All Enduro Hondas for the whole of Europe are attended to in Desio, close to Milan, since 2013.
This could mean anything, but it really is here that all Enduro bikes for the Old Continent’s markets are prepared and homologated.
Don’t suppose that this is only a bureaucratic matter, because it isn’t at all.
It’s a perfectly tuned machine which combines assembly, commercialisation, and sports activity.
Here, they also look after the Factory Team, Honda Racing Red Moto World Enduro Team, which includes Thomas Oldrati and Christophe Charlier. Amateurs can buy the same bikes they ride, and the special parts are available as optional add-ones both during the purchase as well as in aftersales.
Collaboration enables them to manage a market as vast as Enduro and the team also needs to be a well-oiled machine with the best possible conditions for the riders to achieve top results in their category: for 2018 on, boss Egidio Motta signed an agreement with Matteo Boffelli, the current Team Manager, who was able to improve the organisation of the team even more.
The team was outsourced under the protection of Red Moto and Honda Europe, but it still works closely with the parent company thanks also to Tullio Pellegrinelli, a superb former rider and actual Sports Director who is in charge of the development of all Enduro Hondas on the European market.
They don’t follow a completely normal calendar here in Desio: the motorbikes are the bosses.
All cross and trial bikes arrive between September and January, the Enduro and street bikes arrive between November and April.
The production department works non-stop during this period.
One might wrongly assume that the months after this rush are calmer, but this really isn’t the case.
From June to September they only think about one thing: racing.
So how does one modify an Enduro bike?
Don’t think that all adjustments are connected to legal approval, which isn’t that simple a process either.
The Enduro race fields and markets are part of the same world so the same people take care of both the champions and the amateurs.
Engineer Carlo Curci, Technical Manager, shows us one of the roughly one-hundred-and-fifty “Special” Enduro bikes that Red Moto sells every year: the core is a CRF 300 RX Enduro bike which is modified to maximise performance.
Only a few details: an internal DB Killer, simplified electronic wiring, a homologated exhaust, an adjusted tank with a 7.3 litres capacity with visible level, all of which add up, for example, to a greater braking and hydraulic capacity and a reinforced clutch.
These are only some of the adjustments but the general idea behind the great amount of work that goes into these bikes is clear: a motorcycle that leaves here is very different to, and better than, the bike that arrived.
The greatest achievement is to be able to combine the almost artisanal attention to detail used for every single bike with the reasoning of a large company like Honda.
“It’s summer and everything is empty and calm”, Carlo tells us showing us about hundred motorcycles. “Imagine this hall full of bikes and you can understand what it is like during the peak months.”
It seems like they really enjoy a challenge here: this is why, in 2013, Egidio Motta decided to support Honda in order to create a top-level team and to manage it with the same passion and know-how which is dedicated to every single winged bike that passes through Desio and is sent to every European country from here.