Ténéré 4 cylinders for Dakar

A cold morning on the outskirts of Paris, a small cross off the beaten path, a pilot with the gaudy colors Sonauto, that warms the muscles ahead of Dakar, caracollando riding his Yamaha “XT 600 Ténéré”: all normal, You'll say. So it seems: But beneath the huge reservoir of “Ténéré” beats a heart that in common with single-cylinder engine of the Queen of the desert did not own anything. It is a four cylinder water cooled, derived from the motor 20 valve “FZ 750”.

It's too early to say whether this fantastic “750” It will be the first January ' 86 at via delta legendary African Marathon, Although the meticulous care of details (apparent as well in the photos of our top secret) clearly demonstrate that this is not

a simple experiment the French importer, but something more which cannot but have had the approval of the parent company. Let us not forget that the same “Ténéré” was born from a “idea” Jean Claude Olivier, General manager of the Yamaha Sonauto and seeded riders for Paris-Dakar.

Therefore, the new franco-Japanese beast, that TUTTOMOTO presents here exclusively, could be the winning weapon in Japanese, determined this year to snatch the BMW Crown of Queen of Africa. Power is not discussed, to test the reliability in the desert.

the motor of the “FZ 750” It was significantly lightened and he worked on the camshafts to reduce power, while increasing elasticity at low and mid. The rear suspension is monocross.

No secret: made for the Paris Dakar, the “Tènéré” 4 cylinders offers many interesting solutions, some guessed by looking at the pictures of our “scoop”. The frame, For example, is that of the FZ, However, reduced in length.
Carburetors, in an elevated position and well protected, receive the gasoline through a mechanical pump. The mammoth tank is basically double and acts well as lateral protection for the liquid cooling radiator. The collection is extremely compact and functional, suitable for off-road.


Text TuttoMoto Enzo Caniatti

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Yamaha XTZ 850 R, The end (almost) of prototypes

In 1994 Yamaha decided not to participate in with the official team as opposed to the amendment to regulation that sanctioned the end of prototype category and not having time to prepare a bike to conquer decided not to participate in, first time since he started Paris-Dakar. Yamaha 1994 presents the new bike XTZ 850 R.

With production costs limited to 140.000 Francs for at least fifteen motorcycles produced identically.

And together with the XTZ 850 R was also presented the XTZ 660 Super Production. The price wanted to encourage private pilots and crews who could purchase motorcycles ready to officially fixed price.

However, experts have secretly assessed the production price of the XTZ 850 R much higher! The patron Yamaha Motor France not denied this assertion, indeed confirmed that the bike was a bike race in every respect and that was worth more than its price. A bargain for the private buyer.
Peterhansel had prepared perfectly his motorcycle and had made an identical series and was almost unbeatable.

Of 15 bikes prepared ten were sold to private individuals, as Tais Sport and the team Les Copains, the bikes were presented and sold in white livery and front aluminum tanks. The XTZ 850 R were very few riders were able to fully exploit these performance, nEl 1996 Orioli won with the White Lady, While nEl 1995, 1997 and 1998 Peterhansel won the XTZ 850 R to derivation TDM passed to the engine TRX, in fact the bikes were homologated for road use with the initials 3VD, as TDM.


Jean Claude Oliveir, Patron of Yamaha Motor France with Stephane Peterhansel to the presentation of the model 1994

Jean Claude Oliveir, Patron of Yamaha Motor France with Stephane Peterhansel to the presentation of the model 1994

A special feature, the bikes were sold to customers with the white frame, While the internal team had the blue frame as the bike. The bike In addition to those at the home of Perterhansel (Dakar 1998) one is on display at the Museum in Japan that is not 1997 (is a disguised clients) one pair at Yamaha Motor France, one or two in Italy the others are one in Spain and a couple between France and Germany.
Almost all XTZ 850 R are still in very good shape and fully functional.

Text Giovanni Mug Fantazzini


YAMAHA TT600 Wild Team – Dakar 1990

For three bikes which have concluded the Paris Dakar were taken, as a starting point, the engines of the XT 600 1989 and the TT frame 600. Interventions on the engine were not radicals. No additional cilindrrata, but only a particular tuning.

The decision not to proceed with the preventive replacement halfway through the race the engine (that would have implied automatic disqualification from the category silhouettes) obliged to maintain normal stresses and sizing. A slight crimping of pipes, an oil cooler (the Yamaha 750 Mono five valves), the kit camshaft BYRD to process the TT 600, intake filter box redone to accommodate the paper element of Renault 12(the only one to be in every corner of Africa) and an accurate fuel tuning, are the few interventions carried out on the engine. The exhaust system was built from scratch on the BYRD, competition exhaust system with a megaphone and end friction Cone, It's sheet 0,8 mm thick. The collectors into the cylinder were kept in two pieces (one for valve) It was connected to a silencer for European transfers.

The ignition was the original of the former as well as the cylinder piston valves and cylinder head; the latter equal in engine engine XT 1989. The choice of layered cylinder rather than with TT galanico 600 was made to enjoy greater reliability towards the inevitable intrusion of sand. The Carters were sandblasted and painted external transparent but only for aesthetic reasons. Carburation was then retouched with a decent minimum and maximum jets enrichment.

The original Crown was replaced with a steel combined with an RK chain Chiaravalli self-lubricating o-rings, leaving only the original pinion. Also noteworthy is a reinforcement for post transmission control, with a lock washer against the bumps and scratches. The lubrication of the engine and gearbox was reliability at a good grade as the Shell Helix.

During the race the maintenance of each bike to required three candles, four oil filters and three complete sets of chain sprocket Crown, countless air filters and gasoline and a complete carburetor for motorcycle by Marcaccini (paid well 4000 FR. the Yamaha Sonauto).

One mounted he inexplicably began to crank the engine regularly nor thorough cleaning has managed to bring it back in starting conditions.

Electrical system
Also this important component has been completely redone, depriving him of any links superfluous and doubling it in full. Then: two coils and two units.

Headlights, two halogen lamps of the Fiat Ritmo were included in a fairing bracket that provides a separate regulation for the inclination of the beam, so you always get an adequate lighting in long discussions of the suspension. Sealed battery adopted, He provided the energy to pump gasoline from a Yamaha Tenere 600: universally recognized as the most reliable by the people motociclistista of Dakar. For navigation were mounted electrically operated Road Book of MD, the original wave trip master XT 600 R and a compass Aeronautics .

The base and the Yamaha TT 600 the front was obviously reinforced with welded handkerchiefs in the Steering area, but also to increase you search 1 liter engine oil capacity that circulates inside the tubes. The bow steering profit was diminished with the usual placchetina by welded tube, measured the outer corners has a width of 50 mm instead of the normal 20 mm. This is to prevent, in case of a fall, the fork tank backgrounds. The back instead was redesigned is built completely.

Swingarm attacks. However, more work was required by the design and construction of the swingarm. Longer and well 150 mm compared to the original, It was built in Carpental, the outdoor unit is 80 × 35 mm.

The attack to the chassis is done through two plates billet and combined with two arms for welding. As you can judge from the photos the swingarm denotes a truly fine finish. It should be remembered that all the workings of chassis that have been carried out with the help of specially constructed masks. Jack stands, particularly important, lateral type and placed on both sides of the bike. If lowered simultaneously, the rear wheel stays off the ground, allowing for easy replacement in the same. On the left keeps the original crutch enriched with a wide base of nylon to prevent better the Foundation on sand. On the other side we find the type container gantry mounted by the official Yamaha. In fact was created on the basis of some photographs.


The ward is served by a traditional Kayaba fork suspension, official backgrounds with 43 mm and from Mont Ohlins devoid of external hydraulic adjustment in compression, with leverage of progression of TT 600

Wildbike23The beautiful fork is fully invoked by full regarding pictures and pumping elements and is equipped with quick release wheel (Although, its usefulness now that the mousse have taken over over traditional). Within the pumping elements is mounted a cavitation system for hydraulic oil. Longer final calibration tests instead mono shock, which has been called a few days before departure for Paris. The Reed inside works set in specific Ohilins oil and in tune with a spring from 9,5 kg (slightly more closed to the weight). The internal pressure is 15 atmospheres and we must specify that during the race he never made it necessary to replace the damper unit in any of the three motorcycle,

Billet fork plates that if working 2 Avional blocks 24, unchanged steering geometry, but increased the height of the same: 38 mm for the upper and 40 mm for the lower wheels were assembled in the workshop of Wild Team with hubs and spokes from officer, and normal production circles Takasago. For the latter, however, it had to buy non-perforated for RADIUS, that was done after the specific drilling required from the hub, designed for rings DID.

And caps wheels and swingarm Marcaccini's Malik went to the specialist Poggipolini, that takes them in steel, Wildbike4While the nuts and bolts, we tried to keep the original, judged excellent. The brakes were supplied by BYRD and stand before a nice cast iron Brembo disk from 300 mm floating flange mount widely breached and made of light alloy. Later comes to help to curb the over 160 kg dry weight of this special steel disk 230 mm coupled even it has a two-piston Nissin.

The handlebars are the original controls of the XT with electric ones modified functions. Only the handlebars, one Zachariah sets our have chosen for its exceptional strength, It is mounted with a particular bridge, always fold connecting the two fixture brackets to the top plate. Thanks to this particular Marcaccini in 1988 could conclude 1000 km of a leg broken in half despite the upper triple clamp, with only the aid of a nylon strap provided by Clay regazzoni.

Finally we left those who are perhaps the most important pieces to have functional and at the same time a motorcycle ride: receptacles for the location of 60 l of fuel which you must carry during the African Marathon. Build tanks for an enduro is not an impossible task, but do it for the Dakar, and then in the most robust possible is another deal.

We wouldn't want to expire in rumors from shopkeepers, but the same official complained the last Gilera blazoned Paris Dakar, leaks from the tanks that the poor mechanics have had to repair often. All superstructures for their special are their most successful details. Made of folded aluminium sheet, shaped and welded as few but plumber can do. Please note that the bike protagonist of the service, though restored is still the bike that led Mabuya from Paris to Dakar. Coming to the point we find the two front tanks, for a total capacity about 45 Lt. easily removable with a link to communicating vessels for an immediate reading, while driving, gasoline still available.


The draught of the precious liquid takes place thanks to the electric pump already mentioned, assisted by a trigger hand pump type rubber speedboat. Under the seat, covered in faux suede, for better grip on the backside, There are others 15 Lt. of fuel. The rear locks the rear cradle and comes with two handles very useful in cover-ups.

Within these enclosures was introduced a special foam to avoid violent rinses, otherwise dangerous in driving, and especially when cornering. The water tank is placed under the engine (required for regulation) with its 6 Lt. about capacity, the battery compartment and a large closet for any spare parts and tools. With the bottom plate, the latter also serves as a protective shield for the crankcase.

Finally the windshield and the wings were made out of Wild Design Team even though it clearly inspired by those of the official Yamaha. In their design was curated especially repairability in case of accident. And we must recognize, After seeing Marcaccini at work, that all the trappings dismantled in minutes. A great job then, especially considering the excellent overall result that did not fail to impress various representatives of foreign press and I same opponents.
Ed: all 3 Yamaha's Wild Team reached the finish line in Dakar, Montebelli 17°, Abbasi 28° and 30° Marcaccini.


Yamaha XTZ 660 Super Production

To try to avoid the excessive power of prototypes to Dakar, race direction towards the end of 1993 will changing the rules, and introduce the category sports prototypes, motion of derived from the series. The Yamaha having little time to prepare and divergences with the race direction, no sign up no team to Dakar 1994.

During the 1995 the Yamaha Motor France could no longer count on prototypes from Japan, in his own Studio prepares two small motorcycle series, 15 two cylinders and 15 single cylinder. The twin cylinder directly derived from the prototype in 1993, Barigo frame and TDM motor, as featured on the registration certificates of motorcycle, bike suitable for professional pilots and experts.

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The single cylinder engine derived from the XTZ 660 with chassis modifications, suspensions, the airbox and abutments, adapted and prepared for amateurs who were in the sphere of Yamaha France.
The important changes were been tested by Stéphan Peterhansel at Nevada Rally. 25577234_ 10211073917748227_1633602844_o

The fuel capacity was increased to 37 litres with two aluminium front tanks (an optional rear 5 liters), The Paramotor receives a water reservoir in aluminium, the removable rear subframe is steel, the fork is a Kayaba from 43 mm the range YZ prepared in hydraulics and the springs, the shock is an Ohlins dedicated measures and in the tank, the box section aluminium swingarm is made to measure with a chance for quick removal of the rear wheel, the silencer is a First Racing, the airbox is original but amended (with a wider aperture and a second filter, Some were equipped with dedicated aluminium filter case).
The windshield and side covers are in polyester reinforced with carbon fiber, front and rear fenders come from WR 250, the saddle is specific polyester. The navigation equipment is required and includes electric Trip MD and triple ICO.

18817906_ 10209548817781681_103864442_oThe sale price included the bike, But even a kit of parts provided, assistance and transportation of meals during the event. The 15 motorcycle will quickly find buyers, including the Team "Les Copains” composed by Christian Sarron , Pierre Landereau, Philippe Alliot and Raphael de Montrémy. Jacques Laffite will race on a TT 350 and Thierry Magnaldi on XTZ850R.

Among the other drivers even the pilot famosl/sailor/journalist Thierry Rannou, Egfried Depoorter and others.
About half of 14 Moto also raced in the Dakar 1996 with Marc Troussard, Michel Servet and others.
Saw the request, and the high price of Super Production, the Yamaha Motor France, prepared in 1995 two sets of bike for racing raid, the Marathon and the Marathon Rally, both made to base XTZ 660 but with few and targeted changes. The Marathon: tanks and suspension. The Marathon Rally: suspension tanks and filter box. For both no changes to the chassis.

Special Tks Giovanni Mug Fantazzini


Dakar 1990: the first twin-cylinder Yamaha

The rally of the Pharaohs was approaching. Would leave in early October and represented an important test bench into sight of the next Paris-Dakar, l & #8217; most important event of the season in Africa. The Egyptian race took on a major importance for Yamaha, After an unsuccessful pursuit of victory with its Thumper, always protagonist, but always defeat in recent editions, He decided to comply with the plan chosen by Honda and Cagiva (but not by Suzuki) building a twin-cylinder marked with the initials YZE 750 T.


Was setting so the abbreviation OW that the official bike rally had divided along with the 500 from the Grand Prix. Before the official premiere to the Pharaohs baby girl Yamaha took his first steps in Japan with Franco Picco and Stephan Peterhansel who had the opportunity to try that again in France, amended accordingly on the basis of information provided by them on the occasion of the first test. Peak and Peterhansel came back riding just off the beaches of Le Touquet where former home of the famous enduro race, and both were pleased how it improved the bike, giving up a few kilometers in top speed in Exchange for a larger shooting at low to medium schemes.YZE1990-1

The new YZE 750 T were available only two specimens for peak and Peterhansel, but two other bikes will be completed on time for the Paris-Dakar, one for the Italian team and the other for the French #8217 &;. These are the first images of the official bi-cylindrical accompanied by technical data not too thorough for the traditional secrecy of the Japanese, rather reluctant to reveal the "secrets" of their creatures.

YZE1990-3The engine capacity was about 800 cm3 and power exceeded 70 CV to 7500 rpm for a top speed of 170 km/h (against the 150 km/h of the «mono»). The frame was lower than the OW 94 (renamed today YZE 750. The fork had stems of 46 mm with a & #8217; excursion 300 mm. The rear shock was instead of 260 mm. The brakes were both to disk and a dry weight of just 190 kg. For his latest creation, the Yamaha had made precisely the complex equipment necessary to address rally.

The trip master the electronic compass everything had been prepared for Iwata and the bike came to Europe already "ready race», only to be painted in the colors of the sponsor. Traditionally were the teams to deal with purchase and mounting of instruments, become increasingly sophisticated over the years and decisive for the outcome of the races #8217 &;.

Special tks to Stefano Magician for article #8217 &;


The Yamaha XT to Dakar 1985

The XT to Paris-Dakar ' 85 Yamaha attending the Paris-Dakar rally were of two types: those officers, prepared directly from the House and managed by the French team Sonauto, who conquered with Olivier second place, and those prepared by Belgarda, that after dominating the competition with Peak have finished third and fourth with the same peak and with Mad. We have analyzed the version prepared by the Italian team because, approaching closer to mass production, lets make some interesting comparisons.

Belg85-12The motion of Belgarda represents a real collage, because it uses parts of the TT600, the XT 600 Ténéré and 490 by cross. The frame is that of TT 600, braced at the rear to support the weight of the extra fuel tanks and tool bag. In particular it has been soldered a reinforced tube that goes from the attack of the swing arm from under the seat. Compared to the standard chassis then added two skid tubes, one on each side, for increased protection, and the Centre stand for easy servicing.


Swingarm “official Yamaha”

The fork and the rear swingarm were provided directly from Yamaha and they equal those of motorcycle officers. The fork has the stems from 43 mm such as the TT 600, but has the sliders with the quick release front wheel. Clear springs are reinforced for extra weight that must endure. The swingarm is an experimental model a bit higher than that of series. The rear shock is to set, While the spring again this is reinforced to withstand greater load.


Rugg YZ derivation

The wheels shall be those of the 490 by cross. The tires were mounted, Depending on the land, with the air Chamber, putting behind a double Te rim to avoid tearing the valve, or the «mousse» solid rubber. The «mousse» in particular has been used on the rocks or on hard surfaces where the risk of puncturing is very high.
The braking system is a cross between what the XT 600 Ténéré and the 490 by cross. On the front there is the hard braking with the Group of Ténéré (pump and caliper) the cross bike which ensures greater reliability. At the rear is the drum brake group are from cross.
The engine is the TT 600, structurally identical to that, the Ténéré but already in the beginning a bit more powerful (about 2 more horses) and above all more generous in low. To earn another shot at low was replaced the camshaft with that preparation kits that Belgarda markets, and has been given special attention in the design of the Terminal part of the free outlet exhaust, which also takes advantage of the OEM manifold. It has also been changed to accommodate the Carburetors calibrated airbox on the tank.

Replaceable air filter located behind the tank so you don't have to remove the seat

Replaceable air filter located behind the tank so you don't have to remove the seat

In the race then you used the barrel of the Ténéré with cane in. cast iron instead of TT with the chrome barrel. Are also standard clutch and gearbox, the latter is how all that as scaling relationships. He spoke instead on the final report, adapting gradually to the characteristics of the route with the Crown replacement. The chain is strengthened, of the type used on dirt bikes.


Tank Byrd from 39 Lt.

The tank has a capacity of 39 litres and is the same as the preparedness kit, Inside is completely blank; the pilots themselves have renounced sponge inside because the half-empty tank of fuel to annoy not shaking the Guide and earns a liter capacity. The side tanks were made specially by Belgarda. The water, required for regulation, has, a capacity of 6 liters, that of petrol by 10.
The superstructure is completed from the saddle of the Ténéré, from a rear fender Acerbis and windshield, enclosing the radiator of the ollo (the Ténéré is set next to the engine). The fairing protects the instrumentation that includes tachometer, speedometer with trip-master and oil temperature thermometer. Behind the fairing are also the compass and a cassette for the roadbook



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.



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 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.



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 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

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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.


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.