Jimmy Lewis in a passage near the “Elephant Rocks” in the desert of Mauritania Tichit-Nema in Dakar during the stage of 2001.
Struggling and Charles Edson. after previous experiences at Pharaons Rally of the editions ' 84 and ' 85, you were made to clear and precise idea of how it was to be a bike able to compete for victory. First of all a reliable two-cylinder engine and can guarantee high speed and an indispensable strength on long desert marathons.
Obvious so the choice of BMW also considered that Charles Edson, the German House, It was the official dealer for Brescia and province.
"I had in mind the motorcycle of Rahier» – Silvio begins Struggling – "I wanted to make an equal and if possible improving it. My ideas, After nearly ten months of work, led to this result which I am satisfied».
In fact, after almost a year of Saturdays and Sundays stolen from family and rest, the object that came out will satisfy Birbes who after the first tests on the track of Rezzato, He expressed himself in terms very favorable.
«The motorcycle in principle is valid. but we have yet to perfect the front suspension 'cause. with a full tank of gasoline (60 liters), go to the bottom racing».
If we consider that this BMW-Struggling with a full tank of gasoline weighs about 240 kg, almost less official German motorcycle. We can image into their efforts to arrive at such a result.
What difficulties have you encountered in the realization of this «monster»?
«I had to lengthen the swingarm to nine centimeters by rebuilding so the entire transmission» – meets Struggling – "I have completely redone the back of the frame to allow easy positioning of the spare tank in such a way then you can disassemble the motorcycle without encountering too many difficulties. Now I'm able to intervene on the gear and the transmission without dismantling the Middle».
BMW-Struggling will start in early October to Marseille where they will do the ' 86 Edition hallmarks of Rallye des Pharaons. The result of this competition will also depend on the participation in the Paris-Dakar rally which will start on January 1 next. (Ed. Charles Edson arrived 6° in that issue of the Pharaohs).
«Subscribe to Dakar» – concludes Charles Edson – ' has already been performed. but the result of the ' Pharaohs ' will influence greatly on our participation. I think I still have the bike suitable for these marathons».
We leave Birbes and Struggling to hundreds of questions that fans and onlookers turn to them to know "why and how" of their realization. The similarity with the official BMW motorcycles is truly remarkable, but the bike though is the result solely of ideas and of Silvio Struggling.
We Thank David Baez (proud owner of the bike) for the material provided to make this post.
Not just BMW boxer to Dakar! These images depict the prototype Car that IPR team took at the start of the Paris-Dakar rally Edition 1986 with driving the Frenchman Yves De Chalon.
The news of this project are not many, We rely to friends of the network to find information.
The official BMW GAULOISES team brings strong Spanish rider on the podium the Thumper BMW F650, in second place behind the brand-mate Richard Sainct.
Photo Gigi Soldano
And’ the 1984 and the BMW is the bike to beat, strong also the victory of Auriol in the previous year! The same applies also in Germany, never change a winning bike. The engine is the classic 1050 CC. from 80 HP, dry weight 173 kg, maximum speed 180 kmh.
The Starter is electric, and it's a nice convenience on a bison like. The tank, designed to lower the center of gravity and improve handling, has a capacity of approximately 56 Lt (!) portando the bike fully loaded in almost 230 kg!!
Further innovation for those times, the development in collaboration with Michelin, a mixed cushion-air Chamber (a kind of inflatable mousse) that allows you to use the very low tire pressure.
On this bike is experienced for the first time rolling road book Double roller for classical with sheets “to lose” in vogue at that time, with significant benefits in the event that the pilot wanted to check old notes in case of loss of the track.
As predicted, the GS hits, upon arrival in Dakar, first Gaston Rahier according to Hubert Auriol.
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
Official BMW twin-cylinder boxer engines using 1020 CC, the team Ecureuil recurs at Dakar 1989 with the same revolutionary bike used the previous year. French is the prerogative of the bike futuristic monocoque made of composite material of carbon fiber and kevlar, that replaces the usual tube frame.
The entire shell weighs only 6 kg and is broken down into three pieces: the front fork supports, the upper floor doubles as smain tank and the lower contains motor, return and attack of the swingarm. In case of breakage during the race, the same driver can remove the motor. The steering column is adjustable in inclination in order to adapt it to the characteristics of the route.
The main changes compared to the previous model relate to the shock absorber upper attachment properly reinforced, and fastening of the swingarm, now more robust and better designed. The fork is “overturned” with a range of 300 mm, the swingarm is made of light alloy and acts on two damping places much forward to bolstering understanding rear wheel travel is now giving 280 mm.
Dry weight declared is less than 170 kg; an outstanding result due to the massive use of lightweight material used at compo-site. The German engine is eighty horses of accredi- 6500 RPM; distribution pushrod and rocker arm with only two valves per cylinder, Automatic ignition advance electro-electronic, nagalla also for Bing Carburetors power vacuum from 40 mm. The clutch is dry, five-speed gearbox and final drive shaft.
Motion by Francis Farah
Photo by Yogesh Chandra