GHR Honda riders all ready to defend Safari Title

The Australasian Safari is an annual off-road rally for motorbikes, four-wheel drives, side by sides, and quad bikes set in outback Western Australia. This extreme motorsport event attracts some of the best competitors from around the globe. Considered Australia’s answer to Dakar, it is renowned as one of the toughest and most challenging motorsport events in the world.

GHR Honda riders Jacob and Todd Smith will be riding their CRF450X’s again chasing the outright victory. The Honda brothers went 1st and 2nd Outright at the Condo 750 rally and then backed it up with 1st and 2nd Outright on their CRF450R’s at Finke. For this cross country rally they are back on their CRF450X’s and hope to replicate previous Safari results of 1st and 2nd outright.

Today is the ceremonial start and Friday will see the riders attack Prologue. The ceremonial start and Safari show will be held at Wanneroo show grounds from 4-9pm. Competitors will depart from Perth and head north to Geraldton, up into the Gascoyne region, around the Kennedy Ranges before heading out to tropical Carnarvon. Turning south again the course moves through Kalbarri before finishing in Geraldton on the 27th of September. The event covers approximately 3000km of Western Australian terrain. After the rave reviews and success of 2012’s course, this year’s Safari will again feature some spectacular coastal Stages along WA’s Coral Coast.

The team recently held a test session on the east coast before all the infrastructure was shipped across to Perth. Team manager Glenn Hoffmann commented, “Testing went well and Simon has again done a great job with the bikes. The boys are very happy with their Honda 450X’s and now that they are passed scrutineering it is just a waiting game to get the race really started.” When asked who he thought would win he added, “Yamaha and KTM have strong rider line-ups and there is even a Aprilla this year. However Jacob and Todd have been swapping Outright wins in the desert all year long on both their GHR Honda 450R’s and 450X’s – so hopefully it is one of the boys. The Safari is a very cruel race to man and machine and I think the person who is best prepared and has the least downtime will do well. As a race Dad you cant play favourites, but obviously I hope the winner is on a Honda and surname is Smith!”.

The boys will once again be joined by WA Honda riders Charlie Ball and John McDonald. Two years ago Charlie rode with GHR to a top ten finish and after taking a supported ride at Finke this year, John McDonald is ready to tackle the Safari challenge. Keep up to date with their progress via GHR.

For Honda the Safari is another historic desert race. With more wins at the Safari than all other manufacturers combined, Honda is once again aiming to prove the reliability and performance reputation it has earned over decades in the desert. Having been aligned with GHR for the last ten years on Safari, the manufacturer backed team has only lost the rally once and has even beaten five time Dakar winner Cyril Depress on his works machine.

The team would like to thank all the staff, sponsors, family and friends of GHR, for without their help this effort would not be possible. It is a monumental effort to get to the start line but to keep winning year after year in this rally environment – at times against the worlds best – is a credit to everyone involved.

Good luck and a safe trip to all on Safari.

Keep up to date via GHR Honda Honda Facebook site –