The race to rule them all – Dakar is upon us. The world’s most gruelling, dangerous and difficult rally raid to complete yet alone win.
Which is why old mate Toby Price is such a global superstar. To win on it on a bike, with no navigator, no roll cage, no extra set of hands in a break down, no mental and emotional support is what sets him apart from us mere mortals. But it’s not just the rider, the bike has to be absolute top of the line factory spec to make the distance.
So brace yourself for this one – someone is taking on the 2024 Dakar Rally on an electric motorbike.
The announcement comes from Italian electric motorbike manufacturer, Tacita, which has entered its new fully electric Discanto motorcycle and are taking on the cross country enduro in what’s known as the ‘Dakar Future – Mission 1000’ class. This is a class set aside for those pushing the boundaries of technology and vehicles. Ten vehicles have entered the Mission 1000 and the purpose is to test the limits of these sustainable vehicles rather than the brutal competition of the entire Dakar field.
Incase you are unfamiliar, Tacita are a fully electric motorcycle manufacturer that was founded in 2011 by Pierpaolo and wife Dina.
“Tacita is an exciting adventure,” says Luca Oddo, CEO of the brand. “And not only for the participation in the most difficult competition in the world such as the Dakar, but for the technological challenges that see us as protagonists.”
By far the strangest, most intergalactic, StarTrek-esque vehicle to grace the dunes for 2024, the Discanto is to be piloted by former World Rally Raid Champion, Italy’s Oscar Polli, and previous Dakar competitor, Frenchman Sylvain Espinasse. What is unique about the bike in comparison to other EVs is it’s five-speed mechanical gearbox, the liquid-cooling for the engine and controller and the battery management system (BMS).
This is not Tacita’s first Dakar rodeo. In 2020 the Tacita Formula Corsa race team became the first electric motorcycle at Dakar but they chose only top dip their toe in the water, completing the final 20km of the race. This toe dipping has spurred them onto the ultimate challenge – more Dakar.
But how are they going to recharge in the middle of nowhere? Tacita have developed a battery swap system meaning they are able to replace batteries in the breaks when others are refuelling. Alongside will be their clever motorcycle trailer offering called the T-Station, it acts as a charging station with photovoltaic panels and storage batteries. Apparently these 100 per cent ‘no noise, no CO2’ stations create enough energy to power their race space and recharge the rally bikes batteries. Expect to see these space ships popping up along their Dakar journey, plenty of sun to capture out there in the Saudi Arabian desert.
Follow their blog as they take on this incredible challenge.