Yes, I know that’s not an off-road bike in the opening photo. But isn’t it lovely? And isn’t it wonderful to see it being ridden in the real world? No doubt you’ve seen the big bikes of the 2019 Concours d’Eleganza Villa d’Este by now – but what about taking a look at some of the little ones with me…

The Concorso d’Eleganza  on Lake Como in northern Italy is one of the automotive world’s most impressive events. It is sponsored by BMW, but that doesn’t mean that there is a Bavarian bias among the bikes on display. This year’s motorcycle division showcased some extraordinary bikes as usual, and there was a remarkable number of small off-road machines making extremely rare public appearances.

So, let’s have a look at the little end of the show. The bikes are apparently all runners, although I doubt they see much use in competition these days! Mind you, you never know…

1969 Moto Guzzi Dingo Cross, entered by Collezione Zappieri (Credit: BMW Group Classic)

1971 Ducati Scrambler 50, entered by Collezione Zappieri( Credit: BMW Group Classic)

1969 Gitan Cross 50, entered by Collezione Zappieri (Credit: BMW Group Classic)

1970 Moto Muller 50 GT Cross, entered by Collezione Zappieri (Credit: BMW Group Classic)

1971 Guazzoni Matta Cross, entered by Collezione Zappieri (Credit: BMW Group Classic)

1976 Aspes Navaho CS Special 47.6cc, entered by Collezione Zappieri (Credit: BMW Group Classic)

1971 Milani Cross 50, entered by Collezione Zappieri (Credit: BMW Group Classic

1972 Morini Corsarino Super Scrambler 49.5cc, entered by Collezione Zappieri (Credit: BMW Group Classic)

Impressed? I am. I wonder how many classic little bikes we have out there among you guys. Anybody want to show off? Go for it. Oh, and I just thought I’d leave you with the bike I thought was the most amazing of all in the show – though it’s not a dirt bike.

1929 N3A “Ecremeuse” MGC, 490cc, entered by Gilbert Redon (Credit: BMW Group Classic) The bike was the Class B winner. MGC was a French manufacturer, and this model apparently caused quite a commotion at the 1929 Lyon show due to its cast aluminum frame. Unfortunately, the idea was many decades ahead of its time – the alloys of the day tended to fail, leaving leaks from the integrated fuel tank. Gee, I’m sure I’ve heard similar complaints about much more rent bikes!

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