Hero MotoSports Speedbrain 450 Rally Bike: All you need to know
Rally sport is a game of adventure and endurance, a test of both the machine and the rider.
Rally sport is a game of adventure and endurance, a test of both the machine and the rider. It requires a special team to enter the business along with a unique motorcycle which can be developed only with the proper technology and experience. That's why Hero MotoCorp joined hands with the German off-roading expert Speedbrain to enter the world of rally racing and build the Hero MotoSports Team Rally. The leading Indian two-wheeler manufacturer wanted to mark its entry at a large scale, so it decided to take the Dakar rally as its first challenge, which is known as the world's toughest off-roading championship.
Speedbrain is not only making and handling the Hero MotoSports team, but it has also developed a very advanced 450cc rally bike for the company which will be used to conquer the Dakar challenge. Riding the bike for Team Hero are the Indian off-roading star CS Santosh and Portuguese motocross champion "JROD" Joaquim Rodrigues. If you look at a rally bike, it appears to be a cross between adventure and motocross machines, still, there are some unique features making this motorcycle much different. During the team's recent interaction with the media at Hero's Centre of Innovation and Technology (CIT) in Jaipur, we got to know about their rally bike developed by Speedbrain. We talked to the technical team and mechanics of Speedbrain and got many interesting details on the bike which are explained below.
The chassis of the Speedbrain 450 is based on a chromium-molybdenum steel frame that provides extreme durability without increasing the weight of the structure.
Powering the bike is a liquid and oil-cooled single-cylinder DOHC engine displacing around 450cc. Now, the unique feature of the engine is its rev limit as one of the tech guys told us that the bike redlines at 12,000rpm, which is quite high for a 450cc single. Still, the engine works fine in continuous runs of hundreds of kilometres without any stress.
The motor also gets an Akrapovic Titanium Rally exhaust system with titanium muffler for trouble-free continuous running.
The advanced suspension set-up of the Hero rally bike comprises of 52mm cone valve front forks with steering damper and Trax rear shock with full linkage for the rear. Now, the amazing feature of the suspension system is its travel. The front set provides a travel of 300mm to the front wheel, while the rear gives you a variation of 320mm, which are much higher as compared to any adventure machine available in the market.
The front fairing has been made of carbon and Kevlar for extra durability and light weight. It also gets small LED rally head lights, which gives extreme illumination without adding any noticeable weight to the machine. In fact, most of the components have been selected considering the weight factor and the bike weighs just 140kg without fuel, which is equal to that of some commuter motorcycles.
The bike also gets a navigation tower but only to spot the rider's position. The bike doesn't get any GPS navigation system, but the rider has to find his way using the road book which is fixed in a special roller device at the front. The road book is designed in a special pattern in which the left box shows waypoint number, total distance, segment distance and alternate distance units. The middle box displays "Tulip" roads and intersection, terrain and landmarks icons while the right box has compass heading, GPS coordinates, text notes and control icons.
The Speedbrain 450 Rally motorcycle gets specially designed two fuel tanks, both positioned below the seat. Both the tanks have a combined capacity of 29 litres.
The engine guard of the bike is also unique as it not just serves the purpose of engine protection but also comprises of an emergency water tank. The capacity of the tank is 3 litres and it has been provided to be used by the rider if he loses his way in the middle of a race.
So, these are some important unique features of the Hero MotoSports Team Rally's Speedbrain 450 motorcycle and there are a lot more things which make it even more unique than other race bikes. Earlier, Speedbrain has worked with companies like Honda, BMW Motorrad and Husqvarna to develop rally bikes for them and it is now putting all the experience and knowledge to represent Team Hero as a very strong contender in the 2017 Dakar challenge.