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
These are the same photos I posted on Advrider. Take a gander! I snapped these before Bill took off this morning 🙂
Parts from BRP (Billet Racing Products) and Dirt Tricks await on the porch,
then Touratech and Scotts Performance Products show up.
It’s like Christmas!
Sprockets, Triple clamp and more…
Install goes smooth and easy.
First was the upper triple with Scotts Stabilizer mount and bar risers from BRP.The risers are rubber mounted to help dampen vibrations.
Scotts Stabilizer installed.
There are a few stabilizers available for the bike but the only choice was Scotts. I’m not much of a fan of heavy damping so with the Scotts I can set the high speed circuit for the heavy hits and set the low speed with very little damping.
BRP makes a chain guide that is just awesome. The stockers have shown to be susceptible to heavy abuse and the Dakar will through the worst at it so going with the BRP was a no brainer. Easy to install and should last longer than the Dakar and then some!
Dirt Tricks Ironman Sprockets are known to be tough, just what is need for the Dakar!
It was recommended to me to try a 43 rear as it worked for Ty Davis’s Team in the V2R. After a little testing it worked great for high top speed with out over revving the engine but a little to tall for sand and the technical stuff. I’ll be ordering another sprocket in the 47-48 range and then test some more.
Another TXC 449 and a TE 449 arrive. A little later than expected but they are here and it’s time to get busy.
2011 TE 449
Making the trip home…
It’s time to build but I’d rather ride!
TXC 449 and TE 449 home in the garage
The new Husqvarna TXC 449 needed little prep out of the create to fire up and ride. Install the front wheel, attach handle bars, charge and install the battery. That’s it ready to go! Of course I had to install the Akrapovic pipe and power plug right from the start.
Husqvarna TXC 449
Many people have been inquiring about which bike I will be riding in the 2012 Dakar Rally. Some of you may know that I work for the BMW Performance Center in Greer, SC. Since BMW no longer offers a current model compatible with the new regulations and I would like to stay within the BMW Group, I have partnered with Husqvarna Motorcycles NA to showcase the 449 model line.
Today I received the first of three Husqvarna bikes, a TXC 449. Another TXC and a TE will be arriving shortly. We will be combining the best of both the TE and TXC to create the TE 449 Rally. The plan is to build one race bike, disassemble one bike for spares, and have one test and practice bike remaining.
I have a lot of work to do between now and mid-October and will update you on the build process as it progresses. Check out the photos page for more proof.