Culture – Portraits of behemists – Used BMW

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Portraits of behemists

Meeting with three behemists from different backgrounds: Eric 47 years old, Georges 57 years old and Alban 28 years old.

Meeting with three behemists from different backgrounds: Eric 47 years old, Georges 57 years old and Alban 28 years old.

Eric Robin is the prototype of the passionate biker. : a man who rides, knows his machines, compares them with others and loves them. At 47, this real estate agent residing in Grasse (Alpes-Maritimes) claims seven or eight machines to his credit, many of which are "large caliber".

Eric, not always satisfied with the service

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Having undoubtedly acquired a certain financial ease, he has had for three years a magnificent 1150 RT gray after a 1300 FJR. Big wheeler (20,000 kilometers on average per year), he does not hesitate to go to concentration in Spain or Germany. From his machine, which he describes as "technological and very comfortable motorcycle", he deplores"expensive maintenance"but feels"valued"by his RT.

"Before, it was an old man’s thing. Now it’s more sporty and modern. But in the motorcycle world, I realize that the BM biker mentality is considered to be that of snobbish people asserting themselves vis-à-vis others with a mark of the "social elevator" type.", he breathes, removing his full.

Currently in full reflection on a possible change of machine, he is seriously thinking of a K 1200 LT, at the top of the range, a jewel at more than 20,000 € … He therefore goes to Nice where he asks for a test. Story from someone peeling through brochures: "as I am not too tall I need a 740mm saddle which was an option on models before 2004. So I ask to be able to try a motorcycle after this date where the equipment is series. Right off the bat, they tell me it’s an option when the guy could have seen everything by looking at his screen. I make an appointment for three weeks later with the assurance of having the right bike. And bing, on the agreed date, obviously, I didn’t get the one I wanted"…

Last year, Eric noticed an accessory that he liked a lot: a high-tech vest, the "Air Vintage" which inflates to insulate against the cold. In Nice, he is told that he is "not available in France". Not being disassembled, he takes his phone and calls around thirty concessions in the great south-eastern quarter of France, as far as the north-east. Nothing, still nothing … Just he is told that he You will have to order in Germany. Alas, it is addressed to the services of BMW France. "A guy greets me kindly, asks me my size and tells me that there are about 150 in stock in the French dealerships". What to go crazy !

"In fact", summarizes Eric,"at BMW you have a car welcome while among the Japanese it’s biker. At least on the Coast. They are not unpleasant, but they wait a bit for it to drop all cooked. It’s like they look down on you when you’re a customer like any other, not a puppet", he regrets before imagining himself very annoyed if he had to change brands:"I don’t know where I would go, because BMs are excellent, very reliable machines"…

Georges’ "philosophy"

Biker since the age of 18 – he has had a dozen machines, including a German one – Georges Catanese, insurer in Cannes, recognizes that he has become "a big wheeler", that is to say 20,000 kilometers per year against 10,000 previously, since he bought his R 1150 R in 2002.

"With the BMW and as I got older I turned into a walker"ensures this lanky fifty-year-old, 57 years old. Every summer, he would not miss for anything in the world, his"tour of Corsica"that he practices"while hiking".

"Sometimes I meet bikers like me who ride cool and we do a bit of the road together", he specifies. His motorcycle, he finds it"reliable"and endowed"an interesting driving position"for him because he is rather tall.

Georges believes in a BMW philosophy, one which consists, for its user, of a "a little bourgeois life based on comfort"."The BMW myth is undoubtedly grand tourism", he continues.

Besides, with his "informal group of boyfriends and girlfriends"most of whom are liberal professions, they stop"sleep in castles relays"especially when they grow as far as the Luberon,"and we only have good restaurants !"

Georges does not want to be elitist at all, but he admits that as a good "behemist" that he is, he only greets his counterparts driving on Bavarian machines! The brand’s new identity? "Ah, when I see the K1200 R, I tell myself that it has a terrible face", he confides even if he only buys his motorcycles on occasion."I will soon take another one, probably in the latest models, but for a budget of around € 12,000 because the bike can fall and things break.". This insurer, whose son also teases the throttle, ensures that he will stay"always faithful"to Gioanni, the Cannes concession which lavishes on him"good advice and always a perfect mechanic".

Alban and his "house" roadster

It is not yet so frequent, in the galaxy of owners of "Teutonic", to find a young person. Alban Duprey is nevertheless 28 years old and a good meter 90. Strapped in his leather, this large stakes is not little proud to show "his" roadster, parked in front of Arcueil Motor, in the Parisian suburbs.

"I’ve been driving for ten years: allowed at 18 and presto! First I exhausted an XLR 250 then I switched to a Bandit 600. In general, I drive quite a bit, between 10 and 15,000 km per year, the type to go down to Bordeaux and return in the weekend. And I was fed up with the maintenance, even if I liked my Bandit which was prepared with a special exhaust line to have maximum flexibility.", he says.

In 2004, he took a look at what was done in "big cubes". Amateur of typical motorcycles, he observes a Buell but "the strap, I don’t feel it too much". Someone advises him to go to Arcueil, because he discussed with"Lots of people"who assured him that it was the best BMW address in Ile-de-France. The first time, he comes with his Bandit but is rather wary."They told me you’ll see, they don’t really like the little young people who are puppets".

Yes, because Alban knows what he wants: a motorcycle "in my sauce"."I saw Alain (Berson, Editor’s note) and I told him: I want an 1150 R but with a flat handlebar, another front fender, a different exhaust, white indicators and polished rims! He told me banco. I stayed on the ass because it was super open ", remembers this young technical director..

A month later, he returns at the request of Alain who assures him that he has something for him. The deal is quite good: recovery of parts to be changed at a good price but on a new machine. Alban jumps on it. At the end of November 2004, he therefore bought an R 1150 R for around € 11,000. "Ultimately, it is not more expensive than a Japanese in the same engines", he believes."I remember that I went to the Bol and to the 24 Hours and I told some friends that I was taking an 1150 R. They said to me: oh grandpa’s bike! But still, now, at the maintenance level, they cause more the same" !

Still, Alban is happy. "For a year and a half, I’ve been riding! And whether you’re alone or with two people, it’s all about happiness. Maintenance is zero, apart from the oil. In 6th grade for two, with the suitcases, it’s a tractor! And what’s more, it’s like a rail. She does not guide! I’ll tell you, I even think it’s my last bike and I’ll take it to the end"…

CONTINUED FROM OUR SPECIAL BMW FILE

File produced by Pierre SYLVESTRE

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