Honda has unveiled its still-under development CRF450 Rally model at the 2012 International Motorcycle, Scooter and Bike Fair in Cologne, Germany. Honda is aiming to have the model compete in the 2013 Dakar Rally, considered as the world’s toughest race, in January 2013. The CRF450 Rally model is based on the company’s commercial CRF450X enduro racing model. The CRF450 Rally model is endowed with Honda’s Programmed Fuel Injection (PGM-FI), an electronic fuel injection system that ensures fuel efficiency and durability. With the Dakar entry, Honda is aiming to put the fuel efficiency and endurance technology developed for its commercial vehicles to new challenges, and use the technology acquired from the race in commercial applications.
Honda is looking forward to snatching its first rally victory using a model based on a production machine. Honda has tapped the services of a five-man team for the Dakar rally: Johnny Campbell of the US, Helder Rodrigues from Portugal, Felipe Zanol from Brazil and Sam Sunderland from the United Kingdom and Javier Pizzolito from Argentina.
The CRF450 Rally model, which has already undergone testing in Japan, will tackle its first race at the Morocco Rally from October 14, 2012. Honda’s five-man team will also enter the Morocco Rally with the purpose of gathering data, identifying problems under actual race conditions, and pinpointing any operational issues.