BMW at El Dakaro, 2010

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    Hi Stagey, was 2010 the last year BMW was racing Dakar? I don’t remember. With their super bike success you’d almost think they’d be interested in the Dakar again.


    Not a ton of BMW news, but the bikes stuff is just awesome.


    I wonder whats up with Frans. Had a tough day?

    OK, I found out what happened to Frans!

    “fuel contaminated by the explosafe in his tank. Bike nearly died on him before the end of the special and he got a tow in by Mr Romaniacs**…

    A quick shot on Eurosport saw him coasting through the special on idle throttle speeds…

    All is well now and sorted so we can expect him to close up a bit tomorrow.”

    –Attributed to “tehdutchie” over at ADV 😀


    These are the Explosafe sponges that are used to fill the tanks and are usefull to keep balance of the bike when fully loaded with fuel.

    **Mr. Romaniacs: #110 – Martin Freinademetz, ROU, KTM. Another (2nd) attempt for the ex-snowboard pro and founder the Romaniacs extreme enduro race.


    Frans is out as of today :sad Bad luck for the dutchman.

    From Frans’ website: [url]|en&u=[/url]

    13.35 – Various sources report that the explosafe sponges may not have been the cause of the failure of the BMW yesterday. These are aluminum and are resistant to gasoline. . It would rather sit in the fuel itself as a much bigger obstacle might be, given that French is currently stationary on the test. South American gas has a different composition (more ethanol) that ever could be damaging for injection systems such as those of the BMW?? Hope springs eternal but there is less and less hope!

    Note: The filling in the tank of French is not aluminum, but a spongy plastic material. . European gasoline types in this material has proven itself for many years. . Apparently the Argentine gasoline contains a lot of alcohol and this material can not prevent that.
    The assumption that a BMW injection system could not prevent that is incorrect. In Argentine great BMW motorcycles riding around without problems.

    13.55 – 13.55 – A brief phone call from Henk Vercoelen confirmed the suspicion that has hung in the air. . They are now on their way to French but the French apparently have thrown in the towel and the engine piece is gone after 8 km to the test. Henk has a glimmer of hope but we fear that the recent Dakar for French team Verhoeven.

    Please note that Google translates “Frans” as “French” 😀

    Edit: well, in typical ashion, he may not be out, yet! Reports come in that he may be swapping an engine in the field!


    Unbelievably Frans is still in it, and Goncalves finished the stage third today, which moves him up to 10th overall. Frans is fast, I mean FLYING.


    Stage four has begun today, after yesterday’s carnage. 20 riders withdrawn on the third stage! BrUTAL!

    I did find some interesting stuff on the web though.. here is Frans V:


    Ans here is a large gas tank developed by Frans and Bert Duursma of the Netherlarnds.


    Its a 30 liter one-piece, with a hole for the rear shock to go through. It acts as a subframe piece as well.

    Says Bert:

    * containing enough fuel for Dakar type of rallies (but you don’t have to fill it up all the way)
    * saving weight by integrating functions of rearframe and rearfender into the tank
    * Having all fuel weight (30L=21kg) close to Centre of Gravity
    * Having less weight on frontwheel compared to competitor rallybikes (no fuel on the front side of the bike)
    * Integrated grab handles
    * No extra pumps, fuellines, taps etc
    * Made of very sturdy PE material


    Nice detail! You can see this tank in the first picture. Easy to see how it keeps weight off the front, and with the rear travel that modern bikes have (typically more then the front, which is a change from the olden days) it’s not so much of a problem to land that weight.

    Bert Duursma has done some interesting stuff over the years. I think it was he who developed the Bakker subframe for using conventional forks on an Oilhead GS.


    Frans Ver-hovering

    Bert says he just sold his BMW dealership as of 01/01/10 and now he can concentrate on rallye projects 😀

    I really wish Rallymotos were longer than 5-15 mile stages.

    Goncalves is holding onto 10th place overall. I sincerely hope he finishes top ten at least.


    Crap!….. Goncalves is out!!! Poor guy. He was having a great race!

    “Ranking sixth at the start today, Portuguese rider Paulo Goncalves (BMW) had to withdraw from the Dakar after a rough fall left him with a broken collarbone at km 195 of today’s special stage, which led to his immediate evacuation.”

    Incredible news from this years Dakar, my friends. Luca Manca is fighting for life after a brutal crash. Coma is catching Despres. Rodriguez is knocking on the winner’s door. Street is not far behind! Running a solid race and my heart pounds every time I hear about it!



    :thumb cool huh?


    interesting news:

    From Tomas Kocanda:
    By the way, O. Brazina (254) is riding Polaris with modified frame, where he mounted BMW F800GS engine (twin) instead..

    Shamelessly lifted from ADV:

    Latest news from Frans Verhoeven,
    His bimmer doesn’t have the top speed like the other bikes with the guys that weigh around 60kg, so every time there’s a straight he gets passed by everybody, just before a waypoint svitko passed him and made a wrong turn, Frans couldn’t see because of the dust, so they all folowed svitko, about 20 of ‘m and all missed the waypoint, following each other like a bunch of rabits, Frans gets frustrated, takes a leak, and lets everybody do their own thing before he proceeds, no sense of passing 30 riders on the technical sections and then being passed on the straights and being left in the dust, and this 4 times a day!!
    According to Frans.

    Also Shamelessly lifted from ADV:

    Leg 7:

    Cyril Despres rolls into the refuel today at CP3 (227 km mark at the end of the 50 km asphalt nutralization stage)… a few minutes later Coma arrives.

    Cyril notices that Coma’s rear tyre looks in surprisingly good condition… and mentions to a nearby Eurosport camera crew that they should go over and take a look (that’s where the video image came from).

    Upon arrival at the bivouac after a great ride but mentally fatiguing day… suddenly Coma has got marshalls firing question at him… which he has to disprove. They drag him back from his hotel in town to be present at the hearings etc. All this is taking time and energy away from him resting and recuperating.

    Meanwhile… Despres (who may have put all this into play as a “tactic”)… is back at the hotel resting, getting a massage, eating well, taking it easy. Because he did not put in an official protest (he just posed the question to the camera crew… and let the rest take it’s course)… so he does not have to be present at the hearing… and his biggest rival is using a lot of mental energy and time to refute something that may (or may not) have happened.

    Sportsmanship?, tactics?, a breach of the rules? or a clever subterfuge on behalf of a team that knows the rulebook backwards to get their biggest rivals eye off the ball?

    All speculation on my part… but seen it happen a dozen times before.

    Key point to prove/disprove…

    DID Coma get a new tyre during the nutralization stage and if so… to verify/prove it.



    Frans Verhoeven vanuit Antofagasta op de vooravond van de rustdag:

    21.35H : “Hej, Frans hier vanaf de rustdagplaats Antofagasta …..”
    “Nou jongens, dit was me het dagje wel ….
    Vanmorgen, helemaal volgepompt onder de adrenaline stond ik al klaar om Henk helemaal te gaan opeten, die vertrok met één minuutje voorsprong. De start lag in een zware duinensectie en iedereen voor me volgde netjes het roadbook en de uitgetekende route, mooi achter elkaar aan. Ik dacht al bij mezelf, niet met mij ….. en ik stoof onmiddellijk de steile duin af in de richting van die jongens die voor me waren vertrokken. Niemand die me durfde volgen ..
    De volgende rij duinen moest ik ook nog nemen want ik haalde het nog niet in één keer en ik nam het risico om nogmaals zo’n supersteile reus te beklimmen, (zo steil als die waterdam in Roemenië weet je nog wel! ) Ik schrok wel wat toen ik boven kwam want daar kreeg ik echt de kriebels in mijn buik. Dit had ik nog nooit gedaan en het was echt ongezien, toen ik de afdaling had genomen zat ik voor Knuiman en enkele anderen die waren gaan samen rijden. Je had Henk ‘s gezicht moeten zien man, hij geloofde zijn eigen ogen niet en de rest al evenmin.
    Vol zelfvertrouwen nam ik dan de kop en mende de hele groep met volle snelheid tot km 177 waar ASO de boel weer had verziekt en een neutralisatie had ingelegd op mijn favoriete stuk, het salar. Ik had in de aanloop daar naartoe zitten zingen op mijn BMW’tje , zo goed ging het en dan dat weer ! Toen we later, na 228 km weer volop gingen vlammen deden de andere jongens plots teken dat ik een rookpluim achterliet en dat vonden zij maar niks, daarin rijden. Heel mijn blok, broek, boots, tank, achterwiel, kortom alles achter het blok was gewoon een grote smurrie olie. Niet begrijpend wat er mis was moest ik halt houden en zag meteen de oorzaak, mijn carter ontluchtingsslang was losgekomen en daardoor had mijn blok bijna al z’n olie verloren. Wat nou? Rustig voort gereden in de hoop het volgende CP te bereiken en dan maar zien wat ik nog kan oplossen dus….. tot ik in een ooghoek de kapotte Tatra langs de weg zag die er al sinds de proef van gisteren in panne stond. Die jongens hadden graag een litertje olie voor me over, snel erin gekieperd en terug op de bike. Even nog liggen vloeken over het waarom en hoe kan dit nou ….. maar verdomme, vandaag zou mijn dagje worden en het is niet over, er zijn nog bijna 400 km te gaan.
    Toen dacht ik…. erop of eronder, en draaide aan het gas dat het niet mooi was. Laat nou maar eens zien wat je kan en gaf alles wat ik kon zonder de motor nog te sparen, als hij te lang op te weinig olie had gelopen zou het snel afgelopen zijn maar kijk ….. het blokje bleef lopen en ik ging alsmaar harder. Toen ons grote Dakar voorbeeld Stephane Peterhansel me voorbijging in zijn BMW had ik een perfect richtpunt en ging ervoor… mijn snelheidsmeter gaf het op bij 152 km/h. Neen hoor, mij hoor je niet meer klagen over een te lage topsnelheid. Ik was alleen maar teleur gesteld in het tijdverlies dat ik had geleden, in deze condities had ik in deze proef gegarandeerd een dikke top tien plaats gepakt ware het niet dat die verdomde ontluchting was los gekomen. Dat gebeurt ook nooit, dit is gewoon domme pech. Wat word ik nou in de dag uitslag…. Oh, 15e valt me nog mee, maar het had zoveel meer kunnen zijn. Wat had ik dit graag afgemaakt vandaag. Voor BDM, de andere sponsors en voor mijn “motorvrienden” die dit hele avontuur toch op de rit hebben gezet.
    Nu ga ik mijn kleren laten wassen, het hotel opzoeken dat we op de rustdag hebben geboekt en een lange douche nemen, dat heb ik na 600km wel verdiend. Ik denk dat Henk en Boy het ook rustig kunnen nemen vanaf nu want we hadden toch gas-water en electra ingekocht bij het team van Cor Termaat, mijn oude manager. Wel, zij zitten zonder rijders en willen toch nog wel wat doen in de laatste week . Ik denk dat ik wat meer BMW shirts hadden kunnen meebrengen en rond delen, ze moeten ons maar een beetje helpen nu. Dan voelen ze zich nog nuttig volgende week.
    Morgen gaan ze me niet zien in het bivouac, ik ga de hele dag liggen en uitrusten. Ik bel je nog wel… groeten aan de oude kaff, of vooruit doe ook maar de nieuwe kaff !! Tot morgen.”

    I did a google translation for you as the story is to long to do a proper one 🙂

    Frans Verhoeven from Antofagasta on the eve of the Sabbath:

    21.35H: “Hej, French community from the rest Antofagasta place …..”
    “Well guys, this was the day I do ….
    This morning, all pumped by the adrenaline I was ready to Henk going to be eating, which began with a minute lead. The start was in a serious dune section and everyone followed me nicely for the road book and drew out the route, well behind the other. I thought to myself, not with me ….. and I immediately rushed down the steep dune in the direction of those boys who had left me. No one dared follow me ..
    The next row of dunes, I had to take because I have not got it in one time and I took the risk again such giant super steep climb (as steep as that water dam in Romania you remember!) I started it then what I came there because I really got the jitters in my stomach. I have never done this and it really was unseen, when I took the descent I sat for Knuiman and some others were going to ride. You had Henk ‘s face to see man, he believed his own eyes and the rest have not.
    I confidently took over the head and taking the whole group at full speed to 177 km where the ASO had ruined things again and deactivation had been made on my favorite piece, the salar. In preparation, I’d go sit on my BMW’tje sing, and then it went so well that again! When we later went back in full after 228 km flames were suddenly the other guys that I sign a smoke plume left behind and that they found nothing but, it ride. My entire block, trousers, boots, tank, rear, in short, everything was just a block behind the big oil gunk. Not understanding what was wrong I had to stop and immediately saw the cause, my crankcase breather tube was dislodged and thus had block my lost almost all its oil. What? Ridden quietly in the hope the next CP to achieve and then see what I can solve so ….. to me in a corner of the Tatra broken along the way who saw since the test span was yesterday. These guys were like a liter of oil for me to do it quickly and thrown back on the bike. Just lie still cursing about why and how is this to do ….. but damn, today was my day and it is not, there are nearly 400 km to go.
    Then I thought …. make or break, and turned on the gas it was not pretty. Well let’s see what you can and gave everything I could to save even without the engine, as he long had too little oil would quickly walked past but look ….. The block continued to run and I was getting louder. When our great example Dakar Stéphane Peterhansel passed me in his BMW a perfect focus and I was sure … my speedometer gave up to 152 km / h. No indeed, I hear no more complaining about a low speed. I was just disappointed in the delays that I had suffered in these conditions I had in this trial provide a thick top ten place caught were it not that the damn vent had come loose. That never happens, this is just dumb luck. What am I doing in the days results …. Oh, my 15th is not too bad, but it could be so much more. What I would like this completed today. For BDM, and the other sponsors for my “friends engine” that this whole adventure still have to put the trip.
    Now I wash my clothes, find the hotel we have booked on the day of rest and take a long shower, which I deserved after 600km. Henk and I think Boy can calmly take it now because we still had gas, water and electricity purchased from the team of Cor Termaat, my old manager. Well, they are without drivers and still want something done in the last week. I think I could bring more BMW shirts and distributed, they should help us a little bit now. Then they feel more useful next week.
    Tomorrow they see me in the bivouac, I go the whole day and rest. I’ll call you later ….. hi to the old Kaff, or even put forward the new Kaff! Until tomorrow. “


    Verhoeven, of which not a lot has been heard since his earlier troubles. There are 3 of 6 G450’s still in the running.




    3 seconds in front of Jonah Street!

    1st stage win in the Dakar since 2001!!!


    Tomas Kocanda:

    Curious, I was just looking in my charts here and it looks like, it is first stage victory in motorcycles for BMW since 2001, when Despres won stage 18 (Bakel-Tambacounda). BMW won three stages that year (6th, 8th and 18th), but two others are held by Nani Roma. It was the BMW rallye team that time – Andrea Mayer, Nani Roma, Jimmy Lewis, John Deacon and Cyril Despres. All guys were on boxer R900RR, only Andrea used F650RR single cylinder (factory built, designed by R. Schalber).

    Funny is, that few of the eye witnesses of that last stage victory of BMW motorbike are on Dakar race today. Sure Cyril Despres, but also A. Cox, Sousa, Chagin, Mardeev (he was member of Chagins crew), Kabirov and our czech pilotes and navigators – Kalina (famous Africa navigator riding with K. Loprais), De Azevedo, Tomecek, M. Martinec…
    At 2001 won F. Meoni and BMW team with heavier boxers was not very good – Deacon 6th, Lewis 7th, Despres 13th, Mayer 30th and factory decided to no longer continue supporting the team in the race. Next year was on start only Touratech replica (F650GS injection) riding under FR flag – no more BMW factory.

    the BMW 900RR:


    A total of six BMW’s out of almost 160 bikes are entered in this years edition of the Dakar rallye in Chile and Argentina…

    and Goncalves in running in 8th place, 3 minutes and 29 seconds behind the leader.


    The other riders on G450’s are Franz Verhoven of the Netherlands, #8, Team BMW Motorrad.

    # 10 is Paulo Goncalves, of Portugal Team Bianchi Prata/Vodafone

    #29 is Pedro Bianchi Prata, of Portugal on Team RUEDUCOMMERCE.COM

    #45 is Hugo Payen, of France, Team Performance Enduro

    #53, Andre Lenoble, France, Team Mad 53

    #85 Pau Soler, Spain, team Mts- Dakar

    We wish them all good luck, and safe riding. Pics to come as they come in!

    Franz Verhoeven’s 450:


    Paulo Goncalves:



    well, crap.


    turns out he took 3rd, with Jonah right behind him. Coma with the stage win and Fretigne in 2nd. I wonder what happened. OH I know… sometime during the stage there was a fork in the road, and a policeman happened to block off the wrong fork, sending the first 5 or ten riders the wrong way for about 10K… I’m sure there were protests made to ASO, and it looks like Coma’s protest was allowed.
    Hopefully we wont have to wait another 9 years before another BMW stage win. :confused

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