When you think about the Dakar, Hero Motocorp may not immediately come to mind. And that’s a little strange considering Hero is the number one motorcycle/scooter manufacturer in India… and the world.
One way to bring attention to your brand is to go racing, and Hero is doing just that. Fresh off a 1-2 podium finish at the Baja Portalegre, Hero is making a mark in off-road racing. To prove that they are a force in racing, Hero is once again entering the Dakar.
This time they have a three-person rider team that includes 2020 FIM Cross-Country BAJAs World Cup winner: Sebastian Buhler. 2019 Pan Africa Rally winner Joaquim Rodrigues will be the team’s number two rider. Taking the 3rd slot is Indian rider CS Santosh.
These riders will be aboard Hero’s new 450 Rally machine. Hero says that its new engine has been developed especially for rally racing and provides improved top speed and acceleration.
The new bike uses an “evolved” chassis taken from the Speedbrain rally motorcycle. Hero’s press release says that the new bike offers:
optimum weight balance, better rider ergonomics, more voluminous fuel-tank, improved suspension and cooling system, the new bike is built for juggling the dual roles of covering long strides at a heightened pace.
To vie for your attention even more, all of Hero’s bikes will have a new livery. For 2021, all of the bikes will sport a ” futuristic “Barcode” inspired design aesthetic to showcase the technical edge of our Rally team.”
If Hero can take some stage wins or a Dakar overall win, it could change the brand from nearly unknown in North America to one of the “players” in off-road racing.