The motor-sport division of Hero MotoCorp Ltd., showcased its new Hero RR 450 rally bike for the first-time in India. Hero MotoSports also announced its team for the Dakar Rally 2018 that starts January 6, 2018.
The 2018 Dakar Rally is Hero MotorSports’ second outing. In addition to existing riders- CS Santosh and Joaquim Rodrigues, the team will field Spanish talent, Oriol Mena Valdearcos at the Dakar this year. Inducted into the team in September this year, Mena is part of Hero MotoSports’ vision to identify new talent and nurture them into professional rally riders. Mena will be making his debut at the 2018 Dakar Rally.
The new Hero RR 450 features various upgrades for better performance. Hero has redesigned the tank, body parts, and front section to improve mass centralization, handling and riding ergonomics. The new Hero RR 450 proved its capabilities at the OiLibya Rally in Morocco this year. The key learning from the team’s rookie year and last year's Dakar experience have been implemented on the bike. The team finished 12th on its Dakar debut in 20 , and is fully geared up to exceed its performance in the 2018 edition. CS Santosh, Rider, Hero MotoSports Team Rally said:
I am satisfied with this year’s preparations, where I had the opportunity to work with industry professionals and experts, which brought in a better structure to the preparations. I am very happy with the new bike that we raced with at the OiLibiya Rally in October. The new bike is light, agile and makes going fast safe! This Dakar I will aim to make each and every day count! Ultimately it’s about enjoying the process and arriving at the finish line.
The biggest rally-raid in the world, Dakar, for its 40th edition will cross three countries; starting with Peru on January 6, 2018 and travelling through Bolivia before concluding in Argentina on January 20, 2018. This edition is expected to witness participation of 500 competitors from 60 countries. They will cover a gruelling stretch of almost 9,000 km. Out of the overall 14 stages, seven will include 100% dunes/off-piste, 1 marathon stage for all categories and 1 marathon stage for bikes and quads only.