Modern army motorcycles are usually somewhat lower compressed, not too heavy all roads in a green jacket. They are even available in a diesel version. The motorcycles during WWII were usually very recognizable civilians on 'our' side who were called into arms. Quite often they were single-cylinder four-stroke side valves, because that approach combined reliability with simplicity. On the German side, the designers often got carried away by their 'lead through technology' genes. That led to impressive and complicated machines like the BMW R75 and so on. And as it turned out: you don't win war with that.
Made in Italy
Army motorcycles were generally not intended for use in the first front line. The idea was that they were fast and nimble and deployable for connection reconnaissance work. A motorcyclist was a kind of letter deliverer with some off-road experience, even though that experience often did not go much further than driving on unpaved roads. And it benefited from a light, versatile motorcycle. This also applied to Italian motor ordinances. But because Italians are Italians, for example, at Biachi they made a little more work of those army-green work donkeys.
From motorcycle to bicycle
Today Bianchi is owned by Piaggio and makes high quality racing bikes, but from 1897 Bianchi also made motorcycles for 70 years. In the 30s, the Milan-based company produced several single-cylinder and v-twin machines, some of which did quite well in competition - in the 498s, a 1959cc OHC single scored racing success, with one of the drivers being the famed Tazio Nuvolari. In 250 Bianchi hired Lino Tonti as a research engineer and produced 350, 500 and XNUMXcc machines. The company competed in the Grand Prix in the XNUMXs and the company also produced a scooter and a model for the Italian military.
The 318cc Bianchi MT 61
The 318cc Bianchi MT 61 is a rugged all-terrain motorcycle designed and built for the military. (MT stands for Motociclo Tattico, or Tactical Motorcycle 1961.) It has a number of innovative features that allow it to traverse rough ground and deep water, including a high-mounted air filter, high-mounted fenders, a water-resistant motor and electrical parts, and a snorkel exhaust. Funnily enough, the Italians here have mastered their innate tendency to make everything as beautiful as possible here. But that the Bianchi MT 61 is a very serious military motorcycle? No German could have made that clearer.
The machine was built in the early 1963s, probably in 64 or '650. It has not been restored, but it is still in very good original condition. From that point of view, he must be of interest to the growing group of people who have discovered that there are more army motorcycles than BSAs and Harleys. From that group, the XNUMXcc GS models that BMW supplied to Denmark, among others, were also discovered. Just like the fact that those decent Germans were often adopted with broken gearboxes. And that was because they were often used as a teaching bike for off road driving and therefore never got further than third gear.
With the snorkels on the inlet and outlet side, you can do much more adventurous things with such a Bianchi than playing in the sandbox. But for the time being this Italian is waiting for an owner at Dutch Lion Motors. And if apparently all dogs have disappeared from all shelters, then the Bianchi MT 61 seems the optimal second choice to be let out by its owner. And enjoy splashing through the water. Just like a labrador ...
The joke is that the Bianchis had to be reliable, fast and manoeuvrable. In case the enemy was in sight ...