Mercandelli-1988-5

The 125 in the history of the Dakar

Text: Romulus Ciancamerla

Using the term "adventure" in defining participation in Dakar with a 125cc class, It is hardly a stretch: If you already participate in and finish this race with a motorcycle of engine capacity and adequate power is reserved for the chosen few, try doing that with a bike of this displacement is truly something that borders on heroism!

The first problem is that of mechanical reliability: with a bike of this displacement one should always be at the maximum engine capacity, Sandy is hard on those tracks, because otherwise the stages you end up the next day! When you are able to preserve the mechanics and have a proper assistance – with a quantity of spare parts allowing a frequent replacement of pieces that would fail to do the entire race (piston loads, cylinders in quantity. and even some complete engine!) – in each case a rider on a 125, as far as expert and bravo may be, always comes evening, If not overnight, so it must have a physical resistance even more than is necessary to pilots of higher capacity.

And don't think that the lighter weight of a 125 It can be a weapon in favor: due to the fact that it must always be full throttle, the consumption of 125 they are also much higher than those of motorcycles with a cylinder capacity exceeding, then the Challenger with 125 must bring more gasoline and, Eventually, the weight of your bike will be only slightly lower, In addition, at least in Dakar than once, should also provide for more supplies. The 4T only in the very early editions were used (too low the power to stay inside in increasingly pull that Dakar after Dakar organisers were invented), so were complicated by the need of having to make mixture: While it is true that use an automatic mixing system is too risky (you could keep it protected from sand!) It is also true that making mixture in the middle of the desert is not the easiest operazine of this world!

To give you an overview of all these "Heroes" who tried to arrive in Dakar (When you arrive there!) or at the bottom, share the story of the Dakar into 5 great periods, they have also formed the evolutionary stages of this great event.

 

THE BEGINNINGS: THE FIRST PARIS-DAKAR 1979

On New Year's Eve 1979 a heterogeneous group of 200 adventurers, the most unlikely vehicles (in 2,4 or more wheels, then the ranking was not yet separated), He departed from the Trocadero in Paris to reach the capital of Senegal, Dakar, that still was a simple point on a map and whose name was not cloaked in legend.

DAKAR 1979 Gregoire Verhaeghe arrives at the bottom of the first edition with his bike everyday, a Honda 125 XLS

DAKAR 1979 Gregoire Verhaeghe arrives at the bottom of the first edition with his bike everyday, a Honda 125 XLS

To lead this caravan there was that Feri Sabine, He had contracted the ill of African adventure by participating, with one of the few motorcycle (disapearing for 3 days in the desert!), two years earlier at the Rally Cote d'Ivoire, organized by Jean Claude Bertrand, that was the reverse path from Abidjan in Nice and it was in effect the precursor of Paris-Dakar.

The first Dakar bikes were about half of the members and there were also four 125, two Suzuki TS 2s and two Honda XLS to 4T; only one of the two Hondine came down, led by Gregoire Verhaeghe, that, with its 19 years, He was also the youngest of the participants.

Looking at his picture, that seems to come from another age, It is clear that many bikes participants had nothing different from everyday motorcycle, with just a few gear loaded on the rack; in fact, Gregoire used his Car which had already shoulders 70,000 Km.

Although the paths of those first editions followed the trails and road book were only to very few pages pointing to little more than place names of early and late stage (even lesser-known names of the Dakar itself, but that will become icons of Africa. How can we forget In Salah,Tamanrasset,Agadez,GAO, Bamako?!), get down with that bike is considered a titanic enterprise and do it coming 65° on 74 arrived (33° in motion, the best result ever achieved by a participant in 125!!) to understand even more than the young Verhaeghe had all the numbers to make it and proved by participating in other 4 Dakar and ending even 3rd overall in ' 82 with a Barigo 600.

 

THE YEARS OF THE CONSECRATION: from 1980 at 1986

The success of the first edition had an echo so great that Feri Sabine, year after year, made his run one of the most followed by the world's media. Always faithful to his motto "c'est la Dakar" to justify the criticism that came from all over to the growing danger of a race in which the average rate continued to rise and the routes used to divert more and more often from marked pistes, making the increasingly important navigation.

DAKAR 1984 Patrick Vallet finishes the race on his Yamaha DT125 notice the Roadbook holder with leaves in the wind!

DAKAR 1984 Patrick Vallet finishes the race on his Yamaha DT125 notice the Roadbook holder with leaves in the wind!

Although the risk of getting lost in the Sahara increased dramatically, a numerro and more characters (sportsmen and not) wanted to attempt that adventure and brands the Dakar became an event that was getting harder to say no.

The vehicles became increasingly specialized and the bike began to take that aspect from "ship of the desert" is derived from the use of increasingly large tanks that will create that category of vehicles also for series production.

Despite this, someone who tried the adventure on a 125 There was always…and these are the numbers:

1 competitor in the ' 80, 3 in ' 83, 2 in ' 84, ' 85 and ' 86.

During this period, only a pilot succeeded to reach Dakar on a 125: in ' 84 Patrick Vallet ended 40th overall in the motorcycle category, on 54 arrived the 116 Parties, a result of absolute respect, considering they were already years of victories of Gaston Rahier on beast BMW (ancestor of many current GS) and that the Japanese and, timidly, even Italian houses

Monsieur 125 ", Gerard Barbezant in his first participation in the 1985, on Honda XL 125

Monsieur 125 ", Gerard Barbezant in his first participation in the 1985, on Honda XL 125

they were committing more and more directly in the preparation of motorcycle, they were still derived from production bike with appropriate adjustments.

THE GOLDEN YEARS: from 1987 at 1992

Even after the death of its founder Feri Sabine, during the Edition 1986 due to an accident the helicopter from where the "leader" now ran the race and, Although many fans tend to coincide this year with the end of the "Dakar Eroica", the structure that the Sabine himself had created, the TSO, He managed to help you manage growth and Dakar became the most-watched ever motorcycle race.

Now both automakers (Citroen/Peugeot pioneered) is the biggest motorcycle manufacturers were developing prototypes that were created just to try to win that race (that, in the case of motorcycle, production vehicles that resembled then generated, reversing the process followed in the initial years) and the race had become in effect a GP in the desert that you won based more on performance means that the ability of pilots to "find" the right track, Because navigation systems had become very close to those used satellite today and they do stray from the road only if they break.

Despite this soaring performance, a few more "hero" which decided to start 125 We find it: in ' 87 two more departures (but none on arrival!) before reaching the explosion of attendance in 1988, with ben 13 bike 125 on departure.

The 1988 was the year attended by the two Gilera R1, along with the two original team Peugeot "125 Challenge"; In addition to these bikes, already described in the previous issue, they left a Kawasaki, 2 Yamaha, 2 Aprilia , 3 Cagiva and KTM.

The KTM , the famous "double engine", was a motorcycle among the most "absurd", never seen the Dakar: its Builder, Michel Assis, conscious of the mechanical limits of a motor 125, He had not found a better solution that place a second spare engine attached above to the one in use, ready to be replaced in case of damage on the runway!

DAKAR 1988: So that's where the engine Commons! Despite this, Assis did not pass the first stages!

DAKAR 1988: So that's where the engine Commons! Despite this, Assis did not pass the first stages!

DAKAR 1988 Michel Assis with its monumental KTM 125 "Twin"

DAKAR 1988 Michel Assis with its monumental KTM 125 "Twin"

A special mention should be made to one of two Yamaha, that led by Italian Mercandelli: the veteran of many Dakar was inscribed with an XT 600, but less than 15 days prior to departure was contacted by Belgarda (the Italian team who ran the official Yamaha for peak and Co.) and he was offered a Tenerè 125 "Official". Since the Yamaha team had (and has!) its headquarters less than two kilometers from the historical site of Gilera and because "the country is small and people are talking", nothing more likely the swirling design plan of two Gilera over the walls of the plant in Arcore and that in turn had decided to set up a Belgarda 125 in a hurry; the level of preparedness of the bike and the proposal at the last minute to Mercandelli suggest that the truth is not so distant from my supposition.

In any case, Despite a stake so numerically important, again no 125 He beat half the

DAKAR 1988 The Yamaha Ténéré 125 by Mercandelli, travel prepared by Belgarda

DAKAR 1988 The Yamaha Ténéré 125 by Mercandelli, travel prepared by Belgarda

race: the majority of the competitors did not pass the deadly first two stages and only the

DAKAR 1989 The brethren Auribault among the last to participate in the Dakar of the golden years, and both the finish

DAKAR 1989 The brethren Auribault among the last to participate in the Dakar of the golden years, and both the finish

Cagiva (entered by a French team very well organised) they came close to Agadez… but they could not proceed due to lack of spare parts stop in the desert in their service truck.

The 1989 was the last year of the Dakar rally from the golden years which saw the 125 at the start and two of the three runners, the brothers Auribault (true veterans of this race) they managed to arrive in Dakar, in 52° and 53° position of 60 arrived, remarkable performance considering the level reached by race.

To find other 125 at the start we had to wait another 10 years.

 

THE YEARS OF CHANGE: FROM 1993 At 2007

In 1993 you reached the minimum number of starters: the turbulent political situation in North Africa had convinced many of the large houses (especially in the area of motorcycles) to reduce the commitment officer and, Consequently, the media coverage was quickly diminished. In this same year the management of the race passes by the TSO to ASO, as if to seal a passing of the baton between the "classic" and the "new" Dakar. In subsequent years, ASO changed many times the path, either by changing the city of beginning and ending, This always in an attempt to find routes that avoid the dangerous "hot" areas that year became more extended, until the edition of 2008 that was cancelled two days prior to departure. The difficulties of the race, though, not diminished and for many years no one found the motivation to try again with the eighth-litre class, until in 1999 He turned up again in France was nicknamed "Monsieur 125", This Gerard Barbezant, He competed in a total of 14 Dakar, all made in 125!

His first participation dates 1985, with a Honda XR 125, that he also used in 1986; in 1987 He joined 2T on a Honda NX125 and then used a Yamaha for the edition of 1988. After a power outage 11 years, returned in 1999, This time riding a KTM EXC 125 He used almost continuously until its last Dakar, that of 2007, race to the ripe old age of 61 years! No longer races the Dakar 2006 because of the pain that brought him the death of the great Fabrizio Meoni, his good friend. Example of passion and perseverance he managed in order to finish the Dakar only in 2003, in an edition which ended in Sharm-el-Sheikh and that was one of the less harsh than ever, to the extent that its winner Sainct, Commenting on the ease said that "had been able to finish even on Barbezant"!

Dakar 2005: twenty years have passed, but "Monsieur 125" is still riding his KTM EXC 125 for its 13° participation in Dakar

Dakar 2005: twenty years have passed, but "Monsieur 125" is still riding his KTM EXC 125 for its 13° participation in Dakar

It seems that the dedication of this true sportsman class 125 It wasn't motivated by some form of perverted masochism, but simply because he had never done licences for motorcycles with a cylinder capacity exceeding… And the 125 It was the only bike that could drive!

Although in some Edition was accused of some "trick", namely to cut heavily the path, inning in the vaulting lump of controls… but by staying in the race by taking advantage of the regulation that permits (at the bottom was not a sprovveduto, being holder of 3 engineering degrees!), one cannot but admire the tenacity; However will remain in the annals among the very few to have completed the Dakar 125!

THE DAKAR CHANGE CONTINENT; FROM 2009 TO DATE

The increasingly unstable political situation in the Sahel, that prevents find appropriate locations to build safely race lived up to its reputation, pushes the organizers to cross the Atlantic Ocean and the Dakar remains only the name of something that, In addition to traverse slopes of South America, also lose that aura of "adventure" that had pervaded the history. The race, still grueling, becomes a sort of Enduro "Long Range" with paths that climb the Andes and along the deserts that have more difficulties and the charm of challenge, typical of the Ténéré. The bikes become lighter and easier to handle, but think about using a 125 still has something heroic.

In the latest edition of this year, the Frenchman Sylvain Espinasse, raced and completed the Dakar on a Husqvarna, becoming the sixth rider in history to succeed in the enterprise.

Dakar 2016 Sylain Espinasse is the first to run and accomplish the Dakar "the new world"

Dakar 2016 Sylain Espinasse is the first to run and accomplish the Dakar "the new world"

On his bike, equipped with an intelligent mix oil tank carried inside the swingarm, had to replace 5 Pistons to reach upon arrival and had to overcome a difficulty unknown to competitors of old Dakar: overcoming the distance to more than 4.000 meters forced him, sometimes, to fail to reach speeds over 40 Km/h, caused by carburetion heavily greased.

But at the end of his business, Sylvain said that the greatest difficulties he encountered in the overcoming of the dunes; This makes me think that if he tried the old Paris-Dakar might not have entered the history!

 

Article taken from Enduro nr. 43
http://www.enduristamagazine.com/prodotto/endurista-n-43-novembredicembre-2016/

1908_ elefant_02

Cagiva elephant Marathon Dakar 1994

The wealthiest enthusiasts, celebrated the birth of the regulation Marathon for Paris-Dakar 1994, that would make it to the use of means of direct derivation by means of series (choice who slew the expensive official prototypes).
Cagiva set up then the 944 Marathon, that was the basis for the motorcycle driven by CH Racing team Roberto Azzalin and that went on sundries varesina the second Dakar with Edi Orioli.

The Marathon regained several fine details of the previous 900 IE but went even further: Apart from just the return of coupled Marzocchi Magnum – Ohlins, on this special version was adopted a front rim from 21 ", best suited for use in off road (comprehensive measures 90x90x21″ and 140x90x18″) but especially the unprecedented (series production) engine 944 CC powered by refined Carburetors Keihin FCR flat valve capable of delivering 75 horses and 7, 25kgm.

Yamaha YZE OW08 850 Dakar 1993

In 1993 We ran the 15th edition of the Paris-Dakar, tough competition through the African wilderness, from Paris and arriving in the capital of Senegal. Strange issue with only 46 bike that presented themselves at the start and all it has distinguished the Yamaha YZE OWD8 of Sephane Peterhansel, winner of the two previous editions.

A truly unique piece, even more so than rare this Yamaha which has been for sale on the site www.classic-motorbikes.com.
The motorcycles for sale was the very official version from 850 CC, established on the basis of 750 Road but completely revolutionized by Yamaha Motor France in collaboration with the Japanese Racing Division. The engine was a parallel twin, as tradition, and the front panel with the fuel tank the quaint oval headlight lens headlight, make it undoubtedly one of the most beautiful dakariane of the years ' 90.

This bike belonged to the collection of Yamaha Motor France for 20 years It was not remotely touched after crossing the finish line in Dakar ' 93. In essence, It was a motorcycle kept and well washed.
The scratches, the peeling paint on some points, The fairing and the tail broken, the carter ruined by the defenders of the boot, they are all “battle wounds” telling the story.

DKW-1985-2

DKV 750 Dakar 1985

German financing, French and Japanese engine project, This is the combination that you see being born in 1985 the project DKV.
The money for the construction of the bike, hailed by sponsor, the Deutsche Kranvenversicherung AG What was then the largest health insurance in Europe. The idea was to Richard Montel, Head of Normoto of the project and put the Herault Seilles 4 cylinders in line of Kawasaki GPZ 750 ZX.

The project was innovative in its day, and that somehow launched the fashion of cylinders in the race in the desert, so much in vogue in the years that followed.

The engine was changed profoundly. First it was necessary to lower the compression ratio and depower him until a couple more appropriate schemes for racing in the desert. However, to achieve the remarkable allowed care power of about 80 horses. another “small crafts” was made to lighten the weight: the Starter was dismantled, resulting in a lightening of the electrical system. Was mounted on the starter kit Kawasaki Z 650. A home-made air filter Sachs and got "borrowed" from a Volkswagen Golf, a beautiful four-in-one exhaust and voila, you're done!

The soul of the chassis was maintained always the Kawasaki ZX, the double cradle was sawed off in order to add a removable cradle, to facilitate maintenance, claiming the seat and additional tank. For “quench” the 4 cylinder is made of a main tank in sheet 2 mm capacity 45 litres and under saddle there is another tank from 15 Lt.

The fork, a Kayaba crossisitica backgrounds, transplanted from a Yamaha YZ 490, with customized attacks for two disc brake callipers Brembo from 220 mm in diameter. The project, Surely serious and well made is evidenced by the gold anodized aluminum parts, as the strut front and rear brake calipers and spades triangles. Even the swinging arm was mounted ZX and derivation, instead of the system Unitrak, two classic and reliable White Power with external fuel tank. The hubs of the wheels were of Z 650.

The strength of DKV seemed to be the good power at all rpm, the solidity of a reliable engine, and the riders as Yvan GORONESKOUL, Philippe VASSARD and Andre BOUDOU, for sure talent and experience .
Top speed estimated at 200 km/h on road and 180 on sand and with a dry weight of 170 kg does not definitely the bike more maneuverable DKW elected to Dakar ...

N.d. r. Unfortunately this exciting project "European" did not have much luck, Since all 3 riders withdrew.

1982 Honda XL-1

Honda XL 500 R Dakar 1982

In the Honda were decidedly tired! The Dakar was increasingly becoming a media event Planetarium, and the home of the wing at a distance of 3 years had not yet won!! Yamaha twice and once in the BMW were awarded offroad competition of the moment. To attempt the climb to the top of the leaderboard, This time we decided to make things right. For the edition of 1982, in fact the bike came out prepared directly from the R&D Honda. The prototypes will be branded XL only for marketing reasons (the base is in effect a XR) were ready in September and testing continued incessant, 6000 kilometers traveled by Jeep made it possible to develop a reliable and manageable, ready to unleash 4 pilots hired (Neveu, Rafferty, Vassard and Drobecq) African dunes.

The engine was the classic offset single-cylinder XR led to 550 cm3 which developed around 45 HP, with some tricks to improve reliability, as the oil cooler located below the headlight and protected by a special grid. The Exchange kept the relation to 4 gears with reinforced clutch to resist mistreatment.

The superstructures were modified totally, the tank kept things classic home colors Honda, but he passed by 32lt to 42lt capacity, This required moving toward the rear of the saddle, It was reduced in size and increased in liner. Detail that will make you smile if you read these days, but absolutely not secondary, was the welded plate under the base of the stand to increase the contact surface and prevent burrowing in the sand…This time nothing was to be left to chance!

The brakes, both drum, they were made of magnesium, the front one in particular has a dual cam to operate the two jaws and your stopping power. The sector saw fit to rear suspension for the first time a Mono Showa with ProLink system and a couple of front advanced axle forks.

The combination of all these factors combined with the skill of the pilots, allowed a fantastic result for the House Tokyo, Cyril Neveu won the Dakar, Philippe Vassard finished in second place, Bernard Rigoni in seventh, While Drobecq retires.

 

x 1-Rallye _ dei_Faraoni_1991 _

Yamaha XTZ 660 Wild Team 1991

The dream was running a Dakar riding a motorcycle tailored: Maximum Montebelli and Fabio Marcaccini thought for the first time on a bike intended to run in African rallies during a night buianel January 1988 When, in the company of several other private pilots were forced to withdraw from the race course of the long leg (In addition 800 kilometers) that led the pilots of the Paris Dakar from Bordj Omar Driss in Tamanrasset. To return the two began the creation of increasingly popular special designed to run in the classic Africa.

The Wild Bikes prepared for the season 1991-92 He had already won with Marcaccini on 13rd place in the tenth edition of the Rallye des Pharaons and is ready for the first participation of Dakar.

This special is built around the single-cylinder Yamaha that Mans XTZ 660 Ténéré. The engine is the part subjected to minor changes. Only the profile of the cams, controlling the 5 distribution valves was vicious to increase power. On any other component we wanted to intervene, thus preserving the robustness and reliability of the Yamaha single-cylinder. Even the electric starter was kept, which on one hand penalizes a few pounds the bike, on the other hand, proves very useful in lighting after the inevitable falls and related flooding. Water cooling uses a large frontal radiator taken from a Cagiva Mito on which was mounted a electric fan, driven both by a thermostat and manually by the pilot via a button on the handlebars.

Strictly series is also the dual carburetor body YDIS, that has changed only the adjustment, adding a little carburation. The engine is not only a happy exception. The original Yamaha 660 Ténéré, Hence the Wild Bike stems, only the registration numbers on the tube of the frame. Everything else was rebuilt with materials and geometries, starting from the angle of the Steering head who is now 28°. Quite remarkable for a bike that, Although special, remains a-road bikes. But in the desert, in the sand, more than agility we need a great stability in mixed-fast features of African roads.

Dry the bike, excluding 55 LT fuel contained in the tanks, weighs only 165 kg. A very good if we don't think we are faced with a master from some official team, with so many resources and technologies but before the result of the work and passion of a group of motorcycle enthusiasts, dividing head office and workshop with a carpentry workshop in an old farmhouse. Of course, massive was the use of special materials and the end result is not achieved at the expense of general reliability: of the three motion presented by Wild Parisian Paris-Dakar Team at the start of the 1991, not one presented during the race problems and sagging.

All three could get the satisfaction of supporting the wheels on the beach in Dakar with good positions. The chassis has undergone radical cure and remade virtually from scratch. The end result is the result of experience at the forefront of motorcycle riders boarding only and open the gas, but that they spend the night between one stage and the other working on their middle. The project focused on the search for greater resistance in the most stressed areas (as attacks the Steering and shock absorber), and defining a different weight distribution (with a clear imbalance towards the rear, that helps the front wheel to float on the sand thus enhancing easy-riding the bike).

For the construction of the cradle, adopting the classic solution to split motor ship, Columbus tubes have been used known chrome-moly TIG welded with the process (Tungsten Inert Gas). Frame and swingarm have been tempering treatment, to balance the different stiffness between pipes and welding to prevent breakage for different loads tensions.
Proud of your work, the boys of Wild Team do not hide the help and recommendations received by BYRD Although accepted and processed independently, starting with the design of the rear and its kinematics porcellone crux of the bike and its guide. The swingarm, in Anticorodal, It is now well 32 mm longer than the one mounted on the Yamaha 600 TT and with extraordinary stiffness.

Of course completely revised was the Mono-shock suspension group, He now uses components of White Power, that, In addition to materials, provided the team advising. Before you put a fork of 40 mm upside down. A solution is not common among the bikes dakariane, but that, According to the pilots, has led to a considerable increase in torsional rigidity of the fork, absorbing magnificently the warping which are imprinted on the front when approaching at high speed bumps and oued, or when braking.

The plates, avional, am billet with a fully manual processing by company Martini Gambettola (FC). The tank is made of aluminum and divided into two semi autonomous shells lashed to the chassis central beam on silent blocks. The latter one, kevlar, doubles as a crib, claiming saddle and rider. Fuel transfer between the two tanks is connected via a vacuum pump, operated from playing carburetor air flow which is connected with a pipe. The left side of the Central tank has a large hole for draining engine hot air flow and is provided with a hole for radio balises.

Between the two halves, above the upper beam that also functions as a motor oil tank, place the battery, It depends upon the operation of the entire electrical installation. Next to the battery is place the air filter element. Paper type, is from none other than by Fiat Uno diesel, and is protected by a box made of aluminium with holes at the rear air inlet. Under the front frame cradle is placed a small tank contentnente 5 litres of water required for regulation.

Mountain wheels magnesium hubs and alloy rims from channels in the classic measures of 2.50×18"and 1.85×21”, on which are mounted Michelin with mousse both front and back. The brakes are sourced BYRD, with before a disk 300 mm and caliper YZ (mounted on models cross of Yamaha) Double piston and back a disk 230 mm Brembo double piston caliper contrasted. Both disks that are floating pumps. Pinion and Crown are made of special alloy from the firm Chiaravalli, that gives the team the chain mod. GY520X0, from exceptional strength during the last Paris Dakar has not had to be replaced!

The bridge is impressive as that of a steamer. front Ergal handlebar, mounting commands and original packing Yamaha, dominates the road book MD electrically controlled. Above and below your trip master: the main one of ICO and the secondary, for the running totals, Honda backgrounds. Sideways is a gyro compass of aeronautical derivation mounted on anti-vibration pads.

Text and photos Fabio Marcaccini

No-title-1

Team Stalaven Dakar 1990

In 1990 the Team Jean Stalaven He decided to choose an alternative route as far as the motion to be presented at the Dakar: put everything on lightness rather than on the power.
The choice fell on the single-cylinder engine Husqvarna 510, brought to 570 cm3 and softened in the charging curve, as regards the chassis was maintained the stock one.

The shell, designed by Michel Assis, However was revolutionary for a motorbike «African». It was in fact made up of two parts welded together in order to stiffen the whole structure keeping it extremely slim and racy, unusual aesthetics against the mastodons of the era. Result of the whole operation, an engine with around sixty horses for 130 kg dry weight, and 185 kg fully loaded: against the 250 kg of twins. A power-to-weight ratio definitely interesting on paper. Unfortunately none of the three pilots chosen to bring it to the race, Michel Merel, Laurent Charbonnel and rapid assistance Luc Pagnon saw the end of the competition.

Team Villa

Villa: a bolognese with Dakar goal

Some friends have asked us to find information on the possible participation of a Team that participated in the Dakar 1984 with two bikes Villa 2T. Find information more than 30 years is never easy, but the magic of the network and the passion of many of you, they did the miracle. From the information in our possession, the team actually did exist but there are no traces of participation in the Dakar. Below the article text found on a vintage Motocross. Anyone in possession of more information and want to share with us is the acceptable.

Avid passion for motorcycles, looking for adventure and experience different emotions, a pinch of charm for the risk. These are the main reasons that led Riccardo Taroni and Stefano Bucci to estiverai and participate in the next Rallye des Pharaons that will kick off in October. A decision that actually not surprised much knowing the love of jeeps and fellowship which unites the two, one of Forlì and Faenza, that in the winter just ended have been studying a long term program with the ultimate goal to wrangle at least one test of the grueling Paris-Dakar.

Wisely before delving into an adventure that may be beyond their current experiences, they decided to approach these particular enduro races through a step by step program that will see them, for starters, try the Rally of Sardinia in June, to continue then with that of the Pharaohs in October and get that next year with a solid background on the shoulders.

Of course a similar calendar resulted in considerable technical problems beginning with the choice of the bike and sponsors, essential for a project so large; After a series of negotiations, the choice of the means has been directed on the Villa.

The motorcycle manufacturer will study and expressly for the two pilots and for this kind of competitions, an enduro bike in view also of a likely production.

During the winter I'm so initiates testing of Rommel, a two stroke 410 CC. with which Bucci and Taroni will participate as riders bolognese brand at events scheduled. Many sponsors have joined with on the team as sports Director Tiziano Padayatty: those technicians are the Giemme jumpsuits. the M. Robert who provided the boots and accessories, La Nava, the Wiseco Italy, While a consistent support came also from the Motor Club, from goldsmiths Sunsets, from Baby garden but especially from "The seasons" youth clothing company directed by Eris Good which saw off an advertising vehicle suitable to launch its own brand.

Massimo Zanzani

Yamaha YZE-920-1

Yamaha FZT 900 Dakar 1987

Three straight victories in the BMW decided in 1986 the Honda, that to return to success at the Paris-Dakar rally was necessary to play the card of two-cylinder motor. The only choice to keep up in long stretches of desert where most top speed allows two cylinders to buy a house edge that they take shelter from every retrieve while agile «mono». The Yamaha decided, Instead, to confirm the single cylinder after it was breezy the construction of a twin-cylinder to be entrusted to the French team.
The response of Jean Claude Olivier, team manager of Sonauto, was the manufacture of a prototype driven by the engine of FZ 750 twenty valves. An adventurous project, who did turn up their noses to leaders of the House of Iwata, but not to the point of rejecting the idea of pilot who in 1985 had arrived for second in Dakar.
The four-cylinder engine for the desert has begun work late and the test bench of the giant French-Japanese enduro was precisely the slopes of Paris-Dakar. It was a single copy, and get him into the race it was Jean Claude Olivier.
Doing so gave up departing at every chance to win a ride a motorcycle that was providing Yes a power of 90 HP but whose weight was about 270 pounds in running order.

In 1986, JCO ended the race 12th, pulled over 10 hours behind the winner, but brought the bike up to Dakar.

An important milestone that convinced Olivier to insist on the road taken. And so these days has been completed the Yamaha FZ 900 T Evolution 1, the bike which Olivier and Serge Bacou will lead to far more warlike purposes of those Dakar enlivened the expedition ' 86. At first glance you understand that this is a completely new bike without any piece in common with last year's experimental version.
You have done a great job of lightening and end the engagement was awarded by dry weight slightly less than 200 kg (20 pounds lighter than last year) and above all, a subdivision of the masses which is nearly optimal 45% the front and the 55% the retro-train.
The frame now has an aluminium bottom cradle (removable) and to eliminate the problems of spin ratio was decreased the maximum power for the benefit of better dispensing. In addition, always at the direction of Olivier, was increased the engine capacity.
The result is a total displacement of 911 CC and a power not exceeding 85 HP, 53 of which are available at 4.000 RPM.
In tests carried out in August in the desert of Tenere FZ 900 T has shown it can travel in a straight line at a speed of more than 160 km/h (as an indication, the «mono» ' 87 in the hands of Peak did not go beyond the 135 km/h) and on a technical course around Agades late against the mono did not go beyond the second one-and-a-half kilometer.
Even the tires have made huge progress in both grip under acceleration, lateral stability and still life. Conscious of the progress of the four cylinders, that could be the surprise of the Paris-Dakar ' 87, but also of his handicap (weight, encumbrance, mechanical complexity) Olivier has preferred to follow as last year two parallel roads. He and Serge Bacou will guide the FZ 900 T while Thierry Charbonnier and (in all likelihood) the American Danny La Porte will be racing with the single winner of the Rally of the Pharaohs with Franco Picco. You never know…

Source motosprint

NXR-88-11

Honda NXR 750 Dakar 1988

The excellent results achieved by Italian riders in marathons in Africa and in particular in the Paris-Dakar, begin to have proper recognition on the part of Japanese houses. For the first time this year Honda Italy will take the field with the same bike entrusted by the parent company to the French sister company.

One of the drivers of the team Italian, place under the technical guidance of Massimo Ormeni, will be Vinod B that the Dakar will lead the version ' 88 of NXR 750, winner 1987 with Cyril Neveu African Marathon. The same “Crossbow” pointed out at the Bologna Motor Show the weapon with which he will attempt to become the first Italian winner of the Paris-Dakar. B has already tried the NXR 750 in Tunisia and is excited.

«Respect to Thumper that drove last year, the NXR 750 It is another thing. And a particularly balanced bike, sfruttabilissima even at low rpm. You can resume in quinta da 2000 rounds without the engine betray the slightest problem. The top speed on the straights dirt tracks is fantastic, In addition 190 km/hour, against the 160 scarce of Thumper. Despite being heavier and bulky, handles just as well and the riding position is more comfortable and less tiring. In addition, than the Thumper the engine is less “pulled”, all to the advantage of the reliability, determinant in-and marathons like the Paris-Dakar. The only sealing problems may arise in close and mixed on the rocks, where weight and space are felt, but on the vast expanses of sand the superiority of twins you can't put into question.

It will rather be able to maintain for over twenty days the frantic pace that bike like the NXR can allow».

«Technically speaking», ' 88 version of the Crossbowmen continues «NXR 750 did not undergo substantial changes than the bike that won the Dakar last year. The HRC (the Honda Racing Division) worked primarily on deployment diagrams to make smooth and constant power delivery to each scheme. Were subsequently adopted a number of solutions that simplify the work of mechanics in maintenance operations.
For instance has been obtained on the cylinder a wide window for the control and adjustment of the cam.
In a race like the Dakar is important to evaluate every detail, in this connection an element which may appear unimportant as the crutch was the result of a careful study, not only in the obvious strength of material, but also the shape and inclination necessary to offer the best anchor in the sand.

«Ormeni staff», explains the Crossbowmen ' has further improved in Japan and was preoccupied with the motorcycle with all accessories required for tackling a tough and unpredictable Marathon which is the Paris-Dakar.

Like you know, one of the most difficult problems to solve is the orientation.
To help me this year I even a compass by helicopter and two sophisticated electronic tripmaster. The stages of the Dakar also provide night transfers and in poor visibility, indispensable therefore a more than efficient lighting system. Double front unit has the power of a halogen headlight from car from gran turismo much we had problems to find a protective cage can withstand considerable heat generated.
Powerful even the taillight that for safety reasons it is double the capacity of the tank has remained of 55 liters (of which 20 in a second tank located in the rear and 17,5 broken down into the two side accommodation). The bike weighs when empty 180 Chili, but at full load exceeds 230, better not to think what might happen if it falls to Earth!»

Source Tuttomoto

Special tks Enrico Bondi