cagiva 1987-4

Dakar 1987 | Cagiva XD10 la “cafona”

That of '86 was the most bitter race ever for the Varese team: a few kilometers from the finish line, when it seemed that the great race was over, Giampaolo Marinoni followed Sabine's fate, painting the most tragic edition of the Dakar in black. In his memory, to honor him in the sacrifice of sport, the Cagiva returns with the one that, at least on paper, is one of the strongest teams.

De Petri and Auriol focus on 80 CV of Ducati CAGIVA the most powerful

Four drivers: The two Frenchmen Auriol and Picard and our De Petri and Gualdi, and two staff in tow: one on the track led by Vismara who will also drive one of the four assistance vehicles and another, including a doctor, on the organization's aircraft. Men don't need big presentations: Auriol has already won twice; De Petri last year won six stages and took five successes in the last Rally of the Pharaohs; Edwards, former regularist, debuts in Africa but boasts successes in the European and Italian enduro championships and in the "Six Days".


The Frenchman Picard is the ideal wingman, Always ready to sacrifice himself for his "captain". The bikes are the renewed Cagiva 850. The Ducati twin-cylinder engine with its 80 CV allows them to reach a maximum speed in the desert of 185 Kmh, despite the weight at full load, so also with the 65 liters of fuel distributed in the two tanks, and 230 Kg.

elefant_87After the last tests, On the part of the riders there is the firm belief that the bike has the reliability necessary to enter the fight between the twins, dominated so far by BMW and Honda. The prototype that participates in the Paris – Dakar of 1987 is profoundly renewed, to power the cavalry of the Ducati engine, the bike is equipped with an integral fairing that also includes the fuel tank. An additional tank also supports the saddle.

The result is a compact and very effective vehicle on African slopes and, while a disqualification soon puts the Italian couple Alessandro out of action “Ciro” De Petri – Franco Gualdi, Hubert Auriol, assisted in the early stages by Gilles Picard, reaches the penultimate stage (in practice at the last, Vera, Special) leads the competition followed by Neveu on Honda.

But a stupid root hidden in the sand of a Senegalese plantation takes "Hubert the African" out of the way., hooking a foot and making the pilot lose his balance, thus, crashes into a tree. The French shows both ankles broken and, after overcoming considerable difficulties throughout the race and being, even in these conditions, managed to cross the finish line, is forced to retire. Television pictures of Auriol pain weeping does the circle from the world and elevate a moral winner of this edition of the race.


Immediately a sort of "Auriol replica" is presented on the motorcycle market, as defined by the magazine French "Motoverte", or an Elefant that, Broadly speaking, resumes the setting of the racing bike. In reality, the bike on sale to the public is nothing more than the bike of the previous year equipped with a low mudguard and Bing vacuum carburetors that soften the delivery. The aesthetic reference to the African bike is entrusted to the integral fairing with the monoheadlight now no longer integral to the fork. An important difference is instead the adoption of the 750 CC.

Taken from Rhombus 1987

Edwards 1988-6

Edwards, the German of Bergamo

Born in 1957 in Bergamo, Franco Gualdi approached the world of motorcycles for the passion transmitted by his father who was riding Motobi, MV and Devil and so as a young man he took part in the very first regional enduro races. His biography tells of only two Dakar, one of which is not even finished and a solid career in the enduro.

He earned the nickname “The German of Bergamo”, for his impeccable guidance and for the precision with which he studied the routes. As a starting point for his professional career, eighteen-year-old, chose to join the Fiamme Oro group where he met Azzalin, also active in the same body, but with a few more years: when Gualdi came in, Azzalin was one of the “Old” who were stopping running.

Franco made his first races with Sachs, from 1974 at 1978, and then switch to Italian motorcycles.

Was the 1984 when he approached the Cagiva, who wanted him to participate in the famous Baya 1000, in Spain: his teammate was Gian Paolo Marinoni, but with them were also Roberto Azzalin and Ostorero. If the latter faced the race with the sole goal of having fun, Gualdi and Marinoni, Instead, they were thirsty for important results.
The Baya it was a race with two rings of 500 Km and the first one that came, regardless of the category to which you belong, he would win. Every 70 Km there were service points of alternate types: one refueling, the other of mechanics.

The race was in July and the course was not marked with the road book. That year there was Gaston Rahier, that was kinda the “Master” of the twin-cylinder. Gualdi at one point found himself in front of him, overtaking him on a very technical stretch of road and more akin to an endurist like him, that to a crossman like the Belgian. Shortly thereafter, with the exuberance typical of his young age, Gualdi came along at a bend and went off the road: didn't fall, but he took a big rock and the top plate of the fork broke. But Gualdi didn't give up: took a strap, he used it to tie the plate to the steering tank and left. He and his partner came to the bottom taking a eighth place overall, behind their rivals in BMW.




His first participation in dakar is dated 1987: Auriol and De Petri were the leading drivers, while Franco and Picard were their gregarious. In one stage, Gualdi's bike was like dead: very wide track, by 2 km and all the pilots passed away from each other. He stood still, with the fear that the assistance would not see it.
He left his bike on the ground and placed his jacket at 300 meters, so you get noticed without risking your life. I start disassembling the bike but without finding the fault, until towards evening came the service truck and loaded the he and the bike. They arrived at the camp at the 2 At night, a few km from the arrival. Edwards, hidden in the truck in the middle of the bike and tires, thus crossed the finish line.

They then unloaded the bike and did an engine change operation. At 5 in the morning, took his Cagiva, came back from an external track, hanging up on the main one and crossed the finish line. By now it was late and only an hour was missing at the start of the new stage, so he quickly drank a sip of water, he rinsed himself and left immediately for the next stage. In general, that was an unfortunate edition for Gualdi: all it took was a start and his bike was stationary and in addition, la Cagiva was really challenging. He had a very high centre of gravity and the weight and speed did not forgive: in the event of falls, lifting it up was a struggle, even for the most trained physicists.

Bad game, the race could only continue worse. A few kilometers from the beginning, found colleague Ciro with the broken gearbox: stopped and gave him a hand to fix the bike. They mistakenly reassembled the two exchanged tanks and – just before they noticed and reversed them-someone passed by and took a picture. That year he went to the annals for their disqualification, that came right after this fact and just because of that shot, where you could clearly see a motorcycle with the number 99 on the front and the number 97 on the side, which was used as evidence of an exchange of motion that could never be concretely proven.

It was a kind of divine punishment: the Cagiva team was not really an example of ligio compliance with the regulations, but he was almost never punished for lack of evidence. That time, Instead, the protagonists swore they had done nothing wrong, but they were penalized on the basis of a photo that showed nothing. However, there was no possibility of appeal, since the disqualification did not arrive immediately after the race, nor the following day, that was resting, but at seven o'clock in the morning the next day yet, just before the stage began.

Azzalin could only take note of the disqualification and De Petri and Gualdi stood still, with the threat that, if they had tried to travel even a single kilometer, would have been disqualified for “undue assistance” even the two teammates still in the race. Since Auriol was in the lead, it wasn't worth the risk, so the two gregarious left for Italy and the following day, found themselves on the front page of the Equipe for a cunning that they had never accomplished, And that, Obviously, they would never admit. In 1987 Gualdi dedicated himself to proto: went up there, he guided her, developed it and made it reliable. He did a great job on carburetors., together with Franco Farnè: one even pierced him to figure out the level of gasoline.

Farnè recovered the surplus gasoline from the carburetor and put it back in the tank with a small tube. In the end they prepared about 20 Carburetors: the Weber was the top, really deadly as soon as the gas handle was wide open. He then tried the forks in Tunisia, together with Ciro, in no man's land, while in Savona and on the poorly trafficked Gravellona Toce, did the with michelin mousse tests. Gualdi was nailed, To 100 Km/h, then he came back and the technicians tested the tires. The problem, that remained unresolved even during the Dakar, was that in 170 / 175 Km/h the wheel cleats came off.

While he was trying, Gualdi had to make a’ U-turn: the bike died out and seemed to no longer want to start again. The traffic police arrived and found him there, in the middle of the street, with a bolide without even the license plate. Franco's fortune was to be a colleague of the Fiamme Oro: a quick greeting and had already become their idol. They even gave him a boost and so he managed to restart the bike. Things that were quietly done then, but today they would be unthinkable… In 1988, found himself almost without realizing it at the Dakar: started by de Petri's gregarious, he was the only one of the Cagiva drivers to finish the race. He was in his second participation, as always he did assistance and was under no illusions of doing great results.




Ciro could surely have won some Dakar, if he hadn't always wanted to cross the line: even though we know that more than 170 Km/h tires were ripped off, he never slowed down and so he ripped them. It was then up to Franco to retrieve it, in the middle of the Sahara: certain, even he would have liked to go faster, maybe in the hope of recovering 15 minutes, because that desert looked like asphalt, but instead he went to 150 Km/h safely. So much did he know that he would then find De Petri with the tires bursting: he would stop and give him his gum and, with this little game, Ciro maintained a good position in the standings, as he slipped further and further back.

He once met Ciro who had a devil for hair, went to 90 Km/h and swore at himself and his bike: the engine went to one, and passing him close, Gualdi immediately realized that had the pipette of the candle detached. He didn't have time to report the fault to him., who never saw him again, because he had started to focus: 50 km with only one cylinder and then gave him pay. Ciro was so: from some points of view really incorrigible. The Cagiva team was respected and feared: De Petri eventually retired and Azzalin called Franco and told him to show him what he was capable of. He was five hours away from the first and at least wanted to get to the end of the race with the same detachment, without going crazy to make up for lost time.

Azzalin told him to attack and he was trying to do his best, but without overdoing it: eventually came sixth. He was really pleased with the result: on balance, if there hadn't been all those stops to help others, probably could have achieved an even more important result. Franco kept a diary during the Dakar, in both editions: when in the evening he came to the camp, wrote a few lines. At the end of the race, he put it back and today admits that it was precisely those writings that led him to no longer participate in that race, wonderfully cursed.

He kept wonderful memories, but on those diaries he wrote quite a few things that no one knows yet: one day, Maybe, will pull them out and make them public. Gualdi was always very wise and never left anything to chance: if you needed three levers to change the tire, he was trying to have four rather than two; if the bike had a limit, knew it was better not to tease her; if the change was delicate, it was definitely advisable to drive carefully; avoided overcoming in the dust, not to risk taking a rock that he couldn't see.

His philosophy was: “Pull the rowing in the boat and take home the result.” Certain, this approach, sometimes it frenzied him from achieving more important successes, but he always took it to the bottom and today, all in all, he's glad so. Staying in the Team with Cagiva was an unforgettable experience: in every situation, you did what you could and also the impossible. Getting to the bivouac was already a good result for Gualdi and from that moment, began the work of the mechanics. Probably, then, risked them more than the pilots, making transfers with those unlikely planes!

Also with Azzalin, Gualdi had a nice relationship: even at the first Dakar they were expected to sleep in tents together, but it only lasted one night, because Robert snoring to such an extent that he did not turn a blind eye to the pilot and even waking himself up to assault. After that first night, Azzalin went to sleep under the truck to allow Franco to rest. Thanks to all the experiences they shared, the friendship between them was strengthened: Today, looking back, for Gualdi the Cagiva was embodied in Roberto Azzalin. He obviously also met Claudio Castiglioni, but he never entered his world and their relationship always remained formal and linked to pure labor issues.

Gualdi's salary was also partly given by his role as a test driver: over the years, was no longer at the height of his career as an endurist and, getting away with it well as a mechanic, carried on the development of motorcycles and engines that then became standard and a 750 single-cylinder that was never made. He had a good sensitivity and liked to try until he got a satisfactory final result, as he did with marzocchi forks or with an engine to 45 horses that he managed to bring to 50. The mechanics were at his complete disposal, whatever he said or asked. But he did a relatively short job: broadcast what he could but all the tests were done with Ciro De Petri: he was the leading man and the bike was made according to his needs. Gualdi had to test what Ciro wanted: they asked him to fix some things, but in the end it was De Petri who decided.

Orioli's arrival was decisive for the growth of the Cagiva: started from a Ducati engine, it was brought to maximum power and work was carried out on reliability. On the motion of the 1987 it would have suffi only a 750, instead of a 850, but with development you couldn't go back, and with that bike Ciro won so much. And if in the 1990 you got to win, was certainly also thanks to the great work done in terms of growth and development. At that time the French were the big, while the Italians were not yet ready to win a Dakar. De Petri was the best of our, however anyone was aware that the pilot to beat wasn't him, but the French, as Auriol.

When Gualdi had the chance to have him as a teammate, took advantage of it to steal some secrets from him and his driving improved noticeably. Hubert turned out to be a serious man, more attentive and precise than fast. But it was a “French”: of him, as of all his countrymen, Gualdi learned never to trust too much, because cousins across the alps are a little jealous of the dakar. They consider it a race of their own. The Italians, on the other hand, were all a little special: good and scaramantic, full of rituals, like that of De Petri who every night had hot water prepared by Forchini, his trusted man, to wash your head.

Gualdi also faced many other competitions, like the Titan rally, but the Dakar always remained a unique race: everyone else went into the background. From an edition he took home all the road books with the intention of redoing it as a tourist, calmly, making the stops not in 5 hours but in 12, looking at the wonderful places he couldn't see as a pilot. He never did.. As a pilot there was no time to think too much, reflected only in the evening, once you reach the finish line. Franco once ended up in a lost village, where everyone was naked and looked at him like an alien. The women and children took refuge in the houses and there was only one man left who understood the French: Gualdi was not the first stranger they saw; tried to get directions and then left.

He promised that he would return, but he never did. The race involved risks, Obvious, but it was also joy and fun, and the dangerous part was always less than all positive and unforgettable situations. Even today, many times Gualdi wonders why he ran and answered that it was not for adrenaline and the desire to risk. The risk was there, he was aware of it and was part of the game, but he wasn't necessarily looking for him. He was aware that every time he left he might be the last, but he didn't enjoy defying death for the sake of it.

He just left. The Dakar was certainly not the safest situation in the world: you didn't sleep, you didn't eat, he was suffering… but you knew people for what they were, without masks. And then, when you came back, you found yourself with the “Mal d'africa”. Only those who have lived experiences like those can understand it and Gualdi knows it now very well: the sense of melancholy and nostalgia for those places will accompany him throughout his life.



Photo Gigi Soldano
Text by Biagio Maglienti from Motorcycling

Ciro said stop; enough with the Dakar and the races. "At the age of thirty-eight," says Alessandro De Petri, in art "Ciro” — it is also necessary to be able to stop.. Knowing him we know how much this decision may have cost him. So much so that he wanted to end an important parenthesis of his life in an un traumatic way, siding at the start of the 16th Dakar as a simple participant, almost a tourist. "But do not think it was still easy — continues the bergamot - to repress my instincts. I had to impose a form of self-control. In the first stages, De Petri prevailed as a driver. I didn't make it.; i opened the handcuff as usual, risking like a 10458928_10203400208157276_1120159053910473021_n - CopyCrazy. Absurd! At the end of the second special I was 35th; I left and started pulling. I've overtaken almost everyone, coming a minute from the first. I passed them in the most unexpected places, Difficult, risking the whole thing. Then I reflected; i realized that wasn't the reason why i had decided to take part in this race again. In the next stage I started and, routes ten kilometers, i stopped. I put the bike on the easel and waited a quarter of an hour. It was a real pain to see others pass by and I stood there still; but in the end I did it. Curbed competitive instinct I started my real Dakar; a Dakar from “Explorer”, to appreciate everything in these eleven years I had missed. New emotions, places and people; i photographed everything in my mind and soon, indeed very soon I will tell it in a book. Of course, not for protagonism or for profit (the proceeds will go to charity). Only to give once and for all the real face of a race too often not understood..


Alessandro De Petri said enough at thirty-eight years old, after winning for three times the Pharaohs Rally, two tunisia, collecting a total of 67 partial stage successes. For years he was the Italian symbol of this type of competition. He missed it, perhaps more out of bad luck than for other reasons, the important victory. The Dakar daydreamed on several occasions, of which he heard the scent several times and which adverse fate has always denied him. But De Petri doesn't seem to care about this “small” Particular.

"It is clear, it weighs me never to have won a Dakar, because as a professional pilot as I was, don't win this competition it's kinda’ See 11140119_10204842355488178_6697427028410064163_nfade the dream for which you have committed all your strength and part of your life. However, by objectively analysing the problem, without making any illusions, i'm equally satisfied. If I had run this race with another head I probably wouldn't have missed the success. My exuberant character prevented me from. With this I deny nothing of what I have done in recent years. I'm so in the race and in life, I couldn't have behaved differently. If I were to go back I would do everything, I would not change anything and above all I would never change my partial successes with a final victory".

The Dakar is a tough race, Unlivable, but that's why fascinating. "It is unique in the world," continues Ciro, "and only those who participated in it can really understand the motivations that drive pilots to face superhuman efforts, putting a strain and sometimes exceeding the limit of endurance for any living being". And ten years of Dakar don't forget so easily. Especially if, as in the case of De Petri, were an integral part of his life as a pilot and inevitably as a man.

I didn't make it.; i opened the handcuff as usual, risking like crazy, Absurd!

So Ciro begins: "What an incredible adventure. My past is inextricably linked to the motorcycle. I started competing very early and with good results, in the cross and enduro. Third in a world cross 125 and European enduro champion. Then I decided to abandon racing to devote myself to my main activity, that of dentist. But the future was about to reserve me something extraordinary. At twenty-eight I heard about a race with a “Crazy” that crossed the entire desert to Dakar, starting from Paris. He competed against cars and won.".

For the record, the “Crazy” it was Neveu and the race the Paris-Dakar "I had no doubt and embarked on what would later become, shortly, my true profession. I went to Farioli and asked for a motorcycle; then I bought a used Range-Rover and hired Felicino Agostini (Brother of Giacomo and brother-in-law of De Petri) and Giacomo Vismara. The adventure had begun..


You look at him and his face betrays the emphasis. The first experience and the last one are undoubtedly the ones that involve him the most on an emotional level. Memories fill it up and overlap. He remembers to Claudio Towers, an illustrious stranger, but… "The Dakar, i wouldn't fall into the rhetoric, it's a real school of life. It teaches you to fight, to get away with it yourself and help you understand people. One character in particular remained in my heart. A “Private”, the Milanese architect Claudio Torri. He showed up at the start with us in the 1983. It was for everyone the first experience, but for him it was even more so. He had already half destroyed (Physically) prologue and continued his work of annihilation in the continuation of the competition. When boarding for Africa he risked not expatriating; had laid his papers and wallet on the saddle of the bike. When the helicopter got up in the air the air shift lifted the documents and money that ended up in the water. Then, a few days later, bordering on the comedian and the grotesque, in an attempt to straighten the handlebars of my bike, helping Agostini, took the hammer in his hand and absent-mindedly hammered himself in the head. For almost the entire race Torri was the protagonist of a continuous event of this kind. Never a lament. Consecutive hours and hours in the saddle without saying a word: fantastic and amazing!».

Among the memories also the myth, sabine's. Dakar is linked to this name for better or for worse. De Petri remembers him like this: "It is not DePetri_1994_1he was never wrong, was able to make important decisions, on which depended the safety of the entire caravan of the Dakar He was always right and the pilots, the mechanics and all the entourage following the race began to blindly trust this French out of nowhere, until his figure has become a constant point of reference for all of us, a beacon to follow. And when he missed, when the news came that the helicopter had crashed to the ground, the whole caravan in silence has returned in its own footsteps going to the site of the tragic event. It was night; when we arrived there was an apocalyptic scene: sheets scattered everywhere, there was not the slightest sign of life. I can never forget..

This is the Dakar, in its strongest accents, remembered by Ciro De Petri. The terrible accident at the Pharaohs in the 1992 convinced him to abandon. "Yes probably the spring that triggered in me the decision to stop also came as a result of the accident. Two months in a coma is no joke. But, it's going to look weird, a nonsense, the accident was an opportunity to get back in the saddle again, for the last time. Coming out of the horns I slowly recovered, but I was left with a kind of numbness and tiredness; a real torment. One morning, three months ago, i decided i'd come back to run. I resumed training and immediately i passed all the ailments; i'd already won, even before starting the race".


Dakar 1985 | La Cagiva gives itself Hubert Auriol

If anyone can judge BMW and Ligier-Cagiva, it's definitely Hubert Auriol., the thirty-French winner with the BMW of two Paris-Dakar, this year at Cagiva to develop the 750 Elefant. Of course Auriol admits the superiority of his current bike.

Auriol 1985

"I can't get that unbalanced – says – because I tried the Ligier-Cagiva only in the Rally of Algeria whose route is very different from that of the Paris-Dakar; the initial impression is that the power between the two bikes is more or less equivalent; the rear suspension of the Cagiva is much more efficient, as for weight I believe that the Ligier-Cagiva is about fifteen kilograms lower than the BMW, so...'

For the former BMW driver and 'king' of African races, the Cagiva is better

Malignants say you left bmw because of rivalry with Rahier, the former Belgian cross-countryman who was hired to back you up two years ago and in the last edition blew you the victory…

"And a simplistic explanation this: i changed teams for several reasons. After so many years spent with BMW I was looking for new stimuli, and collaborating with an enthusiastic team like that of Cagiva to realize a winning bike from nothing is a huge stimulus".


"No, he wasn't the cause.".

Auriol 1985 Copy

The Ligier-Cagiva team is actually Italian or French?

'Marinoni, Member of the Commission.. one of the pilots, it's Italian; two mechanics in tow are Italian, everybody else is French. We split up our homework: La Cagiva built the bike, modified it following our directions after the first tests; I, who have more experience of African racing than them, organized the team..

At the Rally of Algeria the Ligier-Cagiva suffered a current failure: the breakage of the gearbox bearings and the burning of the clutch discs. For the Dakar the problem will be solved with new bearings and with the adoption of an integral oil cooling circuit that lubricates gearbox and clutch.

Taken from Rhombus

cagiva-3 property

Dakar 1985 | La Cagiva Elefant, 1st 750 according to Giampaolo Marinoni

The Desert? For a bergamot accustomed to mountains like me it is still wonderful; I like to run there, I like African slopes. i like raids because they're a school of life, a way of feeling free". Yet Giampaolo Marinoni. 26 years, born in the province of Bergamo, a past as a professional runner in European regularity races, a militancy that still lasts in the fiamme oro sports group, those to which many cross-countrymen belong, still door on the face, days away, the signs of "his" desert.

Giampaolo Marinoni doesn't believe in BMW's superiority

Left hanging for the rupture of the clutch of the Ligier-Cagiva in the penultimate stage of the Rally algeria, Marinoni first walked a dozen kilometers alone in the sand, then he found a ride on the Yamaha 600 of ’American Stearns, finished out of maximum time, and finally he fell ruinously out of his face with the #8217;American because these, perhaps for breaking the rear suspension or for putting the wheels in two different grooves, had lost control of the bike in full straight.


Grudge against the Marinoni desert does not bring any: "I would be ready to start again today for another race", says. You won't have to wait long because the Paris-Dakar, the race in which he will take part on the Ligier-Cagiva alongside Auriol and Picard to counter the pace at BMW, Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki, will start in exactly a month: on January first. Marinoni and Auriol took the African race very seriously: The Ligier-Cagiva (but who knows why the name Ducati, which is the brand that supplied the engine and whose racing department has materially worked behind the bike is never mentioned…) the moment he debuts at Paris-Dakar he will have only two test races behind him: the Spanish Baja and the rally of Algeria novembrino; in this last race the Italian bike has highlighted enormous skills even if the fragility of some components, clutch in particular, they forced her to retire.

cagiva-4 property

The Ligier-Cagiva is fitted with the twin-cylinder L-shaped engine 4 times of 750 cc of Ducati: is the same engine used in endurance racing, even if the power is considerably lower. Bmw's engine is also twin-cylinder, but with boxer cylinders (in 180 degrees between them); the fact that the 980 bmw favourite derives from a much calmer road engine than ducati means that the Italian engine, comfortable in circuit racing, is less suitable for desert competitions?

Marinoni is not of this opinion, far from it. "I think the characteristics of the Ducati engine are very good for African races. Also because on the track Ducati uses engines that develop about 95/96 horses. In the desert you need much less power. This engine will have from the 65 To 75 horses: has been depowered to earn couple, shooting down. This engine from Africa, which is a 750, runs at lower speeds of the Ducati 650 road but it has a lot more progression: in 5000 laps already develops 52 of 70 horses of maximum power.' The rivalry between Ligier-Cagiva and BMW fuelled by the controversial statements of the representatives of the two teams. The German brand has swaggeringly stated that their twin-cylinders, '85 edition, winners a couple of months ago of the Faraoni Rally, develop today a hundred horses. At least thirty more than what Cagiva admits. Which, if it were true, would mean chance of getting higher top speeds.


Marinoni, on the other hand, judges these statements as pure pretactic. "I don't believe it; i like to say things like they're: I could declare you too 90 power horses without having them, BMW declares 100 horses c Rahier, their pilot, says that his empty bike, without gasoline, Weighs 140 Chili, what for me unheard of because everyone knows how to do the math: a motorcycle like the BMW, by series, can't weigh less than 155 Chili. Also admitting that the Germans worked around it to lighten it, they can't have earned, many kilos because too many are the components to add to a motorcycle for it to be able to face a Paris-Dakar. Components that have a mass. Then an engine 1000 how theirs needs certain masses to work. Only the BMW engine weighs 60 Chili; have ranges equal to our, the wheels are the same, the BMW cardan transmission I think weighs more of our chain; then where did they earn those 20-30 kilos compared to our Cagiva that come to 160-170 kg? Only with plastic tanks?».

One of the most curious changes made to the Ducati engine 750 of Ligier-Cagiva, compared to the road thruster, is the flip of the rear cylinder head. "The purpose of – marinoni explains – is to have both carburetors between the cylinders. The advantage is immediate: the carburetor behind the cilindro would receive too much hot air: this accommodation instead allows us to have the two carburetors close, at the capacity of the large air filter that has a direct suction from the frame through two ovalized holes". A serious problem in motorcycles for African races is the autonomy: must be able to cover at least 450-500 km without supplies. In addition, in the desert the average consumption increases dramatically because the sandy bottom, worsening adherence. often forces the engine and wheel to work empty; the gigantic tanks that inspired 'African' fashion are therefore explained.

The Cagiva, whose twin-cylinder engine is even less parked than others, bypassed the #8217;obstacle with two tanks. "The upper one contains 49 liters – marinoni says – plus we have one under the saddle from 14 liters; first we consume all the gasoline of the main tank so that you lower the center of gravity of the bike; lastly we use the secondary tank. We have a vacuum pump. that feeds carburetors. Of course with about sixty kilos of fuel in full tanks l’trim changes, you have to adjust accordingly before you leave.".

Taken from ROMBO
by Alberto Sabbatini



Nouakchott (Mauritania) – “Africa I made it practically by myself and this more than a merit is a trouble, the biggest trouble that can happen to those running a Paris-Dakar. I still don't know if I'll be the winner, I hope for the Cagiva, for the Italian public who expect to see their own bike for the first time win this race, but it's good for everyone to know how things are”.

Hubert Auriol, a nice big boy French, always cheerful, elegant in manners and in speaking, looks more like a fine theatre actor than one of the “Beasts” who face every year this walking madness that is the Paris-Dakar. Auriol is a veteran of this speed race along deserts, savannas and mountains, Saharan Africa knows every stone, every dune, every mirage and every arcane deception. Yet the other day he too fell into one of the thousand and unexpected traps of the desert.

Auriol 1987-2 Copy

In northern Mauritania runs an old mining railway. The world's heaviest train passes through: five locomotives of over 3,000 horses each and 10,000 tons of iron on the wagons. And every time it passes, small shards of track, sharp as swords, squirt at the edges of the mass. Auriol, Vatanen and many other competitors for fear of getting lost in the desert wanted to follow the railway route. But the punctures came in bursts one after the other.

Since traveling in solitude, due to the questionable disqualification of the other two Cagiva drivers, poor Auriol lives with the nightmare of punctures. Because in this race l’ racing assistance can only provide it to teammates or other good-hearted competitors. So those who are further down the leaderboard end up slowly cannibalizing the poor bikes of their comrades. Today a wheel, tomorrow a clutch, the day after tomorrow a carburetor.

But Auriol is just. In the previous days he had also tried to mount the magical Michelin tyres, that instead of the inner tube have an expanded rubber doughnut. La Michelin, though, had studied them for Japanese motorcycles having not paid much attention to the Italian motorcycle company. So on Auriol's bike that donut got too hot, until it becomes a mush. And then the pilot French not if the’ is felt more than risking. He put on his shoulder a little’ of chambers d’ Air, like old cyclists, and went on alone to fight the battle with his rival Neveu.

He had a’ hour advantage over him and with five punctures if l’ it's eaten almost all. “In hindsight – he said – it's easy to choose, but the night before I didn't feel like taking a risk”. Yesterday, in a’ other hard stage all to the compass, managed to get glued to the rival with a little trick. Charged more gasoline, determined never to stop for refueling. And there’ he did. Neveu, on the other hand, stopped, he started on the attack but at the finish line he had only a handful of seconds.


A win by Auriol for a house like Cagiva would be a boon. “What can make a Dakar – says Roberto Azzalin, head of the Italian team – I wouldn't know how to quantify it but one thing is certain: a victory at the Dakar is spoken in every remotest corner of the world and we have against all the’ Japanese industry. Just over a hundred people against thousands of specialists”. Right now 9 poor minutes divide Auriol and Neveu, Dakar is likely to end at the end of the year’ last moment.

Today c’ it's a very difficult stage, still all to be “Navigate” compass in the savannah of Senegal. The two are too experienced and too big to resort to tricks, but this year in the face of the hundreds of bewilderments in the desert, there are even competitors who have opened the hunt for the little boy to run for cover. Small, Light, son of blacks or Bedouins doesn't matter as long as he knows the slopes well. If they load it into your backpack and off to 180 per hour.

Better to have some’ weight extra but safe driving, so so at least they tell them. In cars, a’ other victory of Tambay, New1, which, however, does not bother Ari Vatanen's Peugeot that is the leader of the. The Peugeots are technically unbeatable for the power they have, but in the last few days they have risked several times to lose this race for the’ African inexperience of the Finnish pilot and the contrasts between him and his navigator, French Bernard Giroux, Tf1 commentator.

Before the morning start Vatanen sits at the wheel and in religious silence reads a passage from the Bible. He makes many good intentions but then in the race he does not trust his navigator and makes his head. After all, even his old fellow rallies had had had enough of him and his bad temper. On Sunday, Vatanen got lost in the desert, carrying other 104 cars hoping to smash it following the likely winner on a safe road.

Result: all stopped until late at night, they got caught 10 penalty hours. On Monday, he lost an hour on his direct opponent due to a puncture, French Zaniroli aboard a Range Rover. The ranking still says Vatanen, but it takes little to devil a victory that the house French has built with months of hard and skilful work on a car that, after being the queen of the rallies she is about to become the queen of Africa, as are the old ones today 504 where many of these countries continue to trudge overcharged on tracks where there are no other means of transport.

But the Dakar is not only the’ adventure of these dumbbell or steering wheel dies. And’ Also, and more often, the antechamber of death for many others. Yesterday came a poor wretch of French who had lost himself 10 days ago in the Niger desert. Two days and two nights still, sleeping at the’ I'm going to have no more water trying under the sun to repair his bike. Death was now there at a pace when luckily he was sighted by the “truck-broom” of the desert. A vehicle that travels with days and days of delay and picks up the damned of this race. To the poor, without needing to read the Bible, we offered a shower and a bed because he didn't have even a franc in his pocket. We asked him if he would ever do a Paris-Dakar and he answered: “And how could I live without?”.

Source Republic

Trolli 1996

Dakar 1996, the defeat Cagiva

The Ducati twin-cylinder was pretty much the same as the previous season, that is, the tried-and-tested 90-degree V-cylinder, 904 cc cam mast on the head and two valves for demodrobic-controlled cylinder. The gearbox is five-speed, multiple dry disc clutch. The bike brought into the race by Trolli develops about 80 cv of maximum power. The ignition is inductive discharge electronics with variable advance.

Pictured is the support of the engine built on site with an iron bar.

Pictured is the support of the engine built on site with an iron bar.

The Ohlins moshock with compression and extension braking adjustment is also the same, and the Marzocchi fork is also 45 mm with a & #8217; excursion 290 Mm. The changes relate in part to fairing with a more aerodynamic design, different suspension calibration and a slight forward shift of the guide, resulting in different positioning of the saddle and tank.

The platforms have also been moved to the back of the bike, to make driving easier. The capacity of the front tank is 22 liters, while the back one contains 25 liters. The chassis is virtually the same as that of the standard bike with the addition of some reinforcement handkerchiefs in the rear areas and at the height of the fork attachment. And’ at the top trellis in square-section steel tubes and with the lower cradle in light alloy square tubes.

Cyril Equirol

Cyril Equirol

The vehicles in the race recorded the breakdown of the upper support support of the engine. On the official means, this has been rectified by making a change studied and implemented (even with the help of local artisans) on-site. An iron bar reinforced and supported the thruster by tying the carter to the frame in the area under the tank. In 435 km from arrival to Labè in Guinea, Trolli had to say goodbye to the chase to Orioli because of the rupture of the engine.

In the previous stage the pleasure had been unlucky breaking the gas command and lingering further. Also broken Cyril Equirol and Alexander Nifontov, both forced to retire. The first of the ten Cagiva prepared by Azzalin came in seventh place, led by Spanish Oscar Gallardo.


Advertising Cagiva 1994


CAGIVA Edi Orioli Dakar model 1990

The African racing season offers us an opportunity to deal with scale models of motorcycle made for the great raid and made famous by companies of various Rahier, Neveu, Lara, Peterhansel and Orioli. Were prototypes developed around the concept of enduro bike, but refined to such an extent as to be considered real Formula one wilderness.

Matchless machines that made dream bikers of all ages and that today, disappeared from the scene because of the new regulations, survive in the form of scale models. Figures presented in this service. Some specimens’ particulars because we wanted to process them, creating a prototype according to our wishes. All models are made with great care, composed numerous pieces and given the relative magnitude of scale lend themselves very well to be used as a basis for other versions.




The Protar has different catalog, all nscala 1:9 the BMW 1000, the Yamaha Ténéré 660 in two versions Belgarda and Chesterfield and the Cagiva of 1987. It is from the latter that we started to make our version, that of 1990 winner of the Paris-Dakar with Edi Orioli. Picking an appropriate photo documentation we started the work. The chassis structurally unchanged was just edited in the Department with the adoption of a suspension upside down fork and a different swingarm.




The first one was completely rebuilt using, existing ones, the portion of the sheath with attacks for the wheel and the brake caliper, the reinforcement rib on the swingarm was achieved by cutting some plastic strips 1.5 mm pasted at the top with plenty of glue to simulate the welds, Finally shaped with fine sandpaper to get the final form. The engine is the same liquid-cooled twin-cylinder Ducati used by both versions, But what we realized is distinguished by the addition of an oil cooler and water pump of different size and position.




The oil cooler comes from Yamaha 660 Ténéré in the Protar, the support has been adapted from an existing sump Guard always shaped rib Yamaha. We used a water tank pump shock absorber. The addition of oil pipes, water and general care of the particular, as the painting of screws and other pieces in magnesium, completed engine Assembly.

The brakes before we painted gold-caliper, later we removed the lower anchor guy staring into the caliper support to the swingarm. Caliper painting and its Gold support and the connection for the liquid to the alloy swingarm have completed the work. For the group the two exhaust manifolds are unchanged, the final part was reconstructed using a piece of rubber hose full hot shaped.




For the silencer we started from a round shaped plastic in its original form and with plastic sheets from 0.5 mm we performed frame anchoring support band with a screw. At this point begins the most challenging part of the transformation, that is, the body. Stucco, sandpaper, patience and many photographs were allowed to shape, on the insides of the bottom of the tank and saddle pigtail. used to have the same attacks on the frame, the shapes of the new version.

Headlights and dome transparent come from Yamaha 660 Ténéré Chesterfield version of Protar. Dashboard, additional instrumentation, fanaliposteriori and gas caps are pieces we recovered from old or broken models (never throw anything away). The saddle was covered in black leather and hand guards we cleaned the lightening holes. Painting green and Red threads, applying the decals and, to finish, a coat of clear protection for prevent the decals be ruined over time, were the necessary finishing touches.

Many Thanks Massimo Moretti, creator of the model, for photos and text.


Dakar 1989 – The unforgettable Guinea

TAMRACOUNDA – Top view Guinea is an emerald set in the desert. For the crews of the 11th Paris Dakar, though, is a green hell, furrowed from the red laterite trails are treacherous roads, fast but slippery. On his third impact with the jungle the most grueling rally the world has rediscovered that isn't just the Ténéré to suffer. Guinea if will remember long Clay Regazzoni, Claudio Terruzzi, but Spanish too Prieto, and the two good Samaritans from team Assomoto Giuseppe Cannella and David Parks.

Special inhuman: running for 24 hours in the Green hell

Were the latter, in fact to pull away from his Mercedes partially destroyed by a lump of Clay didn't take penalty rollover.
We were about a kilometre 270 of the Special – tell these two guys in their thirties, of Brescia – When on a fast track to hump hump, We saw a wheeled machine for air. It was in a pool of gasoline and Navigator who was already out, He was bleeding from his arm. We recognize him: It was Dane, Clay was still inside and was trying to get rid. Careless that time flowed, Joseph and David they accommodated Regazzoni outside of the machine, leaning on a Boulder because his wheelchair was destroyed, medicated and Dane.
No one stopped to help us out – remember the two – one threw us bottled water out the window.
Past people who had no problem of ranking… We do not understand, When everyone feels special samples.

Taddy Cagiva 1989-3

It stopped, Instead, Claudio Terruzzi and Klaus Seppi. A history of Dakar, a snippet that, along with other, Rebuilds one of the toughest days of the rally.
É was a special inhuman – says bluntly Terruzzi, got to camp at night – before meeting Regazzoni I had seen all the colors. I ended up in a Ford at km 130 I was walking because my Cagiva went to a cylinder. Suddenly, While I was with the water for life. the engine is ' taken ' and slid to the bottom slippery. It took me an hour to draw out the bike from Ford, Thanks to the help of some guys who came from a nearby village, and with them I started to disassemble the bike to try to make it restart.
There are finally managed, but a flashback set fire to makeshift air filter and one of my helpers, afraid, threw a handful of Earth in Carburetors… Luckily while I was busy to disassemble everything again and got Sad, my assistance, with the car, that pulled me out. I was sad when he left behind say all these kids who had been busy to help me, but I more think when, in the dark I found myself having to do the track behind the car.

Terruzzi Orioli

In a fuss that limited visibility to a few meters Terruzzi fell, hit a cow, and rebooted again pulling blindly, but he couldn't avoid the penalty.
And say – Remember – that was a great start… before me I only had two tracks. I must have been third before falling into the damn Ford… the road book was done by dogs, for a coat I have risked my dry skin in left turn, which then tumbled Magnaldi.

Sabri, that helped him in the evening with him at camp. Another piece fits into the puzzle of special Bamako – Labè.
We all had a deep Ford, us machines – fast assistance tells Cagiva – theno water there was the Nissan with Prieto. He couldn't go out. He was driving, While his second had dived to fix the slides under the wheels. Came and went, in that muddy water, when suddenly I heard him shout. Li per li didn't understand, then I saw him hold Prieto, that was in the water unconscious, for underarms. The muffler sfiatava inside the body and he, breathing carbon monoxide, He had fallen asleep, slumping driving. He had barely had the strength to open the door before you go wild in the water. Fortunately that, in all the confusion the Navigator if you noticed.


It's the day after tomorrow when, with a machine of doctors, get Regazzoni at the bivouac. Dirty, unshaven, is almost unrecognizable, but not tired, nor unpacked. The longest day of the Dakar will close in his story.
I can't figure out – He says shaking his head – We were fresh off the hardest part of special when in a straight Red Earth, the car got sideways. I checked for a while, but then I shot off. It stopped after four spins with the wheels in the air. Smelt of petrol and a priest moan. Then came the two Italian riders who helped me to get out.

While people continue to leave the special Clay speaks. Are the trucks that didn't made it in the night. Let's review the bivouac dark, devoid of light generators, and those few trucks arrived as a foothold for all. The special Bamako – Labè lasted exactly 24 hours. Nobody saw it coming so hard.