1994 CAGIVA ELEFANT 750
Dakar success: 1990 & 94 Elefant 900 (Edi Orioli)
“This is actually a 750 Elefant and not a 900, but I am currently restoring a 900 so it will be joined soon by its bigger brother. In 1990 Cagiva nicked Edi Orioli from Honda and put him on a bike that was a Cagiva off-road chassis with a Ducati air- cooled V-twin stuck in it. To be honest, the fact an Italian bike finished the race in the first place was impressive, the fact it won was a miracle! Especially as Cagiva removed the electric start and fitted a kickstart instead to save weight!
“The 750 is a totally different animal to the 900 as it has a wet clutch as opposed to the 900’s dry one. This makes the 900 very hard to ride offroad as the clutch is really grabby, so fair play to Orioli. As a road bike both the 900 and 750 are brilliant fun, far lighter than the other replicas and real rider’s bikes with a wonderful exhaust note and engagingly raw spirit. They are superb road bikes and amazingly cheap – although Cagiva parts are a nightmare to find, I’m still searching for replacement clutch lever!”