Presentation of the BMW R 900 RR / KTM LC4 660 rally
Stars of the south
From the New Year 2001 the rally caravan will roll south again. BMW relies on the 900 boxer for the tour from Paris to Dakar, KTM on the 660 single ?? and both to win. A comparison.
Paris-Dakar – the rally of all rallies. Paris-Dakar – a desert hunt that hardly fits into the times of Big Brother and Play Station.
As for KTM. The fire chairs from Mattighofen have already won all rallies around the world – only the Dakar has never been won. The Austrians had to bow to the outstanding French Stéphane Peterhansel six times on the Yamaha Super Ténéré. When the Gaul switched to the automobile class two years ago, KTM got in the way of BMW’s rally comeback. With the single-cylinder F 650, the Bavarians immediately took two victories in a row.
It is also BMW and KTM who – without the Japanese manufacturers showing any significant involvement in rallying – will fight for victory in the first three weeks of January. And yet the path to the hoped-for success could hardly be more different. Apart from the F 650 for Andrea Mayer, BMW relies fully on the Boxer. KTM plays it safe, leaves the barely tested LC8 two-cylinder at home and sends the single back to the desert.
When it comes to quantity, too, one treads different paths. Four hand-made factory machines, which by the way are all built in the high-class forge of HPN in Seibersdorf near Passau, Bavaria, roll as a white and blue quartet under John Deacon (GB), Jimmy Lewis (USA), Joan Roma (E) and newcomer Cyril Despres (F) Dakar. KTM officially sends eight men into the field: last year’s winner Richard Sainct (F), Alfie Cox (ZA) Giovanni Sala (I), Kari Tiainen (SF), Fabrizio Meoni (I), Jordi Arcarons (E), Jean Brucy (F) and the only German, Jürgen Mayer. The multinational eighth is supplied materially from the pool of a small series specially designed for rally operations. In addition to the eight factory machines, another 40, so-called factory replicas, were made for ambitious private drivers – at a price of 36,000 marks each.
First of all, the 660 engines differ in terms of displacement from their series counterparts. 653 cm3 cylinder capacity instead of the 625 cm3 of the conventional LC4 including a Keihin flat slide carburetor instead of the standard Dellorto part promise more power and torque. The engineers from Mattighofen do not dare to burden their basic engine concept, which is now more than ten years old, with even more displacement, in order not to overload the housing, crankshaft, clutch and gearbox in the long term. And because handling and tank capacity are often just as important as sheer power in the desert, everything that could be made mobile moves down. The water pump is now located at the bottom left in front of the clutch, instead of on the cylinder head, the starter battery is located on the engine housing instead of in the frame triangle, and the fuel pump required for the deeply pulled down tanks docks on the right of the generator cover. The oil filter directly above, together with an oil distributor next to the battery, completes the encirclement of the single cylinder, which is unusual for off-road conditions. Only the kick starter is completely missing. Like BMW, KTM relies exclusively on the electric starter.
In terms of performance, however, the works drivers still have to live with a heavy deficit. With a maximum of 75 hp peak power, the 660 cm3 single proves once again the old story compared to the 90 horses of the 900 boxer, that displacement cannot be replaced by anything.
Especially since the Bavarian woman loosely squeezes this steam out of her two pots. For the sake of simplicity, the injection is even omitted and the good old Bing constant pressure carburetors are installed. That’s enough for so much thrust that the foam rubber rings called mousse, which are inserted into the tires instead of tubes, melted away in rows over the past year. For the Dakar 2001, tire supplier Michelin praised improvement.
Because the point for top speed on the high-speed stages – the BMW manages around 200 km / h, the KTM around 180 km / h – also clearly goes to Bavaria, Mattighofen returned to traditional strengths: weight and handling. The conventional single-loop frame allows a narrow knee joint, the comparatively light motor a low overall weight. The KTM weighs 155 kilograms – dry. Twelve liters each in the two front tanks, eight liters each in the two rear tanks and another eight liters in the fifth tank in the triangular frame load a good 40 kilograms.
That’s how much the BMW weighs without fuel. Must be too. The regulations stipulate a minimum weight of 190 kilograms for two-cylinder machines with a displacement of up to 900 cm3. The diet was still not easy for the people of Munich. The cardan housing on the rear wheel is made of magnesium, the muffler and shock absorber spring are made of titanium, the cladding, fenders, the tank in the rear triangle frame, alternator cover and carburetor covers are made of carbon fiber. In addition, the massive engine forces a stable chassis design. Although the tubular space frame is generally narrow, the knee joint remains visibly wider than with KTM. Because the Boxer hangs much higher in the chassis than the KTM Single, the BMW drivers look like a lot of work on narrow paths – from which they should recover even better on the high-speed routes in the future. Because until now suspension and engine power were the focus of technical interest in rally events, the Munich-based company has now opened up a new field: aerodynamics. With vigorous retouching of fork guards, alternator covers, hand shells and cladding, the wind slippage – thanks to the BMW wind tunnel – improved by a proud 30 percent compared to last year.
In terms of chassis, the desert boxer borrows from KTM. A 48 mm upside-down fork from White Power also springs at the front, while the rear shock absorber does not have a deflection and is – as in the production GS models from BMW – linked directly to the swing arm. Two damper pistons in the housing of the White Power part ensure the necessary progression, as is the case with the current sports enduro and motocross models from KTM.
OUltimately, it will be enough for a hat trick for BMW or a premiere for KTM, not least depends on the tactics. With the superior handling of the singles on the stony and winding roads in Morocco, KTM has to attack from the start, BMW will concentrate on the frenzied final spurt of the slopes in Mauritania and Mali. And whoever thunders to the finish first on Lac Rose near Dakar will ultimately determine the rally itself – sometimes unpredictable and brutal.
Technical data: KTM
Water-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke engine, one overhead camshaft, four valves, bore x stroke 102 x 80 mm, displacement 654 cm3, Keihin flat slide carburetor 0 41 mm, peak output 55 kW (75 hp) at 8400 rpm, electric starter, five-speed gearbox – Tubular frame with split beams, bolted frame rear made of rectangular steel tubes, upside-down fork from White Power, sliding tube diameter 48 mm, central spring strut from White Power operated via a deflection, spring travel front / rear 290/310 mm, Brembo disc brakes with floating double-piston caliper , Brake disc diameter front 300 mm, rear 220 mm Other enlarged water cooler, additional flanged gasoline pump, water pump moved downwards, two-part front tank with twelve liters each, two rear tanks with eight liters each, one tank in the rear frame with eight liters.
Technical data: BMW
Air-cooled two-cylinder four-stroke boxer engine, one overhead camshaft per cylinder, four valves, bore x stroke 90 x 70.5 mm, displacement 896 cm3, Bing constant pressure carburetor 0 40 mm, peak output 70 kW (95 PS) at 8200 rpm, E. -Starter, five-speed transmission chassis, tubular frame, bolted rear frame made of aluminum rectangular tubes, upside-down fork from White Power, guide tube diameter 48 mm, directly hinged central spring strut from White Power, front / rear spring travel 300/300 mm, Brembo disc brakes with floating double-piston caliper , 0 front 300 mm, 0 rear 285 mm Other exhaust system made of stainless steel, silencer made of titanium, shock absorber spring made of titanium, cladding and additional tank made of carbon fiber. One-piece front tank with 34 liters each, two rear tanks with four and six liters, one tank in the rear frame with ten liters.
The Dakar ?? Dates, tips and the Mayers
Although BMW and KTM, two manufacturers from German-speaking countries, have the Paris-Dakar Rally firmly under control, the rush of local participants is limited. Only Andrea and Jürgen Mayer – neither related, let alone married to each other – hoist the black, red and gold flag on the slopes of Africa. As the winner of the women’s championship in 1996 and 1999, Andrea is the only one of the BMW team to start on the single-cylinder F650, Jürgen finally moved up to the official KTM works team after his fine fifth place overall at last year’s Dakar and is rightly allowed as an insider tip for a rank apply to the top three. After the rally has returned to its origins starting in Paris, the off-road fans can watch the entourage between the years largely without any problems live. The start is on Monday, January 1st, 2001 at five in the morning on the Champ de Mars at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. From there the caravan rolls to the first special stage in La Châtre. La Châtre is located on the A71 Paris-Clermont-Ferrand, about 70 kilometers southwest of Bourges. From the stage destination of the day in Narbonne, the 30-kilometer-long special stage in Europe, which is well worth seeing, will be headed for, the course on the Chateau Lastours – 20 kilometers south of Narbonne. Tip: get up early, over 50,000 spectators are expected. From there it goes to Spain for the last special stage on the beach of Castellón, about 80 kilometers north of Valencia. From then on, the rally can only be followed by the vast majority on the Internet at MOTORRAD or on Eurosport. Every evening at? The special-interest broadcaster broadcasts a? –Minute summary – by the way, with information from the third Mayer in the group, MOTORRAD editor Peter Mayer, who will be accompanying the rally throughout.
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