New Fantic XEF 450 Rally will face Dakar in January

Fantic are heading to Dakar
Fantic are heading to Dakar

Fantic’s all-new XEF 450 Rally is set to make its Dakar debut in January.

The 450cc single will be piloted by former runnerup Franco Picco, who helped develop the bike. It will then go on sale in the summer of 2022.

At the heart of the Rally lies the same fuel injected DOHC engine as the one found in Fantic’s XEF 450 enduro.

It’s Euro5-compliant and uses an aluminium perimeter frame – also taken from its paredback sibling – coupled with an aluminium swingarm.

From here the two models differ, with the Rally developed to cope with offroad riding at higher speeds – a challenge typical of larger desert rallies.

Starting with the fully adjustable KYB suspension, the monoshock and 48mm upside-down forks have both had their settings tweaked.

The front brake disc has also been increased by 30mm to 300mm. Also improving handling are Michelin Desert Race tyres which wrap around 21in front and 18in rear spoked rims and replace Mitas on the enduro.

The Rally also gets a larger 30-litre fuel tank – jumping up from the 7.9 litres on the enduro to help it conquer longer rally stages.

Also new is a tall instrument tower, which sits above a calculator-sized LCD screen and is shrouded by a plexiglass fairing to protect riders from the wind and dust.

This drapes down into a sleek set of body panels, which incorporate the large fuel tank either side of the engine. Protruding from the base of the motor is an Arrow exhaust system – shedding weight and offering extra punch off the dunes.

Whether that will be standard fitment on the production bike remains to be seen, but Fantic say they will offer a Factory kit.

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Dan Sutherland

By Dan Sutherland

Senior Writer (motorcycling), sportsbike nut, currently riding a FireBlade