Tuareg Rallye 2010-Shed to Sahara and back again!

Discussion in 'Racing' started by ManxBerg, Jan 10, 2010.

  1. ManxBerg

    ManxBerg Rallye Raid

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    Well the Dakar is on again and everyone has got Rallye fever again. I love the Dakar and always have. If I won the Advrider lottery (see another thead) and rode in it, it would be unbelievable.

    However like most I'm a normal guy and a hobby rider. I have a real job, a beautiful wife (she might read this), a very real mortgage and a baby boy on the way (due in May). These things amongst others mean it would take the most amazing amount of singlemindedness for me to sacrifice enough things, for long enough, that I could realistically ride in the Dakar.

    I have ridden motorcycles for as long as I can remember. Since the age of 9 i've ridden Trials, Enduro, Beach races, MX, on the road, Toured europe 2 up etc. I love all bikes and Live on the Isle of Man the home road racing (If you've never seen the TT put it on the list now!).

    In 2007 a little disallussioned with Enduro's, I started to look seriously at riding in a desert Rallye. I started making contacts in the UK for advice in where to start and met some great people. This ultimately led in 2008 to my desert debut in the Tuareg Rallye. (The route there is another story)
    The Tuareg is a great event, a proper rallye but one where if you suffer a mechanical problem you can still miss the day, fix it and start the next day (albeit with severe time penalties). My biggest nightmare is spending all that money to go to a Rallye like the Dakar or Pharoans, and break down on the 1st day. It can happen, did anyone see the Honda on fire in scrutineering this year?!! Heartbreaking.
    That event went great and despite never having ridden on Dunes, or used an ICO or roadbook before I finished in 19th, with a couple of top ten stage results! I met some great people and knew then I would visit the Desert again.

    In 2010 I have re-entered the Tuareg Rallye, and over the next few weeks my intention is to describe my preparations, my rallye bike build, and the event itself on Advrider. Hopefully it will show how it is possible to ride on a tight budget. I will not be using any mecasystems stuff or a 690 KTM but if Santa is listening "come on, I didn't ask for socks".
    All my equiptment is 2nd hand so expect a tale of Ebay purchases, evenings in sheds and hopefully some great adventures.
    Kieran
    #1
  2. ManxBerg

    ManxBerg Rallye Raid

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    Some pics of my KTM 450 EXC Rallye used in the 2008 Tuareg rallye. Cost all in £2500. Finished 19th on this bike.
    [​IMG]

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    #2
  3. Pete_911

    Pete_911 Nomad

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    Good spirit!

    You got my atention! :ear
    #3
  4. Stagehand

    Stagehand Imperfectionist

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    :lurk sweet :D
    #4
  5. wrk2surf

    wrk2surf on the gas or brakes

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    make it happen... This is what ive been mulling over in my head for a couple yrs and now racing desert ironman after some stage rally experience last yr...now if I can come up with the entry im gold but the 13yr old is growing out of bikes yearly... NOT to mention clothing and other sporting equiptment... as rob schnider puts so aptly in adam sandler movies .. YOU CAN DO IT..
    #5
  6. doyle

    doyle RallyRaidReview-ing

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    Nice. Looking forward to following your progress. :lurk
    #6
  7. mcc66

    mcc66 Been here awhile

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    Look forward to reading this. Thanks for making the effort to share this with us.
    :lurk
    mcc66
    Michael
    #7
  8. Fronnzy

    Fronnzy Been here awhile

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    Thank you in advance. I look forward to it.
    #8
  9. ManxBerg

    ManxBerg Rallye Raid

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    Thanks guy, I hope to update this regularly with lots of pics. I won't dwell on the 2008 Tuareg rallye to much, as this is a tale of the preparation for this years 2010 Rallye.
    After I returned from Morocco lots of people asked me if I'd had a good time. The honest answer to this was I didn't know. It had been very hard, I'd got blisters on my hand that hurt a lot and the event takes so much concentration that i'd had little chance to take it all in. You ride all day, fix/maintain the bike, eat, prepare the Nav stuff for tomorrow, sleep and repeat. The problems with Rallye's is not the riding, it's having the capacity to ride, navigate and make good decisions when you need to. If you ride fast you can get back 10mins, if you made bad decisions you get lost or crash and both will lose you way more time.

    I had sold my enduro and road bike to pay for this project and was left with some new friends, great memories, an empty bank balance, and a desert Rallye bike. With not too much trouble later I had removed all the Rallye gear and had a KTM 450EXC to be my race and Trail bike for the year. See pic
    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. ManxBerg

    ManxBerg Rallye Raid

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    Some time later (early 2009) some friends of mine showed an interest in doing a desert rallye too and suggested that we should go in 2010. I had already been looking at doing another Rallye and had considered the Shamrock, UAE desert Challenge, Rallyes in Libya, El chott etc etc. There are lots of Rallyes that aren't the Dakar out there.
    My friends were keen on doing the Tuareg as it offered the best value and after I'd done it in 2008 they liked what they'd seen and what I'd told them. I had no problems with going back, if anything I was looking for an excuse to do another event and this was it. We got our entries in and started to plan how this was going to work.
    I'm looking forward to doing this event again and hope to have a more relaxed ride enjoying the social side to rallye's a bit more.

    check out http://www.tuareg-rallye.com/ for more info on this Rallye including a video.

    To anyone thinking of doing a desert rally can I suggest getting The Chasing Dakar book as it is a great place to start.
    http://www.chasingdakar.com/
    #10
  11. Flood

    Flood F5lood.

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    Great thread, I'm looking forward to following your preparation. :thumb
    #11
  12. ManxBerg

    ManxBerg Rallye Raid

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    As Background here are some pics of me in the past. I'm no David Knight just a good National Clubman level rider. The sort of guy who having just turned 30 is never going to make a living from it, but will always be there riding.
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    My first bike a TY80 aged abou 8/9yrs. I loved that bike.

    [​IMG]
    Competed in Trials as a kid until about 18, still ride occasionally but without a trials bike at the moment.

    [​IMG]
    Since then with a few breaks for University and work it's been Enduro and Rallye's here in the Isle of Man and in the UK.

    Where did 21 years go??
    #12
  13. PackMule

    PackMule love what you do Super Moderator

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    In. :lurk
    #13
  14. schattat

    schattat Long timer

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    COOL! :lurk
    (this thread reminds me of some other guy on this forum :lol3)
    #14
  15. ManxBerg

    ManxBerg Rallye Raid

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    I have to admit after lurking for ages on this site and threads like yours SCHATTAT inspired me to actually write my own thread. I like your style and hope our paths cross in a Desert one day. I like the fact that both our bikes are work in progress with the Rallye's starting in less than 2 months. I've started to pull my finger out now that Christmas and New year are out of the way.
    As usual the Dakar being on has raised everyone's interest in Rallye raid and hopefully people like you and I can use that enthusiasm to get people interested in the other Rallye's around the world. Whilst the Dakar is so huge the chances of small sponsership/help for the smaller Rallye's is almost impossible.
    #15
  16. Stagehand

    Stagehand Imperfectionist

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    I'm developing a strong and growing interest in other rallies :freaky
    #16
  17. ManxBerg

    ManxBerg Rallye Raid

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    OK back to the thread, decision made and the entries were in, we were going back to the Tuareg rallye!
    It was now I started to consider what I wanted to do with my bikes. I at this point had the 2003 KTM 450 EXC, a Gas Gas Pampera mk 1, and a Montesa 315 trials bike in the shed.

    Early in this thread I mentioned doing this on a budget, bear with me as there are a few twists and turns money wise, before I get to the end.
    The budget option would have been to re convert the 450 to a Rallye bike but I'd learnt that, you really need a different bike, with a completely different set up and suspension for Rallye's, and my 450 was getting more and more specialised as an enduro bike.

    I started looking at buying a bike to use as a pure rallye bike. A KTM 690r, Bmw X Challenge, Beta 525rr, Husaberg 570? The plan was something to keep for a long time and set it up to use only for Rallye's. I'd then keep the KTM 450 just for enduro's. It was at this time that I saw a 2003 KTM 525 EXC advertised locally. It had never been offroad, had been turned into a supermoto and given a 540 big bore kit, and hardly used since. Better still it was only £1800. I started to think this might be a good plan as the 450 would offer almost a full bikes worth of availiable spares and all the Rallye kit I had would fit straight on. And it was a bargain! What could go wrong.

    I got it for £1750 and took it home. The previous owner had done a good job and had had the frame powder coated black as well as the engine work, I was pleased. I was even more pleased when I sold the wheels for £350. I later sold the Montesa and Pampera for £750 and £800 which was exactly what I paid for them. I love it when that happens.
    Not being one to resist I bargain I then bought a 2005 KTM 125SX with a blown motor for just £350 and now had a set of offroad wheels for the 540 as well as a whole host of other generic KTM parts. Handle bars, brakes, magura clutch etc etc. I plan later to sell the plastics, seat and suspension etc, and hopefully get some money back in for the pot.

    So I'd gone from 3 bikes, to 2 and a half, and essentially spent no money at this point! If anything I was £50 up! In the shed now was a KTM 450, a KTM 540, and a KTM 125 SX in bits. I already had a road book, ICO, GPS, steering damper, big tanks etc from the 450 and knew all I had to do was fit them to the new 540.
    Feeling smug that I hadn't spent a fortune on a KTM 690R which would have requied a small fortune to convert, I started to think that maybe I should try and make the 540 into something a bit special. I had the basic kit but what about a Rallye fairing and some upgraded parts? Maybe a Renazco seat?
    Ebay was providing a constant source of interesting buys and it wasn't long before I had another roadbook a low front fender and various other rallye switch's and buttons sat on my table in the shed.
    [​IMG]

    Ebay connot provide everything though and I bought a Rallye fairing from http://www.albertodottori.net/ as well as a Rallye stem to fit the fairing too. It wasn't cheap but neither are any of the other options for rallye fairings and I thought his looked the best. The fairing comes unpainted and together with the stem cost 435 Euro's. Painting was another £300 and I had to buy an newer style KTM headlight but this is the result.

    [​IMG]

    The 540 was stripped and the headstock drilled for the all imprtant Stem, to which all the Nav gear and fairing fixes to.

    [​IMG]

    Now I think I have all the I require it's time to get this build started. There is still quite a lot to do and some nice detailing to fit. This is not a budget bike but it will not have cost the earth when it's done. I think by the time i'm finished that I will have a top class unique Rallye bike and an enduro bike for less than the cost of a new standard KTM 530 EXC.

    This is my shed at the moment, time to get busy!!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. ManxBerg

    ManxBerg Rallye Raid

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    Spend so far;
    £2500 on KTM 450 EXC Rallye bike with all accessories inc GPS.
    £1750 KTM 540 EXC
    £350 KTM 125 SX (blown motor)
    £730 Fairing and Stem
    £400 suspension work, revalve and springs - I will describe this work later
    £500 approx on parts and ebay stuff - the good stuff, I will describe these as I build. Examples KTM Fan kit, alloy throttle tube, Rad guards, etc
    Money back from Supermoto wheels -£350, and potentially more from sale of KTM SX parts.

    Total (on Bikes only) £5880 which remember gives two bikes.
    #18
  19. brent tex

    brent tex Been here awhile

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    Exellent thread Manxberg. You and I think so alike its scary. Cant wait for your next update.
    #19
  20. ManxBerg

    ManxBerg Rallye Raid

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    Today the steering head bearings had a re-grease and the triple clamps were re-attached. The bike now has Suspension front and rear and I've loosly put wheels on it so I can wheel it round.
    [​IMG]

    The suspension has had some work done by DR SHOX at Endurotech in the UK. He has experience of setting up Rallye bike and has given me some recommended settings.
    These are the settings recommended for a 12.5 stone rider(79kg / 175lb)
    The front forks have had a revalve for plushness and have 5w oil and 4.6 springs. they have 110mm air gap. 18 clicks rebound, 20 clicks compression.
    The rear shock has also been revalved and has a 90 spring. Rebound 18, compression 15 clicks. I will report back on how they feel when I get to ride the thing. This work with springs and postage cost £476.
    I think suspension work can be the most important thing you can do to an offroad bike and hopefully this setup will be perfect. The forks are also fitted with neoprene socks which protects both the fork legs and seals.

    Next thing to do was attach the Handle Bars clamps and steering damper. I took the GPR steering damper off my old bike. This is one of the older V1 stabilizers and fits on top of the bar mount. Because it fits on top it is hard to fit any bar risers as you'd have to make a new longer stem for the damper arm. This was a problem as I wanted to find a way to give some extra rise to the bars as you spend a lot of time standing and I'm 6 foot.
    [​IMG]
    You can also see in this picture the pulse racing red adjusters on the forks.

    I looked at buying a new set of bar clamps to mount the damper below, but by now I'd started to stretch my budget with the fairing (and yet to mention seat and oil cooler). However I might find a sub mount in the future as this bike is one to keep.
    For those who don't have a steering damper, you don't know what you're missing. I would have one on every off road bike, now I've tried one. It's almost essential on a desert Rallye. Anyone with a KTM must have had a good headshake at some point, usually when travelling pretty quick, and they do make you less likely to crash when tired.

    My solution to raising the bars was to buy a new set of Fatbars in the highest bend possible, I think they are call RC high.

    [​IMG]
    Starting to look like a bike again, tomorrow I think the sub frame will go back on.
    #20