Husqvarna doesn’t make a production rally bike… but Bill Conger didn’t let a minor detail like that get in the way of him pursuing his dream of competing in the Dakar Rally. Conger, a Motorcycle Instructor at BMW Performance Center in Greer, South Carolina, was thrilled to be accepted as one of only 200 motorcycle riders for the 2012 edition of the world’s most grueling “raid marathon” race. As a BMW employee, it naturally followed that Conger opted to ride a Husqvarna in the South American event, but selecting the 449cc 4-stroke base model was only the beginning of his “race to the starting line.”
Competing in an event like the Dakar Rally calls for a highly specialized machine, and Husqvarna’s 449 is a perfect baseline model. Aside from the obvious physical and mental preparation needed for the toughest off-road race on the planet, Conger had a lot of work to do in fabricating his ideal mount for traversing over 5,000 punishing miles through Argentina, Chile and Peru.
“This wasn’t a simple case of bolting on parts,” commented Conger. “It took a lot of brainstorming, sketching and fabricating to do this build. But fortunately we got a lot of help from great guys like Scott Schriver, who is a Hendrick Motorsports fabricator/expert welder.”
Check out the combination skid plate, toolbox, water tank unit fabricated for Conger’s Husqvarna TE449 Rally. Also see how the team built the fairing, increased the oil capacity by 70%, and managed to mount an oversize fuel tank with the help of some Play-Doh.
“The ingenuity that has gone into this build is truly remarkable,” commented Husqvarna’s Product and Racing Manager Derek Sorenson. “The fact that a privateer effort like Conger’s made it to the starting line is an achievement in itself. Now all that’s left to do is go racing! We’ll all be rooting for Bill Conger and his Husky TE449 Rally every step of the way.”