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supposedly the Japanese pushed for it (read Honda) for road relevancy or something along those lines. The thinking from smart people being Honda et all attempting to bring off-road and on-road bikes closer together, if not totally the same...
 

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From memory I recall that the big bikes, like my 2004 KTM 950 Adventure, were banned because the speeds that these bikes were hitting in spots were well above 100 mph. I believe, and correct me if I am wrong, that it was the death of a Dakar hero, Fabrizio Meoni, that caused the organizers to rethink the size of the bikes.

They banned the large twin-cylinder bikes, which only KTM was using, and went to a regulation only allowing single-cylinder bikes with a maximum displacement of close to 650cc's. Well, those bikes were better developed, leading to our wonderful 690 Enduro engines, and now we are at 450cc regulations.

I don't know about the politics of Japanese manufacturers pushing to get them removed. Maybe they used the speed and safety issues to help address their lack of competitive edge at the time. I'd guess that back when you saw nothing but KTM 640's and 660's in the top 10 to 15, Japanese manufactures may have made their move to push 450's. I don't know.

I do know that I have watched every Dakar for a very long time, and that race totally sucked because Fabrizio was Mr. Dakar to me. It was like watching Ayrton Senna crash in 1994. Death sucks, so ride carefully.

Cheers from Florida.
Jim
 

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Combination of CRFs and amazing scenery. We're approaching the end of the race’s 13 stages so it'll be interesting to see who the winners are.

Think Price is going to keep his #1 ranking?
 

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Combination of CRFs and amazing scenery. We're approaching the end of the race’s 13 stages so it'll be interesting to see who the winners are.

Think Price is going to keep his #1 ranking?
its half over, bikes rested on Sunday. I don't even care who wins, they all win if you ask me. The fact that they're even there doing what they're doing is near to insanity as I can imagine ;):D>:)

 
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