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RallyRaid Desert Raider 450 & 530 Rally.

The Desert Raider draws on Rally Raid’s long history with desert racing motorcycles. Our involvement began in 2001 and during the decade since then we have researched every facet of bike design. Added to this is the experience brought to the project by skilled rider engineers whose no compromise attitude has paid dividends.  Our first bikes were Honda XR650’s which while robust lacked some important features. In 2003 we entered eight of these in the Dakar Rally, a sizeable number for any team, and the reward was valuable knowledge gained from operating a representative number of the same bike. The Honda’s were followed by KTM 660 & 690 models which were desert racing specific and required little or no modification. These were expensive but in real terms cost effective due to their high resale value.

For 2012 we decided to produce our own model in order to mirror our experience with our Desert Warrior cars. These are unique to Rally Raid, effective and as such have become desirable. The criteria for the Desert Raider was that it had to be competitively priced, built without compromises, perform as well as the competition, be reliable and have a high resale value. On paper this looked to be tough assignment which the team worked hard to achieve.

The Desert Raider is based on the successful TM 450 & 530 motors. Which are carefully hand built in Italy by a company so fanatical about innovation and quality that they have earned a good reputation. Their success in world championship enduro, motocross and supermoto events has earned them a loyal following. In recent years they have won two supermoto world titles.

We decided to use the enduro variant due to it having a wider ratio gearbox and an electric starter. The specification for the Dakar Rally dictates that the maximum engine size is four hundred and fifty cubic centimetres and we have switched to carburettor fuelling. We decided fuel injection can be a handicap due to injector and pump issues arising from fine dust in the fuel. Many riders prefer this option even though it can be said that fuel injection has benefits but a carburettor rarely produces a terminal failure.

The Desert Raider has carefully thought out features involving increased engine oil capacity, a higher location for the airbox and stowage for tools, flares and emergency water. This stowage is within the perimeter of the frame as opposed to below the engine sump which reduces ground clearance.

The Desert Raider full fills it role of being competitive if ridden by expert riders while being user friendly to newcomers to desert racing. All at Rally Raid consider we have one of the best machines available which meets all of our original criteria.

Check out our Dakar RACEPLAN here and race a Desert Raider this year



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