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Old 07-02-2012, 02:57 PM   #16
Pete_911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlos M View Post

If HRC is serious about Dakar (and they usually mean business), this could be Helder's best chance ever.
Amen for that, brother Carlos!
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:07 PM   #17
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From Helder FB, one hour ago:

"Começa hoje uma nova fase da minha carreira. Assinei com a Honda e estamos a desenvolver um protótipo para a edição 2013 do Rally Dakar.
Agradeço à Yamaha e a todos os que trabalharam comigo nestes últimos 4 anos, especialmente ao Filipe De Almeida da Yamaha Portugal por todo o suporte, profissionalismo e amizade. Por último, quero agradecer-vos pelo apoio e entusiasmo demonstrado ao longo destes anos e conto convosco para este novo projecto."

In english:

"Today starts a new stage in my career. I signed contract with Honda and we are developting a prototype for the 2013 Dakar Rally.
I thank Yamaha and to everybody that worked with me for the last 4 years, specially Filipe de Almeida from Yamaha Portugal for all the suport, professionalism e friendship. For the last, i thank you all for all your support and entusiasm for the past years and i count with all of you for this new project,"
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by someone
from the dakar thread, January 10, 2013:
"KTM's are for girls"
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:18 PM   #19
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The ADVRider - rampant speculation department:




One of the facebook.com comments I saw about the HRC press release, read; "Looks like a drawer full of Ginzu knives..."

Now bearing in mind that this is just an artist rendering... not a functional prototype... it still raises the question; what bits and pieces will HRC use/develop to make their "official" CRF 450 based rally bike...?

There are a great number of teams that have developed rally kits and accessories for the Honda 450 platform... Will HRC use/borrow ideas or components from any of these... or will they produce a 100% in house original "HRC" solution of their own...???!

It sure is an interesting thing to consider... the first time since the EXP-2 Honda two stroke project (in mid 90's) that a Japanese manufacturer has made an effort to build/run it's own factory effort for DAKAR!

Dare we entertain the thought what this might have for production models in future...? Hope springs eternal I guess...?

Anyway... here a (just a few) of the various CRF based bikes that various teams have produced over the last couple of years for Dakar... will be very curious to see if HRC borrow any ideas/design cues from some of these...?














Lot's to choose from...
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:24 PM   #20
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Personally I found the Arcarons (I think?) HM project to look the business...

but knowing Honda corporate thinking I think anything but full 100% new Honda stuff will be off the drawing board,
it's in their DNA, and a matter of corporate pride to the japanese. Which isn't exactly a good thing

Marcel Vermeij (of rallymaniacs.nl) and Tony both mentioned that the team will be run through a Dutch set-up who I assume have a lot of Dakar experience, so maybe HRC takes care of the motor/suspension and then the set-up is left
to the Dutch Dakar veterans.

Again, from what I have read/know on HRC, that may be a testy relationship. Unless there is some behind-the-curtains recruiting going on, especially pilfering staff from the orange camp
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:49 PM   #21
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Your gut feelings mimic very much what I am thinking Brodo... It wouldn't surprise to see that they come from the drawing boards with a new 100% original (at least bodywork/cosmetical) design... that reflects the HONDA corporate image, and not borrow from what the others have done before.

Interesting subject that you touched on concerning personel/management of the team. I wouldn't think that the only "recruiting" HRC is doing at the moment, is soley on the riding staff side of things.

But it surprises me - as you mention - of the reported claim that the HRC effort will be run "through" another team (Dutch or otherwise). That broadly describes the way in which the various Honda.Europe (Spanish, Dutch, HM/Arcarons etc.) satellite efforts of the last few years have been set up, with varying degrees of support from the mother corporation.

But if history is anything to go by... when the HRC initials are put into play... that means 100% Japanese funding/control. That is not to say that they wouldn't recruit experienced team management and logistics/mechanic support personel from (one of) these established teams and put them on the payroll... But as far as where the buck stops, (if MotoGP/500cc history is anything to go by), the big decisions would be coming fairly and squarely; directly from the land of the rising sun - one would imagine...

So I agree entirely with the last line you wrote (above); it should make for some interesting "back room negotiations" between now and January 2013...
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Old 07-03-2012, 12:11 AM   #22
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From what i have heard, Henk Hellegers expected to run the team and built the bikes (with japanese parts, help).

This now seems to have scaled back(or up?) into the Japanese building the bikes and Henk's team sharing experiences and looking after the day to day operatios of running a team.

Not what Henk had hoped for, so i guess this does mean the Japanese cleary have plans and an owner of the project inside HRC. Totally different setup compared to Ten Kate, who seem to do most work indoors with Honda providing not much more then the sponsor Euros..
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Old 07-03-2012, 12:40 AM   #23
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So it looks closer to that old Africa Twin Marathon project, where the bikes were devolped by HRC starting from the standard model and the Team was mainly managed by Honda France (Bernard Rigoni etc). Main difference this is not a "Marathon" bike so they will have more freedom in changing anything, from engine to frame and plastics...
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:49 AM   #24
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When do bikes leave Le Havre, late October? Less than 4 months to develop something new and test it.....my money is on the using a mostly existing kit. Maybe 2014 have something new and unique. Just a guess but one that seems logical.
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Old 07-03-2012, 04:24 AM   #25
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When do bikes leave Le Havre, late October? Less than 4 months to develop something new and test it.....my money is on the using a mostly existing kit. Maybe 2014 have something new and unique. Just a guess but one that seems logical.
What makes you think that HRC are only going to start developing the bike now, after they have announced their intention to compete and their rider lineup?

My money says the bike already exists in a workshop in Japan and is 95% there, they'll be putting Helder, etc on it over the next few months to sort out the last 5%.
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:19 AM   #26
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True, they may even ship it over themselves straight from HRC central... the MotoGP crates will be lying around that time of year

Imagine they unship the crates at Mar del Plata, and, presto, they unload a Repsol RCV213 (or four)
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:00 AM   #27
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It will be interesting to see another "factory" bike in the mix and weather it will be offered to joe public for racing as are the KTM 690/450 rallys. Other than the KTM's all of the other bikes of recent times are products of aftermarket suppliers and rallye co-operatives as well as dedicated builders.
If its entering the 2013 - Im surprised no sneak pics have floated already. Very ninja...
I look forward to seeing it in the flesh.... (hopefully sooner rather than later)
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Old 07-03-2012, 06:31 AM   #28
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It will be interesting to see another "factory" bike in the mix and weather it will be offered to joe public for racing as are the KTM 690/450 rallys. Other than the KTM's all of the other bikes of recent times are products of aftermarket suppliers and rallye co-operatives as well as dedicated builders.
If its entering the 2013 - Im surprised no sneak pics have floated already. Very ninja...
I look forward to seeing it in the flesh.... (hopefully sooner rather than later)
Speculation is fun

I agree, it would be totally ninja for nothing to have leaked about this if indeed they were testing and developing a bike. I still say they use an existing or slightly modified kit then in 2014 a full works bike is used. Shit, make this interesting with some bets ?
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:40 AM   #29
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My bet is that this is an all Honda affair. If it carries HRC's initials and not Honda Europe or a more national arm, then I suspect this is a full factory effort, run and ruled by Japan with perhaps some strategic management from seasoned sources. Honda also doesn't make announcements lightly. If they say they will have a new bike for 2013, it'll be there and not on a shoestring budget.

Helder is a good bet but I wonder if HRC didn't try to lure Despres or Coma. My gut tells me that neither one is in a career position to want to start over growing a new team from scratch. I'd expect another year or two with KTM and then a move to 4 wheels.

It's a solid lineup for HRC if not a little bit conservative, but I guess that is Honda's signature. Helder is fast, mostly reliable, but most importantly, not accident or injury prone. Zanol was dead reliable this year for his first. A very impressive run and well worth a factory ride. Pizzolito has the experience, but perhaps not the speed, a good mid-front pack finisher while Sam Sunderland adds some flair and speed if not a bit too much youthful exhuberance.

It will be a great year.
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Old 07-03-2012, 07:45 AM   #30
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Quinn would have been great to have had on board... wouldn't hurt US sales either... I wonder if Kendal can be drafted
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