The Dakar is an incredible adventure – two weeks across South America, an average of 700-800km every day, terrain that’s back and bike breaking and to handle all of this the Sherco-TVS team have … nine people. And the nine people include the three riders! Think about that for a minute. Six guys to take care of three motorcycles on the Dakar, one of which won the opening stage of the 2017 edition. Talk about being mean and lean!
The Sherco setup consists of three blue Mercedes vans, one of which has been outfitted with three beds for the riders and an air-conditioner so the riders can get a good night’s rest. The rest of the crew sleeps in tents, one of which your reporter has borrowed because Emirates lost his bags on the way to Paraguay.
Over at Hero Motorsport’s Speedbrain setup there’s a proper Dakar-spec MercActros truck that looks purposeful and super-organised as befitting a German team that once ran BMW’s Dakar bikes. The truck also an attached shower which gives the riders a modicum of privacy unlike the communal bathrooms in the bivouac everybody uses (including your correspondent). Hero are running two bikes and have a crew of ten.