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ADV NewsNew Rally For Classic Adventure Bikes Taking On Route to Dakar

New Rally For Classic Adventure Bikes Taking On Route to Dakar

Legendary machines return to the desert sands where it all began.

Published on 06.04.2021

“A challenge for those who go. A dream for those who stay behind”… The words with which Thierry Sabine sent the participants to the first Paris-Dakar rally over forty years ago became historic. Since then, the Dakar Rally has moved out of Africa but the original route along with the desert bikes that raced it will always be considered legendary. And why not bring the classic adventure bike models that descended from these iconic motorcycles back to where it all began?

A new navigation rally, set to depart next year, will do just that. Called the Dakar Enduro Rally, the event will cover over 4,000 miles and trace the original Paris-Dakar route as much as possible. The three-week overland journey will be taken on by four legendary adventure bike models: A 1988 Honda Africa Twin XRV650 Marathon piloted by Harry Metcalfe (founder of Evo Magazine, ‘Harry’s Garage’ YouTube channel), a 1989 Yamaha XTZ 750 Super Tenere with Mark Morris on the saddle, Hans Ladegaard on a 1984 BMW R80 G/S and David Ward on a 1990 Cagiva Elefant 900ie.

Dakar Enduro Rally for classic adventure bikes

But they won’t be the only bikes taking on the historic route. Any classic bike is welcome to enter although the rally is primarily aimed at the early range of adventure models inspired by the legendary motorcycles of the Paris-Dakar. There is also a class for cars — just like the original.


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According to the organizer, the rally is not intended for pro-level riders and will keep a more manageable pace suitable for any fairly competent rider with a sense of adventure. It will kick off in London and make its way down to France, Spain, Morocco, Western Sahara, Mauritania and finally Dakar. “We will be running in the wheel tracks of the original event wherever possible, using some of the finest roads of the classic route,” states Bespoke Rallies (the organizer). Riders should expect to cover roads, gravel, rocky terrain and sand, although some of the “dune bashing of the more extreme sections” will be avoided. 

Sound like your type of adventure? The rally starts February 28, 2022 and is priced at £5850. The entry fee includes food, help with border crossings, accommodations, a rally medic and a mechanical support crew. For more details go to bespokerallies.com.

Photos: Rod Kirkpatrick

Author: ADV Pulse Staff
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