The Bivouac (general rallye raid news)

Discussion in 'Racing' started by PackMule, Dec 23, 2009.

  1. PackMule

    PackMule love what you do Super Moderator

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    Welcome to The Bivouac -- our new hangout for Rallye Tragics to share stories and pics, discuss topics, shoot the breeze, and wildly speculate about all things Rallye. :D


    Pull up a spot of rug and make yourself at home. :freaky


    [​IMG]
    (Thanks, CVB, for the pic)
    #1
  2. doyle

    doyle RallyRaidReview-ing

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    How about some speculation on the motorbikes to be used in next years Dakar (wherever it may be). As far as the rules state (at least for today :wink:), Elite listed riders will be restricted to 450cc's, none elite riders will still be able to use a bike over 450cc's, but anything over that capacity must use the ASO provided restrictor for 2011 with the over 450 machines gone for good after 2011. There seems to be a grey area in the rules whereby the upper limit for the singles is not defined which is why the top KTM boys were speculated to have 730cc engines.

    All that being said, I expect a lot of the non-elite 2011 riders will be scooping up this years restricted KTM 690 Rallys. How about the factory guys? Hopefully we will see Casteu and his squad back on 450 Sherco's. Of course, Fretigne will pilot the venerable 450 Yamaha. What's left for a top ride? Will KTM utilize the chassis of the 690 and scale down, take a current 450 and scale the chassis up, or create a new rally bike around the 450 limit? Certainly KTM will be keen to hang on to Despres and Coma at the very least, so they must come up with some sort of competitive machinery, right?

    Other than Sherco, there really wasn't any major push from any other manufacturer to take advantage of the 450 rules, but with the top guys now forced to the smaller displacement and the certainly improving economic climate, might others jump in with a more serious effort since most already have a 450 bike?

    The BMW base certainly looks promising if not slightly temperamental. With a stage win (lost to a technicality), certainly there is momentum there, but has BMW already squashed that momentum with their recent announcement not to promote the racing program of the G450X and instead, some muddled, mixed program with Husqvarna?

    Aprilia is off to a great start over the past few years so with increasing reliability and rider dedication, perhaps a more concentrated effort from the factory is in order?

    So there it is, let loose your wild speculation.

    :ear
    #2
  3. barrier

    barrier Says who?

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    Yes, but WHERE will it be??????????
    That's possibly THE question at the moment!!!!! :ear :ear :ear
    #3
  4. Flood

    Flood F5lood.

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    So, what is your question good for if you go ahead and answer it by yourself?! :lol3

    A few thoughts;
    This is, again, the dawn of a new era - 450s will rule Dakar next year. It is also a time when the current master, KTM, is rather weak: their tried and tested platform is ruled out and they don't have tons of cash to throw around. This is the time when other manufacturers can come up to the table and claim their share of the cake.

    If KTM stays in, with a proper factory effort and re-signing Coma and Despres, I don't see them building a sleeved-down version of the current LC4 RR or a 450 version of the new 690. The 690RR looks like a monster compared to the nimble 450s and a future-orientated effort should be based on the EXC line. I'm sure KTM can work on the current engines to make them keep up with the rest while building a light weight rally bike around them. OK, that's simpleton thinking, but I imagine an oil cooler here, an oil reservoir there under the seat, some material tests for valves and timing chain and voila. If a Aprilia RXV can go the distance, so can a KTM EXC.

    Aprilia. They have a good deal of rally competence under their hat (since when, Pharaons 2008?), there's a proper team of riders ready to take over, the team structure seems to work (that's just conjection, but the results are there!) and there's enough potential backing from the Piaggio group. To me, this sounds like a winning combination. If the management in Noale decides to really go for it (and incorporate a 2nd team with a 2nd winning rider), they could just walk up there and take over from KTM.

    Sherco. My vote for the sexiest bike of the 2010 Dakar - what a shame about David's accident. I think they showed everyone how a sleek, modern, 450 Dakar racer can look like. I don't think they'll be able to field the budget necessary for a serious contender for the victory as I think you need at least 2 full teams for that (If Despres had a mechanical this year, the victory would have gone to a privateer! And last year KTM had 3 full teams, Red Bull, Repsol and Kästle!), but they can be the little brother who tries out new strategies and technologies, who attacks the leaders with lots of little pin-pricks and be the darling of the fans.

    Yamaha. Everyone who wants to see the finish will be on a Yamaha. I don't see KTM or anyone else offering something like the RR replica for privateers in the future, although I'd love to see Sherco - or Aprilia - or anyone else doing just that. Full factory effort? Who knows, but rather not. Most probably is another French/Euro national effort.

    BMW. Oh god, nobody knows what those suits in Munich talk about in their board meetings before they take the evening off to get a flogging by a dominatrix. They build a 450, then they buy Husqvarna. They buy the Knighter to win an enduro title, the bike/the rider suck. You can expect anything from almost nothing like this year up to a VW-like, multi-million "heh look at ziss awwsomm new BMW X1 assistance vehicle vee are riding around viss!" -factory effort, if some penny cruncher decides they need this for their south american strategy.
    #4
  5. Farioli

    Farioli "just do it"

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    #5
  6. SafariBerg

    SafariBerg Oz Safari Addict

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    Look no further than KTM's other 450 for a serious Dakar team rallye bike platform in 2011, the 70 degree sloper FE450 motor is a perfect rallye base and KTM knows it..................I may have been the first to try but many will follow next year and if informed comments made in the last 2 weeks have a basis so will the factory.
    #6
  7. schattat

    schattat Long timer

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    :rofl :poser
    #7
  8. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente Team f5ool

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    Hi doyle,

    I took the liberty of penning some of my own colourful comments (:D) in reply to your most interesting questions;

    On the wild loose and speculative end of the scale;

    I would like to put forward a simpler: formula 1200cc (+/- 10%) moto category for ALL 2011 participants... based on the "shenanigans" we saw at Dakar this year; :deal

    450cc singles allowed 3 motors (sealed), one chassis, two set of wheels (marked) for the entire event... marathon spec.

    450cc twins allowed two motors, two chassis (:D) and two sets of wheels (marked) for the entire event... marathon spec.

    690 cc singles allowed (still); two motors (sealed), one chassis, three sets of wheels (marc'ed :D) for the entire event... marathon spec.

    950cc twins allowed (again); one motor (sealed), one chassis, one set of wheels (marked) for the entire event... marathon spec.

    (yeah... like THAT's gonna happen... you did say "wild speculation" though didn't you doyle? :rofl )
    #8
  9. canadaler

    canadaler Been here awhile

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    You mean..."returns to" :D

    True, or not...I'm having a hard time believing BMW will continue to throw money into the 450X development pit now that Husky is "part of the family." From what I've seen of their record so far...I sure as heck wouldn't touch a 450 Beemer for rally work with a 10' pole . Too fragile.

    My guess is that the 450X will go the way of the 650X...as a historical footnote (albeit an expensive one) in BMW's history.

    The Husky...IMO... all it lacks is a 6th gear which I'm sure the factory boys could manage. Otherwise, those bikes have very sturdy engines in them.

    KTM...although their 450 performance/reliability in rally work is questionable...KTM is like the "Windows" version of rally bike. So many of them out there that it's hard to use something else when there are so many parts and service groups out there based on KTM.

    By-the-by...what ever happened to Gas Gas's rally effort? They had a couple guys entered last year...DNF'd with bike problems as I recall. I'm sure Gas Gas is hurting with the economy as well, but their 450 Desert bike is available. I guess in the end the market decides and it looks like nobody has faith in the Gasser.

    ...and what about BETA? With a new (and reportedly great) 450 engine of their own might they not want to take a stab at the Dakar. I know there were several of them (KTM powered) in the Tuareg and they seem to be popular in the EU. The ones I've seen here are impressive. Maybe not a full-on factory effort...but if I was putting something together and could get some parts/service help out of them...I'd certainly look at them.

    To me...if I was making a bid for the Dakar on a shoestring budget...I'd do it on a bike that was a few years old. You could pick up three used ones for the same price...or cheaper than...a new rally kitted bike. Bingo...instant spares including engines. Speaking of Husabergs Garry...I could pick up three "old school" 2008 FE450's here for probably $12K. I was leery of going with the Berg initially...but the thing 's been bullet proof. I'd turn (3)'07/'08 FE450's into a Dakar run in a heartbeat.
    #9
  10. wrk2surf

    wrk2surf on the gas or brakes

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    I think it was kinigarder that said they were 730's ..

    I think a 450 version of the old 660 is bulletproof and would do fine in the top rider class and the marathon class.

    I think I cant wait till next yr....


    but who cares what I think...
    #10
  11. Cummo

    Cummo Been here awhile

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    What do you guys think? The "KTM" camp sure did have some food fights during the Dakar and it seems from what I hear that there will be some fallout for at least one rider, who do you think it will be and where do you think he will go to from life after KTM?
    #11
  12. ManxBerg

    ManxBerg Rallye Raid

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    I can't see either of them leaving KTM, they both know they are on to a good thing with the support and bikes KTM prepare. Despres was heavily involved in developing the 690 Rallye bike from the start, so it's almost his bike.
    They ride in different teams with different sponsors so it will only make them even more keen to beat each other. Everyone in the team will want to beat their shared enemy, leaving KTM in a win win situation. There has been plenty of rivalries in the Dakar before, Peterhansel used to get so annoyed with the other riders following him and not navigating, that he deliberately went the wrong way and then faked mechanical problems. With the others now lost he would wait till they had left him and would Navigate back onto the right route.
    #12
  13. Cummo

    Cummo Been here awhile

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    What if the decision to leave KTM was not in the riders hands?
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  14. doyle

    doyle RallyRaidReview-ing

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    Provided KTM could afford to field both riders (and that's questionable), why would they let either go? One of the loses, KTM still wins. Both are like machines. Perhaps Coma showed a little stress this year, perhaps not. I'm not sure if we will ever fully know the wheel story, but either way, KTM won.

    :dunno
    #14
  15. big adv

    big adv I need supervision

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    Dint I hear in one of the interviews with Coma that his contract with KTM is due? If one of the 'other' teams could pick him up to develop there new 450 rallye bike, that could make things interesting. For 2011, Ktm is going to be the new kid on the block so to speak, having to come up with a new rally bike of 450cc. That is, of course, if they decide to race in the Dakar next year. One of the deciding factors as I see it is if the FIM follow the ASO's lead and implement the 450cc limit in the world cup rally championship.

    Earl
    #15
  16. doyle

    doyle RallyRaidReview-ing

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    :nod Basically the rule limits the bikes to a single cylinder for anything over 450cc, but technically the rules don't state an upper limit. In years past that limit for bikes was 700cc, but that is not in the regs any longer, hence the larger capacity to try to claw back any performance lost to the restrictor.
    #16
  17. dirt rider X

    dirt rider X tropical traveller

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    my guess would be Coma walking though I reckon he's the better rider and navigator he perhaps doesnt have the "political" connections?
    #17
  18. Aussie66

    Aussie66 Been here awhile

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    Coma ,.. Despres, ... Coma, .... Despres

    Tough call, I reckon Coma is the quicker smoother rally rider, Cyril is the allrounder extreme guy, without a doubt they are both the fastest guys on rally bikes.

    Before to answer who will do what it is better to have a look at the options.

    Who is willing to pay a premium for a victory, only those who need it for marketing value which can be used to retain market share or to force growth. The Japanese are excluded as they currently see neither market share in dirt bikes increasing substantially due efforts in rally raid and a small share of thier global market is dirtbikes.

    KTM, will only be happy with a win next year, anything else will be seen as a failure of thier 450 efforts. I would expect a 450 based on the 690 platform, lighter frame etc.

    Sherco
    Husqvarna
    BMW
    Aprillia
    Husaberg
    Gas Gas

    more to follow, just short of time.
    #18
  19. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente Team f5ool

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    for the speculation category; does anyone KNOW when their contracts are up (with KTM)? IF and when they are... do they run out to the end of the calender year... or after the Dakar (as this thread seems to indicate?)? One would have thought that Coma and Despres would have their race program for 2010 (FIM rallies and other events) already squared away?! :huh

    or is the question concerning these two, referring to the end of the year and Dakar 2011? It's just that the "where now?" part of the title gives the impression that on monday, these two were/are looking for a job... and I'm not entirely sure that is the case.
    #19
  20. canadaler

    canadaler Been here awhile

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    There is a rumor floating around that Despres is headed back to BMW.
    #20