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

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

  1. clearandlock

    clearandlock Been here awhile

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    Are there any stats on how many 450RR have spat the dummy? It would be interesting to know how the 450 handles the stress when not pushing for a top 20 finish?

    so how many have just gone pop? and what was the cause?

    anyone? anyone?
  2. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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    A few answers from me (in typically reverse order)...

    I think 2013 particularly showed that with careful 'strategy management', the factory 450RR bike can go a Dakar distance on a single engine, even at the sharp(er) end - alleviating many of the initial fears that an MX derived engine would grenade over two weeks of continual racing...

    However, I don't think there were many people who didn't take at least one spare engine (€5000), plus any associated specific 450RR service parts, or pay €2000 to KTM for access to the service/spares truck...

    Then there is still the issue of actually buying a 450RR in the first place - €30,000 new - and while there are now an increasing number on the secondhand market (for less than €20,000) - if it is an ex race bike it is certainly going to need a full engine rebuild, together with a suspension overhaul and thorough going through/replacement of bearings, seals etc. - that is a LOT more £££s, and not least time... and of course there is still the gamble of shelling out for a spare engine or not.

    Therefore, what Rally Raid Products are trying to offer is a genuine budget alternative option for the privateer rider, perhaps someone who intends to ride Malle Moto, or at least compete with minimal service assistance during the rally - where (as Aussie66 suggests), the priority is reliability and low maintenance/spares inventory for the duration of the event.

    Jx
  3. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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    Unfortunately we have yet to receive the CAD data from Cosworth for their recommended piston crown profile - as soon as we have that John can machine the prototype piston and we can get the engine assembled.

    Typical 'summer holiday' timing means there has been a delay in getting the information required.

    Rally Raid Products have also been flat out these past few weeks fulfilling orders from their retail product line, which as I'm sure you understand is a priority...

    KTMmitch will be along just as soon as we have some significant news on the engine front...

    Jx
  4. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Gone a bit Baja

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    Which brings me to the #1 question I'm sure...

    It was clear by mid June, that we were rapidly running out of time to have this project together in sufficient time for Dakar 2014.

    If you've been following this thread from the beginning, you'll know we had hoped to have a running engine early in the new year, and to be able to prove a complete bike competitively in April (at the Hellas Rally in Greece)... We would then be in a position to offer a complete rental package for a sister bike for Dakar 2014 - which was the only realistic way we could begin to cover the assistance costs for taking a team with us - to coincide with the entries opening in May - obviously anyone who was serious about entering the Dakar in 2014 would need to start making decisions about which bike/package they were going to use by then...

    Since none of this came to fruition in time, it seriously compromised the time-frame we had envisaged at the beginning of the year.

    We could hardly expect anyone to sign up for a 2014 rental package without at least having heard the engine running, never mind having that backed up by endurance testing and ideally at least one finish in a competitive event. I know I wouldn't.

    While I have my WR450F from the 2011 event rebuilt and ready to go again, without the LC4-50 and associated service assistance from Rally Raid Products, I am in no financial position to enter the Dakar 2014 as a solo privateer - the title of my original Dakar Dazed thread "Countdown to bankruptcy" proving increasingly accurate...

    There would be an outside chance that given enough goodwill and support from those of you who supported me before, I could have scraped together the entry fee for a Malle Moto campaign on my WR, for 2014.

    However, I took the painful decision not to enter at the beginning of July.

    Rally Raid Products, Torque Racing and KTM Twins are still fully committed to making this project a reality. Without the deadline of shipping a (currently unproven) bike to South America in three and a half month's time, we can concentrate fully on building, testing and race/rally proving the bike over the next few months, and then be in a position to offer the package for the 2015 Dakar instead.

    I know there are a number of ADVrider inmates who have their eye on entering the 2015 Dakar themselves, so I hope the LC4-50 project and associated rental/service package that Rally Raid/Torque Racing can provide will offer them a very real and realistic [budget] option to consider when the time comes.

    Jx
  5. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    Bummer you won't be there in January....understandable but still a bummer.

    Hope the project continues and works out, its quite the intriguing concept :freaky
  6. JayBo1

    JayBo1 Long timer

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    Great shame you won't be there in January, JMo & piglet:cry. I was looking forward to meeting you and letting you know personally that you've been an inspiration for me:deal.
    I'm sure though that it's the right thing to do, as the Dakar isn't playing tiddly-winks and you have to be absolutely "in the right place" mentally and physically to enter, let alone finish it! I hope everything pans out well for 2015 then and the torture of watching the highlights from the other side of the world isn't too savage in 2014.
    Cheers
    JayBo
  7. Jettn Jim

    Jettn Jim This is Liv'n!!!

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    Sounds like an excellent and very sound plan you've got going!
    Cheers. :freaky
  8. Offroadie1

    Offroadie1 Adventurer

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    Don't worry Mr Clearandlock ..... if you keep the revs down and change the oil that machine of yours will be fine :rofl
  9. clearandlock

    clearandlock Been here awhile

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    And I have a new spare engine in a box..!
  10. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Been here awhile

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    We will be CNC machining the first piston for our 450cc conversion for our Dakar project.
    Once machined,Martin, at Torque Racing will finish the top end rebuild so that we can check cylinder head volumes,squish and valve clearances before running the engine in our donor bike.
    One of the great by-products of developing this special piston,produced for us by world famous F1 Cosworth Engineering company,is that we will also be making 2 other versions.
    One will be a much higher spec standard replacement piston,the other will be a higher compression replacement for the road & supermoto guys with LC4 engines,such as Duke etc.[​IMG]
  11. 640 Armageddon

    640 Armageddon Do or Do Not. There is no try.

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    Now I can finally see some light at the end of the tunnel :evil

    Congrats Mitch, these are some nice pockets on the piston :clap
  12. Bluebull2007

    Bluebull2007 Adventurer

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    :waysad Hmm Jen, you and me both.

    At least you have made a couple of Dakar stages.

    Every year it seems to be the same old same old for me:

    2010 - BB2007 enters the game, a rally rookie. One rally school and one Dos Sertoes later rearing to go. The upside of this is after breaking some bones and still finishing, I realize I like doing rallies. This is an important point many wannabe's forget about.
    2011 - No entry obviously.
    2012 - No entry. Keen as can be, but into a new job with no time to train. :puke1and a hysterical Mrs BB going on about the finances being drained for my rally thing. I make do with chasing the Dakar for 4 stages in Peru on my 800GS
    2013 - No entry, again money being the issue. My job eats even more time, but the dream is still there. I decide 2014 is going to be my year and plan to chase the 2013 Dakar for 7 days. On the 26th December, while riding with my kids I show off too much and crush my tibia. :waysad :becca :kurt Get a bone transplant, workshop filled with steel and a holiday from walking for 7 months. Game over.
    2014 No entry - I only start limping without crutches 10 days ago :fpalm

    So maybe.....MAYBE 2015....If

    1) I am fit
    2) I have done another rally beforehand
    3) I have the cash

    The last one is a bugger. At least I have the bike, but its a second hand one, and like you said I'll need a new engine. Next years Dakar will be short and technical, the following year will be LOOOoonng and I reckon might include Peru again and Brazil.
  13. Old Git Ray

    Old Git Ray Now retired...YeeHaa

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    Jen, that is such a bummer.

    I was looking forward to annoying you at some point on the rally but like you say, you cannot commit to such a financial undertaking without a running bike.

    I will still be riding down there and it will be a shame not to see you in action.

    I feel for you.

    Commiserations, Ray
  14. gladiator

    gladiator Adventurer

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    This might seem a daft question, but why a high comp. piston for the road and motard guys? What about the rest of us? Would you not recommend a high compression ratio for off-roading? What do you think the ratio will end up at? 12.5:1?
  15. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Been here awhile

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    The high comp Cosworth piston for Lc4 engine will be 12.8:1,and anyone can use it,it's just the road guys and SM racers are the ones that have shown the most interest.
  16. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Been here awhile

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    Whilst waiting to machine the new piston data tomorrow,I took the opportunity to engrave our 690 barrel to show the difference of our new project with the stock motor,as from the outside it will look identical to the stock engine.
    I know it's a bit of window dressing,but could'nt resist trying out the new engraving software on our CNC mill.[​IMG]
  17. snowhawk jockey

    snowhawk jockey Slack Jaw Gaper

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    Nice work on the engraving! The cylinder MUST show there's a difference in your engineering vs. stock.
  18. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Been here awhile

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    We finished CNC machining our prototype piston today for the LC4-50 motor,next job is to check all valve clearances and squish,then fire it up!!!!!!!!!!![​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
  19. NordieBoy

    NordieBoy Armature speller

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    I like seeing these before and after shots...
  20. Pyndon

    Pyndon Long timer

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    Hey John, great to see some pictures of the progress, engineering from home at it's best, I love to see this!

    A few questions I would have coming from a background of tuning supermono, single cylinder road racing engines would be: (and I'm sure you have considered them all but it'd be nice to know the thought process you have been through on them)

    1) What are your thoughts on flame propagation and cylinder efficiency with such a complicated piston top? Obviously a flat top piston and well shaped combustion chamber helps with turbulence and combustion rate, but here you certainly don't have that. What did cosworth have to say about this, I mean they have the experience in this field so I'd be interested to hear what their thoughts were?

    2) Reducing the valve shrouding on a piston helps to get gasses in and out faster which is particularly important when you have an over square engine, obviously you are fully shrouded during cross over points so you must have your cam design pretty mature? Interested to see your cam profiling and overlaps chosen for the 450 project and will this be different for the different options of engine?

    3) Finally, how did you avoid piston distortion during welding and do you intend to heat treat the piston again before using it? Appreciate it's only for demonstration and measurement purposes but still, thought I'd ask.

    4) Valve and port sizing is pretty important too, do you have a plan to reduce the port volumes or valve sizes in the future to try and get the gas speed up a little?

    5) Balancing? Extra piston weight really does screw with the balancing, will the Cosworth piston weight the same as stock or are you going to get everything balanced?

    My intention was not to overload you with questions, just genuinely interested as I'm sure the other engineers amongst us will be.

    On the down-drafted CRF450 motors that I used to build, even with a raised piston, we still had to achieve a relatively flat top and put a load of work into the combustion chamber to make this possible. Granted, we were always looking for around 70rwhp from a 450 and I know that's not the goal here.

    I for one am really interested to see this project unfold and succeed, probably less for the end result for me personally (if I am honest) but more for the journey that that the guys are going through. The shear determination, lessons learnt along the way and the fun and excitement of a project such as this will make it all worthwhile. I also hope that I get the opportunity to ride the bike one day as I think it'll be a unique little fella. Good luck with it all.

    Crack on!