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Cyril Neveu: in 1984 I'll drive!

At the end of the Fifth Edition (1983 NDR.) the Paris-Dakar race won by Auriol, its main antagonist, Cyril Neveu, Maybe has given the biggest news of the day. Neveu 1983

"I don't know if I'll return to ride a bike — said the pilot 26 enne — riders in this race are forced to risk too much and testimony are the large number of crushed not to mention due to the possibility of fatal accidents. as unfortunately happened this year. This situation got me thinking so I hope that someone in 1984 Decides to put myself in his hands a steering wheel rather than a dumbbell”.

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.



Cyril Neveu Dakar 1979

Cyril Neveu escorted by “Fennel” during the first Dakar 1979


Cover Magazine Moto Verte 1979

A cute Cyril Neveu astride a donkey, celebrates victory in Dakar 1979


Cyril Neveu: the first of the first!

Cyril Neveu was 21 years old when she decided to line up at the start of the first Dakar in 1978. Father and brother as assistants, and the only experience in Abidjan – Nice the previous year. He had a past major motorcycle and, by his own admission, was nothing more than a "Slacker". Had the money counted to go, and chose a Yamaha XT500, the same with which Thierry Sabine had participated in the historic Abidjan-nice because it was a means not velocissimo, even for its time, but strong. A British motorcycle built ... in Japan, so reliable.

Despite having been French enduro champion, Neveu had no particular ambitions for success. He wanted to live the adventure, and so we first had to get to Dakar. The rest would come from only. So it was that, from day one, Neveu turned pilot smart and cunning, opportunistic and very "smooth". With this simple race strategy was able to run the least risk and progress even in the ranking.

Neveu, in that first edition of Dakar, won not for driving skills, but because he knew how to use those features unknown in Motorsports that would become crucial to Dakar: wisdom, concentration and perseverance. Neveu went top of the first edition of the Dakar rally during the sixth stage between Gao and Bamako, When the leader Schaal was forced to retire. The next day, between Bamako and Nioro du Sahel, only one competitor arrive in time to arrive, Philippe Vassard.

Thierry Sabine, However, He introduced one of the key rules of Dakar, prolonging the time of arrival until the start of the next leg. Neveu was then readmitted in the race, and remained in the lead up to the arrival in Dakar.

The first victory opened up the doors of Fame Neveu, and with the advent of the great epic of official Houses, even the economic success. Neveu racing with Yamaha and Cagiva, and Honda gave him the legendary NXR bicilindrica.

His record of five victories was able to withstand up to 1998, year in which Stephane Péterhansel won his sixth Dakar official Yamaha. He retired from racing, Neveu remained "in the environment", assuming the leadership of the only Rally that had never won, the Tunisia. ( source)