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.

The JCR/Honda racers rode to victory at the 2011 Glen Helen 12 Hour endurance race this past weekend, winning in dominating fashion by lapping the entire field. The average lap time was around 20 minutes on a 10.5-mile course consisting of 2 motocross tracks, extreme single track, silt, dust, and rocky down hills.

“The 12 hour this year went flawless, perfect bike, great riders, and an excellent pit crew. I wish every race was this great! Thanks JCR/Honda” — Colton Udall

“It’s a true testament to the quality of a Honda product. We cleaned the 0X race bike up after the Baja 500, checked the valves, changed the oil, put in a new clutch and raced it wide open for 12 hours flawlessly. During the race we performed minor maintenance to the bike, like wheel and air filter changes to keep the bike cruising to the finish.” — Eric Siraton

“The Glen Helen 12 hour is a great race and test of product durability. The only products I trust to withstand the harsh environment of endurance racing are Honda, Lucas Oil, Dunlop Tires, Pro Circuit, IMS, DID, BRP, Renthal, Hinson, VP, Works Connection, Scotts Performance, Acerbis, Honda genuine brakes, AME and Dirt Digits. I’m really proud of our team. The racer’s and support crew’s top notch effort in conjunction with the mighty CRF450X is a winning combination” — Johnny Campbell

Photo Credit : Ryan Sanders