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My Dakar by Ermanno Ban

After 13 motocross years pursuing a dream that even came close several times, I've never been able to make it my profession, I thought I would close at least in beauty this interlude of life.

In those years the Paris Dakar held the world attached to television, to newspapers and magazines. And then I thought it was the right race, a dream very tempting, so it become a pleasant obsession by participating in 3 editions, from 1989 at 1991.

Already, but with what money, by what means!?
I remind you that I've always been a worker and cover the 50 millions need has always been an ordeal ... I had one Yamaha XT Ténéré and it was my first bike that took me to the finish 49° on 60 riders arrived at the finish line.
The prepared in my usual cellar 4×3 Mt (who says you need mega workshops are wrong) and just for the tanks I asked help from VRP. The engine was "fresh" only had 18.000 km so I replaced the piston and cylinder covered by “warranty” my friend's pirate dealer. I remember the day I fell and racked up 2 the trip master, so I drove without notes until the end, I followed the tracks, dust and my gut. Just following the traces left in the sand by pilots as Franco Picco and Edi Orioli, I managed to finish, Therefore they deserve in their merit and my highest consideration, Perhaps the strongest riders I've ever met at Dakar.

All would have ended up there after the first edition, having reached my goal, but when the sponsors come knocking at your door and down the street they stop you and ask you for an autograph you realise you can't stop this beautiful dream.
In Dakar 1990 I already had a sale with Crossbowmen to rent one of his Aprilia, then at the last moment everything fell through and my choice fell on an Africa Twin which gave me Boano. The bike was already prepared by HRC with just the instrumentation, the tires and a few other things.

Unfortunately it was not a lucky, a major accident at 4° or 5° round, I don't really remember, compelled me to finish the race in advance (I was on the border between Libya and Niger and cease them my memories, because I woke up in the recovery room at Maggiore in Bologna after 5 days).

For my last Dakar, that of 1991, USAI always an Africa Twin Honda Italy made available to me. Had already been used at the Rally of the Pharaohs, However was in order. Unfortunately that Edition ended too soon, the fuel pump stopped working on the border with Niger (still there, what luck!) and only thanks to a small group of retired pilots, After 3 days we walked up to Tunis where he embarked for Italy.

The bike that definitely gave me more satisfaction and I remember with most pleasure was definitely my first Yamaha, It was the lightest is the most manageable, but he had some limits. Unlike the twin-cylinder Honda, If you want heavier but significantly more in a competition similar.

At this point, What's left of my Africa? I think I've given so much of myself in this race, though it cannot be eternal, I maintain friendships with a few dakariani.
Unfortunately I think the technology has debased the adventure and the political problems did the rest, of old Dakar remained very little. Though it's part of me and I follow with pleasure every time traveling.

A curious anecdote, is when well aware of the importance of physical recovery, of eating and sleeping, to get used to sleeping at low temperatures, problems I encountered in the North to start race, preparing sleeping outside in sleeping bags throughout December!!

Finished my dream I chose another path in sports "much less challenging" he left time to my private life and without giving importance to the competitive side, now to 55 years, a daughter, a classmate and my new passion is triathlon.

Hello everyone.

Ermanno Ban