Dakar Rally to Limit Motorcycles to 450 cc

Bajades

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The quoted section below was posted today in Cycle News. I imagine KTM isn't going to be too happy about this considering their investment in this class and their domination for the last few years. This will really level the playing field as far as the bikes are concerned.

I anxious to talk to Jonah to see what he thinks about it!

"The organizers of the Dakar Rally have announced that the motorcycle portion of the annual event will consist of 450cc four-strokes, beginning in 2010 with a grace period of one year in which the bigger bikes can still be used with restrictors.

The promoters of what is generally regarded as the biggest off-road race in the world say that the change will level the playing field in the motorcycle division.

Yamaha has already been fielding a 450 with top 10 results with David Fretigne, but the class has been dominated of late by the big bikes - first by BMW and lately by KTM. According to promoters, 450cc bikes made up 40 percent of the entries in the 2009 Dakar Rally."

Although event organizers didn't come right out and say it, the 450s will also slow speeds enough to make the event safer for competitors.

Because a lot of the privateer Dakar racers already own the bigger twins, the 2010 Dakar will be open to both 450s and the bigger bikes, though the twins will be restricted by a method not yet decided upon. It will, however, be provided by the rally organization, a release from the promoters states. The organizers have also stated that possible winners of the event will be forced to ride 450cc motorcycles in 2010 and will not have the grace period that the privateers will get.
 

Baja Fool

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I don't believe this is a good decision. They should split it up into different classes; Limited and Unlimited say and that way the limited class could win in their own class, yet still have a go at the unlimited bikes for overall.

This is correct about Fretigne, he rode the "2WD" Yamaha a few years back and did well. He continues to be a top contender.

As far as safety is concerned, if any of you have ever ridden a KTM 450, you'll know that these bikes are capable of excellent acceleration and when geared correctly can produce some impressive top speeds. I believe the tragic loss of Andy Caldecott occurred while on a smaller displacement motorcycle (not 750cc or up). So I don't necessarily buy into the safety/speed issue. Racing is potentially dangerous.

However, it could be better for the privateers but at what expense.....my .02.
 

MultiScaleRacer

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http://www.marathonrally.com/news/12457.0.html


Headline: KTM work-team withdraws from the Dakar Rally

Following the announcement at a press conference on June 4, 2009 of the French "ASO" - the organisers of the "South American Dakar" that from 2010, only motorcycles with a maximum displacement of 450 cc will be permitted to compete, KTM, after eight consecutive victories, has decided to immediately accept the consequences and announces its withdrawal from the "Dakar".

The company will no longer be represented at the rally in South America either with an official factory team or a KTM-supported team. At the same time, KTM underlines that the company remains committed to rally sport and will now concentrate its efforts on the world championship and other important rallies.

The organiser's short term change to the rules, designed to end the dominance of KTM, and which comes without any advance warning, hits the KTM factory hard. Today, just six months before the start - and at a time when not only the factory team but also dozens of private teams are deep in preparations for this extremely complex rally, the immediate withdrawal of the worldwide market leader of offroad sports motorcycle is the only possible consequence.

"Every sport regulation needs changes and adjustments to new developments to retain an interest in it, but this also require the appropriate lead times. We have the entire material for the 690 Rally motorcycles for our factory team as well as that for 50 customers' motorcycles in our storage facility ready to be constructed in June. Riders' contracts have been finalised and all the team members have been engaged. The financial consequences that results from this decision are enormous. Quite apart from this, we are shocked by the organiser's lack of loyalty, above all because of the huge efforts we made following the cancellation of the Dakar in 2008 by contributing to the new edition - even during a period of extreme economic crisis," said KTM Motor Sport Advisor and "Rally Legend" Heinz Kinigadner in a first statement.

Following the decision for the deployment of 450cc motorcycles, which are unthinkably unsuitable for use in long distance rallies, KTM can no longer economically justify a commitment to be engaged in the Dakar in the future. KTM Motor Sport Director Winfried Kerschhaggl: "Rally sport serves to prove the efficiency and stability of our large volume series single cylinder. There is no question that we will remain active in rally sport! Having said that, for KTM, the rally in South America is now history. We will now fully concentrate on the Rally World Championship and we will seek out alternatives. Maybe we will soon again see full KTM Rally engagement on African soil - back to the roots!"

With its commitment to rally sports, KTM naturally takes the obligations to its long term worldwide customers seriously because it is they who have decided to put their trust in the products and in the unique service of the Austrian company for rally sport by choosing KTM motorcycles.

2009/06/05 | 08:31 CET | Editor: MR/HS/KTM
 

JPBart

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I don't know what the ASO was thinking would happen but this rule bans 60% of the bikes that raced last year. I simply don't get it. The world economy sucks so we are going to make it even harder for our customers to be, well, our customers. Wierd to me.
 

derco

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hi

This decision from ASO is very strange. But i think someone is happy, and they are the guys from Africa Race. Now , the europeans that have bigger bikes, will much probably turn their attentions to Africa again, and to Africa Race. I thinks ASO will regret this decision.

Regards
 

raidman88

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ASO announced yesterday that the rule has changed! Elite riders are allowed to ride machines with more volume then 450cc if they use the restrictor. Amateurs are allowed to ride everything without restrictor...

The rules intended for this year are pushed forward to 2011...and the ASO announced that by 2012 only 450 machines are allowed (or less ofcourse).

Dutchman Henk Knuiman is currently testing the restrictor bride...


Gertjan

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ASO announced yesterday that the rule has changed! Elite riders are allowed to ride machines with more volume then 450cc if they use the restrictor. Amateurs are allowed to ride everything without restrictor...

Too little, too late...or closing the barn door after the horse is out?
 

Tipracer

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I agree, this stupid idea was aimed right at BMW & KTM...and to let only amateurs ride without restrictor...wtf??? Let me think about this...the best guys at going fast will not be able to go fast but the "new" guys can...BS!!!
 

Chase 2

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Large races like SCORE's Baja 1000 and ASO's Dakar have rarely had large factory motorcycle teams standing toe to toe trading punches for the win. Typically one factory group comes in and dominates while the competition puts out less than 1/2 the effort. The overwhelming majority of the motorcycle entries in ASO's Dakar and SCORE are privateer efforts. So what if KTM, BMW, Cagivia, Honda, Yamaha, or who ever the current dominate factory effort is pulls out?? The number of entries will not drop dramatically, and the race will continue.
 

John Mags 944

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Does anyone know if this 450cc limit aplies to the qauds of dakar also? or is it simply a bike thing.

I had a look through the FIM web sight and could not find sup regs for 2010 dakar.
 

raidman88

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No, the 450 rule does not apply to quads. As you might have seen from last year, there are few quads with (or less) 450cc....however there was a driver from Spain once that tried to do the Dakar with a 250cc quad. Never made it through the first stages.
In my opinion its not recommended to start with a machine that has less then 450cc, its simply not powerful and fast enough....I think the ASO recognizes this problem as well and leaves the quad section pretty much regulate itself.

Another discussion is about 1 or 2 cylinder engines...2 cylinder quads were allowed before but recently they are banned. Don't know if this is a real rule and just something that they apply. For example, entering a Banshee with 350cc/2 cylinder into the race might actually be allowed because of this 350cc-2 cylinder ratio.

If you still doubt, its best to contact the ASO before entering the Dakar.
 
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