DAKAR 1985 | Honda, magnesium for the engine!

The Hondas that took part in the Paris-Dakar are derived from the new XL 600 L Electric Starter, of which deliveries in Italy are starting in this period. In the racing version, however, it has been preserved, for weight matters, kick starter. The frame is the standard one with the rear part decomposable instead of fixed.

And’ the solution of the bolted rear has been chosen to allow a faster intervention on the suspension, the classic Pro-Link. The step is longer (1550 millimeters against 1410) to ensure greater stability at high speeds on desert tracks. The lengthening of the wheelbase was achieved by working on the front end and with the adoption of a longer swingarm.




The forks are aesthetically the same as those of standard, but have been modified both as calibration, with the adoption of springs suitable for the greatest weight, than as braking, with a different system of pumps inside. The monoshock is also modified in the calibration and braking system. The braking system is standard, with a disc at the front 240 millimeters and a double piston floating caliper.

Wheels are traditional (in the standard motorcycle, on the other hand, new concept wheels are mounted in which the radius has the fixing system on the hub instead of on the rim). Depending on the terrain, inner tubes or mousses were used. The engine has a special magnesium alloy crankcase, to save weight, while the cylinder is made of cast iron like that-the normal.




They have been prepared two versions, one of 591 displacement, the other of 630 (the standard engine is a 589). In the race was used the 591, for which Honda declares a power to the wheel of about 44 horses in 6600 RPM. In both versions we intervened both on the bore and on the stroke (97 x 80 and 100,3 X 80 against the 100 x 75 of the standard engine), and for-so the crankshaft was made specially. The camshaft is special, and offers the advantage of better use at low revs.

The compression ratio has been increased to 9 : 1 (from 8,6 : 1). The carburetors and the clutch are the standard ones, while a slightly shorter fifth ratio has been adopted in the gearbox. The air filter, composed of two normal sponge filters, is placed in the back of the tank. Under the seat, instead of the original filter, there is the additional tank of gasoline. The capacity is 32 litres for the main tank and 11 for the one under the saddle.




The fairing encloses the headlight and the oil cooler, an additional headlight is mounted next to it. The instrumentation, including the trip-master, is electronic.
La Honda, derived from the new XL 600 L Electric Starter, exploits fairly sophisticated technical solutions, like the magnesium alloy cast crankcase.

In the photos: the air filter at the back of the tank; the handlebar with the cassette for the "road-book" and the digital instrumentation; you can also see the additional headlight mounted on the side of the fairing.

Article taken from Motociclismo April 1985


Goal Dakar, 50 Africa Twin per the Dakar 1989

“Make those who start suffer and make those who remain dream” was the motto of Thierry Sabine's Paris-Dakar, died on 14 January 1986. Two years later, on the occasion of the release of the Africa Twin, Honda France offered to 50 by “those who usually stay” to also participate in the Dakar 1989.

In 1988, Hervé Guio, the head of Honda France, had already christened the new XRV 650 Rd 03 with the brilliant trade name of Africa Twin (will do so again with the first names of the Transalp and of the Dominator). François Charliat was then responsible for advertising and promoting the network. In his spare time, at the beginning of January, was also a water carrier for hrc's official top riders. After the Dakar of the 1988, that didn't end, his NXR went up in smoke due to a leak in the tank, Charliat was also offered a leadership position in the Honda team for the following year. “I refused. I didn't feel legitimized. I was able to go to the 90% for a long time, but I couldn't go any further like the ones that preceded me. I preferred to stop. “

A godsend to Hervé Guio, who quickly found a substitute for him. It was not the Neveu and the Lalay who had the task of aiming for victory in Dakar, but 50 Private! At the exit of the Africa Twin, Hervé Guio, on a night of drunkenness or i don't know what occasion, said in front of an audience of journalists: “This is the bike of the Dakar, it's Charliat who developed it with the Japanese, it's the perfect bike for a private, true François? And we're going to do a great operation 50 Africa Twin in Dakar“. After this announcement, told me: “Well, François, you have to do it yourself. How much you need? What you need for the bike?”. “

Different times, different customs! This is not Charliat's first hot potato. He's already had to improvise a Supermotard Challenge trophy. “following an error of order on the volume of the 500 Cr“, the largest 2T cross bike of the time, it's not the easiest to sell! He was put in charge of an adventure that was officially called Goal Dakar. “It was a program that depended on R&S. There was always competition between R's departments&S and HRC, it was a little bit’ like the workers against the gentlemen”, says Charliat who remembers the preparations and specifications that he himself drafted.

The Japanese came to visit us in Paris and asked us what to do on the bike.

We were in the Marathon category. So we had to change some things. I had the cartridges changed in the forks, the shock absorber instead was prepared at home, so much no one would come to check. And the fuel tank had almost doubled in capacity. The bike could not be lightened (270 kg in marathon version). It was what it was.


We had also reinforced the cup and integrated the water tank as disre already. The bike was tested twice in Japan, then two months before the Dakar, the 50 motorcycles were delivered to Paris. It's a special series, with engine and chassis serial numbers beginning with 5. In the parking lot of Honda France, looks like a battlefield. Military tents are set up to accommodate these 50 motorcycles and pieces from Japan, service equipment, all this guarded day and night.

We also had to take care of finding the support vehicles. We had three trucks, two Unimog 4×4 plus a Kamaz 6×6 rented in Switzerland. We have organized a competition for network mechanics. There were ten of them in one of the organization's planes, plus one on every truck. As many drivers and even three warehouse workers. In total, 21 People with my deputy and I to oversee the operation!


"All included, For 81.500 Franks at the time, Honda provided candidates with a complete motorcycle and service package with ten mechanics. “I told myself that the guys who left for the Dakar have often forgotten a lot of things. They tried to make a nice bike, but they often didn't have the tools to repair a simple drilling, no easel to work on in the evening, not the right jacket in which to put the cards. With my six or seven years of experience, I made sure they had a kit ready for the race."


Although the bike was not a missile, fine. But you had to know how to bring it, it wasn't really a motorcycle for beginners, but two-thirds of them were. He was taught to read a roadbook. It was the age of the first scrollers. I also had some of them make sandwiches before they started.. The boys didn't take care of anything! “A budget for spare parts of 15.000 francs is part of the package, each piece used is then deducted later.

Taken from:


HONDA NXR 750 Tamiya model François Charliat

After several articles devoted to road bikes or racing, This time we're back speaking of offroad extreme, because the protagonist is the Queen of this kind of races, i.e. the Paris-Dakar. The model under consideration is the Honda NXR 750, African Marathon winner 1986 with Frenchman Cyril Neveu. The bike, a liquid-cooled twin-cylinder, specially made for this type of racing from the HRC, the Racing Division of the House of the rising sun, developed more than 70 HP liquid-cooled and was the first motorcycle to win the tough African competition. The scale model 1:12 is made by Tamiya Japanese.

Inside the fairing is the digital dashboard with the compass road book placed on the handlebar. The chassis allows for perfectly the engine block with the muffler and various sleeves.

Inside the fairing is the digital dashboard with the compass road book placed on the handlebar. The chassis allows for perfectly the engine block with the muffler and various sleeves.

We start the installation after studying the various pieces that make up the Kit. As always the quality is high, with printed well finished and free from processing burrs, and with metal parts, as the rear shock absorber spring and the protective Grill of the etched plate headlights. Following the directions on the painting of various engine parts, We begin the Assembly with the inclusion of the various cables and hoses supplied. The frame, in two pieces, welcomes the engine block to which are added the potholes and the latest accessories that complement.

Useful directions to cut perfectly tailored various pipes made of two different diameters to differentiate that way cables from handgrip. At this point let the chassis Assembly starting from the swingarm. The chain is made in one piece and also includes the Crown. As for the wheels, you have to make sure that the two halves of the circles are securely glued and the glue has dried before mounting the tyre, in order to prevent the rim to unfold. The rear shock, Despite being fixed, consists of several pieces which make it very true to the original. Starting the Assembly of superstructures must arrange for coloring of some details.

Even for Honda NXR 750, reproduced in scale 1.12 from Tamiya, the quality of the various components is high. The prints are in fact well turned out. Several metal details, including the rear shock absorber spring.

Since the Golden band of the Division is accomplished by simply color the decal blue zone extending it a few millimetres beyond the decal for the latter to overcome the colour and then give a line of perfect Union. A Council: make sure that the color is completely dry before placing the extra tank decal with the pigtail is the first piece of bodywork to fit. We then move on to the mounting of radiators with the support frame and is completed by the inclusion of various sleeves.

The tank split in half is the other component of car body which tackles before moving on to the fork mounting, with its front wheel seat and door plates side number complete the mounting of the rear area. Inside the fairing place, placed in a special support frame, the headlight headlamp and the digital dashboard with compass. The road-book is placed on the handlebar and should be completed with the printed instructions faithfully reproducing some notes of course. Mounting the fairing is the final step to complete our model. The protective Polish for decals (making them uniform with painted areas) is the final touch for this Honda NXR 750 reminiscent of the wide expanses of sand, the dunes and the charm of the great African raid.


Unfortunate Dakar 1991 to Gauri

The previous year was the best by private persons, in 1991 must try now to preserve the Platonic title. A task, not easy for the pilot-old bergamasco, He still has from his participation in the Dakar rally and thirty seven Gauri 1991Africans. Has a & #8217; enviable experience combined with a great skill in public relations.

Switched to Honda after years with Suzuki, race riding a & #8217; Africa Twin in marathon not having had the time to prepare the bike for category proto: l & #8217; agreement with Italian importer #8217; in fact was reached and only all & #8217; last time, so much so that the sympathetic «Gualo» (but his real name is Giusi) He had to skip the Pharaohs. For assistance has a truck #8217; & Mercedes Unimog led by Dell & #8217; Anna Dalvie, from the Camel Trophy, and Claudio Macario, Airborne mechanic.

Source: Motosprint
N.d. r. Beppe Gaulini retired after only 3 stages, working off a broken collarbone.
Many thanks Roberto Pacheco who gave us the images

AutoSave-File vom d-lab2/3 der AgfaPhoto GmbH

Paolo Paladini Dakar 1991

A heroic Paul Paladins do you portray during the Dakar 1991. Behind him the bike with a Honda Marathon she finished 10 Boluda° in absolute!!

Balestrieri 1986-3

Hau and Crossbowmen Dakar 1986

Heddy Hau chasing a leathery Vinod B on the podium in the final standings of the Dakar 1986.

Damalie 1989-2

Damalie Dakar 1989

Daures during the Dakar 1989, full throttle and fly over the difficulties! For the record ended at 8th place.

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.



Honda Africa Twin Marathon Dakar 1989

The wild bunch of Honda Africa Twin Marathon Edition 1989.
You recognize: #130 Roberto Boano, #35 Jean-Bruno Barguil, #35 Sylvain Richet, #136 Gerard-Louis Filiat, #143 Didier Favolini, #172 Jean Brucy, #152 Bernard Lakey, #174 Bernard Favereau, #163 Pascal Maison, #147 Dominique Auzanneau.