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ADV VideosAmputee Pursues Lifelong Dream to Race the Dakar Rally

Amputee Pursues Lifelong Dream to Race the Dakar Rally

An inspiring story that reminds us to never give up on our biggest dreams.

Published on 10.27.2014

Everything changed for Erez Avramov on November 18, 2010, after a head on collision with a fully-loaded semi-trailer truck. He got out of the accident alive but struggled for life with a crushed rib cage, fractures to the sternum, ankle and hand, and a leg broken into 17 places. Doctors gave him a 50/50 chance of survival when he arrived at the emergency room.

Avramov was fortunate enough to make it through and would begin to heal, but soon realized his injured leg would never mend. He would make the difficult decision to have his leg amputated to improve mobility. It was during his long painful recovery that Avramov’s new outlook on life emerged.

“It doesn’t matter what happens, it’s how you position yourself toward that situation.”


Determined to get his life back, Erez recovered swiftly. Soon he was walking again, driving a car and riding a bicycle. His next challenge was to get back to his true passion in life, riding his motorcycle off-road. His first attempt was a complete failure, ending after just 20 minutes. The pain and lack of control he experienced had him convinced his riding days were over forever.

Erez Avramov riding off-road

Erez Avramov learning how to ride off-road again.

After a restless night, Erez knew he couldn’t give up on something he loved so easily. He decided to make a few changes to the bike and give it another try. Adding a Rekluse automatic clutch and putting the rear brake on the handlebar did the trick and he was able to experience the joy of riding off-road again.

Anything seemed possible after this moment and he began to think about other amazing things he might accomplish. For more than 20 years, he had dreamed of racing in the Dakar Rally but it had always just been a dream. Now Avramov began to feel an intense desire to make the Dakar Rally his next challenge.

“The Dakar dream that has always been a dream of mine for over 20 years… just kindled itself back up and the desire was so intense, I just couldn’t let it go.”

Avramov couldn’t have picked a harder challenge. The Dakar is considered by most to be the toughest off-road race in the world. The Dakar Rally consists of 14 days of grueling racing through the deserts of South America with only one rest day in between. A typical race day can cover 300 miles (482 km) and some of the longer stages exceed 500 miles (804 km).

Erez Avramov riding prosthetic limb

Erez will soon get a new prosthetic limb that is designed to give him more control on a motorcycle.

Giant dune fields, deep water crossings and 10 ton (9,100 kg) race trucks competing on the same course are just some of the hazards racers must face. Most competitors that start the race don’t finish and there’s a good chance you may not even survive. In the past 35 years, 27 competitors have died racing in the Dakar Rally.

Erez is determined to make his dream of Dakar become a reality but he has a long road ahead of him. He’s never competed in a motorcycle race of any kind before, so he’ll first have to qualify in an international Rally Raid race before being eligible for the Dakar. If he achieves his goal, January 2016 Erez Avramov will go into the history books as the first amputee to compete in the Dakar Rally.

Avramov’s story reminds us that we all need big dreams to chase after. We wish him luck and success in achieving his goal. You can follow his story as it unfolds on his Facebook page here.

Author: Rob Dabney

Rob Dabney started a lifelong obsession with motorcycles at the age of 15 when he purchased his first bike – a 1982 Honda MB5. Through his 20’s and 30’s he competed in off-road desert races, including the Baja 250, 500 and 1000. Eventually, his proclivity for exploration led him to dual sport and adventure riding. Rob’s never-ending quest to discover what’s around the next bend has taken him on Adventures in Latin America, Africa, Europe, Asia, and throughout the American West. As a moto journalist, he enjoys inspiring others to seek adventure across horizons both near and far.

Author: Rob Dabney

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ADV Spotlight on Dakar Hopeful and Amputee - Erez Avramov - ADV Pulse
April 29, 2015 2:34 pm

[…] caught up with Erez during his training in Baja, Mexico and got an update on his progress since his announcement to race the Dakar Rally last October. We also got a chance to ride with Erez in Nevada at the Taste […]


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