Ermanno Ban shooting at Fabio Marcaccini the pictures on the beach Dakar in 1989.
The dream was running a Dakar riding a motorcycle tailored: Maximum Montebelli and Fabio Marcaccini thought for the first time on a bike intended to run in African rallies during a night buianel January 1988 When, in the company of several other private pilots were forced to withdraw from the race course of the long leg (In addition 800 kilometers) that led the pilots of the Paris Dakar from Bordj Omar Driss in Tamanrasset. To return the two began the creation of increasingly popular special designed to run in the classic Africa.
The Wild Bikes prepared for the season 1991-92 He had already won with Marcaccini on 13rd place in the tenth edition of the Rallye des Pharaons and is ready for the first participation of Dakar.
This special is built around the single-cylinder Yamaha that Mans XTZ 660 Ténéré. The engine is the part subjected to minor changes. Only the profile of the cams, controlling the 5 distribution valves was vicious to increase power. On any other component we wanted to intervene, thus preserving the robustness and reliability of the Yamaha single-cylinder. Even the electric starter was kept, which on one hand penalizes a few pounds the bike, on the other hand, proves very useful in lighting after the inevitable falls and related flooding. Water cooling uses a large frontal radiator taken from a Cagiva Mito on which was mounted a electric fan, driven both by a thermostat and manually by the pilot via a button on the handlebars.
Strictly series is also the dual carburetor body YDIS, that has changed only the adjustment, adding a little carburation. The engine is not only a happy exception. The original Yamaha 660 Ténéré, Hence the Wild Bike stems, only the registration numbers on the tube of the frame. Everything else was rebuilt with materials and geometries, starting from the angle of the Steering head who is now 28°. Quite remarkable for a bike that, Although special, remains a-road bikes. But in the desert, in the sand, more than agility we need a great stability in mixed-fast features of African roads.
Dry the bike, excluding 55 LT fuel contained in the tanks, weighs only 165 kg. A very good if we don't think we are faced with a master from some official team, with so many resources and technologies but before the result of the work and passion of a group of motorcycle enthusiasts, dividing head office and workshop with a carpentry workshop in an old farmhouse. Of course, massive was the use of special materials and the end result is not achieved at the expense of general reliability: of the three motion presented by Wild Parisian Paris-Dakar Team at the start of the 1991, not one presented during the race problems and sagging.
All three could get the satisfaction of supporting the wheels on the beach in Dakar with good positions. The chassis has undergone radical cure and remade virtually from scratch. The end result is the result of experience at the forefront of motorcycle riders boarding only and open the gas, but that they spend the night between one stage and the other working on their middle. The project focused on the search for greater resistance in the most stressed areas (as attacks the Steering and shock absorber), and defining a different weight distribution (with a clear imbalance towards the rear, that helps the front wheel to float on the sand thus enhancing easy-riding the bike).
For the construction of the cradle, adopting the classic solution to split motor ship, Columbus tubes have been used known chrome-moly TIG welded with the process (Tungsten Inert Gas). Frame and swingarm have been tempering treatment, to balance the different stiffness between pipes and welding to prevent breakage for different loads tensions.
Proud of your work, the boys of Wild Team do not hide the help and recommendations received by BYRD Although accepted and processed independently, starting with the design of the rear and its kinematics porcellone crux of the bike and its guide. The swingarm, in Anticorodal, It is now well 32 mm longer than the one mounted on the Yamaha 600 TT and with extraordinary stiffness.
Of course completely revised was the Mono-shock suspension group, He now uses components of White Power, that, In addition to materials, provided the team advising. Before you put a fork of 40 mm upside down. A solution is not common among the bikes dakariane, but that, According to the pilots, has led to a considerable increase in torsional rigidity of the fork, absorbing magnificently the warping which are imprinted on the front when approaching at high speed bumps and oued, or when braking.
The plates, avional, am billet with a fully manual processing by company Martini Gambettola (FC). The tank is made of aluminum and divided into two semi autonomous shells lashed to the chassis central beam on silent blocks. The latter one, kevlar, doubles as a crib, claiming saddle and rider. Fuel transfer between the two tanks is connected via a vacuum pump, operated from playing carburetor air flow which is connected with a pipe. The left side of the Central tank has a large hole for draining engine hot air flow and is provided with a hole for radio balises.
Between the two halves, above the upper beam that also functions as a motor oil tank, place the battery, It depends upon the operation of the entire electrical installation. Next to the battery is place the air filter element. Paper type, is from none other than by Fiat Uno diesel, and is protected by a box made of aluminium with holes at the rear air inlet. Under the front frame cradle is placed a small tank contentnente 5 litres of water required for regulation.
Mountain wheels magnesium hubs and alloy rims from channels in the classic measures of 2.50×18"and 1.85×21”, on which are mounted Michelin with mousse both front and back. The brakes are sourced BYRD, with before a disk 300 mm and caliper YZ (mounted on models cross of Yamaha) Double piston and back a disk 230 mm Brembo double piston caliper contrasted. Both disks that are floating pumps. Pinion and Crown are made of special alloy from the firm Chiaravalli, that gives the team the chain mod. GY520X0, from exceptional strength during the last Paris Dakar has not had to be replaced!
The bridge is impressive as that of a steamer. front Ergal handlebar, mounting commands and original packing Yamaha, dominates the road book MD electrically controlled. Above and below your trip master: the main one of ICO and the secondary, for the running totals, Honda backgrounds. Sideways is a gyro compass of aeronautical derivation mounted on anti-vibration pads.
Text and photos Fabio Marcaccini
The city of Agadez is remembered in the history of the Paris Dakar as the day of rest. The race would stop for an entire day to catch your breath, licking your wounds and compose himself a bit.
The Organization needed to take stock of the situation for the second half of the race and count the survivors.
The official teams of cars and motorcycles usually rented a whole House,preferably with garden enclosed by high walls of fences in order to completely redo the means in race.
The mechanics of large airborne team expected riders motorcycle with hand tools already and every good things ready ... new complete wheels with tires mounted, chains,suspensions,everything possible was being replaced or regenerated ... including the pilot that could be finally a shower, eat two square meals and relax a bit in the second half of the race.
The previous stage Agadez was usually long and grueling, I never understood though because the organization wanted to decimate the pilots to take up in Dakar or because he had then time retrieving it the next day ... For private drivers, the rest day did not exist !
Indeed you were bad, It was a beautiful day soon!
It was the only chance to try and compose himself a bit, There were no meccanici waiting and crates of fresh ready to assemble parts, case book or rooms reserved at the Hotel.
I remember well the "horrendous" stage N'Guigmi-Agadez, during the 12th Edition which led to some much-needed rest day ... or as I prefer to call it I.
Early morning departure, motorcyclists, one every minute, After 100 meters took a lead on the left, before all the big fighting for victory, then we were running the race against race led by one goal ... to get to Dakar !
I had already taken a penalty for various problems in the days leading up to the bike and I left around the fortieth position, but the pass was from first 20, then once started I began immediately to chase the dust of who was ahead of, party before me.
The bike was the fruit, the suspension ended, as well as the tires and all that ... but after a while there were more case, were you trying to push as much as possible to pick up front.
Well, When he touched me so about 40 minutes after the departure of the first ... I see a white Toyota TSO that instead of turning left as all the riders that had preceded it passes a small dune in front of the departure ... and pulls straight: ready to go I decided to follow her!
The track was initially well defined and notes on the road-book returned all, the only thing that came back was the fact that there was dust in the rider's front office bldgs..
Kilometre after kilometre couldn't live with reason, the notes came there were references but there was the shadow of the other drivers in the race ... was the Ténéré I wasn't on the promenade of Riccione!
The stomach I shut a bit and every now and then I would stop watching the Michelin map, which always carried with me, There was no Gps! Just a small pocket Compass bought at hunting and fishing under the House before we left and one on the handlebar, one of those from ultralight that whilst you were spinning like a top.
After four hundred kilometres, the special was by 870...si 870, I see the helicopter of Sabine father that settles on a Dune later, gets out and begins to wave our arms about to call me, I look around as if to say you say me ? Yes, It was just me, He said to me.
I go by Sabine and asks me, of course in French, with tone quite worried:
on the Road-book notes are fine, the track and the road book return?
I always reply in French but with unmistakable accent of Romagna:
"Oui bien sur Monsieur Sabine Tout Bien! “
And he: “ go you're leading the race, you were the one to take the Bonne slopes !
I hadn't yet met a single concorrente...ma all came. And I didn't have anything wrong, were others who, failed the pop, all behind, I was in the lead, me and my motina who stood together with the straps and finished tires.
After a while comes Orioli with Cagiva che mi passa at twice the speed ... then Rahier Suzuki ... I thought SIN, I got a taste, but there were more than 400 kilometers in Ténéré with sandbanks infiniti and a chance to get bogged down or getting lost more 1000 times.
It was nice while it lasted!
Returning to Agadez, I got there late at night, in seventh place, and I guarantee that considering my condition, It was as if I'd won special! When you come to Agadez at night from an individual is a mess, There is nobody waiting for you and don't really know where to go, not your usual bivouac, begin to spin and to look for someone you know who can tell you where you can sleep eat, and do your first shower after Paris.
But my thoughts after drinking a beer in the first kiosk was to find a place on the dusty road to fix the bike, change the tires and replace the air filter (I rode on my bike that Renault's paper 12, car very prevalent at the time in Africa, and then also to Agadez).
I wasn't thinking about the next day's rest, adrenaline racing doesn't it feel real tiredness, six destroyed but think the next step, to what you have to do to survive in the race, that consumes you slowly.
If the stories now waiting with the camper and the cleaner no one believes, did you have to go to latch, If you don't find new tires from some team that lost for the pilots had to replace those discarded by big, and definitely were better than your. Go over everything they can, change the oil, Clip fasteners and solder if there was to be welded.
If you had luck and truck on which you rented your small space, It was still in the race we came your things and your ricambi...in salad, completely covered up and eroded by abrasion and vibration of a piece against each other in the truck on the track.
If you had a sweatshirt and a pair of trousers on the truck were certainly not fresh but they were definitely better than the Dainese you had on me about ten days.
Well from this salad had to retrieve your pieces and change everything, chain rack and pinion, adjust the best way possible everything you had destroyed in the early 10 race days and introduced at the start of the next day with a minimum of dignity!
The shower and thought to get a little’ physically it was really the least of the problems.
And they called him the day off.
Clay Ragazzoni and Fabio Marcaccini at Dakar 1989
Hello Fabio, Maybe you can be described as "motorcycle rider" in the broadest sense of the word, Since you took both offroad and on the track. Which of these disciplines gave you the most satisfaction?
I started in cross at the regional level for a couple of years, later on the track for several Italian championships and a couple of Europeans in Italy Team. Then the Dakar and Pharaohs. I also played the role of test driver for Bimota for a short time. We cannot say what has given me more satisfaction, because everything is tied to a very specific period of my life, I've always liked change, take on new challenges, I'm not a nostalgic, I like to look ahead!
How many Dakar you participated? How many of these were you able to complete?
I attended five Dakar, the first time at the 1987. We are talking about the last century. I remember every single day and all of the sacrifices made to be at the start for five consecutive years.
In the first edition have remained without gasoline causes a failure to supply. The supply trucks to motorcycles is reversed on the runway ... 10 hours in the desert begging a few litres from moving car; I tried in every way to reach the bivouac and departed on the next step but when I arrived there the following morning was too late, There was no one left and I had to withdraw.
The last I've finished for breaking off the bike. Three times out of five have finished the race on Lake Rose.
Did you run strictly by private, your bike you prepare alone?
I ran always with home-built bike, Yamaha based. With Malik had founded the Wild Team and the name says it all ! I can safely say that our motorcycles were among the finest and attention to detail, Sturdy and well built. How many nights spent in the workshop to prepare the bikes, in an old farmhouse ... people would arrive at all hours, There were friends who on Saturday night accompanied the GF at home and come back to get their hands dirty at three in the morning, We were always late ! If I think about it now, as we were without internet and phone I don't know ... There was a kind of Tom-Tom, the things we knew by hearsay, Africa was really far away and be the first of the year at the start for us was already a success, everything else, He lived intensely minute by minute, winging it. The mechanic by plane ... who has ever had. By day and by night mechanic motorcycle racer.
Which bike, among those with whom you have competed, gave you the most satisfaction to ride and you are most fond?
In the eleventh edition we left with three home-built bike Yamaha TT-based 600. We were in the same team I, Maximum Montebelli and Giampaolo Abbasi. All three have finished the race and as a reward, Racing Department Manager Daniele Papi at the time Byrd, for the following year gave us several pieces officers and the opportunity to spend a few days in their Office in Gerno di Lesmo.
The result was fantastic! We built everything in the House, frame, rear tank carrier, linkages, swing arm, fairings. The bike was very similar to the official single from 750 cc of the previous year, on which we mounted the engine 660 slightly revised ...
That bike was nice to see and drive was awesome, the Pharaohs with more than 20 official bikes, absolute 13 stools; as usual without any assistenza...se no that Wild Team was?
Have you been buddy of the unforgettable Massimo Montebelli, How do you like to remember him?
Maximus was a mechanical genius and also a nice handcuff, more the challenge was great and was great the desire to deal with it.
It all began so: one August day I rang the doorbell of his apartment and he appeared at the window of the kitchen, I asked him if he wanted to come with me to Africa to see some stage of Dakar and Most replied that us the Dakar was better if we used to go as competitors than as mere spectators.
In December we were in Paris at the start as competitors nr 174 and 175, without a penny in my pocket but with energy to spare. A dream come true for me and for him.
With the maximum time had become a reference point for those who wanted to participate in the Dakar or just take a trip to Africa, a true specialist. Built works of art. The Aprilia who made the third place with Chialego Lopez a few years ago in Argentina was a realization.
One day a couple of years ago I went to see him in the workshop and speaking of Dakar from overseas told me: “try having a problem in Argentina and have the same problem in Mauritania… I say that is not the same thing”. Loved Africa and she was right.
With him I think he's gone a piece of history of Dakar, the real one as he liked to call him, had won the Marathon class at Paris le Cap on the same team with Meoni, the Yamaha Byrd. I like to think that we have found ourselves up there and continue to talk about racing sand dunes and special stages.
In your opinion, which one do you think has been the most complete rider of Dakar "African"?
If we speak of the times when I run I, definitely Edy Orioli.
Your "mal d'africa" How's it going, everything under control? 🙂
When I stopped racing I began to travel by motorcycle, I made several long intercontinental travel, India, Africa and South America.
But there is no place in the world to do in motion comparable to Africa. A few years ago I did Cairo Cape Town with the GS, in Africa going back there ever again. In short, everything under control!
Once upon a time ... can you tell a curious anecdote related to Dakar?
I think like all those who participated in the contest in those years I could write a book about the anecdotes of Dakar.
I always thought about the folly of so many people leaving with the aim to arrive at the end of a grueling and difficult race like the Dakar. Madness that makes you do things that normally you wouldn't have even dreamed. For example,, at one stage in the Ténéré ... I lost my headlights, When night came I drove 10 MT before the truck to try to see something ... then by dint of fall I broke the top plate of the fork and in those conditions at night I finished the stage.
Roaming at night there wasn't any kind of assistance or food and having contracted with local on tank of gas in total darkness, I went to my friend Massimo del Prete which was the Copilot of the mythical Clay Regazzoni. I was exhausted and disheartened, resigned to retirement.
Clay gave me something to eat .... and Max took a ratcheting strap from their car and I tied any way the fork.
The following morning at the start I tried to hide in order not to see the Commissioners what condition I was leaving.
The stage was 870 km and the Dakar that year I ended!
Now what do you do?
I deal with design, developing new ideas and product industrialization. Special parts or project bike conversion kit,, prototypes commissioned by the client or company, Let's say that I combined work and passion.
Then a few years ago I built the R1200 GS/S, a kit to transform in a few hours the GS 1200 in a replica of the old R80 PD.
I opened my site selling online and after a couple of hours started to get orders from all over the world.
Now my site is a point of reference for all those who want to customize their bikes. Seeing is believing www.unitgarage.it