1988 HONDA RD03 AFRICA TWIN XRV650

Dakar suc­cess: 1986 & 1987 NXR750V (Cyril Neveu), 1988 NXR800V (Edi Ori­oli) & 1989 (Gilles Lalay)

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Comment -

“By the mid-1980s Dakar suc­cess was a ma­jor sell­ing point for an off-road bike as Mark Thatcher get­ting lost in the desert dur­ing the 1982 race gave it a dan­ger­ous al­lure and that sparked Honda’s in­ter­est. But be­ing Honda they re­ally went to town with their bike.

“The RD03 was the first Africa Twin and, in typ­i­cal Honda fash­ion, is a sim­ply beau­ti­ful road bike, lovely off-road and a very suc­cess­ful racer. HRC helped de­sign the Africa Twin and af­ter look­ing at the sim­plic­ity of the BMW, threw ev­ery­thing at their racer. The NXR, which was the race ver­sion, was the first wa­ter- cooled bike to win Dakar and is a work of art, which is re­flected in the road bike. It has a Pro Link rear end, a proper bash plate, the works – in fact some pri­va­teer rac­ers en­tered the Dakar on the road bike.

“Af­ter its Dakar suc­cess the Africa Twin road bike’s sales took off and the orig­i­nal RD03 is bet­ter in qual­ity than later ver­sions and cer­tainly more of­froad tar­geted. This ac­tual bike has been to Dakar as it was used as a press demo ma­chine back in ’88, which is very cool.”

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