Interview with Bruno Birbes

In November I called Fabio, and after giving me of boho and incompetent as has always, tells me which can give me one last chance: We would have to do an article on a certain…
Obviously ended up our games, tells me: «Oh, see that this is one TRUE, is an old-school already, not a wimp like you…». And still: "This has made more than a dozen, among those on motorcycles as a pilot and as an assistance and team manager. Is one of your parts, a Brescia…».

Bresciano who, I am a GAL. My wife, my daughter and my dog are bresciane, but that's a separate discussion… So I go ahead and ask him the name, He tells me he is called Charles Edson, Bruno Birbes. But I know him!!! How Many Dakar? What? That Bruno Birbes? Ah, yes, I had heard… Fabio is right, I'm a scoundrel.
Yes, but is it possible that every time I meet "" Bruno (Note the article before the name, the bresciana) that always seems to be a docile 65-year-old who likes to picnic with friends still at motorcycle rides… What is, a joke? Whereupon began investigating- King, call a couple of friends and I speak- No one who gives the gas for sale, who got behind in classes ca professional riders with names, played of the Pharaons Rally during the first six.

These banks make me angry: is it possible that when you deal with them always seem to newcomers, those who have lived in the hut no yesterday afternoon, then go see below and discover which are dragons that stuff there!?
Now let me tell you a little bit of who we are talking about. We're talking about a promising young champion class 1949, doing her first steps with Gali 50, Italjet 50 and Müller 50 in the early ' 60 gymkhanas. Even in the 1968, the six days of San Pellegrino, won the bronze medal on Müller 50 motorized Zündapp, No at the moment do not buy a Müller 125, Montesa motor, puts it in the hands of the legendary preparer of Borgo San Giacomo, Maestroni (recently deceased), and start the adventure of racing. VA strong little boy, has that Twinkle that makes him stand before, has that sample madness. Thus began to make a name for themselves and friendships begin to arrive and aid.

From 1970 the ' 74 runs with CZ 250 and Maico 500, and alternates Cross regularly, where it collides with the names of that era, the likes of Valerie and Abdul. While he tells me these stories at some point Bruno, serious as a policeman, I cite an episode of 1970 He starred with the Maico 500 in an international competition: take to the skies, wrong speed and Lands on the floor after a crazy flight, folding handlebars, running boards and front subframe and reducing the circle shaped rugby ball. Whereupon tells me: "And from there are as you see me now, before I was tall blond». With this I realized it is one that makes fun alone, like all healthy bikers…

In those years comes the officiality with Puch in regularity and the great encounter with the man of change, Silvio Struggling, at the time assistance workshop Puch and mechanic trainer. In 1973 Charles Edson joined the official team Fernandez and becomes a pilot Puch in all respects. Running with the 180 CC, made to fit the six days of the marches of Camerino 1974, and with the 250 Replica Everest two Carburetors, with which to play the podium end of season rankings in Italian, battling with drivers such as Testori, Nikki t and Ferrari.

In 1975 try putting my head in place and decides to open a dealership Puch and BMW; takes advantage of the very important figure of Struggling, stop running officially and began a flourishing entrepreneurial career. I use the term "proof" because, Racing- mind talking, the head together she pretended to put it, minor races and devoting himself to open the shutters in the morning. He married the daughter of Struggling, gave him of grandchildren, He sold many beautiful BMW boxer, gentle and quiet, It has streaked straight for a few years. The problem is that under the ashes there was still the volcano turned on: one fine day he woke up, He watched a BMW, He turned to his father-in-law, Struggling, and told him: "How about one and we go to Dakar!».

Here's, now I am c… 1984, Rallye des Pharaons, Puch 500 4 times, 24°; the following year the same locations, always jumping controls timbre and taking penalty hours. Then he joined the great adventure: in 1987 you decided to take part in the Dakar. In the wake of the successes of Gaston Rahier, his official BMW and the fact of being dealer, build, He and Struggling, a missile from the desert on a BMW boxer. The Pharaohs of the 86 go to test it and come back with a 6th overall, then off to Dakar. Without assistance, experience and with so much throttle, on the third day without sleep at night soft top and breaks shoulder, ribs, etc…

Moves to an end stage and in his head, motorcycle adventurer's sick, think again… Carlo Florenzano, then
Honda team manager with Orioli and Tade, takes it and makes him understand that his race is over, load it onto the plane in place and bring the bike to Agadez. While he tells me the episode, Bruno has tears in her eyes. The fact is that, Obviously, reorganizes and even create a Team, the Assomoto, with the help of pollen and Girardi determinant (his great friends, two more sick of rally).

So, After buying a Unimog, PA tone for Dakar 1988. In this edition there is a 1.150 km… is an issue very hard, breaks the Exchange in the second stage and after having towed by Winkler to the finish, It tells that he was out of gas (because otherwise they forfeit) and passes the finish line by turning on the bike with the air pulled by pretending that everything is OK… After breaking the frame under the Steering sleeve, He rides a stage and then the firm; in Bamako changes the engine oil now goes, but eventually arrives and also great.

The Rally of the Pharaohs of 88 goes with an XR 600. Very fierce and ready to get a good result, plant a mine than just remembers that after he stopped to give a De Petri… complete darkness until Gauri tells him to sit still that helicopter is coming. Two days in a coma in Cairo. From 1989 just motorcycles, but only to drive. Arrives and he gets run team manager Beppe Cinnamon, also because it's still bagged. Since ' 90 become official assistance for individuals enrolled in the Dakar and Gilera ' 91 Official Kawasaki Team become even with KLE 500 Twins.

Struggling has become a dragon dakariane preparations, and from the 1985 the ' 95 might try something like 25 bike. It is known as a tough character and he knows how to put together a motorbike from the desert, so many rely on "Grandpa". During these years make assistance to various drivers, including Aldo Winkler, and live the adventure of Dakar old-fashioned, the African ones, becoming in effect a major team and recognized as certainty from the Dakar (among the many anecdotes that Bruno tells me I'm struck by the time the arrival of a stage in Mauritania Orioli comes with finished, Marathon stage without assistance; Birbes is there, and with the help of some friends dismounts all in one night, Exchange system and allows the sample to do the next day's stage, get support and finally win his third Dakar).

Up in the midst of a transfer, DAB to smear a truck stopped at lighthouses switched off; in 120 mph they see it on the top and strike him with flank, they tear all wheels that way and start carambolare. To exit down the glass before kicking with truck smoking ready to ignite. To understand this better, Bruno realized that night that the Jokers were over…
His BMW now keeps it at home on the fourth floor, next to toys grandkids, in front of the desk, close to the photographs. He is a kind of good manners and respectful of the House and sixty of his order, never again will you think that devil from Dakar who always threw myself into the adventure, that capital letter.

Among the photos that I find at home by Bruno Birbes, one strikes me as particularly, and so I ask him what he was doing in that picture. Immediately starts laughing and I'll explain that in an edition of the years ' 90 the Dakar during a layover Aldo Winkler comes with broken arm. Charles Edson, that is his assistance, knows he doesn't have the parts there and the next day must start its pilot. Now, Let me quote the definition of genius that is given in the film Amici Miei: "the genius is fantasy, intuition, glance and execution speed!”. So Birbes you look around with his arm broken arm in hand. There at the side there is a Mauritanian kiosk with the tables and chairs of iron. With making furtive grab a Chair, saw a leg and in the divided into two in the inner canals broken arm; rivets all (Obviously in a serious) and the next day Winkler is broken down… and he finished the race. Boys, I swear I sparkled eyes!

Based on an article by Enduro rider Magazine, text by Paolo Silvestri