Honda preparing Dakar assault

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

  1. troy safari carpente

    troy safari carpente Team f5oolery

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    :stupid Your gut feelings mimic very much what I am thinking Brodo... :nod 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. :wink:

    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... :evil:evil:evil
    #21
  2. tehdutchie

    tehdutchie Long timer

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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..
    #22
  3. Gian

    Gian dreamer

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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...:norton
    #23
  4. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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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.
    #24
  5. dashmoto

    dashmoto Serial Tinkerer

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    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%.
    #25
  6. Brodovitch

    Brodovitch Team ⌘R

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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) :lol3
    #26
  7. Pete640

    Pete640 Long timer

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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)
    #27
  8. Deadly99

    Deadly99 Fast and Far

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    Speculation is fun :D

    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 ? :evil
    #28
  9. doyle

    doyle RallyRaidReview-ing

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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.
    #29
  10. Brodovitch

    Brodovitch Team ⌘R

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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
    #30
  11. wrk2surf

    wrk2surf on the gas or brakes

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    there were two JCR pilots at Jimmy Lewis's dakar camp a couple months ago..
    #31
  12. Flood

    Flood F5lood.

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    I think both Marc and Cyril have extended their contracts with big O recently. I can't see them leaving the family that late in their careers.
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  13. Carlos M

    Carlos M www.motoxplorers.com

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    Helder was his own team-manager, sponsor retriever, bike developer, engineer... (and I guess almost everything else besides pilot) and he still managed to win stages and fight for podiums. What we all have been wondering is how much better he could be if his sole role would be to train and pilot. Big expectation there.

    Can anyone elaborate on the reasons for this Honda investment? Are they retreating from some other sport front? What are the direct benefits for Honda to be involved in Dakar?

    I remembered when Dakar was good advertising for big trails but that's not the case anymore (with the small 450's). Will Dakar exposure significantly benefit the selling of regular CRF-X's??
    #33
  14. Beez

    Beez Given to fly

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    I was thinking the same things. What's in it for Honda?

    Sadly, I have no answers.
    #34
  15. Carlos M

    Carlos M www.motoxplorers.com

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    Hum...I was thinking... maybe they're after even more sales of CG125's and alikes in Brazil (and the rest of south America). They're the ones with $$ nowadays. After all, Dakar is now in South America. Hiring Zanol and Pizzolito may also have something to do with that (besides their undisputable value as pilots)... :scratch
    #35
  16. trailtrick

    trailtrick goat trail rider

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    My take is Nx 300 and 400 sales in south america be bigger if honda wins the dakar down there,also heard o a rummor o 650 adv bike for honda in 2015 , the word in 2005 was they will no do much develoment in dual sport /off road bikes to 2015 ,but maybe the criteria change o this is the beggining o their new develoment to launch in 2015.
    either way is greath for the rally and Helder/Zanol will give the ktm factory guys the run for their $$.
    Now I think the decision o swap motors not be so easy the make like was in the pass.
    Can Honda do the rally with 2 motors be the ?? to ask .
    6 more months and we will see .
    #36
  17. tehdutchie

    tehdutchie Long timer

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    Running a Dakar team costs peanuts compared to any of their other efforts.

    Lookimg at the line up of riders and the current economy in europe and the us, id bet this would be to support their south american sales a little :lol3
    #37
  18. tehdutchie

    tehdutchie Long timer

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    Just heard a rumor that 3 bikes have landed at HT in Vorden (nld), if so, ill try and get some pics :)
    #38
  19. too old

    too old Keen supporter

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    Sam and Helder, photographs in japan - 2 + 2 =
    #39
  20. ArthDuro

    ArthDuro quarantined

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    Did someone just say HRC?
    #40