Dakar Dazed II - the return! Part 1: Project LC4-50

Discussion in 'Racing' started by JMo (& piglet), Jan 26, 2013.

  1. Dakar Dan

    Dakar Dan Been here awhile

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    Good to see the Yam is mended, JMo. Must be one of the last carbed models tooled up to rallye spec. Are you hocking it to cover your KTM development?
  2. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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    Hi Dan! - not so much to cover the development of the KTM (thank fully that is Rally Raid & Torque Racing who are doing that)... but in a somewhat ironic catch-22 situation, it looks like I will have to sell my own Dakar bike, just so I can afford to enter the Dakar!

    Hence why I'm banking on the LC4-50 project working out you see!

    "Once careful owner, never raced or rallied..." erm.

    [​IMG]

    Jx
  3. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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    A few photos from my first proper test-ride since the rebuild...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I did about 50 or 60 miles yesterday (currently only the centre 5L 'reserve' tank is plumbed in) including a good blast across the top of Salisbury Plain and a couple of other 'suitable' trails where I could open the throttle a little...

    I have to say I'd forgotten quite how AWESOME this bike is! It can be scary fast if you want it to be, and at the same time Martin (at Torque Racing) has done a fantastic job servicing the forks - it felt so planted on loose gravel and rough pot-holed tracks...

    I might have to refit all my nav gear and get this enter it in a rally or two before I HAVE to sell it...

    Jx
  4. GoThere@50

    GoThere@50 I'm Going

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    Congratulations Jen, as a follower of your previous effort I must applaud your change to orange. However, I'm also compelled to comment on the things you're not changing.
    <?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    Same dogged determination to see it all through in spite of the cost and risk.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Same attention to detail from engine development by Cosworth to following up on every post in your thread.
    <o:p></o:p>
    Same insistence on being different and unique. Even with a conventional color (brand) choice you came up with a completely off the wall approach.
    <o:p></o:p>
    All in all, I'd say very innovative. This effort seems to be far broader in it's approach than your first, which seemed to be quite the learning experience. I suspect the resulting education at the university of hard knocks had something to do with this revised approach? Let us know when you'll be coming to Colorado, I'd like to tag along on one of the fund raising rides as I'm sure many others here would as well. Subscribed (again)...
  5. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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    Thanks for your kind words GoThere!

    They say half the battle is getting to the start... certainly the way we are doing is a very long and winding road!

    It is the UK leg of the 'Dakar Tour' tomorrow, and I am looking forward to catching up with a few old faces, plus talk in person to the technical department about our project...

    In the meantime, I've been tweaking the www.Jennydakar.com website with some more info, added links to a couple of new team sponsors, and not least updated the latest route information for the 2014 event - enjoy!

    Jx
  6. Roadcat

    Roadcat The Lordly Keeper Of

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  7. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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  8. 640 Armageddon

    640 Armageddon -oo-

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    Niiiice !!!

    :clap :wink:
  9. Brimstone

    Brimstone Super Duper n00b!

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    JMo,

    So where are you in the actual development cycle? I think the last we heard was pre-Tuareg when the engine was just going together? Any news? Should I start the search for a KTM 690 Enduro? :evil
  10. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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    Hi Brimstone! - I'm sure you're not the only one wondering this, hell I'm wondering myself!

    Typically things have taken a lot longer than we first imagined - not so much the physical development, but a series of other commitments (for John at Rally Raid in particular) over the past couple of months mean things have not progressed as far as we'd hoped.

    The good news is we have a bike, and an engine sitting on the bench and a crank and rod assembled.

    John has also CAD designed the shape of the piston we are confident will produce the correct compression for the prototype engine - Cosworth have also modeled this on our behalf, but that will be for the production spec pistons.

    John and Martin (from Torque Racing) are currently in Malta for a week preparing a pair of 690cc Rallye bikes with the EVO2 kit for a couple of guys who raced the Heroes-Legend last year, and will be racing the new kits at the Transanatolia Rally in September. Once John and Martin are back, work will resume on the LC4-50...

    However, one element we had not fully considered at the inception of the project was the fact that while a KTM 690 is an FIM homologated machine for the 450+cc Open Class, it is not homologated as a 450cc production machine of course.

    Now we all know (and the FIM agree) that it really is just a case of a capacity change to comply with the ASO/Dakar (and FIM Cross Country Championship rules, which the ASO use) - the original production bike itself - frame, swingarm, engine cases etc are all exactly the same...

    However, rules is rules - and if it still says KTM690 on the homologation papers, the ASO scrutineers are at liberty to exclude it as it doesn't comply with their rules - that it must be based on a single cylinder production machine, of 450cc capacity or less - even though ours is a single cylinder production machine, and we can prove (and they can test at the time) the capacity has been reduced to 449cc... the problem is that it wasn't originally built as a 450 from the manufacturer.

    The alternative is to rename the bike to avoid any confusion, and effectively create a new model... however, we then are faced with the situation that the bike is not homologated at all! Obviously we are in no position to go into full scale production of this bike, and produce 100* examples required for homologation - never mind the associated costs of FIM homologation itself.

    *Note in my discussions with the FIM, they are considering lowering this number to perhaps 75 or less, but still it is not applicable to our project - while we intend to build maybe 3 or 4 examples this year at most - a couple for testing and the pair of Dakar bikes.

    So we are in effect in limbo at the moment - the ASO have agreed to allow us to enter a reduced capacity 690, as long as it complies (or at least is approved by) the FIM homologation department.

    Our situation has been fully explained to the FIM homologation department, and we are waiting for a reply from the Commission as to whether they will approve (not fully homologate it must be clear) this bike for the 450cc production class.

    While there is no physical reason not to allow this bike, they are concerned about setting a precedent in a class that currently has no facility for 'prototypes' to be included.

    One might argue that surely this would actually encourage engine development from other manufacturers - a larger oil capacity/longer service interval 450cc engine with a broad spread of gears is the golden goose here on ADVrider - and you'd think in this austere times of rising fuel prices and evermore stringent emissions controls, that development of such would be a priority for the dual-sport/adventure travel market?

    However, the reality of course is that the the dual-sport adventure market is still very small in comparison to the big 1000+cc behemoths, never mind the street bikes, cruisers and MX machines; and that ultimately racing (at the manufacturer sharp end at least) is all about who's fastest, and makes the most power...

    So we wait. For a while longer at least.

    Jx

    ps. Even if the decision is not returned in our favor, John does still intend to build the prototype engine - just because he likes a challenge and is bloody minded enough to do it! As his quote on the Jennydakar.com website says: "To try is not to fail..."

    However should that be the outcome, where that leaves my personal Dakar campaign is a story for a whole other thread perhaps...
  11. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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    In the meantime, I still have a limited supply of brand new Dirty Dog polarised sunglasses and genuine Buff's - these were leftover stock from my 2011 Dakar Rally campaign and I'd like to clear them to help raise funds for my return in 2014...

    Due to the limited stock I've listed them on ebay rather than the Jennydakar.com webshop page, and due to contractual details, I cannot sell them for less than RRP - but will post abroad to ADVers at cost price (contact me after using buy-it-now and I'll invoice the total amount depending on country).

    I will also have some unique and very desirable Dakar memorabilia to sell/auction in the coming weeks, and will offer them here first on ADV...

    In the meantime, this is what is available:

    Buff 'Rubix' - limited edition design usually only available to sponsored/supported athletes.
    [​IMG]

    Buff 'Logo' white/grey - limited edition design, again only usually available to sponsored/supported athletes.
    [​IMG]

    Dirty Dog 'Big Dog' brown lens/brown frame - my favorite on-bike glasses - these wrap around the eye socket really well and fit nicely inside a helmet. They are ideal for dual-sport riding/mountainbiking/skiing and the like... Polarized lenses.
    [​IMG]

    Dirty Dog 'Slick Willy' grey/green lens/black frame - very similar in shape to the Big Dog, but in an alternative black and grey/green lens finish, including metal trim to the hinges... Polarized lenses.
    [​IMG]

    Kriega 'Stash' wallet/mini tool-roll - ideal as a travel wallet as it is large enough to hold a passport along with cash, cards, driving license etc. with various zipper pockets for coins and tickets too.
    [​IMG]

    Alternatively, they also make for a fantastic compact tool-roll - I use one of these as my on-bike/rallye tool kit - see photo below:
    [​IMG]

    Link to the Rubik Buff on ebay here - please see the 'other items' for the alternatives...

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/251276003398?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

    Jx
  12. wrk2surf

    wrk2surf on the gas or brakes

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    Jenny is there a easily accesable list of FIM homologated bikes ?

    Good luck with the red tape !
  13. DakarDreamer

    DakarDreamer Adventurer

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    Jenny - ouch - sounds like a rock and hard place! As we know ASP/FIM don't usually go out of their way to accommodate and if they aren't keen on prototypes I guess it doesn't look good. :-(.

    Any back up plans if it's a definite no?

    Hope not though as I think the LC4-50 is a great idea!

    Sorry I've been put of touch - poorly lately but better now so will give you and Martin a call about plans next week.
    Cheers
    Jago
  14. garfey

    garfey Scruffy Adventurer

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    Fingers crossed, Jen, though it does make typing a bit of a challenge.
  15. hardwaregrrl

    hardwaregrrl ignore list

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    Where's that damn "fingernail biting smiley"????



    :uhoh
  16. Brimstone

    Brimstone Super Duper n00b!

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    Jenny,

    Thanks for the thorough explanation! Always challenges when doing something no one else has dared. I was wondering how the rule book would affect this project. Is putting a regular 450SXF engine in the frame out of the question? I mean, only if the FIM doesn't rule in your favour...

    I'm still looking forward to how this turns out! Would be great to see a more endurance friendly bike option for privateers in the Dakar. Not every competitor can afford a factory 450RR and all the bazillion parts and spare engines to go along with it. And it seems to me that the Dakar bike class has more privateers than factory boys anyway so that is where the lion share of entry fees are coming from. Of course, we all know the ASO likes to get as many of those bikes out of the rally early on!!
  17. RoninMoto

    RoninMoto Wanderer

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    I think the main point of this project is to use a motor that has almost 2 liters of oil. The bottom end of the 690 is basically bulletproof. The problem with most 450s is the small amount of oil and need for very routine maintenance.
  18. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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    Hi Brimstone - as Ronin says above, the motivation for the project (certainly from John at Rally Raid) was to utilise the 690 engine - not only because it potentially offers far more strength and reliability, but trying to fit an alternative engine into the frame (unless you have the resources of the factory of course) would be plagued with small but niggly issues, and require far more testing and set up than a simple piston/crank swap and EFi reprogram which is the extent of the mods we are planning with the 690 lump.

    However, perhaps even more importantly, we would still fall foul of the FIM rule book - which states that the engine and mainframe (plus swingarm) must come from the same [450cc production] machine... so we would be in no better position with them - in fact it would be worse, since the engine would have come from one model and the frame from another - at least our way the engine and the frame are still from the same production machine.

    Certainly that was John's intention - to offer a realistic, affordable and reliably alternative to the current crop of 450cc enduro/mx derived bikes...

    However, the current FIM regulations do not allow for 'prototype' bikes (Maybe we should just build a 2WD buggy instead eh?) - so unless we were to going into full-scale production and make at least 100 examples and have it homologated, I can't see this bike being widely adopted for Dakar or any FIM championship event under the current rules... Alternatively, if they did relax the rules (which they have no reason to do) to allow prototypes, it then potentially opens up a lot more avenues for cheating at the sharper end of the field?

    It is frustrating, as this really is my only realistic chance of getting back to the Dakar this year...

    Jx
  19. Trang

    Trang ... 2nd last to the Sweep

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    So where does this leave Speedbrain?
  20. italrally

    italrally Been here awhile

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    Speedbrain company now is a own motorcycle manufacturer.
    They get certified some month ago.
    So i think they will have no problems with the FIM & ASO rules.