Smaller Italians

Dave and Burt

Not news, you’ve missed the run up in vintage Italian car prices.  So what’s next?  I’m betting vintage motorcycles, especially Italian, but I don’t have a clue about vintage bikes.  Lucky for us, I know a guy.

Burt Richmond of Chicago is a premier collector and guru of motorbikes, and I spent a little time with him recently.  A degree in industrial design, and a passion for things mechanical, Burt has been addicted to motorcycles since he was a teen and says he never met a motorcycle he didn’t like.

DAVE: Why Italian?

BURT:  First, like so many Italian cars they are beautiful.  Second, the Italians have always lead in innovative engineering with a unique styling, especially Italian motorbikes from the 50’s and 60’s.

You see, Italy has always been very good at producing small bore, sophisticated little machines that are a blast to ride, and have a rather large upside potential.  Small bikes are also eligible for MotoGiro events.

DAVE: MotoGiro?



BURT: Originally an Italian event, MotoG has spread to all parts of the world.  Part rally, part driver skills, it features bikes under 300 CC’s with the focus on performance, driver ability and camaraderie.  A bit like the Colorado Grand for cars.

DAVE: So what should folks go after? I know names like Ducati, MV Augusta and Benelli…



Vespa Alternative

Vespa Alternative

BURT: But Gilera, Laverda, Moto B. and Parilla also stand out. These days, people are cruising Ebay looking for undervalued bikes that can be bought on the cheap.  Unfortunately, most people don’t have the knowledge or time to find a motorcycle and that’s where I like to help.   For years I’ve been bring friends and buyers to Italy to shop for motorcycles.  There’s a couple of wonderful events in northern Italy.  The one that stands out is held at Imola, hallowed ground to sports and motorcycle racing. Imagine forty thousand people shopping five thousand vendors!

Part 2: Caution abounds:  Next month, the details of what to buy, what to pay, and potential appreciation.

As an aside, Burt Richmond is the owner of Collectors Car Garage in Chicago.  CCG was completely renovated last year and is home to many collector cars, operating as a storage facility, country club, and hub of the Chicago car community.  Their website below.


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About the Author: Dave Miller

Dave Miller With Lotus GT
Dave Miller drives the fastest, coolest, sexiest cars on the planet. He travels the world uncovering the hidden gems in luxury transportation, meeting the owners, and connecting with extraordinary car enthusiasts. Dave is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and writes for various publications. In addition to, you can follow Dave's adventures via Drive With Dave Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and tune into the Drive with Dave Podcast via iTunes, Stitcher or Soundcloud.

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