Originally Posted by troy safari carpente
1981 Hubert Auriol won the Dakar on a HPN prepared BMW R/80 GS. Now I'm not sure if this was Auriols first attempt at the race nor was HPN a novice at building big bore offroad competition bikes
Indeed it was not, Auriol participated in the first Dakar (1979) on XT500 - 12th overall (mixed classification cars and bikes).
In 1980, there were already 2 BMW 800's enlisted by BMW France (Auriol and Fenouil). Auriol DNF'd and Fenouil finished 5th (overall bikes). The bikes were already prepared by HPN.
Sorry for the off-topic memorabilia: just had a little fun looking that up in http://www.dakardantan.com
and wanted to share.