Dakar: Bombardier stage 16 report

Bombardier pass Dakar test. Tested by some of the worst conditions the world has to offer and helped on by the organizers, the competitors in the 2003 Telefonica Dakar race had to be content with starting off at 01:00 today, in order to ...

Bombardier pass Dakar test.

Tested by some of the worst conditions the world has to offer and helped on by the organizers, the competitors in the 2003 Telefonica Dakar race had to be content with starting off at 01:00 today, in order to complete the very liaison stage of 413km across the Suez Canal, before starting one of the most grueling stages of the entire rally without the assistance of GPS.

The varying terrain and especially the exceptionally difficult hill-climbs through the mountain passes made this a penultimate stage that will haunt most competitors for many days to come. A problem today and a big navigation error could have meant 15 days of serious riding was in vane.

With two-times quad winner Vicus van Deventer with his beautifully prepared Bombardier DS 650 BAJA out of the race, the Canadian manufacturer was dealt an unnecessary blow, but that is racing, sometimes the Egyptian goddess of luck does not smile upon you and fate takes its toll.

Bombardier has however soldiered on in the hands of Frenchman Antoine Morel, Tubau Noe of Spain, and his countryman Dominique Bourdon.

Jose Luis Alvarez was entered on a Bombardier Quest, but as a result of a mechanical problem swopped over to another machine at the last moment.

Coping well under the exceptionally difficult and enormously testing conditions, it is obvious that the ready to race "off-the-shelve" package, which Bombardier offers in their race machine is in line with their wide range of products. Different to the leading quad, which is a custom built Yamaha 850cc engine in a Banshee frame, the Bombardiers only required additional fuel tanks in order to cover the long distances between refuels as prescribed by the organizers of the Dakar.

In the Bombardier DS 660 BAJA off road and endurance racers get a well-equipped machine with dual A-arm front suspension and single swing-arm rear suspension, chain driven to a solid rear axle, giving the rider better ground clearance and stability.

For maximum riding comfort a specially designed seat contributes to the ergonomics of this very powerful four-stroke thumper. The single cylinder 653cc liquid-cooled Rotax engine drives into a five-speed transmission. With its longer and wider body than any other production quad, the Bombardier provides a competitor with superior handling and stability on trails and especially in the dunes of which the Dakar competitors saw so much.

The Bombardiers will be prominent at the finish and the opposition will take note that they waiting in the wings to take over and dominate the Dakar race in future

-bombardier/cvz-

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About this article
Series Dakar
Drivers Vicus van Deventer