Charles Jirsa usually watches races from the
mechanics’ corner. Not this time.
FEBRUARY 2015 / DIRT BIKE 77
A real Dakar Rally bike might as well be a spaceship. You know they exist. You see photos, read stories and imagine what they must be like,
but almost no one actually rides one. They’re factory-level creations built
for elite riders who jet-set around the world. They’re vessels for virtual
astronauts who are either paid professionals or wealthy space tourists…
most of the time. But not this bike.
The machine shown here might look like something assembled in a race
shop for Cyril Despres or Marc Coma to sail across a continent, but it was
put together on a real budget in the real world by a real person. Okay,
that’s not quite accurate. It was assembled by Charles Jirsa, who is a professional tuner and works for Husqvarna—almost a real person. Charles is
a freakishly detail-oriented mechanic who has turned wrenches for some
of the best riders in the world, including Nate Woods and Kurt Caselli. And,
he’s a good rider himself; not pro by any means, but a real-world enthusiast who works hard through the week so he can buy the bikes and parts to
support his riding habit.