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The ultimate dual-sport ride- Racing Dakar!

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I'm racing the 2012 Dakar Rally (starts January 1, so it's coming right up!) and I thought it would be cool to post about what it takes to get ready for the race.

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This year, the Dakar is 9200km long (about 5700 miles) in 14 stages of racing. The displacement limit for bikes is 450cc's, so just about every manufacturer makes something that could be competitive- after much consideration, I decided on a KTM 450 EXC. I chose it because I have a ton of miles on the 530 (same except for stroke) and both enjoy riding it, and trust it. And, because my dealer had a leftover 2009 on the floor I got a great deal on (KTM of Aspen- they are the best dealer I've ever found. They close the shop a few weeks per year to go riding... and they ship daily).

The requirement in Dakar is for 250km between refueling points (about 160 miles), but that can be over any kind of terrain, including soft dunes for the entire distance. I decided 28L (7.5 gallons) would be sufficient, although now that the bike has shipped and the race is rapidly approaching, I'm a bit worried I shaved it too fine. A big thanks to MX1West for helping me out with Acerbis parts to achieve this capacity.

Another aspect of Dakar that is different from most off-road racing is that the route is unmarked. To navigate, you follow directions in a paper scroll. There is a GPS, but it only gives information about where you are to the organizers, it's of almost no use to the racer.

Setting aside equipment, what fascinates me about the race is the chance to ride my dirtbike across South America, by the most interesting route possible, in the shortest time possible. For a guy who lives to trailride, what's not to like about that? My goal is just to finish, but I think that'll be challenge enough.

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Some great companies have stepped up to help me with both the equipment I need to finish, and also to provide my supporters with some great benefits- discounts of up to 50%. If you're curious about that, or want to get a great looking T-shirt, check out my website at Neduro.com

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Good luck on the race.

Id like to see some more detailed pics of your bike, if you got them.

What do you guys do for food during the race?

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This should be good! What is your plan for maintenance? Oil change, air filter and so on...

Thanks, God Bless and be safe!

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How Awesome! I wish the best for you on the Dakar! I have been a big fan of the Dakar for years and realize how big of an undertaking it is to prepare, enter, race and even finish the Dakar. A once in a lifetime chance (Unless you have huge resources of money).

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I thought about doing it too a few years ago. A particular manufacturer (it starts with "H") had a "ARRIVE AND DRIVE" deal. It was a little spendy (for me) but it didn't matter anyway. I was over-ruled by my management. Keep us updated here on TT.

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Just listed to your radio interview right after the "stage-6". Glad to hear another American being interviewed by another American. lol. Keep up the faith, will be following you.

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neduro is currently in 47th place out of 116 ridders as of the Dakar web site. Street and Cody are both out, DNF. Street due to mechanical failure and cody to a pretty bad accident.

Neduro, you have the stage, show them how it is done !

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neduro is currently in 47th place out of 116 ridders as of the Dakar web site. Street and Cody are both out, DNF. Street due to mechanical failure and cody to a pretty bad accident.

Neduro, you have the stage, show them how it is done !

He's the last American moto rider left in the race!

Make it to the finish line Ned!

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