Dakar Dazed II - Part 2: The road to Dakar 2015

Discussion in 'Racing' started by JMo (& piglet), Jun 4, 2014.

  1. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Bluebull!

    Yes, as Doug says - they offer the same [new shape] fairing for the older tanks too - you just have to tell them which tank set you have, and they will send the correct fairing... the new fairing kit comes with new side plates/headlight bracket for the tower too, but you use the original spine part from the older kit.

    You know what JVO are like, but if you drop them an email (perhaps with a google translation attached) then you ought to get an answer if they are still available... essentially, they are the same fairing panel parts, I believe it's just how the tabs that mount to the tanks are cut.

    As for the benefits of the new fairing - yes, as you say, it offers much more [full] clearance for a high fender, and I would say it is also significantly lighter and less bulky... with more room for the bars/hand-guards on full lock too for example.

    The clear screen doesn't really offer any extra visibility (unless you run without nav gear fitted of course), but the area behind the cockpit is much easier to access the fuses etc. without removing it; while the lights (I fitted a pair of Vision-X Solstice lamps, one wide/low beam and a spot/hi beam) draw a lot less current and are vastly better than the OEM headlight - in fact so much so I didn't feel the need to fit the HID Zenon (and ballast) in the upper position - saving weight and complexity again.

    It's definitely a worthwhile [if pricy] upgrade in my opinion.

    Hope that helps!

    Jx

    ps. You just want a fairing with shark teeth don't you?! ;o)
  2. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Just a quick update to the Dakar 2015 plans for team LC4-50!

    I'm delighted to confirm that Carl Hagenblad (inmate Hagenblad) has agreed to be the #1 rider to campaign the LC4-50 in the Dakar Rally this coming January...

    [​IMG]

    He's been busy these past few weeks testing the bike in all sorts of extreme conditions in Sweden, and will now concentrate on finalising his spec with the team at Rally Raid Products & Torque Racing who will be building his race bike and providing full assistance during his Dakar campaign...

    I am both honoured and humbled to be able to hand the mantle over to such an accomplished rider who is going to be able to run with it far faster than I could ever hope to dare!

    Go Calle!

    And please show your support and follow his blog here:

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=955231

    And his comprehensive review of the bike here:

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=25037248#post25037248

    Jx
  3. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Just a quick update regarding the LC4-50 project - before we ramp up our activity following the final prep and scrutineering at Le Havre prior to shipping to South America at the end of next month...

    Those of you who have followed the project from the beginning: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=858442 will know just how many hoops we've had to jump through to make this bike eligible for entry on the Dakar Rally.

    On the surface it would seem straight-forward enough - the bike is based around a KTM690 Enduro - itself a fully type-approved road legal and FIM homologated (racing) machine; while we have developed a short-stroke engine conversion reducing the cylinder capacity to 449cc to comply with the ASO (and now FIM World Championship) maximum capacity cap.

    However, despite regular two-way communication between ASO and ourselves throughout the development of the project, and assurances that it would comply, it turns out there was a degree of ambiguity in the regs that could be interpreted two ways...

    To cut a long story short, the official interpretation of the regulations means that for the LC4-50 to be eligible for the Dakar, it has to be homologated/type-approved as a 450cc production machine, and not simply a production machine that is 450cc.

    Sounds like semantics, but the upshot of all this is that effectively at the 11th hour, Rally Raid have had to put the LC4-50 through the UK type-approval system - which I am delighted to announce, it passed this week - and in effect, Rally Raid Products are now officially the UK's Newest Motorcycle Manufacturer!!!

    [​IMG]

    It might appear to be just a small slip of paper, but gaining individual type-approval in turn allows the existing bike to properly [re]registered in the UK as an independently manufactured road-legal machine - and is the key element in ensuring the bike meets all the paperwork requirements alongside the usual physical inspection and safety etc. compliance required at scrutineering.

    It has been a long journey for John (KTMmitch), engine-builder Martin (Torque Racing), not to mention the countless companies, associates and individuals that have all helped develop and production-ise this concept into reality.

    It's a proud moment indeed for everyone involved with Rally Raid Products - and not least a fitting tribute to the concept that John and (Wes) Beaney came up with more than two and a half years ago now.

    [​IMG]
    KTMmitch with the LC4-50 during desert testing in Tunisia, March 2014

    Jx
  4. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Following on from gaining UK type approval, it was time for our engine guru and rally prep specialist Martin Wittering (from Torque Racing) to take a look inside the development/first production bike and see how it had stood up to six months of hard endurance testing - not least a 4000km cross-Europe thrash at 130+kmh, and two (out of two) successful finishes in both Rally and Enduro events as far apart as Greece and Sweden!

    [​IMG]

    Initial indications were excellent - the head and valves were clean:

    [​IMG]

    While the original piston and rings showed no signs of wear, despite a constant thrashing and only one oil change in 8000kms!

    [​IMG]

    The rest of the valve train and the engine as a whole showed no discernible wear or cause for concern either:

    [​IMG]

    Which all bodes extremely well for a bike that is soon going to be raced over 9000kms in a very short space of time!

    Ultimately, this original LC4-50 engine will be come a 'spare' for Calle and the Dakar bike, so has been refreshed with a new [MkII] production piston, which has been slightly modified from the original (which had had to be hand-finished to ensure valve clearances).

    [​IMG]

    Martin will now be turning his attention to building the new race engine, and refurbishing the existing bike, including a few spec changes that Calle has requested.

    The new LC4-50 engine will then be thoroughly 'bedded-in' prior to final race prep, and transport to Le Havre at the end of November.

    I just hope John remembers to change the oil... although it would seem that is by no means essential ;o)

    More soon!

    Jx
  5. leeo45

    leeo45 Longtime Lurker

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    I am reading your post and thinking "Oh No! Not after all that time and work".

    Congratulations on the type-approval ! A major step that you didn't know you needed. Full speed ahead.
  6. garfey

    garfey Scruffy Adventurer Supporter

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    Same thought here! Super-glad that that was not the case.
    Congrats to the Newest Of5icial UK Moorsickle Manufacturer and all involved in this project! :clap:clap:clap:clap:clap
  7. drc42

    drc42 Rally Dreamer

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    KTM = "Ready to Race... as long as you are willing to spend lots of time maintaining it"

    RRP LC4-50 = "Ready to Race... Just race it!"
  8. beechum1

    beechum1 Dandole Gas al Burro

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    Very great project with great results. I'll be tracking the rider this year as we all will. You and your team has made a very big step to create a real solution to a real "problem."
  9. dazzadm

    dazzadm Long timer

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    :clap Congratulations on the Approval. Major milestone achieved. Can't wait to follow the race:wings
  10. Bluebull2007

    Bluebull2007 Adventurer

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    Im really pleased to hear you managed to do all that. What a lot of paperwork, heartache and time! Its a bit like trying to import a 2nd hand bike into South America. :arg

    I must confess a couple of times I have caught myself asking "why would anyone want to do this to themselves?", but the answer is very clearly in drc42s post, and also because you can. :thumb
  11. ericGSsti

    ericGSsti Been here awhile

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    Congratulations on the approval.
  12. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Long timer

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    To help maintenance on our LC450 Dakar bike, and any KTM 690 Enduro or SMC, we have designed a lightweight stand that uses pegs which screw into the frame, so the engine or swinging arm can be removed, or the suspension linkage removed, without the need to suspend the bike from above.
    It is designed to be able to be dismantled and flat-packed in a rally box.
    We are also working to fit an oil cooler to the bike, to help in the hot Dakar conditions, and also increases oil capacity, who knows, we may even treat her to a rest-day oil change!!!
    Hopefully these will both be available as aftermarket parts once tested in the worlds toughest rally.
    [​IMG][​IMG]
  13. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    [​IMG]

    Fantastic news today - ASO, the governing body of the Dakar Rally, have confirmed that the Rally Raid Products’ LC4-50 meets all their criteria for entry into the Dakar this coming January.

    This is the culmination of over two and a half years developing the LC4-50 project - the concept of an ultra-reliable privateer Dakar bike created by Rally Raid Products' proprietor John Mitchinson together with his late engineering partner Wesley Beane (aka Beaney here on ADVrider), who we unfortunately lost in a rallying accident in March 2013.

    It is particularly poignant that we received this news today of all days, as it would have been Wesley’s birthday today and is a fitting tribute to his drive and enthusiasm.

    The 2015 Dakar Rally will see the debut of the LC4-50 on the world rallying stage, piloted by Swedish rider Carl Hagenblad, and supported by John and the team from Torque Racing Services (UK).

    As for me - I'll be stuck in rainy old England bringing you all the latest news and updates from the team out in South America...

    So stand by for Part III of Dakar Dazed (new thread coming soon), where we'll meet the team at scrutineering in Le Havre!

    Woop!

    Jenny xx
  14. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Long timer

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    Here is the definitive reply from ASO Technical re our LC4-50 Dakar bike:


    <tt>I would like to confirm that the documents you sent us follow our recommendations. Our technical delegates would be in a position to defend you in case in the event another competitor makes a protest (which happened in the past). Your bike is, on an administrative point of view, and in regards to the elements we have in our hands right now, eligible. Well done for what you managed put together in such a short term notice John. Jordi and myself look forward to seeing team in Le Havre!

    </tt></pre>This is a much waited-for response from the Dakar organisers, after we were thrown a last-minute hurdle to jump from them, but in true "garagiste" home-spun style we managed to get Single Vehicle Approval(SVA) from the UK agency and the bike is not now a KTM, but a Rally Raid Products LC450, we are a manufacturer in our own right.
    This was all done within 3 weeks, thanks to Jenny, Martin & Donna at Torque Racing and Carl for their help and patience, and best of all it came on Wes's birthday, how ironic is that? It would have be great to celebrate this achievement with him........
  15. ktmmitch

    ktmmitch Long timer

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    [​IMG]



    Swedish Dirt Bike Magazine of our rider, Carl Hagenblad, testing the LC450 in Sweden recently. We need Troy Safari Carpenter to translate it though, I never thought I’d have to ask an Aussie to translate for me !!!
  16. Possu

    Possu de-nOObed!

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    Great news, looking forward to the bike and rider doing well in the Dakar. :thumb
  17. iggs

    iggs Been here awhile

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    I know it's difficult to see past Dakar at the moment but is ADDC on the cards for March?
  18. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi iggs - Not for me I'm afraid, but I know that Rally Raid are actively looking for LC4-50 riders to take the concept further though 2015, with a view to having at least a 3 bike team at Dakar 2016.

    Effectively they are looking to assist independent riders who have their eye on Dakar, with a fully assisted rental option throughout 2015 - making it far more cost effective than having to buy your own bike and arrange independent service assistance etc. as RRP (in conjunction with Torque Racing) are able to subsidise a lot of the otherwise associated costs...

    The current Dakar rental package already includes the rental for one other event, plus a complete overhaul prior to your entry in Dakar - but Rally Raid are also looking to offer a similar package for riders looking to compete in other events and series throughout the coming season - whether that is FIM championship rounds, FIM affiliated events and various other international and domestic challenges.

    Of course the LC4-50 is also the perfect machine for those riders looking to compete Malle Moto style - it will certainly require far less intensive maintenance during the course of an event, which should further help reduce costs. Indeed it could be the difference between being able to afford racing multiple events rather than just one or two - not just in the entry/assistance fees, but with ongoing maintenance and overhaul costs that are associated with competing a whole season.

    Similarly, I know they are also considering renting bikes to any Malle Moto riders for Dakar 2016 - making entry a far more realistic proposition for many privateers?

    If anyone would like to discuss the options in greater detail, I do encourage you to contact Rally Raid Products with a proposal...

    Jx
  19. iggs

    iggs Been here awhile

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    Cool

    Just to be clear I'm committed 100% with Moto1 and a rallye lite conversion of my GasGas 450 for ADDC and need to finish this as my very first event before I consider anything else past it.

    But I'm liking the story and keen to see first hand the bikes out here
  20. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer Supporter

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    This is great news in response to a huge effort and very clever concept. Congratulations.