There are several modification needed to make the bike rally worthy, meet the rules of the organization or have the capacities necessary to run the stage distances of the Dakar. In the Husqvarna Rally Bike Build posts I will outline the modifications and how we adapted the bike and components.
One piece of equipment needed is a sturdy skid plate capable of protecting the motor and underside of the motorcycle traveling the 5,600 race miles while being pelted by rocks and gliding over dunes. There are a few rules that where taken into consideration while building the skid plate. Each competitor is required to carry three liters of water on the motorcycle in addition to two liters carried on your person. Another rule prohibits carrying hard tools in a back pack, belt pack or rally jacket. A common practice is to combine the skid plate with a water tank and tool box. We choose to go this route in the development of the skid plate. No “bolt on” part with these features is currently available for the Husqvarna. I designed the plate to be compact and still give the protection necessary. The skid plate incorporates a water tank, tool box and does not need to be removed for the daily oil changes. It also uses the stock mounting points on the frame.
Using cardboard to begin the mock up process
A little further along with the skid plate shape and tool box
Water tank on right side and under middle of the frame
Scott Schriver, a seasoned fabricator with Hendrick Motorsports and Toyota Off Road Racing during the Ivan “Ironman” Stewart years, took the mockup templates and created the finish product below.
Tool box with quick release lid
Water tank with room to strap large wrenches or tire irons underneath frame rail
Under side using stock mounts
Topside was mounted with a bracket bolting to stock mounting points