At 19 years of age, enter Mason Klein into the world of Rally Raids. Currently holding the title of youngest ever Dakar Rally motorcycle competitor Mason is feverishly training to continue the streak of youngest ever achievements in Saudi Arabia this coming January 2022.
The Sonora Rally Experience
This time around we are talking to rally raid young gun Mason Klein. Fresh off the bike from the 2021 Sonora Rally and now setting his sights on more training for the 2022 Dakar Rally. *Note, no unlawful activities or intentional trespassing occurred during the events mentioned in this podcast. Want to help Mason on his journey to Dakar? Chris and the guys over at Motominded have stepped up and will be donating $150 from the sale of each Rally Moto Kit, link below!
MotoMinded Rally Moto Kit V3
Follow Mason on Social Media: Instagram:
@KorrOffRoad and @mason_klein1
This time around it is a Chasing Waypoints Podcast first, three guests! What are we talking about? Well tune in! Rally events are alive and well for the rest of the year so tune in to find out more about the Mason Kleins Dakar effort including his upcoming travels to Spain and Morocco. Also, both Dan Bart and Happy Dave have put together some awesome events to help Mason and also get people into the sport! Tune in.... and here are the links you need to know about!
Socal Roadbook Rally
Mason's Dakar Fundraiser
MORE TO COME!
What do I need to get into Rally? Here's the short list on what you need to get started!
First things first....
All right, so it's official you have decided you are on the path to participating in your first rally, and you've got your head straight and know that you are signing up as an Adventure Rider or you are in to win it. Whichever category it is or mind set that you will be subscribing to, you're going to need some gear, so here are the basics! (note: we are not responsible for the consequences of your significant other finding out how much you spent on this adventure)
Where do I put the map?
First and foremost, you will need a roadbook holder or, in some places, known as a roadbook reader. I think that is like the whole tomato/tomahto thing. Below, you will find 2 of the more popular options. Remember that you can go with manual or electronic advance, whichever suits your budget and intended use better.
Simple, easy to mount, and no wiring required unless running a light.
Simple, easy to mount, will require 12v power and running of the control switch.
Ok how do I keep track of distance?
Next up will probably be one of the more essential pieces of equipment. And that is going to be a trip meter. Before we get too far in yes, we know what odometers are and motorcycles have these on them; the main difference is they cannot be adjusted or corrected for slight mishaps along the route. There are two options in this realm.
Mounting it up...
Okay, so now that we have the two essential pieces to get into this whole Adventure, how do you mount this to the bike while duct tape zip ties and chewing gum or quick epoxy may be handy for many types of do-it-yourself projects or Trailside repairs this is not one of those times! Here there are two options for rally light style, one that goes on the handlebars and is very simplistic or two, adding a small fairing or tower that will allow you to mount these things to the bike. These options are suitable for bikes that are going utilizes in different arenas.
Short and sweet, this bracket provides a way to attach the a 12mm bar to your handle bars which in turn mounts the roadbook reader and with the use of the bracket below, your Tripmeters as well.
Simple Solution for mounting your tripmeters and roadbook reader all together on the same 12mm bar.
The easy way...
Customizable kit that can be order in one easy step.
Brainchild of Matthew Glade the Sonora Tower is a simple and light way to have both a fairing and a place for your navigation equipment. As mentioned in episode number 7 of the Chasing Waypoints podcast with Scott Bright, a little wind protection goes a long way!
But wait there's more?
Maybe, you have to remember that most rally raids are based around covering long distances and often have fuel stops scattered across longer distances. So basics would include a desert tank chosen based on the largest volume, a comfortable seat, and the right handle bar / stabilizer / riser combination. The end result is you want to have a bike you can ride all day because in the world of rally raid you will.
In the end I hope this gives you a basic outline of the parts needed, it is not much! If you haven't already don't for get to tune in to the Chasing Waypoints podcast for more background on this and more. A huge thank you to Matthew Glade and the gang over at Rally Moto Shop . Tune in to episode number 9 where we chat with him about rally gear and more!
The training, equipment, language, events, and budget... where to start!
Photo: KTM Factory Racing
What is Rally Raid?
To keep this simple, remember when you would print out yahoo maps to get to a place you had never been before? OK, well, you are now ready for Dakar.... well, not really. Rally, or adequately known as Rally Raid, is a sport comprised of navigation and rider skills. Participants compete in "Cross Country Rallies" in other words, make sure you have a comfy seat on your bike or car. We are going LONG!
Comprised of multiple days, entrants in a Cross Country Rally or Rally Raid will set out each day on a route created by the organization and provided to them in the form of a Roadbook. What is a Roadbook, you ask? Remember that printout from Google Maps? It's that! But with more detail, we will get more into that later. There are usually three main parts: Liaison, Special Stage, and Liaison. Only the Special Stage is timed, but all three carry penalties for not following directions! We will get into the anatomy later in this. Still, those three parts repeat for each day of competition, and your total time across the Special Stage (s) plus the penalties awarded (that sounds like a good thing, it is not) make up your Final time or Classification.
The Rally Raid Mind Set
Ok, so now that we know what Rally Raid (or at least my definition of it), what's the mindset? I am glad you asked! In my experience, there are two, and the third group is just the bounce between the two, much like when you leave one group of cars on the freeway to catch the faster group. Anyway, the first is the group that is looking to be competitive and wants a race but not an all-out sprint, there are a few in this group, but I think the bigger group is the ones that want an adventure. They are there for the chase and want to finish each stage, see the sights, and enjoy a good ride with the new and old friends. This group is the group that's taking breaks, making sure pictures are taken, and maybe a taco stand... or two. Where are we going with this? Time to be real with yourself and set your expectations; I want to run a class on Price, Walkner, and Short or finish the adventure that is the question... what is your choice?