Cyril Despres & Yamaha 450 Rally VideoFollowing his fifth Dakar Rally victory aboard the KTM 450 Rally, Cyril Despres shocked the world of motorcycle-rally racing.
The Frenchman signed with Yamaha, and was set to contest a Yamaha 450 Rally at the remaining 2013 FIM Cross Country Rallies World Championship. Though new to the bike, Despres finished second overall at the 2013 Rally Dos Sertoes.Last month Despres was in Morocco, riding for a promotional film in the deserts. During this time, Yamaha filmed the attached video that has Despres discussing everything, from spending time with six-time Yamaha Dakar winner Stéphane Peterhansel, and his experience so far on Yamaha machinery.In 2014, Despres will compete at the Dakar Rally with fellow Yamaha pilots Olivier Pain, Frans Verhoeven and Michael Metge.Speaking of the 2014 Dakar prep, Yamaha says: “The teams infrastructure will shortly be loaded onto ships for the long journey to South America however the bikes will remain here and be airlifted at a later date. This extra time provides a precious opportunity for further last minute testing before what is shaping up to be the toughest Dakar challenge yet with new countries and tough terrain to be mastered.”The 2014 Dakar Rally, which runs January 5-18, will have longer stages as riders wind through Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.
This week we ride two genre-departing motorcycles from the established American manufacturers. Jess McKinley gives us his thoughts on the all new Harley-Davidson Pan America Special, and Ron Lieback gives his on Indian’s latest version of the FTR 1200 S.