The Dakar Rally and Baja 1000 are two of the most iconic off-road races in the world, but while there are plenty of people who have raced both, it is more difficult for vehicles to do because FIA and FIM regulations differ from SCORE International‘s. In 2024, SCORE will provide an avenue for rally raid bikes in the form of the Pro Moto Adventure class.
Pro Moto Adventure bikes are defined by SCORE as “motorcycles equipped with front windscreen / tower and large capacity fuel tanks.” They must have single-cylinder engines that displace between 250cc and 650cc; modern rally bikes such as those competing in the World Rally-Raid Championship and FIM Bajas World Cup are limited to 450cc, easily meeting the requirement, and the latter has also introduced a Trail category for those over 600cc for the 2024 season. While the Bajas World Cup allows both single- and twin-cylinder engines, the W2RC restricts it to just one cylinder.
This opens the door for bikes that one will often see at the Dakar and other W2RC rounds like the Kove 450 Rally and Hero 450 Rally. On the other hand, adventure bikes such as the 2024 Africa Eco Race-winning Aprilia Tuareg 660 miss the cut either because they are dual-cylinder engines or the displacement is slightly out of range.
Unlike their desert racing counterparts, rally bikes feature a navigation tower at the front upon which a roadbook is attached, though the mount to hold one is not required here since SCORE does not use roadbooks. The tower must have a surface area of at least 120 square inches, and riders are to set it up before technical inspection at each event.
Pro Moto Adventure is a Pro class, meaning competitors pay an entry fee of USD$2,900 before the application ($3,100 if done after). Entrants in the category are assigned a number between #800X and #899X. Although a typical SCORE race runs for one day as opposed to multiple like a rally, the former is much longer distance-wise than an individual rally stage so Adventure riders may go solo or split the bike with team-mates.
The category’s creation comes on the heels of a Baja-savvy vehicle winning the Dakar Rally in January when the Polaris RZR Pro R Factory, which won the 2023 SCORE Pro UTV Open championship, conquered the Dakar SSV class. Even then, the FIA Polaris featured numerous differences from its SCORE sister.
Besides Pro Moto Adventure, SCORE has also created Pro Baja-e Moto for electric motorcycles. It does not have power output restrictions, and the battery can either be in a cage or securely attached to the bike frame itself, though wires connecting to it must be covered and insulated while skid plates are mandate to further protect it in the event of a crash. Baja-e riders sport numbers #E490 to #E499. The 2024 Dakar Rally featured six such bikes—two Tacita Discantos, three Arctic Leopard E-XE 880s, and Green Power Race’s BAT Power bike—competing in the Mission 1000 category for vehicles on alternative power sources.
The 2024 SCORE season begins with the San Felipe 250 on 20–24 March.