Peter Anderson | Jul 4, 2012

Honda has formed a works motorcyle team, Team HRC, to tackle the 2013 Dakar Rally.

The Japanese company will participate in its first South American Dakar Rally in the Moto class with four riders aboard bikes based on the CRF450X.

The bikes was designed and developed by Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) in Japan.

"The Dakar requires competitors to cover several hundred kilometres per day for more than two weeks," Tetsuo Suzuki, president of Honda Racing Corporation, said.

"It needs a totally different type of vehicle from events such as motocross, trials and road races,"

Additionally, privateers can purchase a parts pack that can be applied to a CRF450X so privateers can fly the Honda flag themselves.

Honda's last Dakar foray was 23 years ago, when the event still left the Champs-Elysees in Paris and finished in Dakar, Senegal. The company took gold five times in eight years during its eighties works effort.

The event was moved to South America in 2009 after a series of route changes, and then finally abandoned Europe and Africa after terrorism threats.

Honda isn't aiming low, either.

"We are aiming for the championship from this first year," said Suzuki-san.

The 2013 Dakar Rally will be run from 5 to 20 January 2013.

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