In 1994 Dakar changed ownership and the event became the property of the ASO Group, which by the way had and continues to have sporting events such as dakar itself or the Tour de France.
The course was an experiment that hasn't worked since the race left Paris to reach Dakar and then return to Paris. That is, a Paris-Dakar-Paris with 13.379 kilometers of route to which they have signed up 96 Motorcycles.
Among them the Kawasaki of the unforgettable Alvaro Bultó, sympathetic and sporty uncle who made his debut at dakar after going through various modes and fire retardant Xavi Riba. Riba had a lot of experience in the test as he had participated six times before making his Kawasaki debut.
Son of Bultaco FX founder Bultó and originally a motocross rider, Alvaro was the best debutant at the Dakar of that distant 1994. The charming Bultó who became famous among other stories for his tve shows, was a regular in asphalt rallies, a specialty that disappeared and where he came second in Spain with his brother Ignacio.
He also distinguished himself as a supermotard sprinter and driver, before abandoning the motorcycle competition after the Dakar (he got back in the car) and focus on other challenges like flying or freefall. In 2005 with his wingsuit begins to fly high: crossing the Strait of Gibraltar in free fall and an average horizontal speed … 208 Km h!
Unfortunately, he suffered an accident that cost him his life in August 2013. 1994 Alvaro Bultó and Xavi Riba went to dakar with their Kawasaki, the brand was imported by Derbi Nacional Motor, that gave them two KLX 650-R that were fully prepared for the great African adventure. The Kawasaki KLX 650 in version R produced 48 Hp of power to 6.500 and was equipped with a single cylinder with double camshaft and liquid cooling.
The frame was a double perimeter beam in molybdenum chromium inherited from the motocross version to which they had to some changes have been made because the engine of the Klx it was higher. The suspensions were prepared by Felipe Higuera, who was one of the best specialists in our country and, keeping the Kayaba fork as standard, springs and oil have been modified while preserving the 300 mm. Trip.
Behind was mounted an Ohlins shock absorber (280 mm). The most laborious section was the assembly of the additional fuel tanks. Two were placed at the front, trying to place the weight as close as possible to the center of gravity to get handling. Two side tanks were also placed in the rear. It featured an impressive kevlar paramotor plate and there was no lack of escape from the unforgettable Tavi.
The race was an odyssey for both drivers, especially for Alvaro Bultó, who showed great pride and spirit of sacrifice at the finish line despite suffering a painful hand injury, result of a jet ski accident.
They're both done. RIBA 10 ° and Bultó 11 ° after doing the whole race together and showing how other drivers in the history of dakar, that with a practically standard Kawasaki, the dream of finishing the toughest race in the world could be fulfilled.
Italian Maletti repeated his experience in this case on a KLX in the 1998 finishing 24th in the Paris-Granada-Dakar edition. An edition in which the driver "Xicu" Ferrer did not finish the race as he had to abandon his Kawasaki in the Smara-Zouerat stage.
And in recent times with the Dakar in South America other drivers have fulfilled their dream at the controls of a Kawasaki, among which the Chilean Patricio Carrera stands out.
text: Alex Medina