What’s faster - a dirt bike or a rally raid car?

Enduro bike versus Dakar rally raid car is the kind of competition that could only be put on by a company with bottomless pockets: Red Bull, of course!

Wade Young, enduro vs Dakar car @ Sani Pass. - Red Bull Motorsports/YouTube

Red Bull is no stranger to putting on epic head-to-head races, but the latest one is just a little bit special, as enduro ace Wade Young takes on Dakar winner Giniel de Villiers at the legendary Sani Pass.

Similar races have been put on by the Austrian energy drink brand before, pitting a KTM RC16 against a Red Bull F1 car, for example.

But this new race swaps asphalt for gravel, as Giniel de Villiers races his Toyota Hilux DKR T1 Dakar rally raid car against the Sherco enduro bike of Wade Young.

And what a bike it is: two-stroke, for a start, and at 300cc equal to the largest capacity you are going to find in a modern enduro smoker. Plus, KYB suspension at both ends, including a closed cartridge front fork, and a braking alliance of Galfer discs and Brembo callipers. 

It was the Sherco 300 SE that New Zealand’s Hamish Macdonald rode to fifth in the EnduroGP World Championship in 2023 (and third overall in the E2 class).

As for the Sherco’s pilot in the Red Bull race, Wade Young, his accolades include Red Bull Megawatt and Red Bull Romaniacs wins in 2018, as well as the Machete Hard Enduro the same year. He is also a seven-time Roof of Africa winner and finished third overall in the first year of the FIM Hard Enduro World Championship in 2021. 

His opponent, the aforementioned de Villiers, was the winner of the 2009 Dakar Rally, which was the first Dakar to be run in South America. It was a Volkswagen Touareg that de Villiers drove almost 15 years ago, but he has also finished on the podium five times with Toyota (2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2018), and the Japanese marque’s Hilux is a three-time winner of the Dakar, including on the last two runnings, with Nasser Al-Attiyah.

So, the race between the two South Africans, de Villiers and Young, has the star quality in terms of machinery and in terms of pilots, but what about the venue? Well, the benefit of both de Villiers and Young being from South Africa is that neither of them need a passport to get to the Sani Pass, one of the most legendary roads in southern Africa and situated in its highest region: the Drakensberg mountains.

Find out how the race played out in the above video, and find all motorcycle news on Visordown.

Image credit: Red Bull Motorsports/YouTube.