DAKAR 1989 | The diary of Aldo Winkler

The decision to participate in the Dakar had to be taken by June. Once the decision was made, there was enough time to organize and prepare, in 360 degrees and even beyond. I was back from the edition 1988 riding an official single-cylinder Honda. Honda was reigning champion, thanks to the triumph of Orioli with the twin-cylinder. The relationship between Honda and the team of Ormeni who was in charge of managing the Italian team had broken. So I received from Honda Italia the diktat not to return the bike with which I had participated in Ormeni.
When I make the decision to start the bike is still in my garage. I think it would be a great starting point to be able to count on her and I dare to ask Dr. Manicardi, president of Honda Italia, permission to bring the bike back to the African tracks. He not only agrees but tells me to also take the bikes used by Kasmakers and Everts (the dad) to be able to obtain a set of spare parts



It didn't seem true to me. Certain, the bikes and the various components had a troubled past behind them, they were all marked by participations in the Dakar, so I got very little out of it (an engine and…middle). But disassemble and reassemble pieces with the names of Orioli, De Petri, Balestrieri, Terruzzi, Everts and Kasmakers was strong. I felt a bit’ as Dr. Frankenstein from Mary Shelley's novel.

I could not fit into any team and therefore participated as a private and alone. I hired Mario Barbiero as an airborne mechanic and I prepared 3 spare parts crates that I loaded on 3 different trucks, as a precaution. The previous edition I had finished 19th on Lake Rosa with the regret of a three-hour penalty for a time control jump in France. I had the secret ambition of being able to join the ten. Honestly though, the primary objective was to get to the bottom.

The thousand preparations make the months fly by, it takes time to leave very quickly.

The race is immediately marked by a fatal accident: a Japanese pilot dies during the transfer to France hit by a drunk. Accidents and even death are elements that you undoubtedly know you have to deal with when you participate in certain events, but when they happen they hit deep to the point of undermining the desire to continue. In Tunisia I skipped a stamp, as happened the previous year in France, but I noticed it and went back, but losing a lot of time.

In the stage that arrived at Tumu (Libya) I had stopped on a sandy plateau, along with some other drivers who like me were lost. While we were trying to figure out the right direction Iwinker11-1989 I realize that another pilot, French, he too without the right route, is pointing at me. And’ turned to the side, distracted in looking for the right way and does not see me. This is where my troubles begin! Luck wants no one to be hurt, but the back of my bike has bent and the rear tanks touch the wheel. We put in three on the bike to leverage to try to straighten it that many to allow me to conclude the stage. The arrival in Tumu had two characteristics: it was the evening of the 31 December, there was no airborne support. Then, while everyone celebrated New Year's Eve with a lucullian dinner and lots of fireworks’ artifice, I was forced to work to rearrange the bike with the crick borrowed from a competitor in the car.

Dirkou – Termit: Niger. Stage of pure desert with many dunes difficult to interpret. I do a good part together with Boano who was struggling a lot with his Africa Twin. Termit is a remote place in the heart of Niger, with only a ruin of the house. Africatours (The organization that deals with catering), There is no, so we find nothing to eat. They give us water bottles and survival rations. Together with some other bikers we went to a small group of locals from whom we were able to buy a chicken. If I close my eyes I still feel the taste, one of the best dishes I've ever eaten, better than any dish from a Michelin-starred restaurant. The organization also informs us that the Dirkou stage of the previous day has been cut to the point of the first stamp. At that point the classification says 14th. My secret hopes of closing among the toptens are rekindled.

Termit -Agades: From the very first km the bike is not in place and my troubles begin. Even today I did not understand what was not working: probably dirty gasoline. Anyway I was forced to stop several times to clean the carburetor. To access the carburetor, however, I had to disassemble the tank every time. At some point, during one of these stops in full Ténéré, out of nowhere came out two boys on the 15 years. I didn't pay much attention to him because I'm taken by my cleaning when suddenly they steal my helmet and water bottle in the shape of a baby carrier.. I chase them, I reach the one with the helmet, I take him back and he runs away. I finish assembling the bike and leave. I do again about ten km, after that the bike stops again. This time the problem is that the piece of brass holding the jet of the maximum fell down from the body of the carburetor. A disaster! I never understood if it broke due to the stress suffered by the material or because by force of screwing and unscrewing the jet was damaged. Anyway I'm exhausted and frustrated. I hope that a truck will arrive in the race and that I load the bike so maybe I get to Agades. Many pilots have had this luck. Night falls and I happen to notice in the distance the headlights of the vehicles, unfortunately all very distant.




In the morning a plane passes, he sees me and sends me a message: “Don't move, the broom truck will pass. You're on the track. Write your number on the sand. Courage!”
At that precise moment I was told that my (dis)adventure. In fact, the person on board the plane who saw me instead of reporting “localized” Wrote “Recovered”. Unaware of all this, I put myself with patience and confidence to wait.
In those moments you never know where the resources will come from to make it. I had read a book in which a Tuareg had survived by putting a stone in his mouth and becoming a stone himself with the sole force of his mind.. I tried to imitate him. But I was also very thirsty because the continuous operations on the bike had consumed me. The second night that no truck appears on the horizon also passes. This time, though, I can sleep and I remember having many dreams with many forms of water (Tanks, Fountains, Showers…).winker18-1989

In the morning I wake up with a deep sense of anguish, given by two factors: first of all the awareness of being out of the race, as the others were already divided; secondly, a doubt assails me “because those of the broom truck have not yet arrived? But they will come?”.
In this state of anguish I spend all morning and think of the two guys with whom I had that quarrel. “Certainly, if I go back I will find someone”, Thought. At this point I had to make a very important decision: go back in search of someone, with all the insecurities of really finding them, stay there and maybe no one would come anymore. however, if while I was wandering around like a fool in the desert the broom truck had arrived where I had located the’ airplane, he wouldn't find anyone and he would leave.

The head was never crowded with all these thoughts. Perhaps this was the most inwardly dramatic moment of the whole affair.. In the end I decided to leave also because I was afraid that the next day I would no longer have the strength to walk. Before you leave, I make the will with a message for Paola through which I try to transmit my love to her. I leave in the middle of the afternoon with a lot of hesitation and go back on my tracks, walk and walk. With each step I felt weaker and weaker but step by step I continued, now the body did not respond to the signs of fatigue that transmitted the head, I went on, almost by inertia, I could have died while walking. It was now night and I couldn't see any trace anymore, in a moment of lucidity I was even more anguished. Suddenly I seemed to see a light in the distance. It seemed close but to reach it on foot it took me an infinity.

It kept me aware that I was growing closer: something, over there, there was. This new hope soothed me, the closer I got, the more I calmed down. The light I had seen in the middle of the desert night was a fire around which a family of two parents and six children warmed up.. They welcome me with great care, probably realizing the state I was in. The first thing I ask is “the eau”, they instead offered me a jug of curdled milk so thick that I struggled to swallow it, despite thirst. Immediately after luckily they also offered me their legendary tea. Without a doubt the best thing I've ever drunk, only that the glasses were very small and despite continuing to give them to me, I kept getting thirsty. The “treatment” gave its first fruits, my physique had recovered.




With them it was difficult to communicate we could gesticulate and with a little’ of French that I thought they could understand. The head of the family spoke a lot but I didn't understand much. However, we have started to dialogue. I tried to make him understand what had happened to me, explaining to him that my bike had broken and that I also needed to be accompanied to the “Gudron”, i.e. a paved road. He makes me understand that it takes five days to get there by camel, and that he would be willing to take me. Then, like a stone, I fell asleep. Apart from his wife and young son, the others sleep huddled in the open air, outside the hut. I put it in my trusty sleeping bag and fall asleep. In the morning I first see them getting up, turn to Mecca and pray.

All the family's diet consisted exclusively of tea, milk they milked from sheep and a millet paste. The milk in the morning was yummy, fresh and freshly milked, as opposed to the evening. Always in the morning I see the mother who worried about the small child who was always crying. He would nod me on the baby's head. So I decide to offer him an aspirin. Aspirin ingested, I realized the lightness committed, I hadn't thought that maybe he could have allergic reactions. Fortunately, After 10 minutes of frantic screams in which I was also very bad, he calmed down and miraculously fell asleep. I guess it could have been for a child of 6 or 7 months grown up in that environment. From that moment on, My Mother began to consider me by addressing me.. I had probably entered into his graces. During the days I spent with them, despite being in the middle of the Ténéré, one of the driest deserts in the world, I was struck by how many people there were: practically every two or three hours someone passed by there, who only waved greetings, and who, for the most part, stopped to make a greeting stop.




It was like a kind of ritual and I noticed that "my Tuareg" proudly told my presence and the passage of the Dakar a few days before. It was amazing to see this man so passionate in telling, Guess, always the same story, to all these passers-by. Life was very simple: the woman crushed the millet; the man built ropes with grass and commanded his boys to keep nearby all the camels that were tied by the two front legs. He explained to me that his occupation was to raise camels., make them grow and once a year he went to sell the big ones, and bought other small ones.

Always during the period spent together I managed to be also useful. While preparing water for the trip, I see that to transport it used two large inner tubes of trucks now very old and full of holes. The holes were plugged with twine. At that point, having with me the bag to repair the punctures, I offered to repair them. As for the episode of Aspirin, even this intervention of mine put me in an excellent light in their eyes. By now our gesticulation had been refined and I was also able to explain to him that my water bottle had been stolen. This shook him, he was convinced they had robbed me when I was no longer in force. My story had completely transformed it: he was very agitated, nervous. He tied a knife to his shoulder and fastened his sword to his belt. Then he made me realize that we had to go.

I was very worried about getting into something dangerous, his attitude did not promise anything good. To take time I made him understand that I was not able to walk because I was very tired. Nothing, more and more decisive and firm, he took a camel and saddled it and pushed me over it. After two steps the rope holding the saddle broke and like a sack of potatoes I fell cutting the palm of my hand. I sank and begged him to stop. Nothing! It seemed that if he didn't take me where he wanted he would lose face., Honour. There was nothing that could have made him desist. After an hour's walk, we arrived at a group of huts (like that of my Tuareg), with at least 4 groups of families.

218023_1035085411577_8413_nI was worried, did not pull a great air. The Tuareg put me aside and joined what looked like the leader.. A boy came and laid a carpet on the ground and everyone, me included, we sat in a circle at 10 meters away. Sitting opposite each other, the two characters began to argue with each other with animosity. I don't know how long this discussion lasted, to me it seemed like an eternity. At one point one of the two raised an arm and another little boy ran towards him., handing him the famous water bottle (I tried to see if I recognized the guys of the first meeting, but there were no, everything remained a mystery to me).

When the other head of the family handed the water bottle to my Tuareg, the atmosphere calmed down and suddenly calmed down. After greetings, my Tuareg came to me swollen with pride and handed me the water bottle, satisfied. Of course I thanked him and we greeted the whole group of people present there and we returned to his hut. Finally we arrived and in front of yet another tea, resumed the topic: I needed him to take me to the asphalt. So he promised me that the next morning we would leave. At this point I was able to sleep peacefully for the first time. In the morning of course I was in a hurry, but the proverbial slowness was now expressing itself to the maximum. It seemed that he did not want to leave and he made me understand it with many excuses, at least that's how I interpreted them. I also believed that he wanted to have a fee. After I insisted for quite a while, he made marks on me by bringing his finger to his ear.
Meanwhile the plane of the organization was looking for me with the checkerboard method (so I was told). After a couple of hours I also heard the sound of the plane and all excited I pulled out the rockets I had with me in safety equipment and began to use them. The plane saw me, so he approached me throwing another message along with a safety ration. The message said: “The helicopter will pick you up in an hour and a half. Courage!” and walked away. I offered the whole family the contents of the survival ration in which there were sweets, of peanuts, a fruit juice and several energy portions, of course they would have liked. Instead, they rejected it. I never understood why but I felt bad.

I decided to give him the money I promised him anyway.. But he did not know the value of the Franco French. I'm sure that when he brought the money to change he had a beautiful surprise. I explained to him that I would soon leave with the people who would pick me up., and here began a long discussion, because he insisted that he wanted to take me at all costs to the asphalt in person. Here too, a little’ for the difficulty of communication, a little’ because he insisted, I couldn't make him understand that it wasn't necessary and that I had to leave with the others.. This discussion continued until the helicopter arrived.. I was sorry because I almost had to run away because of his insistence.. I have in mind the scene in which he holds me by the clothes and I almost forcefully release myself to reach the helicopter.




I really wanted to give him a hug, thank him by giving him his hand and honoring the great man he was, greeting him so he left a bitter taste in my mouth. The helicopter left and I looked at those people greeting me, felt a little’ of sadness in leaving you. From above I also saw my bike and here too I felt a feeling of sadness. It was strange: I should have been happy, finally safe but I was almost melancholic.

We arrived in Agades, and here some members of the organization subjected me to a physical check. Then they boarded me on a plane towards Niamey, where the race was coming at the end of the stage. All my friends had me big parties and immediately I was able to make the first serious meal in a long time. I was also able to call Paola's house, reassuring her that everything was fine and that I was fine. I want to take this opportunity to thank Beppe Gualini and Andrea Balestrieri and many other pilots, because they insisted a lot explaining and insisting with the organization that they come looking for me, since I was still in the middle of the desert. If it wasn't for them surely no one would have come to pick me up. The Dakar meanwhile the next day left and from Niamey, with Bebbe Gualini, we arranged to take the first plane to Paris.

On my return I was welcomed with many parties all my friends. Personally, I would have preferred to be celebrated for a good result. I warned Honda Italia that the bike was missing in the desert and that in any case I felt compelled to recover it.. I was told that the bike was now lost and that I should not recover it., at that point I asked him to be able to do it anyway and to keep the bike. In the same stage Picard, official driver Cagiva, retired. I then contacted Azzalin, head of the racing department, to be able to do the recovery together. He gave me the phone number of Manu Daiak who had been a fraternal friend of Thierry Sabine and who was a power in Agades. He was very helpful and promised me that with the truck that was going to get the Cagiva he would also go to get mine and that I’ it would also ship to Marseille. Manu Daiak died a few years later in a mysterious plane crash. Some rumors say it was an attack, consequence of his role in the Tuareg rebellion of which he was said to be the leader.


Goal Dakar, 50 Africa Twin per the Dakar 1989

“Make those who start suffer and make those who remain dream” was the motto of Thierry Sabine's Paris-Dakar, died on 14 January 1986. Two years later, on the occasion of the release of the Africa Twin, Honda France offered to 50 by “those who usually stay” to also participate in the Dakar 1989.

In 1988, Hervé Guio, the head of Honda France, had already christened the new XRV 650 Rd 03 with the brilliant trade name of Africa Twin (will do so again with the first names of the Transalp and of the Dominator). François Charliat was then responsible for advertising and promoting the network. In his spare time, at the beginning of January, was also a water carrier for hrc's official top riders. After the Dakar of the 1988, that didn't end, his NXR went up in smoke due to a leak in the tank, Charliat was also offered a leadership position in the Honda team for the following year. “I refused. I didn't feel legitimized. I was able to go to the 90% for a long time, but I couldn't go any further like the ones that preceded me. I preferred to stop. “

A godsend to Hervé Guio, who quickly found a substitute for him. It was not the Neveu and the Lalay who had the task of aiming for victory in Dakar, but 50 Private! At the exit of the Africa Twin, Hervé Guio, on a night of drunkenness or i don't know what occasion, said in front of an audience of journalists: “This is the bike of the Dakar, it's Charliat who developed it with the Japanese, it's the perfect bike for a private, true François? And we're going to do a great operation 50 Africa Twin in Dakar“. After this announcement, told me: “Well, François, you have to do it yourself. How much you need? What you need for the bike?”. “

Different times, different customs! This is not Charliat's first hot potato. He's already had to improvise a Supermotard Challenge trophy. “following an error of order on the volume of the 500 Cr“, the largest 2T cross bike of the time, it's not the easiest to sell! He was put in charge of an adventure that was officially called Goal Dakar. “It was a program that depended on R&S. There was always competition between R's departments&S and HRC, it was a little bit’ like the workers against the gentlemen”, says Charliat who remembers the preparations and specifications that he himself drafted.

The Japanese came to visit us in Paris and asked us what to do on the bike.

We were in the Marathon category. So we had to change some things. I had the cartridges changed in the forks, the shock absorber instead was prepared at home, so much no one would come to check. And the fuel tank had almost doubled in capacity. The bike could not be lightened (270 kg in marathon version). It was what it was.


We had also reinforced the cup and integrated the water tank as disre already. The bike was tested twice in Japan, then two months before the Dakar, the 50 motorcycles were delivered to Paris. It's a special series, with engine and chassis serial numbers beginning with 5. In the parking lot of Honda France, looks like a battlefield. Military tents are set up to accommodate these 50 motorcycles and pieces from Japan, service equipment, all this guarded day and night.

We also had to take care of finding the support vehicles. We had three trucks, two Unimog 4×4 plus a Kamaz 6×6 rented in Switzerland. We have organized a competition for network mechanics. There were ten of them in one of the organization's planes, plus one on every truck. As many drivers and even three warehouse workers. In total, 21 People with my deputy and I to oversee the operation!


"All included, For 81.500 Franks at the time, Honda provided candidates with a complete motorcycle and service package with ten mechanics. “I told myself that the guys who left for the Dakar have often forgotten a lot of things. They tried to make a nice bike, but they often didn't have the tools to repair a simple drilling, no easel to work on in the evening, not the right jacket in which to put the cards. With my six or seven years of experience, I made sure they had a kit ready for the race."


Although the bike was not a missile, fine. But you had to know how to bring it, it wasn't really a motorcycle for beginners, but two-thirds of them were. He was taught to read a roadbook. It was the age of the first scrollers. I also had some of them make sandwiches before they started.. The boys didn't take care of anything! “A budget for spare parts of 15.000 francs is part of the package, each piece used is then deducted later.

Taken from:

towers 1989

Dakar 1989 – Towers and its unexplained retreat

Text by Nicholas Bertaccini

The problems that can happen during a Paris-Dakar are countless and of all kinds. Some are egregious, predictable but others are difficult to predict and diagnose. Refueling has always been a delicate moment. There are all kinds of stories, travains made with shopping bags, negotiations with the locals, top-ups made from glass to glass.

And gasoline was certainly not of first quality. Sometimes, linguistic misunderstandings or cunning, some locals sold diesel to participants, leaving them on foot after a few miles. What happened to Claudio Torri in 1989 is one of the problems that are difficult to understand and diagnose. Those times when the bike plants you, get tited up and doesn't make you understand what the problem is, like a capricious companion who doesn't want to reveal the reason for the anger.

Towers drives a KTM 620 LC and we are at the end of a Libyan stage, on the border with Niger.

When you're going to start again, In the morning, the bike is unresponsive. Towers tries a, Two, Ten, hundred times but the bike doesn't hint at starting. Nothing. The bivouac slowly wakes up and prepares and the Bergamasco is still fierce against the start of his bike. Every kick accumulates anger and nervousness. But the bike doesn't care. Property. Helpless.

The bivouac is now active and does not go unnoticed that private so frustrated and fierce against the Austrian monocylinder. They also offer him to try to pull her with a truck, to help him start again. Nothing, you don't need brute force, The KTM of Torri doesn't want to know about it.

Nobody has an idea, nobody understands, no one has a suggestion that can make you understand how to intervene. It all looks perfect. It just doesn't start. There is no diagnosis, there's no cure. Towers decides to surrender. If the bike doesn't start and you don't understand why, needless to insist. The vehicle is loaded onto a truck to Dakar, where he will have to be repatriated, to be withdrawn.

As soon as the mechanic arrives, he unloads it from the truck, look at it again and then try to do as we do with appliances: we do the same thing after time, to see if it's true that time fixes everything. Maybe it doesn't always work but that day, in Africa, at the first half-pedaling of the mechanic the bike started again and resumed singing, how nothing was.

After the astonishment came also the diagnosis: at the last refueling the gasoline was watered down like the cocktail of an aperitif game of a tourist village and during the night the water had become ice, preventing the engine from turning on.

Because at night, the Dakar, he could do a lot, very cold. Did you know that.?

Peak 1989-2

Franco Peak on the monos at the Dakar 1989

2016-04-08 19.03.41With Franco Picco, it is a must to talk about 750 Yamaha.
"I tried a twin-cylinder in Japan a long time ago; certainly has a lot more power, On the mono side, however, they play the reliability and safety. Our single-cylinder in any case is very evolved; has liquid cooling, five valves, it's now super reliable. This year's changes (one candle, enhanced lubrication circuit etc.) have led to a power of 58-60 cv with a weight of 165 cv with a weight of 165 kg; the top speed is not so different, instead the shooting at the low, serving and driving better, has improved considerably".

Motosprint – Gabriel Gobbi

17621768_ 1315451881834022_6292826741391371534_o

Ermanno Ban preparation for the Dakar 1989

The preparation of my Yamaha in my usual basement 3×4 meters. Whenever I try a test, to bring out my Yamaha had to disassemble all the tanks and put them back!

The front wheel and the fork I was kindly lent by my girlfriend who had a Suzuki 125 RM. To operate the trip of Yamaha TT it was necessary to modify a deferral of Cagiva 600 with the wire inside a square section of Moto Guzzi V35, the whole thing was calibrated to perfection. In the second stage Tozeur Gadames following a major fall I tore off the wire and goodbye to trip master.. I terninato the Dakar tracking, dust and much did my instinct!

Note the cap on the head where was placed the tachometer, the radiator under the tail and elongated tubes with unique support from me designed!


Dakar 1989 – The unforgettable Guinea

TAMRACOUNDA – Top view Guinea is an emerald set in the desert. For the crews of the 11th Paris Dakar, though, is a green hell, furrowed from the red laterite trails are treacherous roads, fast but slippery. On his third impact with the jungle the most grueling rally the world has rediscovered that isn't just the Ténéré to suffer. Guinea if will remember long Clay Regazzoni, Claudio Terruzzi, but Spanish too Prieto, and the two good Samaritans from team Assomoto Giuseppe Cannella and David Parks.

Special inhuman: running for 24 hours in the Green hell

Were the latter, in fact to pull away from his Mercedes partially destroyed by a lump of Clay didn't take penalty rollover.
We were about a kilometre 270 of the Special – tell these two guys in their thirties, of Brescia – When on a fast track to hump hump, We saw a wheeled machine for air. It was in a pool of gasoline and Navigator who was already out, He was bleeding from his arm. We recognize him: It was Dane, Clay was still inside and was trying to get rid. Careless that time flowed, Joseph and David they accommodated Regazzoni outside of the machine, leaning on a Boulder because his wheelchair was destroyed, medicated and Dane.
No one stopped to help us out – remember the two – one threw us bottled water out the window.
Past people who had no problem of ranking… We do not understand, When everyone feels special samples.

Taddy Cagiva 1989-3

It stopped, Instead, Claudio Terruzzi and Klaus Seppi. A history of Dakar, a snippet that, along with other, Rebuilds one of the toughest days of the rally.
É was a special inhuman – says bluntly Terruzzi, got to camp at night – before meeting Regazzoni I had seen all the colors. I ended up in a Ford at km 130 I was walking because my Cagiva went to a cylinder. Suddenly, While I was with the water for life. the engine is ' taken ' and slid to the bottom slippery. It took me an hour to draw out the bike from Ford, Thanks to the help of some guys who came from a nearby village, and with them I started to disassemble the bike to try to make it restart.
There are finally managed, but a flashback set fire to makeshift air filter and one of my helpers, afraid, threw a handful of Earth in Carburetors… Luckily while I was busy to disassemble everything again and got Sad, my assistance, with the car, that pulled me out. I was sad when he left behind say all these kids who had been busy to help me, but I more think when, in the dark I found myself having to do the track behind the car.

Terruzzi Orioli

In a fuss that limited visibility to a few meters Terruzzi fell, hit a cow, and rebooted again pulling blindly, but he couldn't avoid the penalty.
And say – Remember – that was a great start… before me I only had two tracks. I must have been third before falling into the damn Ford… the road book was done by dogs, for a coat I have risked my dry skin in left turn, which then tumbled Magnaldi.

Sabri, that helped him in the evening with him at camp. Another piece fits into the puzzle of special Bamako – Labè.
We all had a deep Ford, us machines – fast assistance tells Cagiva – theno water there was the Nissan with Prieto. He couldn't go out. He was driving, While his second had dived to fix the slides under the wheels. Came and went, in that muddy water, when suddenly I heard him shout. Li per li didn't understand, then I saw him hold Prieto, that was in the water unconscious, for underarms. The muffler sfiatava inside the body and he, breathing carbon monoxide, He had fallen asleep, slumping driving. He had barely had the strength to open the door before you go wild in the water. Fortunately that, in all the confusion the Navigator if you noticed.


It's the day after tomorrow when, with a machine of doctors, get Regazzoni at the bivouac. Dirty, unshaven, is almost unrecognizable, but not tired, nor unpacked. The longest day of the Dakar will close in his story.
I can't figure out – He says shaking his head – We were fresh off the hardest part of special when in a straight Red Earth, the car got sideways. I checked for a while, but then I shot off. It stopped after four spins with the wheels in the air. Smelt of petrol and a priest moan. Then came the two Italian riders who helped me to get out.

While people continue to leave the special Clay speaks. Are the trucks that didn't made it in the night. Let's review the bivouac dark, devoid of light generators, and those few trucks arrived as a foothold for all. The special Bamako – Labè lasted exactly 24 hours. Nobody saw it coming so hard.


Yamaha Belgarda working to the Dakar 1989

Insiders say the race, on the beach in Dakar, It doesn't end, but begins. In the sense that the losers, But even the winner, just crossing the finish line Let's start already thinking about the next edition. Behind the three-week race, In fact, There is the work of a whole year. But how does this work? As you work in “bunker” Racing divisions when the desert is back on silence and the wind has obliterated the footprints of tires from sand? To answer we checked into one of these departments ran (usually strictly “top secret”), one of the newly formed BYRD, (Belgarda Yamaha Racing Division), “daughter” Italian importer of Yamaha, that takes care of all the racing activities of the company.

The team has the credentials to be among the protagonists of the marathon and she collected many successes in the past in Africa with strong Franco Picco, second in Dakar last year and winner of the Rally of the Pharaohs in 86, and with Cyril Neveu, winner of five Paris-Dakar. Daniele Papi, Managing Director of-BYRD and head of African expedition, tells “Motorcycling” as the team prepared to “Dakar”. The rule of “Paris-Dakar rally which starts on the beach in Dakar when ends the previous edition” PAPI confirmation: the leaders of two official Yamaha team, the Italian Belgarda and France's Sonauto, gather together with observers sent by the Japanese parent a few hours after the end of the marathon in a private room at a hotel in Dakar.

1989_ YZE750_Tenere_0W94

The discussion, sports only cutting, need to analyze the progress of the race and has followed the week after, at the headquarters of Yamaha-Europe, in Amsterdam, where you decide the address of competitive activities of the three teams — French, Italian and Japanese — while in Europe you disassemble and inspect all parts used on motorcycles who finished the race, in Japan we lay the foundations of the project for the construction of the new machine. After a few months, completed the analysis of the materials used and the strategies of the next edition (number of motorcycles in the race and its assistance), starts the phase “hot” the preparation: mechanics and drivers flying in Japan for the first tests of the new medium. This last phase lasts between 30 and 60 days and is undoubtedly the most interesting: It is here that the prototype takes form and is changed according to the recommendations of the pilots, recommendations taken into great account of Japanese technicians.

The new Yamaha OW94, Thumper of 750 CC., in first exit at the rally of the Pharaohs finished second with Franco Picco. Digitalis is placed in the tail of the bike, away from the engine that could create abnormal magnetic fields, the reader is at the side of the road book.

OW94-02Our peak, in particular, enjoys fame as expert test pilot and the Japanese are doing everything to please him making changes that suggests. So we arrive in September, When you debug the participation to the Pharaohs, dress rehearsal of “Dakar”. The bikes come from Japan and intensify testing of parts produced in Europe, for example the rear shock (Ohlins): in the race, then, you will experience the new solutions.

Upon returning from “Pharaohs” life gets hectic: expect from Japan the new bikes, amended in accordance with the experience of the race in Egypt, bikes arriving anco-ra to assemble and check. The last test was completed a few days before departure for Paris. Janice Bailey, Head of external relations of the BYRD, It acts as a guide during your visit to the bunker. We begin with the presentation of full-time employees • mechanical Racing Division: named Fumagalli, Lanzulli and sinks, While completing the Paris-Dakar Bonetti (that follows Fain in cross) and the specialist bodies Vafaie. The new regulation, prohibiting participation in the truck and that limits the number of support vehicles, He forced all the major team to review the Organization of assistance in race.OW94-07

The 70 percent of spare parts is carried on cars and trucks, the rest being parked at Agadez, in a permanent base Yamaha. The tires needed a race like that between moto, cars and trucks are almost two hundred (an idea of the total cost may give it the price of a special rubber for trucks, 2.500.000 Italian lira). Motorcycle tires are replaced each end stage: the Special “mousse” (Michelin) that substitute for normal air chambers prevents punctures, but it has a limited tata resistance to high temperatures that occur in stressed tires. The three Range Rover (participating in the race) take care the parts most commonly used screen on the slopes, a motor mounted, a tank, a complete wheel and obviously a mechanic can assist the driver in case of failure.

By the time the team also includes a woman, the only between 23 men: It's called Matilda T, 30 years, Image Manager Chesterfield. All 24 people on your team are involved full time, in the year, the field Raid Marathon, but quantifying the human force needed for the conduct of the entire project is impossible. All employees of Belgarda are co-involved and collaborate with the racing Department even if only intermittently. The pilots, as well as conducting the tests, follow the set up of the bike to be able, during the race, repairs of luck. The pre-race physical preparation, always followed by the head doctor, the profes-sor Bows, includes, during the month before the race, 3 weekly bike trips, 4 jogging sessions, 3 gym (2 read and one with maximum loads), a day at the pool and a complete rest.

Archetti believes that athletes use doping, in African marathons, Since it is impossible to, in an effort so prolonged, dispose of the remaining negatives of such substances, and a pilot who would use would remain a victim of the accumulation of fatigue. Talk about costs is virtually impossible. In addition to bike, estimated value 300 millions of lire una, the means of assistance, aeroplanes, dozens of people leave, the thousands of hours of work dedicated to the project, We must consider the occasional engagement of all employees and other dozens of people Belgarda (photographers, suppliers, etc.) who collaborate to the realization of “African dream”.


Peak and Neveu will be in charge of two new Yamaha OW 94. Driven by peak at Rallye des Pharaons, the OW 94 is the evolution of the OW 93 entrusted to Mad and the fourth rider. Identical in design, the new Yamaha differ in reinforced frame and a modified suspension in linkages and length of the swingarm; the engine is different in the heating unit (piston and piston rings of new material) and has larger carburetors and has a higher compression ratio.

OW94-05The candle is now only, in place of the previous two, the power is 60 HP, two more, but mostly the consumption decreased. OW94-04In detail the technical characteristics are as follows: displacement of 752 CC (105 x 87 mm), four-stroke single cylinder engine with five valves, two Mikuni Carburetors from 30 and 32 mm, five-speed gearbox, Kayaba fork with adjustable compression and rebound, excursion to 300 mm, monocross rear suspension with adjustable Ohlins super, excursion 280 mm, Michelin front 90/90×21 or 100/80×19, rear 140/90×18.

Autonomy is entrusted to two tanks, side main, a total of 58 liters; the weight of nearly 220 kg in running order and the maximum speed is over 185 km/h. The instrumentation, In addition to indispensable roadbook, includes a trip master tech, digital and analogue magnetic electronic compass of reserve. After his second place in last edition, second place at “Pharaohs”, the official Yamaha, entrusted to the French team Sonauto, is a top candidate to victory .

Source Motorcycle Racing
Special Tks Stefano Magician

Hanson 1989-1

Hédouin and Scheck Dakar 1989

In the mist springing the Africa Twin of Hédouin and Maico 500 by h. Scheck during the Dakar 1989.

Al Hamad 1989

Philippe ed Erick Al Hamad Dakar 1989

Brothers Racing, Philippe and Erick Auribault. Paired arrive in Dakar in 1989 in 52° and 53° position. EPIC!

Damalie 1989-2

Damalie Dakar 1989

Daures during the Dakar 1989, full throttle and fly over the difficulties! For the record ended at 8th place.