Honda CRF450 Dakar Rally Motorcycle
The unveiling of new production motorcycles is nothing new at INTERMOT, the International Motorcycle, Scooter and Bicycle Fair held in Cologne, Germany.
But on Tuesday at INTERMOT, Honda entertained the crowd with different type of unveiling, the manufacturer displaying its CRF450 Rally that will compete at the 2013 Dakar Rally this January.
The CRF450 Rally is based on the production CRF450X enduro, and features Honda’s Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI*) electronic fuel injection system to ensure fuel efficiency and durability.
Not many details were released on the CRF450 Rally, but Honda reports the model is currently undergoing development testing in Japan. The CRF450 Rally will then compete in its first race at the Morocco Rally Oct. 5. with the five-rider team that will compete at 2013 Dakar – 11-time Baja 1000 champion Johnny Campbell (USA), Helder Rodrigues (Portugal), Felipe Zanol (Brazil), Sam Sunderland (United Kingdom) and Javier Pizzolito (Argentina).
During the Morocco Rally, the team will gather data and identify issues under race conditions, helping it better prepare for the Dakar Rally, which will be held in South America in 2013.
During the Dakar, Honda will aim for its first rally victory with a model based on a commercial motorcycle.
Honda has competed nine times from 1981 in the forerunner of the present Dakar Rally, the Paris-Dakar Rally. Cyril Neveu (France) rode Honda to its first victory in 1982, the race’s fourth year, and from 1986 to 1989 Honda won four consecutive titles for an overall record of five victories in nine years, the company reports.