1982 Honda XL-1

Honda XL 500 R Dakar 1982

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

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

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

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

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