Michelin Desert and Bib Mousse -- a winning combination
Twenty-five years after its creation in 1979, specialists of the Dakar Rally still cite the desert itself as being their principal adversary on this unique event, and what all the entrants fear above all else is mechanical failure. Every part of every vehicle is put under immense strain by being raced across thousands of kilometres of desert, and tyres in particular are tested to their absolute limits. While the possibility of carrying spares means that for cars and trucks a puncture or a tyre bre aking up isn't the end of the world, for a motorcycle competitor it could well mean the end of their dream. To meet this challenge, Michelin came to their aid by developing the now famous Michelin Desert / Bib Mousse combination which has won the classific ation in the Dakar every year since it was introduced in 1983--
Following 21 consecutive victories on the event, Michelin goes into the 2004 Dakar confident of providing motorcycle competitors with the best ever version of the Desert and Bib Mousse combination. New production techniques for the famous inner-tube repla cement, the Bib Mousse, coupled with the specially designed Desert tyre have made the almost perfect product even better. While the leading stars will be battling out victory over more than 11000 km across some of the most hostile terrain in the world, t hey can be sure that Michelin will be 'supporting' them all the way!
Featuring an extremely rigid carcass and a larger tread block than conventional moto-x or enduro tyres, the Michelin Desert has proved capable of withstanding the rocky terrain, extremely high operating temperatures and huge power of the factory bikes, whi le giving excellent grip in the dunes that have made the race famous.
Since its introduction virtually the entire motorcycle entry, from Dakar stars such as six times winner Stephane Peterhansel to the humblest of privateer competitors, have put their faith in Michelin's products. While the Michelin Desert proved the ultimate choice for all Dakar motorcycle competitors it wasn't until the introduction of Michelin's famous Bib Mousse inner tube replacement that competitors were freed from the dread of punctures and their potentially disastrous consequences.
Resembling an o-ring, a Bib Mousse is in fact a hi-tech product filled with thousands of nitrogen bubbles that has virtually eliminated punctures and is now regarded as essential a piece of equipment by motorcycle entrants as their road book reader and GPS
. Previously manufactured by hand and requiring refrigerated storage, the recent industrialisation of the manufacturing process has dramatically improved shelf life and quality and simplified storage to a point where it is now equally popular with competit ors in enduro and moto-x.
Commented the newly crowned Motorcycle Cross Country World Champion Cyril Despres, "Three years ago I was a privateer on a tight budget just trying to get to the finish line - now I am a full KTM factory rider fighting for the lead. About the only thing th at hasn't changed for me is my total reliance on Michelin Desert tyres and Bib Mousse. Then, as now, the knowledge that they won't let me down is a huge weight off my mind."