Honda wins 2024 Dakar Rally

Honda has won the 2024 Dakar Rally aboard the new CRF 450 Rally

Honda Racing corporation claimed their second victory at the Dakar Rally earlier this year when Ricky Brabec raced his way to the top step of the 2024 event.

Riding a Honda CRF 450 Rally factory bike, Brabec won the overall motorcycle category for the second time since 2020.

After taking the overall lead on stage six, Brabec defended his position with solid riding in the subsequent stages to go on and take overall victory by a margin of 10 minutes and 53 seconds in order to claim his second Dakar win. Adrien Van Beveren finished 3rd and Jose Ignacio Cornejo was 6th, giving the Monster Energy Honda Team three finishers in the top six.

The Dakar Rally, which is known as the most dangerous sporting event in the world, was first held in 1979. Honda first competed in the third Paris-Dakar Rally in 1981 and its first victory came in 1986 on an NXR750, which was followed by three consecutive wins up to 1989. Honda left the Dakar the following year and returned to the event in South America in 2013 with a new CRF 450 Rally bike.

2024 saw the Monster Energy Honda team compete aboard a new Honda CRF 450 Rally. This motorcycle features an aggressive design that reflects its competitive nature. Every detail has been meticulously considered to ensure strength and durability, while remaining surprisingly light.

The development goal was to build a new motorcycle that was lighter and more powerful, and which excels in the dunes. A light motorcycle offers big advantages in the sand as well as in the rocks. Exact details remain a secret, but engineers did reveal that the weight was reduced by around eight percent while the bottom-mid power was increased around five percent.

The CRF 450 Rally’s 449cc liquid cooled DOHC single pumps out over 45kW. Keeping the motorcycle fuelled across the long stages are two fuel tanks totalling 35 litres. Showa suspension, including an inverted fork and mono shock offer 310mm and 305mm of travel respectively. The frame comprises an aluminium twin tube-type design and a carbon fibre subframe. Braking is taken care of by 300 and 240mm front and rear discs. 

“Congratulations to Ricky Brabec for the win. Thanks also to Adrien Van Beveren, Jose Ignacio Cornejo and the entire Monster Energy Honda Team for completing a tough rally and finishing in the top 10. I know that the past three years have been very frustrating. I believe that the fact that we were able to turn that frustration into strength and take back the championship will be a great source of inspiration for Honda and HRC in the future. This is good news to kick off 2024 with. We hope to keep this momentum to win titles in many categories for both motorcycles and automobiles this season. Finally, I would like to thank all of our fans for their support and all of our sponsors for supporting our activities,” said Koji Watanabe, President of Honda Racing Corporation.

The Honda CRF 450 Rally that won the Dakar Rally is a prototype motorcycle designed for competing in motorsport events like Rally Raid exclusively.