The Dakar Rally has revealed that it’s preparing to make changes to make the tough off-road race safer in 2021.

Dakar Rally plans to make racing SAFER. Speed restrictions and mandatory airbags.

In addition to a number of serious accidents, this year’s Dakar Rally resulted in the death of Paulo Gonçalves and Edwin Straver. And to work out how to make the racing safer, the organisers have met with the FIM and several race teams.

The first measure focuses on reducing speed in the race. That’ll be achieved in a couple of ways; it’ll be taken into account when designing the stages (with the help of an ex-competitor). There will be an inspection to check the route and Road Book to try and minimise errors.


That’s not all. The motorcycles will also receive a new power limiter – similar to Supersport 300. It’s going to be tested by teams this spring, with the aim of getting global approval by June.

As well as slowing them down, organisers want to improve riders safety. The plan is that all riders will have wear airbags protectors. An imminent meeting with kit manufacturers is on the cards, to ensure that the technology is tailored for use in the Dakar Rally in time for 2021. And finally, a new navigation instrument will be rolled out across the paddock – which will offer visual and audible warnings to the rider.   

It’s an interesting development for the Dakar Rally – but the objective is clear, to make things much safer for 2021.

Ross Mowbray

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