Will Hero be the hero in Dakar next year?
Hero MotoSports is gearing up to participate in one of the most grueling off-road races the world has ever seen. The 2021 edition of the Dakar Rally will be Hero MotoSports maiden voyage into the biggest off-road event in the motorsports calendar. Their team will be composed of Sebastian Buhler, Joaquim Rodrigues, and CS Santosh.
The three-man racing team is composed of experienced riders with a number of notable accolades under their belts. For starters, Sebastian Buhler bagged the championship at the 2020 FIM Cross-Country BAJA World Cup. CS Santosh, on the other hand, is one of India’s most decorated rally riders who has been racing in Dakar for the past five years. Lastly, Joaquim Rodrigues conquered the 2019 Pan Africa Rally.
The three racers will be piloting Hero MotoSports updated race machine, the 450 Rally bike. Equipped with a 450cc single cylinder, the bike has been optimized to achieve a higher top speed while improving acceleration as well. The bike’s underpinnings have also been tweaked to provide added stiffness and stability, especially when tackling Saudi Arabia’s inhospitable sand dunes.
Apart from performance and suspension, the 450 Rally also received updated ergonomics, a larger fuel tank for increased range, and of course, a revised cooling system to ensure the bike remains reliable all through the grueling event.
Slated for January 3, 2021, the 43rd edition of the Dakar Rally will be held in Saudi Arabia and will kick off in Jeddah. Both man and machine alike will be put to the test for 12 days across grueling terrain. To be exact, riders will be covering a total of 4,751 miles across treacherous terrain and sporadic weather conditions.