Cycle News - Archive Issues - 1980's

Cycle News 1983 02 16

Cycle News is a weekly magazine that covers all aspects of motorcycling including Supercross, Motocross and MotoGP as well as new motorcycles

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0-"') 00 O"l . ...... (Top) Herbert Auriol rode fast and consistently for 20 days, taking the motorcycle win for himself and BMW. (Above left) Two of the BMW team bikes. Gas tanks run as large as 12 gallons. (Above right) Patrick Drobecq finished second overall for Honda. Paris to Dakar Rally The ultimate dirt ride By Patrick Behar PARIS, FRANCE/DAKAR, SENEGAL, JAN. 1-21 Europeans are known to do things differently, and the French are among the most' incongruous of them all. They really try to do things differently, and the fifth Paris to Dakar .16 Rally is a perfect example ofthe ki d f d hevwill In 0 a venture t ey wi put together. Picture a 20-day race through part o~ the Sahara. desert in Algeria and Niger, the Afncan bushland of Upper Volta and Ivory Coast, and the western desert of Mauritania before reaching Dakar, the capital of Sene- 6500 miles! gal. It is not a Hollywood super production , but a rally (we'd call it a desert race here), 6500 miles long and 20 days of all kinds of terrain. Some parts are race staged, where the rider ha s to go as fast as he or she can on a "short" portion, 300-400 miles, where your time is calculated. Then riders have what they call "Iiasons" where they had so many hours to cover a distance but where time . was not calculated, There are four classes: 125, 250cc, Open and sidecars. No 125s or 250s would finish the race , only Open bikes and one sidecar (based on a GS 1100 Suzuki) reached Dakar. Every night the race was stopped and the factory teams regrouped. They included BMW with eventual winner Hubert Auriol (he raced the Baja 1000 on several occasions) and former I25cc MX World Champ Gaston Rahieron BMW 980s based on the GS 800, but with twin shocks and engines prepared by German ISDT champ Herbert Scheck. Rahier showed them how good he was on such a big bike by winning the first two stages of the rally. Auriol, helped by his two other teammates in the BMW camp, managed to win his second Paris to Dakar.

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