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Dakar 86 – The diary of Aldo Winkler

After long preparations and emotions, a heck of a time stolen at work but it was not enough especially to work out the details on the bike. Departure for Paris arrival in Rouen and handling in the same city red tape of the race, momentum transfer at Versailles (that cold) a little episode when we departed we forgot the fact that it was cold and we had to make these gloves with the cross 60 kilometers to frost.

Three kilometres of ice, Unable to stand. Prologue won by Poles who mounted the studded tyres.

Three kilometres of ice, Unable to stand. Prologue won by Poles who mounted the studded tyres.

In Paris a few days allows the rolls, incidentally the rolls are a road book that is given in book form to put them inside the box of a laptop you have to shorten one sheet after another to do so they can be rolled and unrolled. You try to rest despite a big thrill and also tension that continues to rise. The prologue in 60 kilometers (under the snow) one beastly thing, the bike is very high without letting the slightest hand proves undriveable. the prologue takes (3 km) It shows an amazing thing was a sheet of ice with mud Rails under harsh, There are countless flights wasn't standing that grind the new bike already looks old destroyed by flights.

Aldo Winkler left, and beat Grassotti the protagonists of this adventure

Aldo Winkler left, and beat Grassotti the protagonists of this adventure

After a new year's not great because it's a little’ the tension a little’ the company, hovered the anxiety of departure. The first of January a severe cold on departure, I'm very excited, almost frightened when giving birth I didn't even dare to turn to greet Paoletta, I had the fear of not being able more starting. The first kilometers I make with Beat (Grassotti his Team-mates Ed), under bitterly cold that explains how anyone can go in motion. The departure from Paris is a very exciting thing seems to follow a human cordon from Paris to Thirst, all that say hello and celebrate, Unfortunately, the rush to get hurt this chance to get in touch with this enthusiasm. The first problems the cold and rain are preventing the engine to function well. Turns off constantly, crackles and not okay. This fact gives me incredible anxiety and I expect to stop at any time. At some point the engine stops and beat unaware of my stop. I try to get there traveling alone until Thirst (He also had problems and in the dark never saw him). It takes me a nostalgia as ever I was taken, wants Paoletta and emotion I cry under the helmet. I'm looking for something to write her and tell her that I love her but I don't find it. Meanwhile a Japanese on the bike number 2 (Yasuo Kaneko ndr) is hit by a car and dies instantly, see the incident and think that it could happen to me I held further, but now you have to erase this idea otherwise we leave more.

aldo7Arrival in Sete at 2 in the morning (We started at 8 the day before) embark the bike after many difficulties. We don't find Grisoglio (our assistance ndr) with our stuff and finally at 3 We go to sleep. Of course in Algiers after endless bureaucratic queues we start at 6 in the evening and it's almost dark, We expect 700 kilometers of transfer. It's raining and it's cold, We soaked, on a road made entirely of mountain curves with black asphalt without streaks where nothing could be seen. Beat was better than me and I'm stepping stone to him even if I couldn't anyway nothing. Luckily the road improves with the mileage and not raining anymore, We arrive at 2 am and we sleep on the ground. The anxiety of the bike that isn't working properly continues.

First stop hours 6.00 the departure. We start in reverse order, and this occurs across Algeria. Who is at mid-table Snatcher, Why must pass the first that are slow and overtaken by the latest that are fast, result travels constantly in the dust. All well and good until I break the trip master. Of course I get lost on a plain of small sand dunes filled with thousands of tracks in all directions. I reach Gilles Picard, I follow him, then I see Peak but I keep getting lost more and more. I am consoled by the fact that after a short time we form a group of thirty including the strongest in search of the right track. The first contact with the road book is disagreeable too many notes with text and drawings and a few kilometres in French. The first contact with Africa Tour is not bad, the food is good and it does too much tail but do not give the water!

aldo8

Second stage: fire damper and many bottoming weaken the frame. Catch up with you anyway lnsah and here I wash in a hotel room by Boano. The track with many potholes and stones with fast sections, lnsalah-two special quick, I reach the machines, do not see anything. It's really dangerous because in the dust when you've passed have those 200 meters that run into thin air, an anguish. See pass next to you huge boulders, chasms and think "enough 1 Metro in there and now I wonder where I was "? Second special made with Beat, I wait because it breaks the joint is we end the special with rattano engines and are not nearly as.

The relationship of established with their bike becomes almost mystical, talk to him, beg, the fai confidences. Become a partner with whom you share the nature and all its expressions.

In the transfer to Tam splittin' mousse, we stop at a bar, Let's proceed to melt further the mousse. The asphalt is bad, interspersed with a runway full of ugly fesh fesh (impalpable sand) with big trucks under Rails caused by passage. At some point I no longer see Beat and although the mousse into pieces, I'm going back for about ten kilometers to her research, thinking it was dropped. I don't see it. I go back in the direction of Tam. Having always regret that Beat, knowing I had drilled, I would abandon. Looking back on those ten kilometers turned down looking for her, the fact that I had not found. Change the rubber and even as inflated air bladder, Luckily the assistance arrives and wheel change allotment manetta, still missing 150 km. It gets dark and break the headlights, and go in the dark with the light of the stars, and late night arrival in time not to take the deal in Tamarasset.

At the hotel I find Batti, and there's no time to wash. Stage I feel good in the stones on Assecrèm Tam Tam. Do I get a fright unbelievable to go in the dust an opponent, I leave the racetrack and step into a period with large stones to handcuff and I do a flight. In the air off the bike and helmet standing. Divine grace! I broke the nut that holds the shock to the frame, the brake Rod broke through the muffler. I finish the stage slowly continuing to not exploit engine, I suffer a lot of danger in overtaking after that fright.

"Ero talmente disperato che l'avventura fosse finita, I prayed that the assistance came. Armando replaced the engine and I left for the remaining 600 km, the night was waiting for me..

“I was so desperate that the adventure was over, I prayed that the assistance came. Armando replaced the engine and I left for the remaining 600 km, the night was waiting for me…”

Tam Agades, departure in a large river dried up full of Sand Springs, the engine Cove and hardens, continuous up to a piece of tough track where mollo a moment. The ignition is turned off. I'm stuck, and I begin to disassemble to replace to get it started, sudo all the water in the body, I can only remove the motor hoping it gets assistance. She comes to the 5.30 After waiting for six hours in a mixture of despair, resignation and pissed off. Hours of fire. engine and gearbox allotment scared of finding myself in the desert at night, not knowing where to go, step on the border with Niger, do I fill up from a truck in the desert. Continuous and I get lost. I no longer see traces and off piste between rocks stones and sand springs. I take the Monocle and I can see some lights I headed in that direction and I find the machines swept under the carpet. Gathering confidence and with this also the track, I reboot but I still missing 600 km upon arrival. I don't care to stay on the trail not to Miss. The track was a mixture of fech fech, soft sand and hard Rails due to the fact that all rally was already past including truck. Of course I'm reducing speed, the lack of visibility into the height of the bike, the track is an impressive set of difficulties. The falls are countless more, every fall you always enjoy effort to raise, Falla restart then, that effort!

"Ero stanchissimo, but still enjoyed the legendary Ténéré ..."

“I was so tired, but still enjoyed the legendary Ténéré…”

Fatigue assails me and I stop the truck Belgarda in need of repair and I sleep a to recover energies. Arrive back support, We share and I am heartened also by standing behind, make me light and when I fall it helps me get up. I can't stand it anymore, for a while’ of km driving Ciaudano (of care Ed) but I take the bike in time for the last 150 kilometers of asphalt to handcuff to arrive on time at eight and didn't take the penalty. At 8.30 allotment for the Special, I care only for a minute, I'm shocked and I don't take anything. Unfortunately it will be the last time that I see her. The stage of the Ténéré is going to be impressive but beautiful, you are in awe before the great desert, but the stage I find it easy. But the engine will harden again. I stop and let it cool down, shooting air and allotment going easy on the anguish that splitting and let me walk. At the slightest noise I am terrified, I speak to the bike, Please continue, clicking the last 150 kilometers in the dark until thankfully I see the lights of some cars that I show the way.

In the meantime I broke the chain joint, but I can get everything right surprise well with maximum

"JCO responsabile di Sonauto, great rider and Great Lord. I once helped him disinsabbiare his bike, Since then, even though it was a special stop to ask if everything was ok"

“JCO responsible for Sonauto, great rider and Great Lord. I once helped him disinsabbiare his bike, Since then, even though it was a special stop to ask if everything was ok”

calm. I sleep on the ground but the cold still remains persistent. I know I have bad teeth and hands with deep cuts for cold weather. Dirku-Agadem is the infamous stage, transverse dunes reported by some fallen bookends. The Wind clears the tracks, This is a very dangerous stage, the wave-shaped dunes at the Summit break sharply with sometimes perpendicular slopes. Not knowing the first dune I jump, making impressive jumps. In fact this stage causes many accidents, Mercandelli injures his shoulder, the Anquetil falls gashes shoulder trauma, the jaw, the teeth and the cheek bones. And dramatic look at a bloodbath. Beppe Gauri falls and breaks the ligaments of the knee. A Tatra trucks you Hood forward, and one of the drivers will remain paralyzed. Arrival in Agadem, that only proves a strong military in ruins in the middle of the desert. Don't get nothing to eat, talking the sleeping bag because of a mixup. With Beat I go to a well in 5 km and despair of the thirsty I drink not caring about anything.

Agadem – Zinder, this infamous stage, very long in a zig-zag of sliding bar of Sand Springs, the desert landscape slowly turns into Sahel 400 km facts in a few hours. Over the special we expect others 600 km of transfer. Here we see Baron just tumbled out of a nasty stretch of asphalt, Unfortunately remains irreversible coma for years because of this accident. With Beat I stop to eat at a shithole though we eat well in spite the place and we arrive late at night. My bike starts to consume oil.

"Giornata di riposo a Naimei, in albergo con tutti i privati italiani per sistemare le moto".

“Rest day in Naimei, in hotel with all private Italian to fix bikes”.

Zinder – Niamei: long transfer all of cross- 600 km eating the dust of machines that surpass us. I leave for the special but at the start I breaks the change. The bike remains in third on a track very sandy. Beat goes on and I don't like it, I'd be behind him to help him. Delivery very agitated and naturally fall continuously. You pit the tank and I lose gas like a fountain from the tap. I get up as quickly as possible in an attempt to repair the tank kicking better. I finish the special and transfer to Niamei of 200 km arrival late at night. Niamei closed, I find it to be welded on the frame and I lose the last hope to get through because we hoped that the assistance would come. One would expect a night of fire, I couldn't sleep all night because of the mosquitoes that we were eaten alive. In the morning we had the hands and face were swollen from mosquito bites. The Dakar has no mercy: departure at 4 in the morning.

Some moments immortalized in Dakar 1986. In the photo above the great Veronique Anquetil.

Some moments immortalized in Dakar 1986. In the photo above the great Veronique Anquetil.

Away by the previous night we got a special 450 km. I lose myself almost immediately and I completely just clueless in a terrible landscape shrubs, hillocks and Fords, with huge rifts. Luckily I find a car with a Japanese motorcycle racer and in their company don't despair takes over. Following Zaniroli we find the track but the orientation is very difficult. Find cars in the opposite direction to your, feeding your doubts. Bush must follow the tracks, but sometimes you cannot even trucks leave tracks, bend the shrubs and they straighten out like nothing ever. I no longer have the road book from Agades because were were on the truck assistance that never came. Arrival in late stage that it is night and the last kilometers full throttle for fear of the dark, but I fall several times. I ask all the water.

See the special Beat him too destroyed to such an extent that I have to start the bike. We are still waiting for 120 km of transfer and 160 Special that we do side by side, almost afraid. We walk almost a kilometer at a time, and falling in turn we all do 120 kilometers. We arrive at Gourmararus at 2 in the morning, everyone here is upset. Sabine helicopter crashed and died with four others. We are all overwhelmed. We start in the morning at 10 to make 1100 km to Bamako referred 160 of track. Here I see the chopper, was reduced to a cubic metre of metal! We arrive in Bamako at 3 At night, messed around and rush to get makes us pull on the asphalt.

Infinity pool a cow in the road that I hit to smear with shoulder. I saw the Horn in my throat. After this fright I slow down and put off Beat, My headlight is insufficient because the second lamp I gave it to him.

In the hope of getting Beat riaccellero. Not do I time to get cow scare myself a shooting without lights and reflectors stopped in the middle of the road. Big spaventoma now I got used to it. As usual arrival late at night. A few hours of sleep and awake again to go. 60 km of transfer and 700 km special and new 300 track transfer. Now we are discouraged. Beat no longer wants to leave, the organization is in the balloon, There is little medical care and two helicopters in less. Childbirth and special begins at 10. The track is slow to 40 kmh media, curves, Rails, holes, sand, in the Bush. The place is nice, but I am undecided whether to continue! I stop, I eat and share, Clap arrives but was totally on the ball, was loud crashing. Just, Decides to retire.

Boano con il suo meccanico "Garino".

Boano with his mechanic “Gabriel”.

With Boano and we are the only remaining Italian Germanetti, There we console and move on. We pick ourselves up again when we fall, Now you can't stop. We are in the middle of nowhere. The track is awful, slow and full of stones in the middle of the forest. Almost getting dark hole rear wheel, I try to repair it but I can't. The refit and seeking assistance in a small village. Hundreds of people surround me. It seems incredible that so many people can live in four huts of wood and hay. Help me and I can share. After a short time the mousse before gives way and the bike becomes undriveable besides the fact that meanwhile dropped the dark. Meeting a pilot with a broken leg do I console arrived assistance allotment.

I'm in a forest with dense vegetation, and the track is really ugly, stones, very deep water drains with the ascent with a fine powder that doesn't allow you to see the stones underneath. Characteristic are the bridges with four ACEs, or if you prefer there is deviation and you go into the water with large stones. The darkness and tension does not allow me to enjoy so much wonder. in a Ford I remain trapped because they mistake the ascent. When I see it I can't take this road well because there were deep furrows caused by truck. With the mud to the knees and the bike planted up to the wheels almost soaring the move of strength and finish the last energies. I put it in a vertical position and after endless kick starts and to boost I take off from the grip of the mud. Meanwhile, the chain was stretched to such an extent that it ran on that poor pinion now worn.

Beat Grassotti immortalized in Bamako, After a transfer zany.

Beat Grassotti immortalized in Bamako, After a transfer zany.

Continuation but cross your eyes for fatigue, I fall and remain under the bike without the strength to pull me up, with his foot under the bike. Look at that position a lot’ of time until fortunately passes an assistance of Cagiva and I set up. Allotment but shortly after I stop by now exhausted and I say goodbye to the race, and I'll jump on the floor to sleep. After a while’ of time the cold wakes me up and allotment, always with the front way mousse. Arrival in Labe at 1 p.m., and I can hear the happy news, was closed and the race was stopped, The next day I can share, are still in the race. Departure at 8 waiting for me 250 km of Mule-awesome, worse than Assecrem, stones, water drains Rails and climb steep slopes. If I was in Italy with a trials bike I would have that piece.

Gran Hotel Dakar :D

Gran Hotel Dakar :D

I do almost 600 meters on the edge of the precipice, on a wide strip 20 cm. Thankfully they end even those special kilometers and the next is about to begin. In fact, after the border I expect another of 400 km. Surprised to notice that after 200 km remained without oil! Now the engine goes to oil and a little’ of gasoline, Unable to go even at high rpm. I leave for the second special, but there are no with his head, I'm wrong a lot and do many straight wrong way. After a while I lose my perception of my speed, I seem to go slow instead going strong. I take a hole and then another, flashing forward, I do a flight of six meters and remain in the air for an infinity of time. I pass out. I just recovered the bike destroyed with a tap of the gas ripped through. The lie on the opposite side so you don't lose other gasoline and try to fix the leak. I'm shocked, Haggard, sore and scared. No lights, with still many kilometers to do in the dark.

"Ci sono momenti in cui si procede per inerzia, the isitnto of survival is the feeling that brings you back ..."

“There are times when we proceed by inertia, the isitnto of survival is the feeling that brings forth…”

I get back on my feet and I share in an attempt to get through the stage with light. Do other 20 km other hole, another meeting with the bike but this time I nosed ben 12 meters from the pit. This time I also hurt, Luckily nothing broken, but there are pains you. In retrospect i shudder. Now the bike is destroyed, Crooked, i lose my senses twice and I get a nosebleed. I take your senses after a long time. I recover and the first wish is to get to the end. I do what I can from now on is a challenge with myself and with my willpower. Surplus at a snail's pace to a village, where wonder of gasoline to finish the stage, Pago 10 liters 40 dollars, less and less of 500 Franks who wanted. I'm still 150 km but without lighting proceed is virtually impossible. I put myself in the middle of the road and stopped all asking you to follow me to enlighten the road. After receiving the refusal of nearly a dozen car, I find Peruvian participants that take as long to go fast because they are special and they don't want to lose positions.

"Il deserto ti presenta tante tipologie di difficoltà: from the sand dunes, from rocks to fech fech ..."

“The desert gives you many types of difficulties: from the sand dunes, from rocks to fech fech…”

I do what I can, unbeknownst of substantial risks with a motorcycle virtually undriveable. Arrival at 22 and amazingly I didn't even got the deal, but as soon as I stop collapse and suddenly feel the pain. I ask George to shelter the bike and I go to sleep, logically always for Earth. The next morning George tells me not to be able to repair the bike as well as decreased makes no sense continue. I insist, but there is nothing to do, abandon the race, but it still doesn't do I need a reason. I take three rations of Africa Tour and go to the station. Elargisco a tip a guy who tells me what to do. The bureaucracy to carry the bike is a Babel infinite, Finally seems to have solved everything, I just have to wait for the train. Luckily I see two Italians, working for FAO, reassure me and I guarantee you will take home. They feed me and take me back to the station. Strengths we load the bike on a freight train smelly and full of stones. Finally I sleep and even the stones seem to a comfy bed.

aldo9

There I download the bike helped by some fellow travellers, I find a cab and incredibly the roof load. The taxi was fetid, but at least I was put back in motion. Night falls and the taxi stops at the crossroads of the entrance of the city of Dakar. The taxi driver takes me in the square that was also the bus and kindly offers me a latte at a bar frequented by shady characters. Finally the taxi driver decides to start afresh and takes me where I had booked the hotel before leaving, hoping that someone had already arrived.

A small regret, If I had broken down I would arrive at the bottom. In fact the stage which left from Kaies came undone and the Organization decided to avoid Mauritania and go in convoy from Kaies in Sant Luis, before taking the runway on arrival. Damn!

Source: Aldo Winkler's facebook page

Mahmoodi-2005-2

A race so tough, requires a heavy toll

The Paris-Dakar race is not a feat of destruction», replied on 1986 Thierry Sabine who reminded him of the sad human toll paid to Dakar. A strip inaugurated by Patrice Dodin, fell off his Yamaha in the first edition: the French were going at the start of the fourth leg with the helmet fastened, When it fell and knocked on a stone the head uncovered.

Sabine himself died on 14 January 1986 along with other 4 people not far from Timbuktu (Mali) during a sandstorm: their helicopter crashed into a dune 30 meters. The next day, during the briefing for pilots, Race Director Patrick Verdoy reassured those who feared that the race would stop: "The continuation of the rally will be like Thierry would've wanted, Sports safety and rigour will be insured».

But it was not enough to prevent other tragedies, starting from Giampaolo Marinoni, fell in the final stage of that Edition: the tester of Cagiva came up in the saddle for the last 40 km and hewed the finish before crumble to the ground. Died 2 days later of liver lesions. Similar fate, 19 years later, would be touched to Fabrizio Meoni, winner of the editions 2001 and 2002.

With the abandonment of Africa the streak of blood (23 pilots dead outnumber other deaths among inhabitants, spectators, journalists and mechanics) seemed destined to break. Instead, in South America the tragedies there have been. Already 5 the pilots dead in motion, starting from Pascal Terry: in 2009 He had pulmonary edema in the pampas and found body after three days.

This is the list of riders disappeared in various editions of Dakar Africa to which must be added the deceased between the crews and support staff, organizers, inhabitants, spectators, journalists and victims of traffic accidents caused by competitors.

  • 1979
  • 1982
  • 1983
  • 1986
  • 1986
  • 1988
  • 1992
  • 1994
  • 1996
  • 2005
  • 2005
  • 2006
  • 2007
  • 2007
  • Patrice Dodin (FRA)
  • Bert Oosterhuis (OLA)
  • Jean Noel Pineau ( FRA)
  • Giampaolo Marinoni (ITA)
  • Jean-Claude Huger (FRA)
  • Kees van Zijr Loeve (OLA)
  • Gilles Lalay (FRA)
  • Michel Sansen (BEL)
  • Jean-Pierre Leduc (FRA)
  • José Manuel Pérez (SPA)
  • Fabrizio Meoni (ITA)
  • Andy Caldecott (AUS)
  • Elmer Symons (S.AFR)
  • Eric Aubijoux (FRA)
  • Nigeria
  • Algeria
  • High Voilta
  • Senegal
  • MALI
  • Nigeria
  • Congo
  • Mauritania
  • Mali
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritania
  • Mauritania
  • Morocco
  • Senegal

 

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Prologo maldetto! Aldo Winkler Dakar 1988

Departure to Paris so proud to be in the team Honda Italy B had found even the sponsors but this photo reminds me of a dramatic prelude, the bike rattava the prologue and this photo shows that I wanted to work on it but here at little squalificarmi's a janitor comes to scold me threatening my life if I hadn't gone. The next day I will regularly, and I'll do 800 km in the cold and ice with broken with the bike that was a little’ accelerated. In 5 km from the Eiffel Tower sthe rear brake drum shoes scollarono, and I had to remove the wheel to make it free. After 300 km will break the chain, the giuntai and after another 30 km the chain was still cracked.

I softened the bike to some viewers and a polite gentleman with the machine he took at breakneck speed I'm taking Highway at the head of the rally because the trucks were leaving for first, I give a chain and I went back to repair the bike. Resumed the race all sweaty and LY, but it was in extreme lateness practically last and from time! Trying to catch up with the bike in these conditions I went as hard as possible, in the heat I jumped a stamp control (Pena 2 penalty hours) and I got to take Cale Marseille, and while was fixing to fix it definitively I took an ankle boots in an attempt to start it without recoil. I got on the ferry aching with 2 penalty hours and destroyed by fatigue and tension. Honda trucks Italy retreated and Honda France gave support to Italian riders but I was excluded, the airborne mechanic fell ill and returned to Italy. I found myself without assistance and without mechanical. You will think: how much bad luck! You and true but the most important thing and that I got 19° Dakar and without the two-hour penalty would do 12°!
How many memories in this simple picture…

Text by Aldo Winkler

OW94-01

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”.

OW94-06

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

GI_174

Luciano Carcheri, I'll tell you my last Dakar 2002

When the race becomes almost insane, mainly due to bad weather, the whole thing verges on madness. That in this edition GI_112the Paris-Dakar I knew there was something strange in the first European side having spent the first four days of competition in the rain. In Madridho had to remove the Fender bass on stage because the mud I was blocking the front wheel, so once landed in Morocco, I started the real Dakar from bottom of the League. Addressed the first part of the race very carefully because of the treacherous slopes and numerous stones, I started after the rest day in Atar from 50° place overall.

I ran eight I finished six. After 100.000 kilometres in Africa I feel satisfied. I would say that is enough.

As race tactics and how my habit, the ride “Vera” for me it would be game to Atar, but instead of there began my physical problems. Trying the bike, in the evening, a chill provoked me intestinal problems, I have walked so Atar's stage of 404 km in disastrous conditions. At the finish line are literally collapsed and there were loaded on to a means of & #8217; organization that brought me into the medical tent. Cures & numerous IV (about a dozen due to dehydration) I put it together, but in the morning at dawn I had to prove to doctors who had treated sufficient qualities of driving safety in order to continue the race. After removing the IV, I “exhibited” in agility skills (style Cada Fracci) and only after they are convinced I was allowed to leave for the next stop Atar-Tidjikja of 502 km. At that point I rushed to eat, to fix this in the chest that is transported by air to the next bivouac, and to retrieve the bike Meanwhile my mechanic Ramon, had placed.

GI_097I kept so my eighth Dakar recovering day after day and in Tichit-Tichit stage, stage without Gps points and where many have not found the CP3 (I to find it I did 50 km in over night in & #8217; grass “camel”) and proceeded to Tichit to 19.30. That night I slept about five hours and are broken down by the second Marathon stage Tichit-Kiffa-Dakar (a total of 1.472 km) that for me was the hardest one especially because it rained constantly and c & #8217; it was very muddy. In order to take this part, I had to disassemble in special stage the Fender bass with mud blocking the wheel and as a result I was falling, so I had to go well 600 km of off-road almost everyone in the mud, at night with no lights, because the mud splashed from the front wheel is deposited on the lighthouse, on glasses, on the helmet and quant & #8217; else reducing myself a mud mask.

GI_034In order to continue the transfer of night, I thought of exploiting the headlights of trucks, but this system worked fine until it came to one of the many intersections and Bifurcations: at that point I had to many times to stop and wait for the next truck since the fork had chosen different paths. Upon arrival to gasoline around 3.00 At night, I was exhausted, I closed my eyes to tiredness. At that point I decided (also because it had finally stopped raining) to rest a & #8217; now, so I lay down on the ground in the shelter of drums of gasoline. Finished this nightmare, I stopped at the border with Senegal a wash that in addition to wash the bike was propitiatory for the pilot. The next day the stage Dakar-Dakar, footbridge over the Lake Rose, was a veritable formality.GI_001

I have to say that I finished this eighth Dakar low ears; before leaving I assumed that arrive at the pink Lake, aside from mechanical problems, It would have been much easier. I have to say in this regard that my KTM worked great as usual. This twenty-fourth edition was one of the toughest disputed by me; I'm definitely satisfied with being high on arrival six times out of eight investments. I thank all those who have helped me over the years and especially Emilio Giletti, great man and great sportsman, who by his immense passion and willingness allowed me to be present at the world's hardest Marathon Rally against riders and teams more organized and prepared for this big event.

The Paris-Dakar for me retires. With this eighth edition I have walked more than 100.000 kilometres in Africa between rallies and excursions, and I feel really satisfied for everything I've done. Farewell to Dakar, doesn't mean I'll just sit on our hands or TVs with ve-der run others. A new extreme challenge is plaguing me… now I think a little’ to rest and soon after we talk about.

Luciano Carcheri
Source Motosprint

 

Dakar-1979-Team-GUZZIweb

Alain the great e its Dakar 1979

November 1978, Orly motocross field, near Paris a motorcycle is turning and is feeling with its V-twin engine and its impressive dimensions. It is a prototype, the TT500. Denis Bacholle, Director of Seudem, Moto Guzzi importer in France, he lent it to me for a few days to refine it. The bike has powerful, very stable, very robust and relatively easy to drive, even in muddy paths. Known for a problem, is the driveline which limits the travel of the rear suspension and forces you to keep the rear wheels aluminum alloy series – spoked hub conversion would be too expensive.

I started the enduro with a Pioneer Bones. In 1977 I have successfully participated in the Rallye 5-5 Abidjan-Nice by Jean-Claude Bertrand, on a Yamaha DT400 prepared by Gilles Comte. We join Cyril Neveu, Christian Rayer and… Thierry Sabine, you will lose in the Ténéré. Gilles wins the race.

Dakar 1979

The Moto Guzzi TT500 to Dakar 1979

He was announced as a Paris-Dakar, organized by the same Thierry Sabine, Creator:’ Enduro du Touquet. Denis Bacholle is a passionate man and the team is a true miracle, but on the day of departure five bikes are regularly lined up at the start and their pilots were ready – Martine Rénier, Eric Breton, Piatek, Bernard Rigoni..
Assistance is provided by two Toyota vehicles that have now reached retirement age.

The race begins and we in Algeria, stages of connection: the Guzzi are fighter aircraft! Officials from Honda and Yamaha, on their single begin to look with respect. Our bikes are the best in top speed and very stable. The consumption is under control, as expected. After Reggane, the return to reality is brutal. Rear alloy wheels don't hold up, they break. The 105 mm rear suspension travel on potholes and bumps do not forgive. Martine Rénier and Piatek they crash and injured leave the competition.

I also do I perform in a nice looping, and remedy a left wrist fracture. I decide to keep this incident to myself and continued the rally with one hand or nearly. I adjust the handlebars to avoid tiring too the pulse and I install a tire back onto the rim trail that will be less stressful for the circle. We reach Agadès and while sliding alongside Martine de Cortanze, I feel that the bike collapses in the sand. Despite reinforcements the frame broke at the height of the steering column. The same mishap later happen to Eric Breton. It's time to go home.

Le Grand 1980

Le Grand helped by Breton fumble on the rear wheel of the TT500

My mate Bernard Rigoni, the smiling motorcyclist from inseparable moral qualities and physical properties, will arrive in Dakar.
Jean-Patrick Capdevielle sings: "it's hard to be a hero / on this side of the planet ... ".

He's right, Jean-Patrick, certainly we are not heroes, but the pioneers, anonymous and fans, what you definitely .... Toss in the Algerian desert, withstand sandstorms without GPS, at that time it was not so easy. The Moto Guzzi TT500 demonstrated the competitiveness of twins in rally-raid, without the inconvenience of the rear rim could do great things. This bike was outstanding in everyway. It was a great privilege to lead this Moto Guzzi.

And’ has also been a great privilege to have been members of this team, United States and enthusiastic. A thought for Denis Bacholle, gone too soon. Greetings from Bogota, Colombia, friends of the history of Paris Dakar.

Alain le Grand, Dakar 1979, bib. 85.

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Dakar 1986, in the desert every promise is a debt

In the desert, every promise is a debt and Gilles Picard is the unfortunate victim and regulated. Here's how they went about facts: the front fork by Gianpaolo Marinoni broke out and with her all the oil. Then his Cagiva collapses on the suspension when it touches the ground after the jumps and goes to "package" so much that the oil filter located under the carter arrives at Earth and breaks in turn. Mad he must stop, and then even Picard, who respects his role as gregarious.

Beppe Gaulini racing with a private Elefant

Beppe Gaulini racing with a private Elefant

But Gilles has oil and Gianpaolo should expect the Landrover quick assistance team Lucky Explorer then set off with the knife between his teeth. A little’ later breaks a wheel and his friend Beppe Gauri, riding a private Cagiva, stops to give him his, remaining in Cagiva support response that will supply you with spare parts, allowing Gilles to leave and continue his race with ambitions of ranking. Is an expensive gift because the medium of quick service passes without seeing Gauri who is stopped on the track. Beppe is able to spread much later but will be sanctioned with a ten hour penalty for arriving after the closing of the control time of arrival.

Happy goes to complain from the official Cagiva team manager who promises him that if necessary will be identical to that of support riders. And indeed the fate promptly puts it to the test, the 6 January Gauri breaks a wheel and stops Picard who finished well in the standings, twenty-third. The Covenant must be respected and the follower must give his wheel to Gauri, located at the bottom of the League. The face of the poor Gilles, losing an hour in maneuver, perfectly expresses the torments of the water carrier.

Taken from: The last tree of Paris Dakar by Jean Him Roy – Vertical Sea Edition

Pierre Marie Poli Dakar 1986

Dakar 1986, the race is tough even before you start!

After the euphoria at the start of Paris, the respite is short-lived, and waking up even heavier, on the national road number 20. The bikers act as pilot whales and huddle in the wakes of cars and trucks, glued to the tail lights. So says Pierre-Marie Poli, the leader of the bike after the prologue of Cergy: "The outside of the visor is frozen and the Interior tarnished. Then I open the visor, and, because I'm short sighted, ice is formed immediately outside the de lenses-glasses that fog up inside… Then lower the visor, also because I'm cold, and I've got four layers opaque before my eyes. The only solution is to stick behind a truck assistance, so do I 150 kilometers; When I only see a stop sign means I'm too close, When I see them both means I'm too far. Certain that if he entered a parking lot would have followed without hesitation. The only drawback is that uphill limps a bit. '

The result is that Parker has arrived with only five minutes to spare on eighteen times permitted to run the 1.100 kilometers of the stage. As usual Thierry follows the Caravan for personal pleasure, to soak up the atmosphere always warmer and to gather strong impressions. For cars and trucks, the situation is much more comfortable, If the heating system is not dismounted, as it happens normally in the case of prototypes. The copilots rival outwit to combat fogging invading windshield, breathe in turn is hardly a solution to adopt.

Fennel He brought with him a hairdryer that attached to the cigarette lighter works wonders, but the first prize for the year's Eve tale goes to Jean-Christophe Pelletier (Ed. You may recall his participation at 1981 aboard a Rolls Royce), with one of those stories that much like Thierry: with six Dakar on the assets side and four arrivals on the beach, two cars and two motorcycles, Jean-Christophe is one of the most experienced of the Group. First difficulties already closed Park of Versailles, the day of the prologue, with his Yamaha that refuses to boot.

On top of that came the snow, Although not required by Thierry. Somehow manages to reach Cergy and back with difficulty, plagued by a set of problems of ignition and carburetion. On January 1, the engine stalls under the walkway of the via. Delayed and 7 kilometers south of Limoges, the motor stops permanently. It's seven o'clock in the evening, It is night, It's cold, it rains. His means of support is ahead, because the trucks are left for the first, at seven in the morning. Suddenly two youngsters of sixteen emerge from the Woods and tell him: «But she is one of the Paris – Dakar! Push up to our farm, We have tools.»

As fortune never comes alone, a car stops across the street and down a gentleman with a Toolbox: "I am a mechanic of Motobécane in Limoges, the shelter the bike. ' He had a white beard and red jacket… Push the bike to a kilometer in the fields and take her in the stable. On the left there are some sheep, one of which is even giving birth, right of carts, and in the midst of this yellow and black beast, under the bright eyes of two young boys with red cheeks, who spent the day at the roadside to watch remove all those monsters covered in stickers. The mechanic gets down to business, disassemble the carburetor and after an hour and a half is a flake of paint of the tank into the Bowl.

It's eight thirty at night and Jean-Christophe still has eight hours to get to Sète, under 700 kilometers of rain. Replacement lightning and tense atmosphere in the barn, under a dim light. Despite dozens of rounds of crank there is nothing to do, the bike will not turn on. There is an electric wire of mass that generates a short circuit but the mechanic, representative of Motul in the region and former air hostess, can't find it. At ten is the surrender, There is no longer any chance of arriving on time. New year's fairy tale might end like this, Sadly, What about the two guys invite Jean-Christophe to get into the House. His clothes are drying around the stove and on the table covered with oilcloth show of the dishes a more inviting than the other: smoked salmon, Turkey and other delights. Are the leftovers of the vigil and the motorcyclist disappointed and exhausted you can binge without restraint, telling stories of Paris – Dakar kids who listen to him spellbound.

Taken from The last tree of Paris Dakar by Jean Him Roy published by Edizioni Sea Vertical

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Dream, o son desto? Patrick Faure Dakar 1990

I don't know why, but this morning I woke up with this picture in my head: Niamey ' 90, at camp we meet the Dakar bivouac. Gigi Algiers, Fabio Marcaccini, Max Malik, I, a young tourist travelling around Africa with father, and the great lone Luigi Sala (about BMW) serving spaghetti with Italian Dakariani.

Picture taken by my great friend Gianni Lolli (hole of the bells… who can remember?). That mythical journey! Two months of reading total improvising an itinerary day by day between Tunisia, Algeria, Niger and Mali and back. We left in 2, me in motion, On an old Land SWB overloaded with food (that Cook). A couple cannot everyone said, Instead he was one of the most beautiful travel. A leisurely pace, with long stretches alone and he comes along, my track.
Zero gps, map that bought at newsstands, broke the impossible in the Land, but always repaired.

Gathered down the street from the ferry, many tourists loners and small groups of desperate. All fed by the great chef. No a problem in customs, no mention of politics or local with fundamentalism, only nice people, serene and welcoming everywhere… What has changed? That nostalgia… He wants to redo the same path. They tell me: “at least you did these things”… MAh, I don't know if it was a good thing or a bad thing, now who's the lever from the head? I'm going to go back to hidden.

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/