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Grassotti-1988-2

Mercandelli and Grassotti with 125 towards the Dakar 1988

Carlo Alberto Mercandelli had the dealer Volkswagen which boasted the largest motorcycle throughout the Italian clientele. From his living room in Casale Monferrato came out the cars of the cross, enduro and also the speed.
There was a reason for this, and the reason goes beyond the inevitable discount. Carlo Alberto after being an excellent pilot cross had stood in around like juvenile cross national Manager. An activity that had kept alive the passion and desire to drive.
So after a first experience in the Paris-Dakar ' 86, and the fifteenth place overall and first in class (with a Yamaha 350) the Rally of the Pharaohs, tried the adventure.
«Commitments with the IMF keep me busy between February and October, and I remain. the winter months to devote to bike. So I approached the rally and in Africa I found my favorite terrain. Africa is beautiful. The contact and the contrast between Earth and sky offer unique sensations».

They are not lacking contingencies...
"Already, in 1986 After ten days of competition a little boy in the night stole the boots. I left for the stage in sneakers but I didn't do a long way. Fell almost immediately by retreating to a dislocated collarbone».

This year the difficulties you've go to try running with a 125.
"Of course is a bit’ madness, and if you'd thought over probably would have given up on this adventure. Instead the decision was matured in a hurry. the Yamaha Belgarda has offered to help me as long as I ran with a 125 Ténéré serie».

Much more thought out was the choice of Giovan Battista (said «Beat») Gargate, writing in the Paris-Dakar with a Aprilia Tuareg Rally 125.
"The idea of running with a 125 I came up with last year while returning to Paris after I retired from Niamey.
Be the first to arrive in Dakar on an 125 It would be wonderful, of course I would be glad to do it along with Mercandelli. I front and one behind».

Having a companion of displacement, Although brand opponent, will help?
«Definitely. I'm very glad I'm not the only one to try. In two we can help and we have a better chance to succeed».

Do you believe?
"Technically I don't see why a good 125 modern shouldn't do that. The problem will be that, not being fast, We'll have to drive for hours in the dark».

Ed. The Dakar Mercandelli stopped 4 of January in stage Sahan Berry-Bir Larache. To Grassotti during the fifth stage.

Source Motosprint
Thanks Clement Canino for photos

Aprilia Tuareg Wind 600 1989

Aprilia Tuareg Wind 600 1989

For the first time the Aprilia participates in Dakar 1989 formally: pilots are Vinod B and Scott Freeman., two renowned specialists of African marathons, and the bikes come from Tuareg Wind 600 by series.

Are modified for specific use in Dakar with a large main tank that doubles as a fairing while the fairing with twin headlights remains that of series. The engine is the classic four-valve single cylinder Rotax widerevised by Open mind-lia in order to increase the reliability.

The cooling air remains but an oil cooler was added to the existing one, to decrease the temperature of the lubricating oil. Rated power 46 horses, equal to the series despite being reduced the compression ratio to use poor fuel octane. The fuel is sent to Dellorto by a vacuum pump connected to the engine.

In addition to gasoline tanks there are two more seats down in front of the engine, that contain water are mandatory escort 5 liters of the liquid that the pilot can drink directly into the race by a small electric pump operated by a switch on the handlebars.

The dashboard has an abundant number of tools with oil thermometer, tachometer, trip master and a small traditional compass. The chassis is derived from the motorcycle for sale and is normally based on a steel beam frame with special-shaped tube dra.

Suspensions see increased considerably the hike and the swingarm po-aluminum hydraulic extension is now. For the brakes at the front there is a double disc with single piston floating Brembo calipers clamping, While behind the only disk size 220 mm.

For the article and photos we thank Andrea Torresani