Honda Developing Trophy Truck for Baja 1000

June 28, 2011
JC Hilderbrand
JC Hilderbrand
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Hilde is holding down the fort at MotoUSA's Southern Oregon HQ. With world-class dirt bike and ATV trails just minutes away, the hardest part is getting him to focus on the keyboard. Two wheels or four, it doesn't matter to our Off-Road Editor so long as it goes like hell in the dirt.

Honda HPD Desert Pilot
Honda has been dominating Baja on motorcycles for the past decade, but this is a new foray into the desert-racing scene.

We watched new motorcycle records set in the recent Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, but outside of the two-wheeled world was some very interesting news. A one-off Honda prototype desert racer called the HPD Desert Pilot finished eighth in the Open division with a time of 15:37. Pikes was a shakedown for the machine which will eventually see life as a Baja 1000 racer.

The #93 machine is a one-seater that uses what looks like Fox Racing Shox and a powertrain co-developed by HPD (Honda Performance Development) and the California Race & Rally team. A mid-engine, production-based Honda V-6 sits in a tube-frame chassis and was driven by Gavin Skilton. Special competition treads, BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KR tires originally designed for Championship Off Road Racing (CORR), provided traction on the mixed terrain.

Honda also raced a B-Spec Rally Fit, which is a production-based machine entered in the Exhibition category by the Team Honda Research (THR) Rally team.

Could this be the beginning of something even bigger? Will we see a Dakar Rally smackdown with Honda battling the likes of Volkswagen and BMW in the future?

From a recent Honda press release:

“For the remainder of 2011, Skilton and his California Race & Rally team will campaign the HPD Desert Pilot as a Class 6 (unlimited chassis, 6-cylinder engine) entry in a variety of off-road races, culminating with November’s Baja 1000. THR will run the B-Spec Rally Fit in rallycross events for the remainder of the season.”

Honda HPD Desert PilotHonda HPD Desert PilotHonda HPD Desert Pilot
Honda plans to use the HPD Desert Pilot in multiple desert races. Class 6 is an unlimited chassis vehicle with six-cylinder engine.

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