Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2019 Corriere d’Eleganza VI
Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2018 - Historic Cars

Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este 2019 Corriere d’Eleganza VI

Dear Friend of the Concorso,

In “Corriere d’Eleganza III”, we announced that a newsletter devoted exclusively to the Concorso di Motociclette would expect you in 2019. This epistle remains faithful to our promise – many thanks for your patience. We would like to wish you an entertaining read and anticipate that you will feel just a little awe.

Your Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este Team

Fascinating special exhibition: off-road with 50 cc

On the stage of the Concorso di Motociclette 2019, the curtain goes up for a further species of licence-free teenage dreams. They gave 14-year-olds in Italy the opportunity to cruise through the Dolce Vita during the 1960s and 1970s: the Enduros in the 50 cc class.

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Fascinating special exhibition: off-road with 50 cc

At the Concorso di Motociclette 2017, we presented twelve historic two-wheeled racers in the lowest displacement class under the motto “Sporting 50 cc in Italy in the 1960s/70s”. This special exhibition created such enthusiasm among the visitors in the parkland of Villa Erba that we are now going to inspire that next stage of “Teenage Dreams”.

Contrary to our approach in 2017, the twelve historic representatives of this alluring genre will not be coming together simply in a stationary rendezvous. On Saturday 25th May 2019, the diminutive off-road classics will be providing demonstration runs through the park of Villa Erba. At this point, we are already able to promise spectators an exciting and spectacular performance. In spite of – or indeed perhaps because of – the restriction on these entry-level motorcycles to a mere 1.5 hp output and a top speed of only just 40 km/h.

Concept Bikes: just a few spaces left

“Concept Bikes: New Design and Prototypes by Manufacturers and Independents”: This is the slogan for futuristic concepts on two wheels at the Concorso di Motociclette 2019. As far as BMW Motorrad is concerned, this class has acquired something of a tradition as a presentation platform for visionary studies from the company’s Design Department.

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Concept Bikes: just a few spaces left

But other manufacturers and independent stylists will also present impressive exhibits in this forum to provide an insight into the possible appearance of the motorcycle tomorrow and beyond. And once again this year, applications will receive a warm welcome – there are still a few places left in the class of Concept Bikes.

From A to E: the five classes of the Concorso di Motociclette

At the Concorso di Motociclette 2019, motorcycles will again be presented in five classes for the veritable beauty contest (the Concept Bikes are not part of the competition). These classes were already announced in the most recent newsletter. We are providing more information in this Corriere d’Eleganza on the individual competition categories.

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From A to E: the five classes of the Concorso di Motociclette

Class A
Still in Action: Motorcycles more than 100 Years Old

Anno Domini 1885 saw the first two-wheeler being powered by an internal combustion engine. However, another 15 years went by before the motorcycle gradually started to become established as a means of transport. Today, there is still an astounding number of veteran motorcycles that are more than a century old. Although it has to be said that most of these venerable machines have to content themselves with an existence as motionless display exhibits.

What makes the competitors in Class A all the more fascinating is that every entry here is fully operational. And that is not the end of the story. These motorcycles will even demonstrate their roadworthiness in the grounds of Villa Erba.

There’s absolutely no doubt that this will be a highlight of the Concorso di Motociclette 2019 when these primordial machines powered by slow-revving engines complete their demonstration laps with a menacing roar.

A detailed inspection of their archaic engineering is no less impressive. It is not necessary to be an experienced aficionado of classic engines to recognise the refined mechanics of an exposed valve train. It will come as no surprise if the motorcycles from this precursor generation once again prove to be one of the biggest crowd-pullers.

Class B
Sound and Style: The New Motorcycles of 1929

As a direct comparison for the competitors in Class A – “Still in Action: Motorcycles more than 100 Years Old” – this field reflects the fast-moving technical and stylistic evolution of the motorcycle. In the late 1920s, the motorcycle had already achieved a high level of maturity. This was evident in particularly powerful engines, multiflow exhaust systems and innovative frame concepts. At the same time, styling became bolder and trims more scintillating. After all, this era defines the transition from nickel to chrome as a glittering surface refinement.

What is it about the year of manufacture in 1929 that unites all the motorcycles in this class? It was the year when the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este was held for the first time. This means that the world’s most traditional automobile beauty contest is celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2019.

Sound and Style: The New Motorcycles of 1929

This year’s edition of the heritage event is therefore being celebrated with a class of automobiles manufactured in 1929 – and in parallel to this, there will be this category of corresponding two-wheelers for the Concorso di Motociclette.

Class C
Promenade Percy: Sportsman’s Wear in the 1950s

The generic term Café Racer had not yet been invented in the 1950s, although the type of motorcycle already existed. After all, the principle of desire that can be aroused by a sporty image is significantly older than the Swinging Sixties. And yet there came a juncture when a sleek and sporty outfit was no longer sufficient to create an image. This was the era when you had to cruise up to the social hotspots with a rugged sports car or motorcycle in order to achieve the desired effect.

Motorcycle manufacturers responded quickly to the trend for tough style. The result was street-legal motorbikes clothed in the stylistic apparel of victorious racing machines. Not only in Italy – but there more than elsewhere.

Class D
50 Years Ago: Trendsetters for Future Success

50 Years Ago: Trendsetters for Future Success

In time for the start of the colourful 1970s, a new motorcycle boom developed in the United States and Europe. This trend saw the motorcycle no longer as the time-honoured, modest substitute for the unaffordable automobile.

Rather, it was seen as complementing the motor car as a passionate accessory for the contemporary protagonists of an affluent, pleasure-loving society.

During this period, the ground-breaking four-cylinder Honda CB 750 demonstrated the capabilities of engineers in faraway Japan. However, the competition in the Old World was not content to continue its slumbers, as demonstrated by equivalent innovations in the trendy 750 cc class. Like by BMW, in 1969 numerous British and Italian brands debuted models that accelerated the newly discovered passion for powerful motorcycles – and they later went on to become legendary classics.

Class E
Two-Wheeled Guards: To Protect and To Serve

Already when motorised transport was in its infancy, there was a recognition that you could power your way through traffic much faster on a motorcycle than in an automobile. As yet, there has been no historical evidence illuminating whether members of the criminal fraternity were the first to put this principle into practice – or whether this was achieved by their opponents in the form of courageous police officers. Whatever the truth, law-enforcement officers identified the motorcycle as the ideal emergency vehicle – and particularly traffic cops in the USA.

A little later, manufacturers in Europe also started to equip law enforcers and patrolmen with supremely powerful two-wheelers – very much to the disappointment of petty criminals, crime bosses and gangsters, since they were no longer able to rely on the superiority of their getaway vehicles. These machines proved ideal for patrols, on escort duty and when fast emergency responses were required.

Two-Wheeled Guards: To Protect and To Serve

Today, the motorcycle is destined to continue in the service of police forces for many years to come.