By: Klaus Nennewitz
After last year’s fourth-overall position on his KTM, Klaus Nennewitz has accepted a new challenge for this year´s edition of the hardest Off-Road Rally in Europe: in springtime he was addressed to build a modern Rally-racing machine based on the Yamaha XT 500, the first single-cylinder off-road bike of the Seventies that had changed the world of adventurers and Off-Road racers forever. Frenchman Cyril Neveu won the first edition of the Paris-Dakar in 1979 and for the 35 th anniversary of the bike the Rally-version is supposed to start at the South-American Dakar 2011 in January.The participation in the Breslau 2010 was the first test of the prototype under tough conditions.
The project started in March and final assembly was accomplished in the Beverungen-based Yamaha-shop of Meinhold Müller, well known for his experience with this classic bike: only the (reinforced) frame was used of the original bike while the (more powerful) engine is off the street-model SR 500, wheels, brakes and suspension are from modern Enduro-bikes whereas all the other components like the 3 aluminium-tanks with 25 litre capacity, the airbox and exhaust-system where manufactured by Müller, Nennewitz and friends from the motorcycle industry.Just a few days before technical scrutineering in Dresden the machine was finished to face the test during 8 stages and 1800 km against the European Adventure-Rally specialists.
The prologue in Dresden with a Trial-style track was just an anticipation of the difficult challenge that was waiting for the riders in Poland: daily stages between 200 and 560 km over sandy military-areas, through sumps and water-crossings up to the hips and rollercoaster-like tank-tracks demanded everything from riders and machines with extreme dust and heat.The Rally-XT held up perfect to the task: from the start Nennewitz was in a top 10 position until a sump during the second stage in Poland almost caused him to leave the bike buried in the mud forever: only after 2 hours of digging with bare hands and with the help of two fellow competitors did he manage to get the bike going again, leaving any aspiration for a top-position behind.
A part from that inconvenience nothing else could stop the team: daily airfilter-change and general inspection of the bike were the only routine-duties before the study of the new Roadbook rounded up a long Rally-day.Last year’s winner Robert Leischner won the event also this year on his KTM, together with him and seventh-place finisher Lars Krämer Nennewitz finished third overall in team-classification.
Team-manager Meinhold Müller assisted at the start and was impressed by the professionalism of the event that calls 100 motorcycles, 170 cars and 70 trucks to the start on the historical Augustus-bridge in the centre of Dresden. Approximately 1500 people moved with the bivouac, a dimension that is only matched by the Dakar where the Rally-XT is supposed to start in January 2011 in Buenos Aires if the present negotiations with sponsors lead to a positive result.Results:
|1||1||Robert Leischner (D)||23:15:29|
|2||52||Roger Dell’Ava (CH)||23:26:18|
|3||16||Oliver Post (D)||23:40:06|
|4||51||Jan Siegel (D)||23:57:57|
|5||5||Marcus Kettler (D)||24:34:06|
|6||17||Beat Juen (A)||24:34:24|
|7||76||Lars Kraemer (D)||25:25:35|
|8||6||Frantz Roquesalane (F)||25:27:46|
|9||9||Bart Van Mieghem (B)||25:32:36|
|10||20||Rico Van Der Sanden (NL)||25:36:45|
|16||4||Klaus Nennewitz (D)||26:41:40|