Seeing scroll on the video images of the Paris-Dakar, by reading the reports in the newspapers, following live maybe some phase, I wonder how much they were: «At least once I do it too». For many, it is only an emotional reaction, others go beyond, but stop discouraged from a cost estimate too often exceeding expectations and possibilities. Is to belong to this second group that approached Herve Guio, marketing director of Honda France, with the initiative «Africa Twin Goal Dakar».
What it is is easily understood: offer fifty riders the opportunity to participate in the Paris-Dakar rally by buying cheap an Africa Twin complies with the rules by category «marathon», to receive a free preparation stage, a minimum of care and a spare parts service. The initiative responded 400 aspiring «dakariani», 150 of which tone was admitted to a screening test. Implacable judge, how impartial, was Marc Morales, the team's official rider Honda France.
Of the fifty is also an Italian boy, born in Enna 31 years ago and emigrated to Switzerland with his parents at the age of ten. It's called Paolo Di Mauro, He lives in the Canton of Renens, near Lausanne, where he runs a dealership Honda and runs regularly in Swiss enduro championship held in France for the veto of Switzerland hard at motorcycle racing. The first African experience made her last October at the Rally of the Pharaohs where he ranked 23rd with an Africa Twin.
"When they called to participate in the selection explains Paolo, committed to cleaning the air filter sand — I replied that I was, trip to Egypt. They told me to make me feel back to tell how it went. I finished the race and now here».
Very close to that of the twin-cylinder series 650 Africa Twin presents the only changes allowed by category «marathon».
«The autonomy was adeguala at distances — explains Paul — with adoption of a main tank from 40 liters to which you add the rear by 17 liters. You have changed the engine guard plate, now stronger and even suspensions have been adapted for use in racing».
The bike was not delivered to buyers in race set.
"We were not given the serial model, with conversion kit which includes the compass, the trip master, the portaroad-book. In short everything you need at the price of 80.500 French francs (about 18 millions of lire) in which is included the complete clothing: helmet, suit, boots and gloves. There is also the possibility of hiring a personal mechanic, by adding 53.000 Franks (about 11 millions) but more than half of the participants preferred to do without it for their expenditure, Since the cost of the bike must be added the entry fee to the 11 millions. A little’ We give so much support anyway and we also carry for free 10 pounds and 200 grams of baggage apiece. It is important because we know to find the finish line a tent in which to sleep and a spare sweater».
Paul asked for a judgment on the Africa Twin in trim already used to. «Damn healed weighs — was her prompt response — 270 pounds in running trim. If you fall you can no longer get her up…».
Photo Paolo Di Mauro