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Offline SwampDonkey

Re: What you need to know to go Offroad/Enduro racing:
« Reply #60 on: December 08, 2016, 07:05:02 am »
Will be riding my first ever enduro in Feb next year at the start to the KZN WFO series. I can't wait to ride,but at the same time am sh!tting myself at the prospect. I have only been into more technical type riding for most of the year. And have only just bought a bike to race on a few short weeks ago. Kinda feels like I am about to bite off more than I can chew. But I have always wanted to give racing a go,so it's time to do it while I am still able to. Any sage advice from you guys who are used to this kind of thing? ??

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Offline Pom17

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Re: What you need to know to go Offroad/Enduro racing:
« Reply #61 on: December 08, 2016, 11:21:53 am »
Start at the back and take your time. Dont race it, ride it at pace. And don’t get caught up in the rage of the start line. You will wear yourself out before lap one is done.

Use lap one to get an idea of what you are in for, get into rhythm and focus on flow and conserving energy rather than balls to the wall pace. Race smart and you will be surprised at how many people you start passing later on in the race. After lap one you can gauge the pace you can handle to finish the 3 hour race, or 2 hours if riding social or silver.

No matter how fit you are I can guarantee that towards the end of the race you will be more than exhausted, probably more than anything you have ever done. So I say again, race smart and conserve energy. Not trying to scare you, this tip will really help in you first race. My first race I went into complete survival mode and it was not even halfway through the race. All because I did not know how to pace myself.



At one of our regional enduros this year it was pouring down which made the track and some climbs very technical. I came across a guy who was really not looking good. Much like me at that moment. So thought he was busy with his 4th or 5th lap, like me. Till he asked me how far till the end. Turned out him and a bunch of others were still busy with lap one and had about 60% of the track left to do. There are no escape routes and truly felt sorry for him. He had a long day in the saddle and could see it was no longer fun for him
 

Offline SwampDonkey

Re: What you need to know to go Offroad/Enduro racing:
« Reply #62 on: December 08, 2016, 10:33:19 pm »
Thanks for the advice Pom :thumleft: :thumleft: Its kind of where my mindset is at the moment. :deal:  I know I am in for a bit shock when it comes to it.

My goal this year will be to do a minimum of 1 lap per race. anything over and above that I will consider a bonus. I have only been riding proper "off road" fairly recently and I have been making a point of pushing my limits when I ride to try an up my skill levels. I know I have a very long way to go, and to finish a lap at least will probably be realistic when I take my current riding ability and fitness levels into account. And being a complete novice to the whole idea in the first place, I know I will have to nurse myself along at a rather sedate pace to get to the finish.( except for my approach to a hill climb... Gotta up my pace a little as I inverably run out of momentum before the top!!)  And to save my bike from any big offs. I want to the season through withough wrecking my bike to badly!! :lol8:

All I know is that I have wanted to give this racing malarky a go for many, many years and have never been organized enough to buy a bike and head off to the races, but I am now absolutely determined to have a proper go of it. :ricky:

First WFO is on the 11th of Feb out in Pomeroy somewhere.... I ride my 650R out that way now and then... gonna be a good start I rekon, and hotter than hell no doubt.!! :ricky:
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Offline Pom17

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Re: What you need to know to go Offroad/Enduro racing:
« Reply #63 on: December 09, 2016, 08:56:06 am »
Thanks for the advice Pom :thumleft: :thumleft: Its kind of where my mindset is at the moment. :deal:  I know I am in for a bit shock when it comes to it.

My goal this year will be to do a minimum of 1 lap per race. anything over and above that I will consider a bonus. I have only been riding proper "off road" fairly recently and I have been making a point of pushing my limits when I ride to try an up my skill levels. I know I have a very long way to go, and to finish a lap at least will probably be realistic when I take my current riding ability and fitness levels into account. And being a complete novice to the whole idea in the first place, I know I will have to nurse myself along at a rather sedate pace to get to the finish.( except for my approach to a hill climb... Gotta up my pace a little as I inverably run out of momentum before the top!!)  And to save my bike from any big offs. I want to the season through withough wrecking my bike to badly!! :lol8:

All I know is that I have wanted to give this racing malarky a go for many, many years and have never been organized enough to buy a bike and head off to the races, but I am now absolutely determined to have a proper go of it. :ricky:

First WFO is on the 11th of Feb out in Pomeroy somewhere.... I ride my 650R out that way now and then... gonna be a good start I rekon, and hotter than hell no doubt.!! :ricky:

You will absolutely love it. The energy at the races gives my butterflies, even while sitting behind a computer just thinking about it. It is addictive, my wife does not care much about bikes but she loves the races even if she has to sit in the pits and dust all day. Remains an awesome experience.

Also try and ride with guys who's skill levels are above yours. That remains the quickest way to learn. You will see your riding ability improve weekend after weekend by heaps and bounds.

Good luck and hopefully we will see a race report  :thumleft:
 

Offline GS Jane

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Re: What you need to know to go Offroad/Enduro racing:
« Reply #64 on: August 22, 2017, 01:29:00 pm »
Hello everyone,

I've recently started racing in the GXCC series.  I have no idea where to start with training to improve fitness, endurance, etc.   I've done some MTB a while back, but never really been to a gym.  What training or exercises do you do or can you suggest?  Should I see a biokeneticist?

Thanks  :thumleft:
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Offline BiG DoM

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Re: What you need to know to go Offroad/Enduro racing:
« Reply #65 on: August 22, 2017, 11:48:10 pm »
Hello everyone,

I've recently started racing in the GXCC series.  I have no idea where to start with training to improve fitness, endurance, etc.   I've done some MTB a while back, but never really been to a gym.  What training or exercises do you do or can you suggest?  Should I see a biokeneticist?

Thanks  :thumleft:

Get in touch with Mandy at Base Fit - works with many enduro riders including my son Josh. Understands and tailors programs specially.  :thumleft:
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Offline TinusBez

Re: What you need to know to go Offroad/Enduro racing:
« Reply #66 on: February 18, 2018, 05:32:36 am »
So I'm following this with great interest and the rally bit appeals a great deal to me. My first will be on 24 February Vaaldam enduro on my stock KTM 500 barring an acro exhaust fitted.

Looking at the Kalahari rally, or any other one for that matter, what do you need to get the bike ready?
Long range
Nav tower
Do you fit cush drive? longer swingarm.

One can go ape shit on this but let's say what are the basics without breaking the bank and having something reliable to complete a rally other than a fit, suitably skilled rider.

http://www.rebelxsports.com/ktm-exc-450-rally/
I think is going overboard and as bitching as it looks at 100k will not see me at a rally for a long time to come.

I'm doing my suspension this coming week. I've asked around stalking names found on pictures of motorcycles but have not had much success figuring out alternatives, I guess that means there are none and that I'd have dig deep into the wallet. Money isn't so much the issue here as striking a balance between testing the waters before going into it full blown. Saw a rally tower on FB the other day for 4k but was too late. Bigger tank ebay but those rear ones are hard to find.

Tinus
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Offline GraZer

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Re: What you need to know to go Offroad/Enduro racing:
« Reply #67 on: February 18, 2018, 06:25:43 am »
All you would need to compete in a rally is a bike that has the required autonomy and nav gear. Each rally will typically have some additional mandatory gear that you will also need to get.
As you have already highlighted, the list of things you can do to your bike is almost infinite, but far from necessary.

Multiday rallies are an awesome experience and if you are considering doing one. Do it! It will be one of the best experiences of your life.
 
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Offline TinusBez

Re: What you need to know to go Offroad/Enduro racing:
« Reply #68 on: February 18, 2018, 06:51:00 am »
All you would need to compete in a rally is a bike that has the required autonomy and nav gear. Each rally will typically have some additional mandatory gear that you will also need to get.
As you have already highlighted, the list of things you can do to your bike is almost infinite, but far from necessary.

Multiday rallies are an awesome experience and if you are considering doing one. Do it! It will be one of the best experiences of your life.

So single bigger tank front, rear if you can to allow for some weight distribution, nav equipment and a good attitude.
I plan on getting mousse front and back and tyres better suited for speed, still got the stock knobbies on and they don't like speed at all.
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Offline Kobus Myburgh

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Re: What you need to know to go Offroad/Enduro racing:
« Reply #69 on: February 18, 2018, 07:12:42 am »
All you would need to compete in a rally is a bike that has the required autonomy and nav gear. Each rally will typically have some additional mandatory gear that you will also need to get.
As you have already highlighted, the list of things you can do to your bike is almost infinite, but far from necessary.

Multiday rallies are an awesome experience and if you are considering doing one. Do it! It will be one of the best experiences of your life.

So single bigger tank front, rear if you can to allow for some weight distribution, nav equipment and a good attitude.
I plan on getting mousse front and back and tyres better suited for speed, still got the stock knobbies on and they don't like speed at all.

Watch the Kalahari Rally website.  Garth will be communicating the requirements in due course to ensure scrutineering is made easier. 

Don't discard doing a rally light prior to going full Monty. 
« Last Edit: February 18, 2018, 07:14:51 am by ktmkobus »
"If you have men who will only come if they know there is a good road, I don't want them.  I want men who will come if there is no road at all."

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Offline TinusBez

Re: What you need to know to go Offroad/Enduro racing:
« Reply #70 on: February 18, 2018, 07:31:21 am »
All you would need to compete in a rally is a bike that has the required autonomy and nav gear. Each rally will typically have some additional mandatory gear that you will also need to get.
As you have already highlighted, the list of things you can do to your bike is almost infinite, but far from necessary.

Multiday rallies are an awesome experience and if you are considering doing one. Do it! It will be one of the best experiences of your life.

So single bigger tank front, rear if you can to allow for some weight distribution, nav equipment and a good attitude.
I plan on getting mousse front and back and tyres better suited for speed, still got the stock knobbies on and they don't like speed at all.

Watch the Kalahari Rally website.  Garth will be communicating the requirements in due course to ensure scrutineering is made easier. 

Don't discard doing a rally light prior to going full Monty.

Saw this which looks like it might work. Not sure whether 15l of fuel will be enough to get to a refuel stop (assuming there will be one)
https://www.rallymotoshop.com/collections/rally-kits/products/2017-ktm-450-500-rally-kit

Rear tank looks odd and cost a lot of money, perhaps a 20l tank but then don't know whether fairing will fit.
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Offline Cracker

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Re: What you need to know to go Offroad/Enduro racing:
« Reply #71 on: February 18, 2018, 12:19:22 pm »
So I'm following this with great interest and the rally bit appeals a great deal to me. My first will be on 24 February Vaaldam enduro on my stock KTM 500 barring an acro exhaust fitted.

Looking at the Kalahari rally, or any other one for that matter, what do you need to get the bike ready?
Long range
Nav tower
Do you fit cush drive? longer swingarm.

One can go ape shit on this but let's say what are the basics without breaking the bank and having something reliable to complete a rally other than a fit, suitably skilled rider.

http://www.rebelxsports.com/ktm-exc-450-rally/
I think is going overboard and as bitching as it looks at 100k will not see me at a rally for a long time to come.

I'm doing my suspension this coming week. I've asked around stalking names found on pictures of motorcycles but have not had much success figuring out alternatives, I guess that means there are none and that I'd have dig deep into the wallet. Money isn't so much the issue here as striking a balance between testing the waters before going into it full blown. Saw a rally tower on FB the other day for 4k but was too late. Bigger tank ebay but those rear ones are hard to find.

Tinus

Tinus, if the race on the 24th is your first and you've only got the 500, I'd suggest you get a couple under your belt before kitting your bike for a Rally. You could also enter the GXCC races. These races especially, will gear you up for a 3-hour +, in your face, high-speed, special.

Enduros are great, but you'll kill a Rally bike trying to do those.
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Offline TinusBez

Re: What you need to know to go Offroad/Enduro racing:
« Reply #72 on: February 18, 2018, 01:03:57 pm »
So I'm following this with great interest and the rally bit appeals a great deal to me. My first will be on 24 February Vaaldam enduro on my stock KTM 500 barring an acro exhaust fitted.

Looking at the Kalahari rally, or any other one for that matter, what do you need to get the bike ready?
Long range
Nav tower
Do you fit cush drive? longer swingarm.

One can go ape shit on this but let's say what are the basics without breaking the bank and having something reliable to complete a rally other than a fit, suitably skilled rider.

http://www.rebelxsports.com/ktm-exc-450-rally/
I think is going overboard and as bitching as it looks at 100k will not see me at a rally for a long time to come.

I'm doing my suspension this coming week. I've asked around stalking names found on pictures of motorcycles but have not had much success figuring out alternatives, I guess that means there are none and that I'd have dig deep into the wallet. Money isn't so much the issue here as striking a balance between testing the waters before going into it full blown. Saw a rally tower on FB the other day for 4k but was too late. Bigger tank ebay but those rear ones are hard to find.

Tinus

Tinus, if the race on the 24th is your first and you've only got the 500, I'd suggest you get a couple under your belt before kitting your bike for a Rally. You could also enter the GXCC races. These races especially, will gear you up for a 3-hour +, in your face, high-speed, special.

Enduros are great, but you'll kill a Rally bike trying to do those.

Thanks
So what is suited for rally bike
Amageza
Kalahari rally
Tankwa
Bots is it 500/1000

The rest then for non-modified plastics 250-450/500 range? The last GXCC was out from a timing perspective however, when I saw they also host it as Heidelberg, and knowing what Heidelberg is like saw it as more"hard enduro" banner as opposed to enduro/offroad banner.
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Offline Dwerg

Re: What you need to know to go Offroad/Enduro racing:
« Reply #73 on: February 18, 2018, 01:35:18 pm »
GXCC is offroad and not held at Heidelberg. Cracker is right do local day races first. Rally is seriously expensive. Just entry ticket was nearing 30k for amageza and you can easily spend another 30 on top of that. Amageza is no more unfortunately
« Last Edit: February 18, 2018, 01:36:30 pm by Dwerg »
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Offline TinusBez

Re: What you need to know to go Offroad/Enduro racing:
« Reply #74 on: February 18, 2018, 03:58:40 pm »
GXCC is offroad and not held at Heidelberg. Cracker is right do local day races first. Rally is seriously expensive. Just entry ticket was nearing 30k for amageza and you can easily spend another 30 on top of that. Amageza is no more unfortunately

Thanks guys. Got my C's and X's mixed up, was thinking of EWXC.

Ok I'll go look for a local race (10 March Fochville) as a start and work my way up to a rally in about a year or so. In your expert opinion would you say that is what one should aspire (if in ones interest of course)  and "reasonable comfort" on a local race may be good indication to take on bigger things or what is the typical sport path followed. I get that I may like, or don't like GXCC at all, in the former case one can be happy there, on the other want to take it further or decide it ain't for me and go buy a Harley (said I never)
« Last Edit: February 18, 2018, 04:00:59 pm by TinusBez »
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Offline Kobus Myburgh

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What you need to know to go Offroad/Enduro racing:
« Reply #75 on: February 18, 2018, 04:12:44 pm »
This is from an interview with Ned Suesse and Scott Bright.

For something like rallies accessible to us (ex Amageza) and likely the Kalahari rally, play it down quite a bit, but a lot of it is similar.

(Note that I only have experience with the Baja, the advice you're getting is from guys that did the full Amageza)

What it takes to race the Dakar Rally
The brutal challenges of the Dakar Rally begin long before the starting line.
The infamous Dakar Rally is the Holy Grail of motorcycling events. It attracts enthusiasts and professionals from all over the world to try their skills — and luck — in a race of navigation,
riding ability and endurance. With an entry fee over $20,000 and many qualifying rounds to endure, the challenges of the Dakar Rally commence long before the Starting Line.

Non-Factory racers spend months (even years) fundraising and hustling to obtain the money, gear, gadgets, and teammates to even justify an airline ticket to South America. And Rally competitors Ned Suesse and Scott Bright are no different. Considered “grassroots” riders, they’ve been independently entering themselves into races since their twenties. And now, reaching the ages when people question your abilities and motives, they’ve each developed an impressive track record.

Ned Suesse Sardegna Rally
Ned Suesse, the only American to finish the 2012 Dakar Rally.
Ned, born and raised in upstate New York, moved to Colorado for college and began riding motorcycles for the first time shortly after graduating. The Colorado back country was the perfect training ground to hone his skills as a dirt rider and his love for the trails eventually developed into a desire to race. Soon, he entered the racing world and set his sights on an incredible challenge: the Dakar Rally.

Despite the late start, Ned’s competitive racing career (though he doesn’t consider this a job) has taken him from Mexico to Tunisia, Italy and all over the Americas. By the time he finally reached the Dakar Rally at age 35, Ned was ready for the challenge and crossed the Finish Line 53rd out of the 188 participants (only 97 actually completed the rally). To top it off, he was the only American in 2012 to go all the way!

Scott Bright American Dakar Rally competitor
Scott Bright will be racing for Rally PanAm in the 2016 Dakar Rally. The only U.S. moto team competing.
This is where Scott Bright makes his entry. While supporting Ned’s participation in the 2012 Dakar, he developed a taste for the technical details of Rally Racing. Already an experienced Enduro competitor, having raced the International Six Days Enduro four times as a part of the official USA team, he switched to Rally Racing late in his racing career.

With a new found racing passion, he entered the 2014 Baja Rally — still a virgin to the sport at 44 years old — and made an outstanding impression by taking the overall win! He plans to defend his Baja Rally title this September in one last race before departing for Argentina in January where he’ll finally achieve his dream of racing in the Dakar.

We caught up with Ned and Scott while they were competing in the Sardegna Rally in Italy this past June and got a chance to ask them a few questions about what it takes to achieve the dream of competing — and finishing — the Dakar Rally. While Ned has raced Dakar once before, Scott has just been through all the preparation for his first Dakar Rally and is now only a few months away from achieving his goal. As privateers chasing the dream, they both have a unique perspective to share with the Dakar hopefuls out there, or anyone that’s ever wondered “Could I race Dakar someday?”

THE ALLURE OF DAKAR

Why are people willing to sacrifice nearly everything to race Dakar?

Scott Bright: I think the allure of Dakar hinges on the fact that it is the longest race on the planet, whether counted by days or by miles. To be able to say that you have reached the Finish Line of an event of that caliber cannot be topped.

Can you put the race length and distances traveled in perspective?

Scott Bright: Secondhand, the event is at least 5,000 miles long. Spread over two and a half weeks, that is a lot of miles everyday. Anchorage, Alaska to Miami, Florida is 4,950 miles.

What’s the most rewarding part about racing? Finishing?

Scott Bright: The most rewarding part of racing for me is the amount of time I spend testing my limits. Riding on that razor edge between being in control and losing control is exhilarating! Not many other ways can you get a feeling like that. At the end of the day, I am worn out – mostly from the adrenaline surges all day!

Sardegna FIM Rally
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of ripping through the countryside, going from village to village, during a long rally race stage.
GETTING THERE

What are the biggest obstacles to achieving “the Dream?”

Scott Bright: The biggest obstacles are the financial ones. There are such a large volume of details to pay for, and they add up. Entry fee for the rider, entry fees for the support crew, support vehicle, travel to get to and from South America, shipping of truck, bike, travel expenses during the race, bike, spare parts, motors, tires, mousses, all of these things add up quickly.

Ned Suesse: I think the biggest obstacle is mental. It will always make more sense to stop than to continue, at many points throughout the leadup and during the actual race. There are checks to write that simply cannot be reconciled to the likely outcome of not finishing. There is training to be done that goes beyond simple discomfort. And during the race, especially if you see someone get badly injured, it is impossible to defend the decision to continue logically. But that’s
the game — pushing through all kinds adversity to find out what you are capable of.

What riding skill-level is required to have a chance at finishing Dakar?

Ned Suesse: There’s a sliding scale of skill-level, desired competitive result, fitness, and chance of finishing. Some of the best riders, who are the most fit, often don’t finish because they push so hard competitively. Some fairly mediocre riders, who are very fit, work very very hard to finish at the back of the pack, and even that takes some luck. And in the middle are some people who are very skilled riders, but don’t have high (or maybe, unrealistic) competitive goals, who are able to finish through perseverance and dedication.

What are the minimum equipment requirements for a long navigation rally?

Ned Suesse: Obviously, rallies like Dakar take in some fairly extreme terrain, so the bike you choose to ride has to be technically capable of traversing those sorts of obstacles. FIM rallies (and Dakar) are limited to 450cc displacement, which most manufacturers make in some form or another. The key is choosing one, and setting it up so that it will survive the many hours and miles of punishment it will see. In addition, you must have 250kms of fuel aboard (which doesn’t sound so bad until you realize how poor fuel economy can be in the dunes), and the capability to navigate.
 

Approximately how much does it cost total to race the Dakar as a privateer?

Scott Bright: There are several different paths to the Finish Line. Some guys go with the bare minimum, and proceed with a whole lot of hope and no guarantees. I believe that the rider needs to secure some sort of peace of mind that the big things are covered, but also not going overboard on comforts that are not necessary. To achieve this minimal level of security it takes $50,000. To build in comforts and conveniences – more like $100,000 and up. Things like the size of your team effort, support vehicle, comfort when sleeping, spare parts for absolutely anything that could go wrong, and other things can really drive the price up.

Bringing the basics to Dakar
Racing Dakar as a Privateer with a minimal level of security that the basics are covered, costs at least $50,000.
Ned, what portion of your Dakar costs were covered by sponsors?

Ned Suesse: Dakar is really expensive, by any measure (dollars, hours, gallons of sweat, etc). It’s not just the two weeks of racing, it is the year leading up to it with all the days in the saddle not earning money, and so on. I found several keys that helped me. First, I lived as cheap as I could and put together the most inexpensive program for the race that I felt I could trust. Second, the motorcycle industry is full of really passionate people, and Dakar brings that passion even closer to the surface than it already is. So, for motorcycle related parts, gear, clothing, and so on, the industry really stepped forward to help.

But many of the costs of Dakar have nothing to do with motorcycles: travel, shipping, entry fee, and so on. These costs are significant, and this is where individuals stepped forward to help, incredibly generously. I reached out to everyone I knew, explained what I was doing, and asked for help. Companies like Klim, Motonation, and Layer Cake wine all stepped forward to support those who helped me, and I think the realization that I did not view Dakar as a vacation or holiday made people want to be a part of the adventure and challenge.

Scott, has fundraising proven to be more difficult than you expected so far?

Scott Bright: I knew it would be tough to raise enough to get to Dakar. One of the first lessons I learned from Ned was that you need to carry the attitude that you are going no matter what! If you would like to race Dakar and better yet have a shot at finishing, you will never make it if you approach the whole project with a passive attitude. Decide that you are going to go, take the bull by the horns and get it done! Your enthusiasm will generate 80% of the support that you will need to do it. That being said, I’m still working to reach my fundraising goal for Dakar 2016. If anyone is interested in giving their support, they can find out how by going to www.ScottBrightDakar.com.

What are some ways you can do Dakar the cheapest way possible?

Scott Bright: I have heard of some extremely cheap ways, but I wouldn’t recommend them. Anything from just showing up and demanding to race without paying an entry fee, entering but not having a flight to get from Europe to South America, to raiding trash cans along the way for spare parts to keep running, and well… I don’t want to go there!

If you have the money, what’s the easiest way to race the Dakar?

Scott Bright: There are a handful of companies out there that will supply everything for you and take care of all the details — all you have to do is show up. Rally Management Services out of Northern California is one of those companies, and they do a great job!

How much preparation is required if starting as a “recreational level” rider?

Scott Bright: I think one has to be conscious of the little things that will take a rider out of the event. Something as simple as developing soreness on your butt will cause you to want to quit. Taking care of that ahead of time will increase your chances of finishing. On a competitive and realistic level, you have to show up at the start line each day ready to go. If you just rolled in an hour before your start, you will not be physically able to finish. Getting good rest is imperative. If you need eight hours of sleep and you are only getting six, you will make mistakes that will take you out of the game. It really takes a long-term perspective of priorities to get to the finish of Dakar.

Seating comfort dakar rally
Something as simple as seating discomfort can take you out of a 13-day race like the Dakar Rally. Take care of it ahead of time to increase your chances of finishing.
What racing would you recommend starting with before attempting the Dakar?

Scott Bright: I think most people hesitate at the entry-level cost of getting into Rally. Honestly, it’s not that much. For $500 you can get a roadbook holder and an odometer that will work. Then for $200 you can pick up a five-gallon tank for your bike. That is really it with the exception of committing to at least a four-day event that will test your ability to finish. Rally Management Services offers several Bootcamp weekends in Nevada and California, and Dave Peckham will teach you everything you need to get to the Finish Line in one day. How serious you take it from there determines your ability to go far.

Once you have done a school, then I would recommend any of the Rallies that are held in Baja. Take a week off, load up your camper, your bike and go try it! If you cannot survive the three-day Cortez Rally, or the four-day Baja Rally, or even the five-day Mexican 1000, then you probably aren’t going to finish Dakar. Each of those events are relatively close to the US, and they all have their own characteristics providing a good indication of whether you should start down the Dakar road or not.

DIFFICULTIES OF THE RACE

Rank by importance: speed, navigating, mechanical, fitness, determination.

Scott Bright: Determination is probably the most important thing to have to get you through a Rally. It is easy to become frustrated, but necessary to keep your head on your shoulders and get to the Finish Line. Making mistakes while navigating can easily double the time you are on the course. Sharpening your navigational skills is key to finishing. It really helps to have a base knowledge of motorcycle mechanics before starting out, as well. If something goes wrong, you will need to work your way through the problem and one way or another get to the Finish Line.

I guess I am in some sort of shape! Round is a shape, right? Fitness is key and watching how you fuel your body is critical. You wouldn’t dump bad gas in your bike, why would you do that to yourself? I was at one of Dave Peckham’s Rally schools last year and a super-fast desert racer showed up to ride with us, but had no ‘nav’ experience at all. We were warned about his exceptional speed, and Dave remarked “I’m sure you will be going very fast — but probably not in the right direction!” I always remind myself to make good choices because of that quote.

Dakar Rally equipment roadbook holder odometer
Exceptional speed is nothing if you are going the wrong direction. Sharpening your navigational skills is key to finishing.
What personality trait would you say is most common among Dakar finishers?

Scott Bright: If you completed personality tests on all the Dakar finishers, you would probably find that every one of them is stubborn. Tim McGraw sings a song called “Can’t Tell Me Nothin”. I think the guy he is singing about is a Dakar Finisher.

What is the percentage of those who try that actually finish the Dakar?

Scott Bright: I believe the finish rate is somewhere around 50%. I believe the organizers want to keep the event difficult, and if they have too many people finishing, it must not be hard enough. They will ratchet up the difficulty until they get the DNF (did not finish) rate that they are looking for.

What’s the most common reason people don’t finish?

Scott Bright: I believe the most common reason for failure is overlooking the details. Make lists, check them five times, think about all the ‘what-if’s,’ prepare for the worst, and prepare to FINISH!

If you’d known how hard it would be beforehand, would you still have tried?

Scott Bright: I have a predisposition to be a bit masochistic. When I hear horror stories, it makes me want to go out and experience that. I have a deep desire to struggle and persevere. Not sure why, but that is my chemical make-up.

Ned Suesse: Yes. Its difficulty is the whole point of the exercise. If it were easier, I would not have tried.

prepare for success in the dakar rally details
Pay attention to the details, prepare for the worst, and prepare to FINISH!
How has the pursuit of racing Dakar affected your personal lives?

Ned Suesse: I think that when we face challenges that terrify us, it will always change us for the better by proving to ourselves that most risks are in our minds more than they are in reality. For me, Dakar was a turning point in my life, when I realized that I was more capable than I had ever given myself credit for. I think there is no easy path to self-belief; the only way is by trying things that are hard.

Scott Bright: Racing has consumed most of my free time over the past 25 years. Who knows what I would be good at doing if I didn’t race? The competition has challenged me to be a better person: more diverse and focused, less emotional about little stuff, and dedicated to seeing things through. I keep things in balance realizing that I would never sacrifice my marriage and my family in exchange for a thrill. Knowing that my wife married me because of who I was when I was racing, and she understands that if I were to change and be a different (non-racing) person, I would probably not be the person she was attracted to 21 years ago!

Who has helped you the most to achieve your goal of racing the Dakar?

Scott Bright: It always helps to be able to lean on someone who has done it before. I have lots of friends who have competed in Dakar, but I have gained most of my knowledge and expectations from Ned. I try to talk with him as often as possible to make sure I am on the right track. Dave Peckham has been a huge support with achieving my goal of racing Dakar. Without either of them, I would not be doing this!

What kind of support team do you need, and how important are they?

Scott Bright: It’s always fun to have people that believe in what you are doing, but that doesn’t always pay the bills. People that will sit down and write a check, or take days off work, or customize products, or ‘all of the above’ are who I consider my support team. There would be no option of Dakar if it were not for people like that.

What are some good resources to help Dakar hopefuls get started on the path?

Scott Bright: Look through the results from the past 20 years. See who has competed, whether they finished or not. Look them up and ask a ton of questions. Read Lawrence Hacking’s book. Go to a rally school.


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« Last Edit: February 18, 2018, 04:49:40 pm by ktmkobus »
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Offline BlueBull2007

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Re: What you need to know to go Offroad/Enduro racing:
« Reply #76 on: February 18, 2018, 07:12:40 pm »
Tinus - Some good posts here to get you started :thumleft:

Nothing quite like flying along through some remote section of desert all by yourself. :ricky:

Doing an offroad or two will help tonnes. I learnt very quickly I was no riding God, but my skills got better in time. Had I not done this I would not have enjoyed or finished my first rally.

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Offline TinusBez

Re: What you need to know to go Offroad/Enduro racing:
« Reply #77 on: February 18, 2018, 08:12:32 pm »
Doing an offroad or two will help tonnes. Had I not done this I would not have enjoyed or finished my first rally.

Thanks, small races it is then, least for the time being.

As for Kalahari, I'll give that a skip this year focusing on the small stuff and learning through this experience. It does look pretty epic though but realistically the bike won't be ready, I can pay reg costs but there's a lot that must go into the bike.

Sort of going into the unknown (place I'm most happy at) but guess through the sound advice received here to try the small races and build up, racing for a full day sure ain't where my performance is at now and I'll learn to "read" conditions et cetera, one thing is certain it won't be anything like riding Heidelberg but I'm sure one must need that type of technical riding ability at some point. Think it was Joey or may have been somebody else that said to ride rally you have to have a mix of skills and not only one (like climbing rocks) and good at them, think it was said in the context of Dakar. Nowhere near that, I'd like to complete a local multi day rally in the next 2 years or so. Yes I do have dreams beyond that but it is like telling people you've stopped smoking or lost xxx weight, not into that stuff, prefer doing it.

Time to network in due course.

Thanks for the help guys.
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Offline TinusBez

Re: What you need to know to go Offroad/Enduro racing:
« Reply #78 on: February 18, 2018, 08:29:27 pm »
Which brings me to another question. When not racing, and living in GP, where do you train.

Riding farm roads (district roads) imo can be dangerous especially if you don't know them and "racing" here will not go down well with farmers (assumption) unless arranged previously.

Not looking for tracks, if you say hit backroads from here to there I can figure it out myself but so far most if not all the guys I know either want to go to a park, don't have money or prefer gravel highways or should training consist of a few laps at De Wildt where there is sand. Heidelberg closest to me does not have that.
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Offline IanTheTooth

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Re: What you need to know to go Offroad/Enduro racing:
« Reply #79 on: February 18, 2018, 09:21:46 pm »
Tinus, you will be surprised how difficult it is to get up and get dressed for the second day of a 2 day event. I'm quite sure that a one day will drain all of your adrenalin to start with. Go for a multi-day event when you feel that one day is under your belt and you still have the strength and fortitude for more. You are riding just about the best bike man has ever made in the history of the universe. Let it do it's work and you do yours. When you feel it is holding you back and not the other way round THEN start tinkering!

PS: should have said. Fitness and stamina are key. Start training now! Running, cycling, weights.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2018, 09:24:07 pm by IanTheTooth »
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