Torrance, CA: Honda unveiled its new CRF450 Rally model Dakar racer at the 2012 International Motorcycle, Scooter and Bike Fair in Cologne, Germany. The world debut of this production-based race machine centers on its entry in the Dakar Rally, which will be held in January 2013.
America’s Johnny Campbell, the 11-time Baja 1000 champion who previously gained Dakar Rally experience in Africa, will join riders Helder Rodrigues (Portugal), Felipe Zanol (Brazil), Sam Sunderland (United Kingdom) and Javier Pizzolito (Argentina) in an international effort. Honda entered factory teams nine times from 1981 onward 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. In 2013, Honda will aim for its first rally victory with a model built from a production-based machine.