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

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

  1. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    On a slight side note, if I'm to cover the cost of my Dakar entry next year, I'm really going to have to sell my WR450... ad in the flea market here:

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=23515472#post23515472

    Please forward to anyone you know who might be interested - remember this bike is in the UK, although I'd be happy to arrange transport and/or shipping at the buyers expense.

    Jx
  2. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    See this:

    [​IMG]

    A KTM 690 with a Rally Raid Products EVO2 fairing kit right?

    Kinda... it is actually the first production engined LC4-50 on a test run earlier today...

    Donna Grey (from Torque Racing) has been 'gently' - I am assured ;o) - putting it through it's paces in a series of shakedown test-runs before we take it off to Tunisia next week for some proper testing in desert conditions!

    It might have taken us 12 months longer than we first envisaged, but we now can honestly say we have a production ready 450cc LC4 engine in a bike that is eligible for Dakar 2015!

    Woop!

    Jenny xx
  3. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    Very curious to see what power is left or reduced from the 690...

    Hopefully not too much, its a big bike to begin with.

    Stoked its finally alive :pynd
  4. MaxThePanda

    MaxThePanda Psycho Panda

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    Yeah, lovely project. Those the translucent tanks? They look great - prob put the same on my 690 later this year...
  5. pebble35

    pebble35 Long timer

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    JMo and KTM Mitch - it's great to see this project moving on from an idea, to drawings, to parts and finally to a running bike - well done :clap:clap:clap:clap:clap
  6. 640 Armageddon

    640 Armageddon Xplorer Supporter

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    It is amazing to see the bike is going forward and runs fine :freaky:clap:rofl
    Congrats to the engineering team, very, very well done!

    Looking forward to see performance features etc.
    Jenny, do they plan to test the bike, open it up and check wear, clearances etc? I mean for the parts that were changes, because obviously with the detuned version the gearbox will last forever :clap
  7. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Thanks Pebble - I know how enthusiastic you've been about this project too!

    We should have a much clearer idea how 'race ready' it is after some testing in Tunisia while the Tuareg Rallye is happening (7th-14th March).

    For the moment it is still running the stock fuel map (actually a slightly modified one by the late great Beaney - albeit for a 690cc engine), so once we've got a few 'running in' miles on it, it will be onto the Dyno to properly set up the fueling and see what sort of power and torque figures we are getting...

    Don't anyone expect fireworks of course - this is a 690 engine with getting on for 1/3rd less cubic capacity remember... but what we hope to have are figures in the region of any other commercially available 450cc enduro bike engine, with the added benefit of far larger oil capacity and a much stronger gearbox.

    Certainly a 'seat of the pants' ride by Donna Grey form Torque Racing has revealed a nice and consistent spread of torque, despite the shorter stroke, and essentially a engine that feels like a large capacity unit in it's delivery...

    More soon!

    Jx
  8. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Armageddon! - yes, that is certainly the plan after tunisia - open it up and check the wear, then reassemble and get it on the dyno.

    There is also the potential to set up some back-to-back comparison tests (in conjunction with a magazine) with this bike and a Factory 450RFR - that should be interesting indeed!

    But of course we are under no illusion that this bike is actually going to compete directly with a 450RFR in the outright performance stakes... But what we do hope however is that it will provide the privateer [Dakar/FIM] rally racer with a serious lower-budget alternative, that at the same time also requires far less maintenance during the course of a season or event.

    Exciting times!

    Jx
  9. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Just a quick update and taster from team Rally Raid Products/Torque Racing...

    John (RRP) and Martin (TR) have been very busy over the last few days getting the production LC4-50 bike together in time to ship to Tunisia with the rest of the Torque Racing supported riders this year who are competing in the Tuareg Rallye.

    Donna's initial test-rides these past couple of days have revealed the bike feels very much like a slightly de-tuned version of the KTM 690 to ride, which in effect it is of course.

    Although it is currently still running a 690cc fuel map, her seat-of-the-pants review is that the engine is smooth and feels very torquey (for a short-stroke over-square design), and after this initial shake-down, we are confident to take it to Tunisia and put some proper test mileage on it alongside the Tuareg Rallye.

    We are also hoping to be able to tweak the fueling maps while we are out there (with a laptop), then once we get home again, the engine will be stripped, inspected, and the production components finally signed-off for batch production.

    We'll then get in on the dyno, and set it up optimally with a dedicated fuel-map (still using the original ECU and fuel-injection body) that will be part of the customer kit to be made available.

    Exciting times!

    Martin Wittering with the first production LC4-50:
    [​IMG]

    Custom Graphics Kit by ZeroNine (who make all the RRP sticker sets for the EVO2 kits) - a patriotic twist on the usual blue and orange design:
    [​IMG]

    It was engineered and built in Britain dontcha know!:
    [​IMG]

    Alongside my race reporting over on the Tuareg Rallye 2014 - Official Media Coverage thread, I will also endeavour to bring you updates from our testing in the Tunisian desert!

    More soon, I have some packing to do!

    Jenny xx
  10. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Max - Yes, they are the opaque versions (rather than the solid white), which means with the rally graphic kit fitted which has a cut out in the sides, you can see the fuel level in the tanks at a glance.

    Jx
  11. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    And few photos of John Mitchinson (Rally Raid Products) aka KTMmitch razzing the LC4-50 through the dunes during our testing session in Tunisia this week... it's proper eye-candy!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
    So far the signs are good - Martin Wittering from Torque Racing (who built the engine) has been able to adjust the standard 690cc fueling map to better work with the 450cc capacity - but ultimately of course it is going to need some work on the dyno to create a dedicated fuel map. Once we get back to the UK next week we will strip the engine to inspect it, then make the necessary modifications to get the balance right - the feeling at the moment is that [with John's open air-box mods for the 690cc capacity] their is simply too much air for the 450cc engine, and it is in effect both over-aired and over-fueled for the capacity.

    Ironically, putting the standard air-box back on might well be the solution!

    More soon!

    Jx
  12. mtrehy

    mtrehy Adventurer

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    Problem isn't too much air it's the velocity of it. Port and valve sizes for 690 are not going to be optimum for 450. Will be low on torque at low rpm and need to be worked very hard. If you can rev it to the moon it will have very high hp potential but this isn't the object of the exercise.
  13. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    I understand your principle there, but I'm note sure it's the case (KTMmitch will be able to explain better), as I understand it, the crown of the 450 piston has been specially shaped to closely match the original air/charge velocity of the 690...

    The dyno is booked for the end of this week, and we ought to see some clear figures then... but certainly the seat of the pants feel is that there is still plenty of torque at the bottom end - it's just choking itself at the top of the rev range...

    In the meantime, the UK press have caught wind of the project - hopefully this is just the first of many features over the coming weeks and months!

    [​IMG]

    Jx
  14. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hot news just in the from the Dyno room!

    [​IMG]
    (this is not the actual dyno room, obviously...)

    Martin Wittering and John Mitchinson from Rally Raid Products have got the LC4-50 on the dyno this morning, and the results are nothing short of fantastic!

    After setting up the fueling correctly, the 450cc short-stroke LC4-50 engine produced 43.6bhp (that is actual Rear Wheel BHP) at a maximum of 7190rpm...

    Torque figures edited for correction
    It also produces a maximum 33.7lb/ft torque at 6800rpm, but perhaps more importantly, produces 80% of that from 3,500rpm linearly until the redline "It's Like a diesel!" says John "It pulls like a tractor now!"

    This really is fantastic news, as John would have been happy if they'd hit 40bhp with their short-stroke over-square 450cc conversion to the original LC4 690 engine.

    "To compare [with other 450cc enduro bikes]" he says "They had a 2014 model WR450F on the dyno here last week, and that made 43bhp RWHP too) - so we are right where we wanted to be!"

    As a further comparison, Martin and John brought along a stock 40,000 mile 2010 model KTM 690 Enduro (654cc) as a benchmark, that achieved 59.1bhp at 6800rpm, and 46.4 lb/ft torque at 6250rpm.

    It is certainly a day for celebration for everyone involved in the project... and of course now the fun really begins!


    With the bike effectively ready to race now, I shall be starting a new Dakar Dazed II thread (essentially part 2 of the project) shortly, to coincide with my participation in the Hellas Rally next month... and our ongoing progress as we build the team for Dakar 2015.

    Not only will this be my first competitive rally since Dakar, but it will be a great way to see how the new bike performs over a week of tough going - and as an added endurance test, I shall be riding it all the way to Greece and back from the UK - yep, I must be mad!

    Stay tuned for more info as we prep the bike, and set off to really prove it's worth!

    Toot toot!

    Jenny xx
  15. wilkinsonk

    wilkinsonk soup de grimace

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    Jenny,

    Curious on the WR450, was it de-corked (AIS, etc), fuel map modified? Or straight off the floor? Would be really interesting to see how the LC4-50 compared to a race-ready enduro bike.

    Glad to see that this project has gotten along so far!

    - Ken
  16. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    STOP PRESS!

    Just had a phone call from John - after successful testing with the stock rev limiter in place, they decided to see what it would make by upping the limit to 8800rpm... 46.9bhp - rear wheel horsepower!!!


    "They guys [at the dyno shop] were so impressed with it - they felt it could go all day at full chat" explains John "And asked if I wanted to raise the limiter just to see the maximum we could get out of it - we'd already got [more than] what we came for, so I didn't care if it blew up... (not that it was going to of course), and sure enough, we got even more power out of it!!!"

    Because they are building a custom fuel map for the engine, it is quite possible that further refinements can be made - and the intention is to build the new base map and then set up the bike again in a couple of weeks time - stay tuned!

    Jx
  17. StepOnIt

    StepOnIt Assitoner

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    So even with the short stroke the bike still rev's up quick? how does it feel compared to the 690 motor and pull? or did you get to ride the 690 before you took it apart? So you did nothing to the head and valves right? This was just a re-mapping session that they were able to dial in the fuel setting to get this kind of HP and torque. So if I understand this right...it will not have to be rev'ed the shit out of in the sand/dunes so the motor will not have to work as hard. then this will help with the overall durability of the motor also?
  18. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    Hi Ken - I don't know the full details, but it was a magazine test of four bikes, so I imagine they were pretty stock (although you know how manufacturers like to send out bikes at their 'optimum' ahem.)

    The bottom line is any bike can be made to create huge power - the Factory rally bikes from KTM and Honda are pushing 60bhp from 450ccs, and the MX-derived TM 450 they had on the dyno last week as part of the magazine test put our 55bhp - but as the tester said "Probably not for very long!"

    John never set out to try and beat the manufacturers power outputs, he would have been happy just to be in the ball-park for a stock 450cc enduro bike (if only to make it a realistic alternative for the privateer shopper), so this result is fantastic news as what it proves is not only the concept worked, but works well!

    The whole point with this project was to create a 450cc (ie. Dakar eligible) engine, that could run all day and more importantly the whole rally, and be ultra-reliable - have the benefits of a super-strong gearbox and oil capacity, and fundamentally not require an engine change either during the rally, or even during a season.

    Cost is also a major consideration, and even with the price of the engine conversion kit parts, building a Dakar-spec rally bike using the Rally Raid Products kit on a brand new 690 should only be able half what it costs to buy a 450RFR... so that is effectively your bike and your entry covered for the same money should you wish to ride Malle Moto for example - is the LC4-50 the ultimate privateer bike? Quite possibly!

    Jx
  19. 640 Armageddon

    640 Armageddon Xplorer Supporter

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    Nice to hear the news Jenny!! :freaky

    Congratunlations to the team for pulling this off. Horsepower aside, off course the detune is there, so the horsepower is down, O am wondering the following. You should be able to overlap the torque curves for both stock and modified bike to see the difference, I may be missing something here cause I have not had any goodnight sleep for the last couple of weeks :huh but would not more torque mean more load on the transmission?
    I am wondering if eventually the reliability will equal that of the 690, which of course is nowhere near the race ready 450's (it is far better I mean...).

    :clap:clap
  20. JMo (& piglet)

    JMo (& piglet) Unicorn breeder

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    OK, let me see if I can answer these in order!

    Yes the bike still revs quickly, although not perhaps in the same way as a 'regular' 450cc enduro/mx engine does, due primarily to having the same bore as the 690 engine - so effectively, it still feels like a 'big' capacity bike in the way the power is delivered.

    I've not ridden a 690cc version so cannot make a back to back comparison, but those that have say it feels very much like the original bike in the way the power is delivered.

    You are correct, nothing has been done to the head and valves - it is simply a change of crank/rod and piston. The idea was always to try and minimise the number of components (and cost thereof) that were required for conversion - this is not about chasing maximum power, rather building an ultra-reliable 450cc rally bike engine.

    As such, the throttle body and airbox are original [690cc] size too (although the airbox on John's [the test] bike has been modified to improve the airflow for when it was 654cc - we thought that might be too much air for the smaller capacity, but as it turns out, the Cosworth piston design closely replicates the air/mixture flow of the original, and once the fueling was set up correctly, we found the fuel/air balance was fine with the open airbox in place.

    Yes, this session was primarily about setting up a new and dedicated fuel-map for the 450cc capacity. Now we have that, with some fine tuning, we might be able to improve things further - although already it has a very smooth curve and 80% of maximum torque all the way from 3500rpm upwards...

    Which brings me to your final question - yes, exactly - with so much of the overall torque available lower down the rev-range, the idea is the bike will be able to lug along at lower revs, which as you surmise, will also help with longevity...

    This coupled with the larger oil capacity (compared to an mx/enduro derived engine) and the stronger gears in the gearbox, should make the thing pretty unbreakable, and certainly not require an 'engine change' half way through an event - hell, you could probably just change the oil on rest-day and call it good!

    Jx