The Dakar is listing Marc Coma and other KTM riders as participants in next year’s race, despite last month’s news that KTM quit Dakar. The reason seems to be that the rally has partially pushed back the 450cc limit until 2012, instead allowing larger capacity bikes to run restrictors in next year’s Elite class, reducing that class to a mandatory 450cc limit in 2011 with other classes running restrictors that year then effecting an all-class 450cc limit in 2012. KTM originally quit because it currently races 654cc bikes in the Argentinean race and because many racers and teams don’t feel a 450cc bike would be able to go the 5,950-mile distance.
For the Dakar 2010, the ASO Elite pilots must ride with a restrictor
reducing the power of their bike, if its cubic capacity is over 450 cc.
Or they may use a bike of a cubic capacity under or equal to 450 cc.
The other pilots are free to choose their bike with no restriction.
For the Dakar 2011, the ASO Elite pilots must imperatively ride a bike of a cubic capacity under or equal to 450 cc.
The other pilots must ride a bike of a cubic capacity under or equal to
450 cc, or a restrictor, if the cubic capacity is over 450 cc.
At last, for the Dakar 2012, all the pilots will ride 450 cc’s.
The restrictor is still being designed, but is intended to create
near-identical power-to-weight ratios across engine capacities. We
await official word from KTM.