Safari 2012 – final testing

Yesterday the most of the riders finalised their suspension settings and ergonomics. American rider Mike Johnson flew in late yesterday and will make is final settings before scrutineering this afternoon Perth time.


Safari 2012 – CRF450X – Todd Smith

Colo Vale Public School Principal on Dakar prototype

Season’s Greetings from GHR

Hello to all our Family, Friends, Sponsors and Supporters


GHR would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone well over the festive season, especially all the riders going to the 2012 Dakar Rally.

As you will have already noticed, GHR are not participating in the 2012 Dakar because we have been busy building the new bike.

We would like to thank everybody who has been working on this project, especially Simon for his tireless efforts in putting together a jigsaw of new parts, Robin and his crew at Safari Tanks, Brian and his crew at Force Accessories and Brent and Helen at Incite Graphics for their sleepless nights getting the graphics ready for the recent Motorcycle show.

Honda Australia had both Safari 1st and 2nd Outright bikes and the Dakar prototype bike on the stand at the Motorcycle show. Following the MC show the bikes were then taken to the local Colo Vale Public School Fair, where 150 kids had their photos taken on the bikes and money raised going back to the school.

For 2012 GHR will be attending the Condo 750, Finke Desert Race, Hattah Desert Race and the Australasian Safari officially for Honda Australia.

Colo Vale Public School Principal on Dakar prototype

GHR will also be attending the 2013 Dakar Rally in South America with private clients and hope to raise the money to be able to take both Jake and Todd Smith.

We expand into the building next door in January and would like to take the opportunity to welcome Rob Ingram on board full time. Rob has been on many Safaris with the team and will be busy fabricating the new transporters which we aim to use throughout the race year home and abroad.

We’d like to thank all the crew for their extra efforts on Safari this year – we could not have done it without you. 1 and 2 outright at the end of every day against Australia and the world’s best is a fitting result of the ability and effort of you all.

To all our clients who challenged themselves at events with us this year, we thank you and look forward to further adventures together.

 GHR Honda would like to thank you for your continued support and look forward to an even bigger and better 2012.


30.9.2011 – Safari Leg 7 – Victory!

GHR Honda rider Todd Smith’s early stranglehold on the Australasian Safari proved to be decisive as he claimed his first outright victory in the race on Friday 30 September in Kalgoorlie. Leading the contest from day one, Todd had ridden a calculated race and enjoyed a trouble free run aboard his GHR developed CRF450X to finish with a 20 minute lead. His younger brother Jacob Smith finished in second place overall to make it the best possible combination for the GHR, for Honda and for the Condobolin Smith family.

Rider comments:

Todd Smith: “It feels great to finally be on top. I’ve learned a lot in the last two years and most of all you have to start well to finish well in this race. I put my head down and rode smart in the first two stages to lead by a few minutes. From there I rode just hard enough to stay in front but with enough care to stay safe. My body feels 100% after this one, whereas every other year I’ve gone home with injuries. This has been a fairytale podium. To have my little brother Jacob in second and our good mate Rod Faggotter in third, I just couldn’t have asked for more!”

Jacob Smith: “Obviously I race to win and I would have liked to win this time, but it was Todd’s turn this year – he rode an immaculate race. All the work that I put in on and off the bike this year has paid dividends. Rod (Faggotter) joked when he and I were at the start line on Leg 2 behind Todd that it would be brilliant if we finished in this order. I would have liked it if some of the other title contenders made it to the end, but we know that this race is rarely won on in the last day or two. The Safari is normally won in the first four days so I can easily say that Todd put himself in the perfect position early on and made all the right choices from that point onwards. I’m immensely proud of the way he ran it and that we could go one-two. With Rod in third, I really couldn’t share this with two finer blokes. After everything that has happened with passing of Glenn Hoffmann’s father, there’s no better way to give him, his family and the GHR crew a lift.”

Comment from Glenn Hoffmann:

“This month has been an emotional roller coaster for my family. However, in terms of the team this result has been really, really good for everyone. The boys controlled this race from the very beginning and I saw a level of maturity that shows just how much they have grown. They played the game but always kept some in reserve, and they worked together. I’d like to point out that everyone did this without me. Obviously I wasn’t there, but this result has proven that I don’t need to be. They all knew what they had to do and they followed through with it perfectly. I’d spoken to Jake Young three weeks before and I had asked him to be team manager in anticipation of things happening at home so when the time came I left town not at all concerned. My wife Linda and I do so much work on this before the event, but once it’s actually started I’m the least important person. That’s the way we’ve set it up – the mechanics all know their roles. As part of the growth planned for this company I do need to step back and rely on my crew, so to have everything work so well was no surprise. With this core group, if  we can get the funding then there is huge potential for us overseas.”

GHR rider placings at race end:
1st – #2 Todd Smith – 27:35:27
2nd – #6 Jacob Smith – 27:55:31
10th – #27 David Geeves – 31:01:12
13th – #35 Charlie Ball – 33:51:06
20th – #40 Stuart Bowen – 37:22:32
21st – #25 Don Lark – 37:38:40


29.9.11 – Safari 2011 leg 6 wrap up

As the sun sets on the penultimate leg of the 2011 Australasian Safari, GHR Honda riders Todd and Jacob Smith are still dominating the event on their CRF450X bikes developed in Mittagong, NSW.

Most of the other likely challengers have been beset by mechanical failure or injury, including Dakar Rally winner Cyril Despres who retired from the race this afternoon having sustained a lacerated foot. While Jacob Smith set the fastest time in the event prologue, it is his older brother who finished on top of the rankings for Leg 1 and has since maintained a sound lead through attentive navigation and judicious tactics.

Today’s leg consisted of two selective stages. SS12 Sturt Meadows I, a 236.42 km section which included a series of derelict roads and an optional splash and dash refuel. The 141.12km long SS13 Sturt Meadows II varied between roach station tracks and numerous fast flowing sections, finishing with a salt lake crossing.

Rider comments:

Todd Smith: “This morning I rode just to get through SS12 but I was surprised – I wasn’t actually much slower. When I saw the gap I had I backed off even more. Tomorrow if nothing goes wrong with the bike I should be right. I’m still really enjoying myself but I do find it tricky to walk that fine line between being careful and being too slow without the pressure.”

Jacob Smith: “Today we were just in a holding pattern. It was about consolidation, looking after the bike and getting it to the end. By this stage, everything hurts and there’s absolutely no use in binning it on the last days in pursuit of a few more minutes.”

Overall top 5 at end of Leg 6:
1st – #2 Todd Smith – 25:18:43
2nd – #6 Jacob Smith – 25:36:26
3rd – #56 Rod Faggotter – 26:14:02
4th – #72 Damien Grabham – 27:10:53
5th – #41 Ben Williams – 27:56:04

Other GHR riders:
10th – #27 David Geeves – 29:30:43
13th – #35 Charlie Ball – 31:07:46
14th – #25 Don Lark – 31:44:18
22nd – #40 Stuart Bowen – 34:47:01


29.9.11 – Safari 2011 Leg 6 – update #2

Todd Smith, Shane Dieter and Jacob Smith have filed past the second spectator point, with both GHR riders appearing to take it easy through the gate and past the spectators. Cyril Despres appears to be out of the race and has ridden past on the main road behind the  parked cars, presumably headed back to Leonora.

29.9.11 – Safari 2011 Leg 6 – update

We are currently sitting at the second of the spectator points for the day overlooking a surrounded by paddocks carpeted with yellow flowers. We watched the whole bike field and the first few cars at the first point about 35km from Leonora. The Smith boys looked in fine form as they rounded the gates and took off down the fence line, and all other GHR riders came through cleanly.

Glen Grundy flew out to Kalgoorlie this morning after a stay in hospital overnight. He will be assessed and a course of action planned. We hope he can at least stay in Kalgoorlie to see the finish of the event.

The day has claimed at least one bike through mechanical failure already. We’ll post an update as soon as the bikes come through here.