.
    - Samco hose kit

    So, the bike is pretty well sorted out and will be ready to ride after i do a complete strip down, assessment and bolt it back up together. I doubt if i will need to put any more money into it other than gas and oils... Its carb'ed.:evil


    Option 2 : Brand new "Zero miles" 2012 Husaberg FE450, Bone stock, 8,700USD and it has the following.
    - long and interesting rally bike build thread :deal

    I love the 'Bergs and think a 450 will be easier on me than the 530Exc and it comes un molested. I've heard good things about the 'berg FI and assume that the closed cartridge forks are better than the KTM's open ones. But they might be more involved in terms of maintenance. I've never worked on closed cartridges.

    The KTM looks really attractive with it being fully built for rallies but i have a stupid part of me screaming inside blue n yellow... blue n yellow... there's some thing about that engine, the layout, the way the handlebar to seat position looks... there's something about that bike. But it will take atleast another couple grand to build it up into a rally bike.

    Touch choices. ....
    #3
  4. Vicks

    Vicks gets stuck in sand

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,231
    Location:
    Abu Dhabi, UAE
    OK, let me throw some pics of the bikes in subject to ease the decision making process....

    The '10 KTM530Exc
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The '12 Husaberg FE450
    [​IMG]

    well, its just a bone stock bike you know....

    decisions... decisions...
    #4
  5. Baja Dad

    Baja Dad Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Oddometer:
    2,052
    Location:
    Norco California
    Buy the KTM 530!!!!
    it is sorted out!!!
    All the extras will KILL your pocket book !!!!
    #5
  6. Vicks

    Vicks gets stuck in sand

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,231
    Location:
    Abu Dhabi, UAE
    Ahh.. the sane voice of reason... but, thank you for that.

    Although its gonna be hard to peel my eyes away from that sexy blue n yellow gal...
    #6
  7. abhi

    abhi XC on RE

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    32
    Location:
    Motorcycle Heaven
    All the best man! Will cheer for you!

    Didn't realise who it was till I saw Raid RE, 990s and MIddle East! Not many in that combination!
    #7
  8. Vicks

    Vicks gets stuck in sand

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,231
    Location:
    Abu Dhabi, UAE
    Hey thanks for dropping by kano !!!

    You know i was home in July-Aug and me n sam did a partial ghat bang ride in the rains !!! on my way back i met up with the boys at sunset bay (KRS) and rode back to bangalore. I tried to meet as many as i could but sorry we missed each other.
    #8
  9. Evil Invader

    Evil Invader Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    700
    Location:
    Hell-sing-land, Sweden
    Ok... Buy the Berg!!!!
    You still need to make the KTM "your own" so to speak.. and it´s great fun putting your bike together the way you want it.
    And you got plenty of good solid tried and tested setups to choose from, depending on your wallet. :deal :evil

    Go small :1drink
    http://www.raiddesigns.com/en/products/mrsbas.html

    Go big :freaky
    http://husabergrally.com/
    #9
  10. Åmme

    Åmme Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2009
    Oddometer:
    265
    Vicks

    If you LOVE to build your own bike do it, if you really don't know if you LOVE to build your own bike buy a ready made rally light bike it will save you a lot of money and give you some time to think what you really want as your final rally bike.

    I have done a few Berg's a 650 who I loved and two 570 and I can't really say that I love the 570 due to the size of the frame it's to small for a big rider who I am 197cm and + 100 kg
    #10
  11. tidbits

    tidbits Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    Oddometer:
    20
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Best of luck, I love these threads :clap

    Evil, that husaberg rally website is kick-ass! I must have been living under a rock to miss that. If you've got deep pockets go the husaberg and pimp it out with one of the husaberg rally kits.

    Good luck!
    #11
  12. Vicks

    Vicks gets stuck in sand

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,231
    Location:
    Abu Dhabi, UAE
    You can't imagine how tempting it is for me to go and pick that '12 FE450 up and dump all my money into it !! Exercising restraint is an understatement.




    I love to build my bike but using all new components like nav tower, road book, fuel tanks etc will cost a bomb and i'm trying to make a sensible decision, not just let the heart rule. Being 185cm the KTM530Exc fits me like a glove and the Berg FE450 is not bad either.



    Since i saw the Husaberg rally page on FB, i've gone through their entire build pictures and they sure do make a sexy kit for the Bergs. Unfortunately i don't have that kind of money.


    i've found another rally prepped 530Exc and trying to see if it is within my measly budget. Good news is (or bad ?) i've since sold my 990Adv so i atleast have money in my hands to spend now !
    #12
  13. Vicks

    Vicks gets stuck in sand

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,231
    Location:
    Abu Dhabi, UAE
    While i'm bike hunting, i'd like to know which one is a suitable rally for a navigation noob like me ?

    any body wanna give me some options ?
    #13
  14. Bluebull2007

    Bluebull2007 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,274
    Location:
    Oviedo, España
    Hey Vicks, this is GREAT NEWS man! :clap :clap :clap :clap

    Taking the plunge and telling everyone is the scariest part by far- for me anyway. The rest was then just hard work - and a lot of fun too!

    You're doing it the right way. Forget about the big D for now anyway. Maybe by the time we get to do it there will be something tougher to enter that wont break the bank.

    About the bike: I would say go for the rally prepped bike, even though your heart likes the berg more. Going this route means you will have enough money for another rally if you still like rally after your first one... Besides, it looks like there is a lot of bling on that bike already that you have not factored in.

    Which rally to start navigating on?

    Given where you are, I would say the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge is the one to start. Its relatively cheap, well attended and professionally organised. Beside you are there - that is a MAJOR advantage. If I can scrape some money together before then, I hope to make it too. Alternatively the Qatar rally is another one close by to look at.

    If you don't know Al Wilkinson who is in AD, I can get you in touch with him. He finished his first one last year, and loved it. You may even be able to pick up a road book from him and do one stage with friends if you're lucky.

    If you have not already done this, read my Sertoes report and rally prep threads (in my sig line) for a lot of other tips & ideas on what to consider and how to prepare (or not!). :D

    Keep us posted on your progress!
    #14
  15. Vicks

    Vicks gets stuck in sand

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,231
    Location:
    Abu Dhabi, UAE
    Thanks for those inputs Neil, esp the "Which rally" info. I wanted to save the ADDC for 2015 by when i would have (hopefully) gained enough nav experience to be able to finish it. Navigating through sand dunes is much tougher IMO compared to the other rallies where there are firmer landmarks. Going through your thread now.

    oh, and it will be great if you can put me in touch with wilkinson, is he an inmate ?
    #15
  16. gagnaou

    gagnaou Long timer

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,468
    Location:
    FLint Hills
    I am in, I have been thinking along the same lines lately.... :lurk
    #16
  17. Bluebull2007

    Bluebull2007 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,274
    Location:
    Oviedo, España
    I wouldn't worry too much about the navigation, unless there is a serious sandstorm, you will have plenty of tracks to guide you to some extent. Its not as hard as it sounds, honest!

    Re Al: I'll Pm you his details.

    Cheers

    Neil
    #17
  18. 640 Armageddon

    640 Armageddon -oo-

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,871
    Location:
    Greece
    Hi Vicks, I am following this either way :D

    I would go for the Nav prepared bike and then get things as I move along. May be alter things etc but it is already there. I would start with it a rally, see what I do not like (in the beginning you do not mind about the little details anyway), and then change what is not good for me.

    The clean bike means that you have a clean start, you know every single bit of the bike and you know what or when will fail. With the used one ... well... For me, the 530 is a well behaved bike, meaning that will not die for breakfast and if it is ''few rallies'' it should be good to go. Even if you decide to sell the equipment and upgrade you will get a run for your money ...

    Go with what you like the most, after all it is your pocket... But beware, the rally sickness is an evil one... :evil
    #18
  19. Vicks

    Vicks gets stuck in sand

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    3,231
    Location:
    Abu Dhabi, UAE
    Welcome and wish you the best in reaching your goals.



    Alright, i'll think more seriously about the Desert Challenge in that case, April 2014 is right around the corner. KTM Dubai also has support packages for riders (they don't seem to be running their own teams anymore) for reasonable money and i'll start looking into other options as well (for support during the rally).




    Thanks for the inputs D. As much as i would love to start with a fresh bike and build it up, i think it will end up being almost 2x expensive compared to buying a rally prepped bike. The huge depreciation on cars and bikes in UAE makes it more attractive to buy a used vehicle in pristine condition (i never bought a brand new car in the UAE).



    Ship my bike OR rent a Rallybike ?

    I've also been thinking of doing the Libya Rally Or the Tuareg Rally in March/April 2014. The main concern is cost of shipping my bike. So i was also considering a rental bike from one of the teams that provide such services and i simply fly in with my riding gear. Not sure how that works out over several events ? Will it be more expensive that shipping my own bike ? Any idea about how much these rental packages cost ?
    #19
  20. wilkinsonk

    wilkinsonk soup de grimace

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    886
    Location:
    Sanford, NC
    Vicks,

    The KTM is a no-brainer! Your initial hard-on at buying the Berg will turn into a limp noodle when you start paying for all the kit to fit it out. That's money that you can spend on (insert something useful here...travel, training, etc). Besides, that new Berg will look decidedly old real quick once you start thrashing it around in the dunes. I don't recall getting this shipped to Saudi Arabia to be inexpensive, so I'd guess the UAE is similar.

    Besides, unless you're vying for a FIM title, the extra power of the 530 should serve you well.....braaap! All of this advise is rubbish of course, if the KTM is a worn out clapper.

    - Ken

    #20