I guess it was inevitable. A dual-sport bike that carries a lot of weight on its “shoulder” must carry on with the rally tradition.
Lawrence Hacking – Paris-Dakar Rally finisher from Canada – believes so, too. Big fan and advocate of Baja Rally himself, Lawrence wanted to take on yet another challenge. It’s just a bonus that he’s raced Hondas both at the Dakar and Baja Rallies previously.
Lawrence has been helping Honda Canada to promote the new Honda Africa Twin CRF1000L this year and I had happened to run into him at the Horizons Unlimited Ontario event. After chatting for a while about Honda’s new big dual-sport he mentioned that he’d ride the Baja Rally this year and would like to have some sort of protection on his bike. I was down to it without any second thoughts. What better way to expose crash protection to the extremes?
Long story short, I ended up supplying crash bars as the skid plate duties went to Altrider, Lawrence being good friend with Jeremy (founder of Altrider) as well.
Three days ago my phone rang and Lawrence said “Hey Lorry.” “Got the Africa Twin but it’s leaving for California in two days to get more upgrades, such as suspension etc.” “Can you drop by today with the crash bars?” I was on my way to his place pretty much immediately.
It was great to see the new bike (only 4km ridden!) transform slowly from stock to something new. While I was fitting the crash bars, Lawrence was helping me shoot videos and trying to install the skid plate and the ever-beautiful Noguchi rally seats.
When the outfitting was done, Lawrence took his time to thank his equipment sponsors and introduce all the new products on his bike, which you can check out below in the video. Right now the bike’s not rally ready, yet. New, aggressive tires will be mounted, stock suspension will be upgraded, road book holder will be installed and the list goes on. Naturally, more photos and videos to come.