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Honda CRF450 Rally

Honda finishes 7th in a return to Dakar


by Pascal Bastien ,

After competing nine times in the Paris-Dakar Rally (from 1981 to 1989) and winning five times (once in 1982, and then four times in a row from 1986 to 1989), Honda officially returned to rally raid competition by participating in the 2013 Dakar with a specially modified CRF450X.

Team HRC's Honda CRF450 Rally includes a fully adjustable premium suspension; stronger, more durable brakes; lighter wheels; a fairing-integrated windshield; a larger-capacity fuel tank; a comprehensive instrument panel; a stickier seat and footpegs; Pirelli competition tires; and a high-performance exhaust system as found on adventure-type dirt bikes.

Featuring Javier Pizzolito, Sam Sunderland, Felipe Zanol, and Johnny Campbell; Team HRC was headlined in 2013 by Helder Rodrigues, who finished third in last year's Dakar Rally. It claimed a 7th place this time around.

Will Honda's return signal a future CRF450 Rally in showrooms? Let's keep our enduro fingers crossed...

Honda CRF450 Rally front 3/4 view
Photo: Honda