Art of the Bike

Gary S. Vasilash

When it comes to vehicle design, motorcycles sometimes have the most striking machine aesthetic out there, especially bikes that participate in off-road racing, where there’s little room for the extraneous. (Admittedly, some bikes, especially cruisers, seem to have been designed by people who developed Buicks back in the day.)


Honda has unveiled the CRF450 Rally, which the factory team, Team HRC, will be campaigning in the 2014 Dakar Rally, which is being held in January. Riders and drivers will wend their way through Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.

The CFR450 Rally is based on Honda’s commercially available CRF450X endure bike, which features a 449-cc liquid-cooled, four-stroke, four-valve SOHC engine. The bike features an electronic fuel injection system, which the team, which returned to the Dakar Rally this year after a 24-year absence, used in the South American terrain.


When you’re riding—and racing--more than 8,500 km on a motorcycle on some terrain that for all normal intents and purposes is impassable, presumably protection, durability and efficiency are essential. So what you’re looking for in design and engineering is also the essential.