One of the neatest bikes taking part in this year’s Dakar is the Aprilia RXV 4.5, which has been made newly competitive by the 450cc capacity restriction. Similar to the bike that’s competed in Africa’s Pharaohs rally for the last two years, these RXVs (there’s four racing right now) appear to be based on the 2008 or previous model (anyone know why?), if the diamond-shaped swingarms are anything to go by. Mods include the huge side-mounted auxiliary fuel tanks, upswept Arrow exhausts and all the de rigueur Dakar navigation aids and fairings. Standings as of yesterday’s stage 4 have one of these in fourth place.
Update: The RXV beat former champion Cyril Despres to win stage 5, its first ever stage victory at the 16-day race.