Honda preparing Dakar assault

Discussion in 'Racing' started by STROM-CRF450X-990SMT, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. STROM-CRF450X-990SMT

    STROM-CRF450X-990SMT Been here awhile

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    Honda to participate in the 2013 Dakar Rally

    Honda has announced its intention to participate as a works team in the motorcycle class of the Dakar Rally to be held in January 2013 in South America, travelling north to south through Peru, Chile and Argentina.

    Honda competed nine times in the motorcycle class in the forerunner of the present Dakar Rally, the Paris-Dakar Rally, from 1981 through to 1989, and was a winner five times during that period. It has been 23 years since it last participated in the Rally.

    The Honda team, to be called Team HRC, will include Portuguese rider Helder Rodrigues, who took third place in the 2012 Dakar Rally, Brazilian Felipe Zanol, who brings a wealth of experience in motocross and enduro race events, as well as Sam Sunderland (United Kingdom) and Javier Pizzolito (Argentina).

    They will ride a prototype machine developed and produced by the Motorcycle R&D Center at Honda R&D. The prototype machine is based on the CRF450X, the popular worldwide enduro racing model that combines ease of handling with superior competitive strength. Kit parts designed for use on the standard CRF450X model have also been developed and will be supplied to a limited number of teams.

    Tetsuo Suzuki, Senior Managing Officer and Director, Chief Operating Officer, Motorcycle R&D Center, Honda R&D Co., Ltd. Commented: “The Dakar requires competitors to cover several hundred kilometers per day for more than two weeks. It needs a totally different type of vehicle from events such as motocross, trials and road races. Honda has put a great deal of effort into designing and building a powerful and winning machine. We are aiming for the championship from this first year.”
    #1
  2. schattat

    schattat Long timer

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    #2
  3. Brodovitch

    Brodovitch Team ⌘R

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    HRC? Holy crap things just got serious!

    :eek1
    #3
  4. dashmoto

    dashmoto Serial Tinkerer

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    Well that should liven things up a bit.
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  5. Brodovitch

    Brodovitch Team ⌘R

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    So who gets to be whom's water-carrier?
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  6. Flood

    Flood F5lood.

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    Whoa, that's big.

    I guess it's a great time to start a serious assault. Coma and Despres may be past their prime, they're probably both thinking about a career after the Dakar, but are still under contract. Time enough for Honda to prepare a factory program and pick the fruit in 2 or 3 years.
    #6
  7. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente Team f5ool

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    Uh-huh... :nod

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=im_5QdHp04E&feature=related

    Wow... when HRC come to play... they (traditionally) only play to win... no dress rehearsals or warm ups...:huh When you see those three initials, it means business. :deal

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IUH3JQjcweM


    I wonder what this means for all of the (previous) Honda Europe, GHR, MecaSystems and other (semi-private) Honda affilliated Dakar efforts we've seen before...?
    Have they all just collectively been "B-teamed"...??? :ear

    It will be super-interesting to see more details/developments of this HRC effort as the months unfold... :wink:
    #7
  8. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    Stoked for Helder, a factory backing is what has been missing for him to nudge Coma or Despres out of the way.

    When the 450 rule came out I was hoping to hear news like this, glad it's finally come.

    Did Quinn jump to the orange side a few months to early?

    Can Honda learn the politics of the race quickly?

    Between BF, Husky and Honda is this the year the orange gets dethroned?

    How many more days until Dakar :clap
    #8
  9. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente Team f5ool

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    Really...? :ear

    Helder has been plugging away with his DIY/Yamaha effort now for a number of years, and making great results... while the "official" YME/YMF outfit continued to do their own thing year after year, with no great degree of sucess...

    Then HONDA comes to the table with the offer of a (reputedly) full blow HRC effort for the next Dakar, and ask Helder if he wants a seat...?

    On the strength of his recent FIM Cross Country Rally world title and Dakar podiums... it's not surprising he got asked... and if I was in Helders position, I'd be all over the HRC offer like a fat kid on a jelly donut! :clap
    #9
  10. schattat

    schattat Long timer

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    Yeah, I fully understand his situation, I too would've gone for it, who wouldn't have? :nod
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  11. Carlos M

    Carlos M www.motoxplorers.com

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    These are fantastic news!!! :clap:clap:clap

    If HRC is serious about Dakar (and they usually mean business), this could be Helder's best chance ever. :clap :clap :clap
    #11
  12. Evil Invader

    Evil Invader Been here awhile

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    :nod

    :clap

    :lurk
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  13. ZequeArgentina

    ZequeArgentina Been here awhile

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    Great news!!!
    In my case specially for Pizzolito, after his excellent 2011 Dakar (even wih injury in his wrist) and deception in 2012 (acciden while holding a good position) he is now works HRC driver!!


    He has been recovering fro injuries since Dakar to now, and almost one month ago got back to a bike!

    Excellent news for him!
    #13
  14. Brodovitch

    Brodovitch Team ⌘R

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    Sam & Helder at the japanese mx national...

    via FB


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  15. Clem Kevin

    Clem Kevin Nude With Boots

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    Even if he did, his replacement should be a good one, and should be taking Baja this year. Looking forward to seeing that announcement.
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  16. Pete_911

    Pete_911 Nomad

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    Amen for that, brother Carlos! :pope:pope:pope
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  17. Pete_911

    Pete_911 Nomad

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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,"
    #17
  18. beechum1

    beechum1 Grimace Soup

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    "KTM's are for girls"
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  19. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente Team f5ool

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    One of the facebook.com comments I saw about the HRC press release, read; "Looks like a drawer full of Ginzu knives..." :lol3:rofl

    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...???! :evil

    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! :clap

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

    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...? :deal

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Lot's to choose from... :evil:ear
    #19
  20. Brodovitch

    Brodovitch Team ⌘R

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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 :lol3

    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 :wink:
    #20