After a journey of more than 9,300 miles (15,000 km) from Cape Town, South Africa, to Paris, France, GS-riding adventurer Eric Massiet du Biest and his colleagues returned home from their Trans-Africa expedition to a heroes’ welcome at the BMW Motorrad Etoile dealership in the capital city. A description and pictures of the journey can be seen on our previous news post, “Cape Town to Paris, Through Unrest in Egypt.”
More than 150 BMW GS machines lined the streets of the Parisian dealership located on the Avenue de la Grande Armée. The showroom had been ‘dressed’ with hundreds of exotic plants to create a tropical setting, while a real bivouac was constructed and guests were invited to sample Kangaroo Carpaccio with a glass of cold beer.
In fact, more than 300 motorcycle fans turned up on the night to celebrate the achievements of du Biest, who has been supported for several years by BMW Motorrad France with his Trilogy GS series of rally raids.
In 2008, the GS Gringo rally took participants on an 8,000 km voyage of discovery in Latin America. In 2009, the GS Dundee rally crossed Australia on a mammoth 18,000 km journey, while in December 2010, the GS Zulu rally began and passed through 11 countries on a 15,000 km journey from southern Africa all the way back to France. These trips were all designed with the purpose of sharing amazing human experiences, meeting and understanding people of many different cultures and backgrounds, and riding some of the most amazing terrain in the world on a selection of BMW enduros.
‘Max’ is the name of the R1200GS Adventure that belongs to Eric du Biest, and has been his machine of choice for all the above trips. This GS now proudly displays 100,000 km on the clock, and has never let Eric down, despite intensive, non-stop use in extreme conditions on three continents, including high-altitude climbs, sandstorms, water crossings, and mud baths. It has even set its own speed record on the salt lake of Uyuni in Bolivia.
The GS-themed evening also included the important announcement of a very special event for GS aficionados — the organization of the first GS Trophy in France. This fun-based sporting social event will be held over three days from June 16-18, in an extraordinary setting near Orange, with the support of Touratech France. As you would imagine, there will be plenty of off-road riding opportunities, expert instruction and orientation tests on the agenda over the three days. Accessible to riders of all abilities, the GS Trophy France promises unforgettable riding fun for all participants.
For more on this welcome home, check out the video on Dailymotion.