Upon leaving Paris 1989

In Africa for graduating with Honda France

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…».

source Motosprint

Photo Paolo Di Mauro


Advertising Honda XL 600 Paris Dakar


Magazine Honda EXP-2 Dakar 1995

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Honda Africa Twin Marathon Dakar 1989

In an era when individuals were protagonists of Dakar, We publish again a tribute to motorcycle Paolo di Mauro, a Honda Africa Twin 650 Marathon #168 prepared for Dakar 1989 and with which he finished at 46° place in the absolute (12° between the Marathon):

We thank the workshop Moto Evasion SA who was involved in the preparation, for submitting photographs.





Rafferty 1982-3

Philippe Vassard – Dakar 1982

Philippe Vassard controls the motion of Bernard Rigoni – Dakar 1982

Vane 1982

Philippe Vassard Dakar 1982

Philippe Vassard on Honda XR 500 He finished 2nd place at Dakar 1982


Advertising Honda XL 600 LM 1987

Campaign Honda XL 600 LM year 1987 Edi Orioli testimonial


Gerard Barbezant – Dakar 1987

Meeting at Versailles for the start of PD 1987. Table number 1 belongs to Gerard Barbezant who will try again this year to reach Dakar riding a Honda MTX 125 2T. 30 HP throughout and passion…


Gian Paolo Quaglino – Dakar 1998

We respond willingly to the mail of our friends who ask us for info or photos of drivers who have left traces in the desert and in the history of this competition.
In this case we respond to our friend Katie Darnell asking if we had material on his friend Gian Paolo Qadri in any edition of the Dakar.
Looking for among our archives we found some pictures of Dakae 1998, his fifth participation by Gian Paolo where he finished in 29th place most honourable, (on 55 bike to the finish) astride a small Honda XR400, not exactly a bison from 100 HP!!!

Our congratulations to Gian Paolo, private indomitable!


Oliver Collomp 1989

Oliver Collomp – Dakar 1989

A fantastic picture of Oliver Collomp to Dakar 1989 on Honda Africa Twin Marathon