from Will's post- here's the translation
In a press conference held yesterday in Japan by the president of HRC, Tetsu Suzuki, and reserved for the local media, this showed the first images of what will be the bike that Honda officially returns to Dakar. The quality of the images are not particularly good, but in this case it's novelty.
Suzuki also explained some details about the evolution and development work to be carried out by engineers. The bikes will be presented for the first time in public in the next room Cologne to be held the first week of October in the German city.
As we advance in Solo Moto, will not be racing debut in the Rally of the Pharaohs as planned at first, but in Morocco which is held two weeks later.
According to the explanations of the bike HRC president is now in its fifth evolution. In July last much of the staff assigned to the project traveled to Argentina to monitor tests in the South American country were making their future opponents. In Peru were also recognizing the ground. According to Suzuki, became impressed with the performance of the official KTM.
As for the Honda riders, provided by chief, HRC align 5 pilots, none of them Japanese, and being the most prominent Portuguese rider Helder Rodrigues, who finished third in the latest edition of the rally, with a Yamaha. The team will be recorded as HRC Team and manager of the structure will be headed by T. Yamazaki, designer off-road bikes Honda.
Besides the development of technology, something always present in HRC's participation in any sport, Suzuki President explained that his official presence in Dakar Honda aims ultimately to increase sales in the South American market.
And since Mike figures you folks don't read Espanol, and don't use google translate, I'll just assume Portagee needs translated. All kidding aside, here's the scuttlebutt I have found so far.
This slipped out Monday-
With the cup in the Elite guaranteed, mining is second in the final stage and has "marathon" ahead.
Felipe Zanol stamped the podium with his championship belt on the last leg of the Copa EFX Pacato FIM Enduro, held on Sunday in Mogi das Crosses (SP). The miner was second Elite category, just behind the Frenchman Fabien Planet, World's beast mode. Compatriot Jordan Curvalle was third, followed by Brazilians Romulo Bueno Bottrell and Nielsen. Zanol has fulfilled a "marathon" of appointments in recent weeks and the pace should continue running until January 2013, with the race of the Dakar Rally. The miner has just returned from Japan, where he was with the team HRC (Honda Racing Corporation) adjusting motorcycle prototype that will be your greatest ally in the big rally in the world. "The tests were extremely productive, as well as my contact with the bike. I made fine adjustments to the handlebars, electronic fuel injection, suspension and tires to fit better to my riding style, "said the pilot. The next challenge will be the Rally of Morocco, 14-20 October, already on board motorcycle that is being developed for the Dakar. "The tests will be even more intense in Morocco and my focus remains the rally. On this account, is difficult for me to adapt quickly to enduro bike, as happened today, "he said. Even with the fatigue of travel to Japan and the dispute at a high level in a different mode of practicing the coming weeks, Zanol ended the season in Cup Pacato EFX Endurance FIM second. But the pilot has the same hunger for victories. "It was a tough race, I know I did my best, but I'm competitive and always want to win," concluded Zanol. The cup in the Elite Cup EFX Pacato FIM Enduro was the first to be ensured in the 2012 season. In August, won the title Zanol unheard of motorcycles in Sertões. Felipe Zanol is sponsored by Honda, Red Bull, ASW, Rinaldi, ATS Computing, Mobil, Vedamotors Moto Tour and Brazil and has the support of Mr and Inga Mineral Water pro. Facebook: Vai, Zanooool Twitter: @ felipezanol Photo: Rodrigo Borella / 2XRB
From here - http://www.crossbrasil.com.br/2012091721820/Moto-Off-Road/felipe-za...
The first photos came from the Honda press event here -
After reading through that, the thing I find interesting is the mention of US involvement. The prototypes were in the US in August with Johnny Campbell leading a testing and practice run. I would think that JCR is heavily involved with the developement of the project, and I have recently learned that they ran an EFI bike at some point in one of the Baja races last year. At this point the most interesting thig to me is - 4 riders known, 1 spot still open.
And just so nobody is mislead on the EFI thing, the JCR 1x will be running a trusty 'ol carb for the 1000.
@Will, I don't speak or read Esponol,hell I'm challenged with English and yes I assumed.;-)
This could be the next photo. Javier Pizzolito has it posted as team HRC ...
Javier Pizzolito @JavierPizzolito
“@DruncleWill: @JavierPizzolito is that the new 2013 HRC machine ?” No, my CRF450x of last Dakar. In Morroco youll see the new one.
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I did not see this coming, look who the fifth rider is!
Honda has unveiled its CRF450 Rally model at the 2012 International Motorcycle, Scooter and Bike Fair in Cologne, Germany. The new machine will compete in the motorcycle class in the 2013 Dakar Rally to be held next January.
From 1981, Honda competed nine times in the forerunner of the current Dakar Rally, the Paris-Dakar Rally. Cyril Neveu from France rode Honda to its first victory in 1982 in 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.
Honda will compete in the forthcoming Dakar Rally, the world's toughest race, with the aim of putting the fuel efficiency and endurance technology developed for its commercial vehicles to new challenges and, in turn, use the technology acquired from the race in commercial applications.
The CRF450 Rally, based on Honda's commercial CRF450X enduro racing model, is fitted with Honda's Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI*) electronic fuel injection system to ensure fuel efficiency and durability. Honda will be aiming for its first rally victory with a model based on a production machine.
Johnny Campbell (USA), an 11-time US Baja 1000 champion, will join the four riders already announced for Honda's 2013 Dakar challenge - Helder Rodrigues (Portugal), Felipe Zanol (Brazil), Sam Sunderland (United Kingdom) and Javier Pizzolito (Argentina) - to complete the five-man Honda team.
The CRF450 Rally model currently under development has already undergone testing in Japan and will be ridden in its first race at the Morocco Rally 2012 from 14 October. The five riders set to compete in the Dakar Rally will ride the Morocco Rally mainly to gather data, identify any problems with the machine under race conditions, and pinpoint any operational issues.
For news updates, blogs, images and videos, visit www.TeamHRCrally.com and follow the team on Twitter @TeamHRCrally.
Photos of the bike here, click on the first photo to view. MK don'ta speaka no Itailaino so run the text through google translate if you feel like.
Let the bike porn flow-
Wow! Incredible. Good links. Thank you
Check it out !
Johnny Campbell Talks Dakar Plans
By now, most of you have seen the photos of Honda’s new factory-built CRF450 Rally bike, the centerpiece of a new commitment to the most famous rally raid in the world. Three of them will make their competition debut at the upcoming OiLibya Morocco Rallye on October 14-20 ridden by Helder Rodrigues, Sam Sunderland and Felipe Zanol.
But America will also have a presence on the factory-backed effort in the person of 11-time Baja 1000 winner Johnny Campbell.
Honda’s official return to Dakar began, of course, a while ago. We caught up with Campbell, who finished eighth overall in his only previous Dakar start on two wheels back in 2001 (the top rookie that year), just before he left for the airport for his trip to Morocco. He reveals, “HGA is Honda R&D in Japan. They talked to me earlier this year, maybe in the spring, and said they were going to have a Dakar effort. So they asked me to help them out with conducting a test here in the States.
“Things got put together and by the end of summer, I was helping them with the test. At the test, they requested Eric [Siraton] and myself to help them with their Dakar effort.
“So, we made an agreement and it included the Morocco Rallye as a race test.
“My position there is to be Helder Rodrigues’ chase rider. We’re going to have a five-man team. (Javier Pizzolito will be the other support rider, often called the water carrier by Europeans.) My priority is to make sure that the main riders can do their very best and win the race. That means if [Rodrigues] breaks a wheel, I give him my wheel so he can continue, as an example.”
Does this signal a new direction for the Johnny Campbell Racing Honda team which heretofore has focused primarily on SCORE’s Baja races?
“I just have to adjust my schedule and everything,” Campbell insists. “But basically, I’ve been working on Baja [1000 preparations] for two months really solidly.
“When I return from Morocco on the 22nd, we’ll finalize all our Baja prep and we’ll go down and do our job down there.
“American Honda has very little interest in Dakar so the whole effort is more of a global Honda effort. The support’s coming from South America, Japan and Europe.
“JCR’s Baja agreement with American Honda will still stand and be the same and follow the same heritage we always have been. The Dakar effort will probably be a multi-year deal, multi-year program; it was just fitting for me to be involved because of my experience with the 450X and my experience with Dakar and my experience with Honda and bike development.”
Though he’s still a competitive racer, Campbell accepts his supporting role. “Myself, I’m definitely not chasing [being one of the primary riders]. Realistically, looking at my age (40) and my responsibilities here with the [JCR Honda] team–for me to say, Yeah, I’m going after the win at Dakar and stuff is really unlikely.
“But as we know, things change during races. Sometimes there’s injuries; sometimes there’s certain situations that happen. You never know when you might be put in the lead role.”
As there are only three of the new CRF450 Rally bikes available, the three primary riders will employ those in Morocco while Campbell and Pizzolito will use modified CRF450Xs similar to what JCR Honda developed for Quinn Cody’s 2012 Dakar. “It’s just the lack of time and manpower to get five bikes ready,” Campbell says.
“My goal, personally for myself, is to help the team and finish and hopefully we can learn and shake any bugs out we need shaking out of the bikes. Then we can regroup and go to Dakar that much stronger.”
Campbell expects to receive one of the new factory bikes to practice on some time between Morocco and Dakar, but he didn’t know when.
What he does know is this: “I think it’s going to be a really exciting adventure and cause a lot of excitement and media. I’m just looking forward to doing a good job and participating and hopefully make everybody proud back here.” —Mark Kariya
One thing I do find interesting is that they only have 3 bikes ready. Other Honda sources tell me this program was started earlier than the press releases would lead us to believe. That tells me that there is a whole lot of work going into the project if all of the resources that HRC has only finished 3 bikes. As far as Johnny making everybody back home proud - heh, HRC has to pick the best race strategist and the best wrench twister, and where do they go? 'NUFF-SAID!