Adventure-Bertoni

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Gilera_R1_3

Dakar 1988 | Gilera R1 125 Paris Dakar

The discovery of the only surviving specimen of the two Gilera 125 R1 who participated in the 10. the Paris-Dakar edition, which took place in January 1988, gave us the cue to tell a forgotten story. A story that is all the more important considering that with this participation The Gilera wrote for the first time her name in the register of the grueling African marathon, starting in fact a presence that would have seen her among the major protagonists in the years to come.

We thank the Moto Club Carate Brianza for this opportunity, in the people of its president, Guido Fumagalli and the collector Mauro Gibellini, motorcycle owner, that to celebrate the important find, last July they organized a small party that saw the main architects of that adventure reunite. In addition to the rider who drove the motorcycle at the time,. 2, French Gilles Valade, and his mechanic Michel Duhalde, arrived the first even from New Caledonia (that's on the other side of the world, above Australia), and the second from France, The Italian part of the story was also present, mechanical historians who over the years 80 and 90 constituted the nerbo of the Gilera Racing Department, Emilio Locati and Romolo Ciancamerla. Silvano Galbusera was missing, another key figure in the set-up of the bikes, but unfortunately unable to participate.

The team French who sign up is called Le Defi 125 (The challenge of 125) to undertake the small displacement in relation to the enormous difficulties to be faced.

It was in fact these men who built the bikes at Arcore, with Marco Riva, present at the event, in those years at the Project Department of the House of Arcore, who took care of the livery and graphics of the two R1s that started at the Paris-Dakar. Briefly introduced the protagonists, we leave the memory of that adventure to the pilot Valade and his mechanic Duhalde.

GILLES VALADE
Fascinated like many off-road drivers from Paris-Dakar, In January 1987, immediately after the conclusion of the 9th edition of the race, I get in touch with Jean Marc Lambinon of Peugeot Cycles in Paris. I have an ambitious project to present to him: participate in the next Paris-Dakar, with four Peugeot XlSEs 125 Lc, standard bikes using Gilera engines, and I know well because I've been using one for two years to participate in the Peugeot Enduro Trophy. The small displacement, in relation to the hardness of the race, is in itself a challenge, and that's why the team I founded is called Le Defi 125 (The Challenge of 125).

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The team already has four drivers, a mechanic, a preparer, a simple but effective communication plan, and a few small sponsors. Manager, pilot and 'PR’ It's me; Christian Grelaud is the rider of the second bike that brings us in dowry the sponsor Aurora Confection; Marcel Meriguet and Chirstian Izaire, pilot and sports journalist of South Radio, I'm the third and fourth driver. Michel Duhalde is the mechanic. I realize that participating in the raid with a 125 it's a gamble, the dream is to end the adventure in Dakar, but it would already be a success to get to Agadir, the finish line of the half race.

Peugeot's management is convinced that The Challenge 125 can be a good advertising vehicle, recalling interest in his bikes; it doesn't take much time in fact that Lambinon calls me to announce that they have agreed to entrust me with four bikes, ten spare engines and many spare parts. It's a great start for me and, with the support of Peugeot, I turn to Michelin to get Desert tyres with Bib mousse. If the four Peugeots, in their basic set-up, may be good for Enduro races in France, they're certainly not adequate to face a Dakar. A little’ experience in fact I have it because I ran the edition of the 1986 from private with a Suzuki. First of all, we need to increase autonomy, which is reduced by the tank by 10,2 liters.

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At that time, Acerbis made plastic mega-tank kits, plus an extra tank to be placed under the saddle, different brands' bikes, but all of which are large, therefore not adaptable to Peugeot. The solution comes to me from an ad published in Moto Journal by Michel Assis offering a carbon monocoque 45 liters, with two indestructible aircraft tanks inside, placed one in the traditional position and the other behind the saddle, in the tail of the bike. Contact Assis and ask him if you can adapt this kit to my bikes. The answer is positive, so I send him a motorcycle so he can work on it calmly and accurately in his workshop. But even the Peugeot bike is not up to par.

In particular, the fork, who will have to support the overweight of more than 45 liters of fuel and the various accessories needed for theGilera_R1_36 desert navigation. Stock Express, specialist in forks, maybe seduced by my enthusiasm (and my sponsors…), agrees to procure me four more Marchers, bulk-up and 'up-side-down'. At the Doumencq Motos workshop, at Saverdun in Ariege, where the Peugeots are already being modified, the forks are mounted on the canvases without any problem, and soon the four Peugeots are ready for the first experiences in the mountains of the Pyrenees and the beaches of Narbonne, that offer multiple types of terrain and similar difficulties to those of Africa.

The tests are fine, motorcycles convince us. A pilot French, occasional spectator of our trials, and already a contender for the Peugeot Enduro Championship, asks us for information and offers his experience for any advice. Among other things, I tell him we're going to change the chain size, crown and pine cone, but that we don't know yet what to adopt between 420, 428 or 520.

The endurist expert strongly advises against this intervention, because he's seen too many engine carter breaks caused by the reports and the increased chain that, going to rub on the carter, wear it and break it quickly. Not to mention the increased power absorption, sensitive in engines like ours 125 who don't already have as much. Given the seriousness and competence of the person, we then decide to supersede this change, keeping the original transmission. Meanwhile, the four special carbon shells are finished and arrive at the Doumencq workshop, where the technical preparation takes place.

You just have to mount them and give the finishing touches, after which I organize a first presentation of Team Le Defi 125 on TV, on the France channel 3. Another key presentation, with exposure of a motorcycle, at the Peugeot stand at the Paris Motor Show, held by the 14 at 23 November 1987, where I also meet the well-known journalist Guy Coulon, which assures me of a wide service on the major newspapers of specialized printing and on VSD (widespread French magazine). On the same occasion I contact and get support from other important sponsors: Segura for clothing, Answer for helmets and Carrera for glasses. However, there is still no sponsor who can cover the transfer costs of motorcycles and spare parts, by Georges Groine's trucks, at the time the most introduced in the services of the Paris-Dakar.

Always at that Salon, Lambinon, New, guest at the Gilera booth, where I too find myself intrigued by the new R1 from Enduro, and in particular by its powerful engine, significantly better performing than the Peugeot, introduces me to some executives of the Italian company. A meeting follows in which I explain my project and mention the problems still to be solved related to the expensive transfer. But above all I ask if you can get the engine of the R1 to mount it on the four bikes. The 14 December I receive a phone call from Italy inviting me to Arcore: my request is accepted, and in addition the Gilera will participate through my team at the Paris-Dakar in official form! That's why they ask me to send to Arcore two bikes on which the new R1 engines will be installed. Before accepting, however,, it seems to me correct to inform and ask for permission from Peugeot, that sportingly does not place constraints on the fact that motorcycles also carry the Gilera brand.

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This does not go unnoticed by the specialized press, and a new article appears on the pages of L'Equipe magazine. But also contacts with the organization of the Paris-Dakar, in the person of Renè Metge, they're fine: given the value of sponsors, Peugeot, Michelin, Gilera, etc., I ask and get my bikes to have race numbers from 1 in 4. A nice shot for the image! The two Peugeots arrive at Arcore on 18 December, and are disassembled to fit the new engines, but the first difficulties also begin. Not only is it impossible to mount the engines and their accessories on the Peugeot, but a crate sent from France, which contains all the material you need to mount the shells on the bikes, is stolen from customs. My Mechanic, Michel Duhalte, Gilera to follow and collaborate with the work, he's seriously concerned, also because it's already the 18 December, and it's just over a week before the start of the race. So it prompts my return to Arcore, where I'm made aware of the technical difficulties i've encountered, considered insurmountable given the little time that remains if you want to line up at the start.

At this point, Gianni Perini, the historic Director of the Racing Department of Arcore. Perini decides to take two R1s from production and modify them with Peugeot parts. I accept the decision, also because I don't see any way out. Save time, the approval of the lawings will keep the Peugeot one… removing the Gilera tag and refilling the, and the two bikes will have French documents and license plates, with the identification number 25 Besancon district, where the Peugeot plant is located. 1119 December work begins on the 91, but there are more difficulties soon. In particular, you can't adapt the shells, so much so that in the end the Gilera mechanics cut them into two parts, using only the rear one that is attached to the frame with special brackets, while the front is deleted, adopting an increased capacity tank made in record time and tailored, and that retains a similar look to the original.

Unfortunately, this way they are lost 10 liters of fuel, which will have to be recovered absolutely by fixing over the back of the tail two canisters from 5 liters, with the consequences of impaired stability that result. You can't even mount the Marzocchi forks “up-side-down, keeping the original R1. The decision is made to use a reinforced and enhanced final transmission, despite my contrary opinion. In fact, in no Enduro competition held by Gilera in Europe has the problem of the chain breaking the carter, so you don't see a reason to give up this change.

The two bikes are so complete and tested by Gilera testers. Among the changes you made, removing the mixer, battery, whose compartment under the saddle is occupied with a small reserve can of oil per mixture, gas and clutch spare cables already in place and ready to hook, levers of the spare controls fixed with rubber bands and plastic straps to the head of the fork, second spare coil, special stand with wide base that does not sink into the sand, wheels with pins equipped with a fast disassembly handles, and any necessary changes to the handlebars (plate and bindings) to mount the road book and compass. A huge effort by mechanics and technicians, working day and none, in a week they practically built two bikes capable of facing a Paris-Dakar! The 26 December 1987 Grelaud and I, the other pilot, we are in Milan where the pre-departure from Milan-Flowers takes place.

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On our shirts is the Gilera brand well highlighted, and so on the tank of the two bikes, where Gilera towers over Peugeot. From Milan we leave for France by car and arrive in Reims where Perini and the mechanic await us Silvano Galbusera gilera's service truck and the two R1s. In Reims we also find Marcel Meriguet and Christian Izaire and their two Peugeots. this is where the technical checks take place. As for numbering, unfortunately the number 1 is moved to Jean Claude Olivier's Yamaha (the powerful importer French of the Japanese house), So the team's four bikes will have the 2, 3, 4 and 5, with the first two numbers assigned to the Gilera. The 30 December '87 we are in Cergy Pontoise (on the River Oise, a few miles northwest of Paris) where you run the first special test under an infamous time. Rain and mud make the special a true Dante's group, but the Gileragos go perfectly. Unique care, a tall front fender is mounted so as not to get clogged with mud, which will then be disassembled because it is useless in Africa where the low one is preferable. At the finish line the result is really encouraging, with Grelaud 39th, and first in the class 125, and the others well placed in high places of the qualifying.

On 1 January S8 begins from Versailles the transfer leg to Sète for boarding for Africa: the two Gileras in the straight touch the 145 km/h, deserved the admiration of Jean Claude Olivier, working alongside us with his Yamaha 600 inciting us with the familiar motorcycle gesture of the handcuff all open. In Sète we embark on the ferry that takes us to Algiers. We're in Africa! From Algiers we reach EI Oued, where the mechanic following the shipment, Michel Duhalde, provides motorcycle maintenance. Only on my Gilera there is a serious problem: unfortunately it's happening what I was afraid, that is, the pine cone and the increased chain kneaded with sand are a grinding grinder on the left-hand casing of the engine that has a slit of 5 cm, allowing the sand to penetrate the ignition case. In addition, unexplained fact, the clothespin of the false chain mesh is found inside the case, while my chain is not lacking. Maybe a mistake in the assembly phase? The next stage EI Oued-Hassi Messaoud, is of 594 km, of which 250 special in the desert. what to do? Change the entire engine, or just the broken carter? The regulation stipulates that each bike has two spare engines, the first one to use, In the event of a rupture, in the first part of the race, that is, up to Agadez, the second later. In the end we decide to change only the carter thus saving the first spare engine, and Michel works all night to complete the operation. In the morning the bike turns perfectly and I take the hopeful start. In fact, the Gilera, small and light compared to other bikes, large and heavy, sails very well on the dunes.

But the joy is destined to last little: after three hours the engine is muted. I look at the left carter and see that it has broken again, with the sand that penetrated inside and blocked the ignition. I don't lose heart, and with the tools I've unmasked the engine from the frame, confident that the assistance truck will be by me shortly. Instead I'll have to wait 11 hours in the desert before it arrives. The truck leaves me the new engine still packed and starts again immediately, on the other hand, he's in the race too! Nobody helps me, nobody stops to see what's wrong. We are in a special test, and Paris-Dakar is not a walk in the desert! The new engine starts immediately, I can resume the march. I miss them 350 km to get to the stage finish line.

The track is made almost impassable by the passage of more than five hundred vehicles, and it's now evening, with the night looming. I turn on all the lights and proceed with caution. Suddenly, after a moon, I find a gathering of vehicles: bike, cars and trucks are stationary with their headlights on in a sort of encampment where the first bonfires are already red-hot. I'll stop too, despite having nothing to spend the night, but I experience the famous brotherhood of the Dakarians: they offer me a drink, to eat and to shelter me at night. In the morning we all leave. I miss gasoline, and a Land Rover now out of action, gives me his reserve. So I arrive at the stage finish line of Hassi Messaud with well 10 hours of delay.

here I learn that the two Peugeot, that mounted the older engines with the pinion and the smaller chain (from 428 instead of 520), they had passed this test, but they had retreated anyway because they had run out of oil for the mixture. In that Paris-Dakar, thirteen 125 entered, no one will be able to finish the race. Soon after I joined Christian Grelaud, Truck guest in the company of many other drivers. He broke the body at the spot where it had been fixed to the frame and he too withdrew. Besides his motor was breaking exactly like my. My bike, By the way, begins to report the same problem to the carter after six hours of march not even pulled. Discouraged, I just have to abandon the race, also because the service trucks don't arrive, and by regulation I couldn't mount the second spare engine anyway. But I decided to go back to Algiers on a motorcycle, because the transfer is all about asphalt.

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My Paris-Dakar ends here. The other members of the team also reach Algiers, Where, thanks to Michel's skill, we manage to board a cargo plane in the company of motorcycles and… what's left of it. Meager consolation is then to know that that stage had been too hard for all: overturned or out of action cars and motorcycles destroyed or stuck in the sand, a total of 147 Abandon, And with all 125 Withdrawn. Perhaps the organization had not well assessed the difficulties, but the malignant whispered that it was designed specifically to reduce the number of competitors and therefore the overheads… Anyway, maybe to make up for it, at the last moment the race management had granted a bonus of 10 hours for laggards. Gilera returned to Arcore, I explain the causes of the withdrawals to the technical staff. Gianni Perini listens to me, recording every detail, which will certainly serve as an experience.

Immediately he proposes to me to participate in a marathon that will be held shortly in Spain, Aragon Bay, relay race for two riders to do with an R1 prepared. I accept and choose Christian Grelaud as my companion. Unfortunately Christian will be the victim of a car accident a few days before the race. I will also participate, also to honor his memory, but again without luck. So I'm going to close with the Gilera, not without my merits being recognized as the promoter of a participation that will bring to the Italian House so many sporting satisfactions".

MICHEL DUHALDE AND ROMOLO CIANCAMERLA

No less interesting also the memory of Michel Duhalde, the mechanic French in charge of the assistance of the gilera in the land of Africa, and who was invited to Arcore for specific preparation. “I know Valade thanks to my BMW that I turned into Paris-Dakar style. He likes the bike and asks me if I'm willing to follow him in the Defi enterprise 125. His enthusiasm immediately infects me, and my involvement skyrockets when I'm chosen to go to Arcore at the Racing Department. Arrival at Linate airport on the evening of 17 December 1987 and I'm taken to Arcore on a Lancia Thema Ferrari 8.32! First contact with Gianni Perini and the mechanics of the Racing and Experiences Department. Especially with Silvano Galbusera I immediately establish a good relationship, also thanks to the fact that he speaks well French. We immediately get to work on the two Peugeots to equip them with the R1 engines. It's not an easy job: the muffland, The silencer and air filter are incompatible with the Peugeot frame.

So Perini decides to use two standard R1, equipping them with components removed at the two Peugeots. In the evening I call Gilles Valade, and I inform him of everything. The carbon shells are if they are sifted in two and only the back of the shells are used, while the Marchcchi fork of the Peugeot is preferred the standard one of the R1. The work proceeds quickly and I learn a lot from these professionals in the Racing Department. At lunch I am invited to the canteen of the Gilera and in the short moment of relaxation, I ask Silvano for some news about the factory and the bikes. I have in mind the cross twin-cylinder used by Rinaldi only for a few races and then discarded because of the regulation that prohibited this engine. They also take me to a warehouse where there are no less than eighty motorcycles of all ages. They are dusty and abandoned: it's a shame that the history of the Gilera is treated like this! But time is running out and work looms.

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Every night I go back to the hotel where I sleep little and bad, assailed by all the technical and mechanical problems that continually arise. In Gilera they really do their best, Perini even gave me two all red with the inscription Gilera, so that I can get even more into the environment. We work tirelessly and with great precision. So we can solve all the problems, from the tank, approval tags, air filter, paramotor plates, two water radiators. In the same way we brilliantly overcome the difficulty of installing the electric road book and compass on the handlebars. Then we weld to the wheel pins of the sticks for rapid disassembly, and we even out the hexagon to that of the candle so that with a single key you can also disassemble the wheels, we modify the easel and eliminate the battery, also mounting a spare coil. The saddle is also made on purpose with a very durable special foam, and I propose to mount cables and spare levers in an accessible and ready-to-use position. In addition, the handrails are reinforced by aluminum bars. We remove the starter and the mixer.

What unfortunately we can't solve, and that will prove fatal, it's the question of the pine cone too big, which will eventually break the carter because of the sand. Not even Perini can find someone to make us a smaller pinion. The only result we get is to receive from the Queen a high-quality 0-R chain from 520 (Peugeot mount O-R Sedis 428), like the Cagiva 900 Official. The days pass very fast and my week at Arcore starts at the end. However, my contribution is not marginal, in fact, I'm crucial when it comes to fitting the Bib mousse in the Michelin rear wheels because here no one has ever done it before. After this operation my quotes go up to the point that I wonder if I am not a technician of Michelin… I also ask that the rays be replaced with more robust ones, not without Perini's interest, however, who also chooses new DID rims from the Bike Warehouse from Cross.

The front wheels, on the other hand, retain the original wheels of the R1, and that explains why they're anodized in gold, while the rear is aluminum. The bikes are almost ready, they are developed by a Carburatorist of Dell'Orto and then are entrusted for the first laps to Gilera testers. Finally they are loaded to take them to Milan for the pre-departure. And the 24 December. I've had seven exciting days at the Gilera Racing Department, a very important experience for my life, not only professional. Romulus Ciancamerla, for ten years in Gilera at the Racing Department, adds more details to the story.

Every night I go back to the hotel where I sleep little and bad, assailed by all the technical and mechanical problems that continually arise. In Gilera they really do their best, Perini even gave me two all red with the inscription Gilera, so that I can get even more into the environment. We work tirelessly and with great precision. So we can solve all the problems, from the tank, approval tags, air filter, paramotor plates, two water radiators. In the same way we brilliantly overcome the difficulty of installing the electric road book and compass on the handlebars. Then we weld to the wheel pins of the sticks for rapid disassembly, and we even out the hexagon to that of the candle so that with a single key you can also disassemble the wheels, we modify the easel and eliminate the battery, also mounting a spare coil. The saddle is also made on purpose with a very durable special foam, and I propose to mount cables and spare levers in an accessible and ready-to-use position. In addition, the handrails are reinforced by aluminum bars. We remove the starter and the mixer.

What unfortunately we can't solve, and that will prove fatal, it's the question of the pine cone too big, which will eventually break the carter because of the sand. Not even Perini can find someone to make us a smaller pinion. The only result we get is to receive from the Queen a high-quality 0-R chain from 520 (Peugeot mount O-R Sedis 428), like the Cagiva 900 Official. The days pass very fast and my week at Arcore starts at the end. However, my contribution is not marginal, in fact, I'm crucial when it comes to fitting the Bib mousse in the Michelin rear wheels because here no one has ever done it before. After this operation my quotes go up to the point that I wonder if I am not a technician of Michelin… I also ask that the rays be replaced with more robust ones, not without Perini's interest, however, who also chooses new DID rims from the Bike Warehouse from Cross.

Gilera_R1_17

The front wheels, on the other hand, retain the original wheels of the R1, and that explains why they're anodized in gold, while the rear is aluminum. The bikes are almost ready, they are developed by a Carburatorist of Dell'Orto and then are entrusted for the first laps to Gilera testers. Finally they are loaded to take them to Milan for the pre-departure. And the 24 December. I've had seven exciting days at the Gilera Racing Department, a very important experience for my life, not only professional. Romulus Ciancamerla, for ten years in Gilera at the Racing Department, adds more details to the story.

Thank you for the article: Motorcycling, Vintage Motorcycling and Motorcycling Suv.

Gates-1988-3

Franco Gualdi Team Cagiva Dakar 1988

Do you have a minute to tell us your Dakar?
I started as a fast assistance, I like Picard, our protected were Bacou and Dalia, to them it was the honor of carrying on of the Cagiva; at one point Dalia had his accident, Bacou instead was below expectations and so I get out of the blue the better placed. I had accumulated much delay to fulfill my duty in the days before, and at that point even if I had the spirit of jumping to mo’ Kamikaze I couldn't conclude that great, so I did my race to get to the end without damage, even psychologically wasn't prepared to become man winning, and overall sixth place I filled me.

Did you find this edition really harder than in previous?
Last year I experienced very little of Dakar, definitely in my opinion the first stages of this year have been far more challenging than last year. From the Middle onwards I would say that the difficulty of the routes not seemed so incredible, some kilometres to-run daily were not few, but in my view it was not a ruthless contest.

Gates-1988-4

How would you like in the future?
Medical care is definitely the thing that should be better maintained and improved, otherwise the Paris-Dakar rally seems to be so; is the mileage, the hardness of the routes were to my liking, the rest should make it easier would lose much of the charm that has for all of us. If it were up to me I would limit assistance regulations, now is allowed to all, cam-change every piece of the bike or the machines is a habit every night, However in my view limiting substitutions in Dakar would arrive over the pilots better even more hardship motorbikes, of course such a regulation would turn up their noses at Homes, but that is my personal idea.

Your bike was perfect or what avretri wanted more or less?
I think everyone has said that his bike was perfect, and also I, honestly I have to say that after some initial problem with the clutch Cush drive, Once you have arranged the inconvenience, outside of the usual replacement of consumables, chains, pinion, tire covers, other than that the bike has kept perfect-mind until. Our team was super organized; technicians and mechanics and men of assistance typically they didn't miss anything, the bike I had in hand was definitely numero uno, do not hesitate to say that anyone who has been missing in the team were pilots, and when I speak of the pilots I don't mean Picard and Gates…

How many times did you fall and for what causes? Do you think the African rally is more dangerous than other races?
I fell once, in 50 km/h, So basically I've never fallen, that is, I did not make those falls that we have seen repeatedly on TV; the Dakar these risks are commonplace, with the high speeds and the terrain so insidious in 12.000 kilometers would be impossible that doesn't happen sometimes even some serious accident. Surely the Dakar is more dangerous than regularity, especially for high speeds you have to keep out of a terrain where you risk you should go no more than 50 per hour. In regularity speeds are much more limited but still a pilot is always well protected from various accessories like helmet, dog harness, etc. etc. Keep in mind that in the twenty days of this marathon walk many kilometers as in two years of regularity races and with all the starters that there are…

Tell us about the most curious of your Dakar.
Towards the middle of the race I was in a group with Orioli, Terruzzi and Fatemian and did a dirty gasoline supply, pretty much everyone we were in need of repair, but the only bike that was able to digest that petroleum was my surrogate Cagiva so I helped Edy pulling and pushing until his bike is broken down.

Will you be back next year?
In spite of the Paris-Dakar was the most exciting race of my life, I think its not to participate more, to me it came “Mal d'africa”, for this I think I won't come back. To win you have to risk, I realized that while not risking not I accused no dropped, and then if I get resubmit probably would try to cancel the gap with the best and to do that I should risk more than you want.

Source Motocross March 1988

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Prologo maldetto! Aldo Winkler Dakar 1988

Departure to Paris so proud to be in the team Honda Italy B had found even the sponsors but this photo reminds me of a dramatic prelude, the bike rattava the prologue and this photo shows that I wanted to work on it but here at little squalificarmi's a janitor comes to scold me threatening my life if I hadn't gone. The next day I will regularly, and I'll do 800 km in the cold and ice with broken with the bike that was a little’ accelerated. In 5 km from the Eiffel Tower sthe rear brake drum shoes scollarono, and I had to remove the wheel to make it free. After 300 km will break the chain, the giuntai and after another 30 km the chain was still cracked.

I softened the bike to some viewers and a polite gentleman with the machine he took at breakneck speed I'm taking Highway at the head of the rally because the trucks were leaving for first, I give a chain and I went back to repair the bike. Resumed the race all sweaty and LY, but it was in extreme lateness practically last and from time! Trying to catch up with the bike in these conditions I went as hard as possible, in the heat I jumped a stamp control (Pena 2 penalty hours) and I got to take Cale Marseille, and while was fixing to fix it definitively I took an ankle boots in an attempt to start it without recoil. I got on the ferry aching with 2 penalty hours and destroyed by fatigue and tension. Honda trucks Italy retreated and Honda France gave support to Italian riders but I was excluded, the airborne mechanic fell ill and returned to Italy. I found myself without assistance and without mechanical. You will think: how much bad luck! You and true but the most important thing and that I got 19° Dakar and without the two-hour penalty would do 12°!
How many memories in this simple picture…

Text by Aldo Winkler

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Private Italian in Dakar 1988

Beppe Gauri on his Suzuki DR650

Beppe Gauri on his Suzuki DR650

Fourteenth absolute, and best Italian private in Dakar, Beppe Gauri is unique in boasting private title. He was just a mechanic by plane (the famous Annapurna, little one to save space) and some cash distributed among truckers who rented the space.

"It was tough – commented the bergamasco – the hardest of my experiences. Fortunately my Suzuki DR 600 he marched as a clock, without ever reporting trouble. But I worked harder than ever: This race is becoming a real beast for pilots who do not have a real team behind, with the masseur, numerous spare parts and more».

Aldo Winkler, He has hired a single officer of the year and leaned at Honda Italy, He had fewer problems; but he paid for a three-hour penalty by jumping a control passage between Paris and boarding: three hours that ultimately weighed on placement.

Aldo WInler on Honda to Set

Aldo Winkler on Honda to Set

 

"This race — summed up in Dakar — asks the pilot increasing concentration. I'm often asked: but who made me do? And I must say that I was not trained because of work commitments keep me busy all year round. But it is a fascinating race: in a few months I'll die from the desire to restart-King, Although today I am dead tired».

Bruno Birbes is the private “rich”: with two associates bikers has put together a budget of 300 million and was assisted by a personal truck and two mechanics by plane. BMW dealer in Brescia, raced the twin finishing nineteenth.

"I arrived in Dakar for the first time — says Charles Edson — but also modified. I swear a grind like I have no intention of sobbarcarmela. Saved me the experience».

Bruno Birbes on his BMW

Bruno Birbes on his BMW

Only eight Italians were able to get to the bottom of the Paris-Dakar. See them coming night after night, dead tired and covered with dust, with many adventures to tell each bivouac, It was great and exciting.

Source Motorcycle Racing
Special Tks Stefano Magician for the article

Amazing Pierre Marie Poles to Dakar 1988

Tresseras 1988

R. Tresseras Dakar 1988

A heroic Tresseras R. in the dunes of the Dakar 1988 a Honda XL 600 LM very close to the model of series. Backpack, sleeping bag and leather saddlebags. EPIC!

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Giorgio Grasso Dakar 1988

Garrison fueling his Yamaha BYRD during the Dakar 1988. Edition not very lucky for him ended for fall and fracture in the leg.

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Mercandelli and Grassotti with 125 towards the Dakar 1988

Carlo Alberto Mercandelli had the dealer Volkswagen which boasted the largest motorcycle throughout the Italian clientele. From his living room in Casale Monferrato came out the cars of the cross, enduro and also the speed.
There was a reason for this, and the reason goes beyond the inevitable discount. Carlo Alberto after being an excellent pilot cross had stood in around like juvenile cross national Manager. An activity that had kept alive the passion and desire to drive.
So after a first experience in the Paris-Dakar ' 86, and the fifteenth place overall and first in class (with a Yamaha 350) the Rally of the Pharaohs, tried the adventure.
«Commitments with the IMF keep me busy between February and October, and I remain. the winter months to devote to bike. So I approached the rally and in Africa I found my favorite terrain. Africa is beautiful. The contact and the contrast between Earth and sky offer unique sensations».

They are not lacking contingencies...
"Already, in 1986 After ten days of competition a little boy in the night stole the boots. I left for the stage in sneakers but I didn't do a long way. Fell almost immediately by retreating to a dislocated collarbone».

This year the difficulties you've go to try running with a 125.
"Of course is a bit’ madness, and if you'd thought over probably would have given up on this adventure. Instead the decision was matured in a hurry. the Yamaha Belgarda has offered to help me as long as I ran with a 125 Ténéré serie».

Much more thought out was the choice of Giovan Battista (said «Beat») Gargate, writing in the Paris-Dakar with a Aprilia Tuareg Rally 125.
"The idea of running with a 125 I came up with last year while returning to Paris after I retired from Niamey.
Be the first to arrive in Dakar on an 125 It would be wonderful, of course I would be glad to do it along with Mercandelli. I front and one behind».

Having a companion of displacement, Although brand opponent, will help?
«Definitely. I'm very glad I'm not the only one to try. In two we can help and we have a better chance to succeed».

Do you believe?
"Technically I don't see why a good 125 modern shouldn't do that. The problem will be that, not being fast, We'll have to drive for hours in the dark».

Ed. The Dakar Mercandelli stopped 4 of January in stage Sahan Berry-Bir Larache. To Grassotti during the fifth stage.

Source Motosprint
Thanks Clement Canino for photos

Gag_Te_88

Cagiva team to Dakar 1988

The pilots are: Serge Bacou, Alessandro De Petri, Gilles Picard and Franco Gualdi.