Motorworld’s newspaper №68
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In 1941 the military made an order for the production of a special version of a military motorcycle, for which model LTE served as a prototype, having an L-head, 499-cc, 10-h.p. engine. This Gilera model was provided with the sidecar, and it was called Marte.

Gilera Marte (swd) from «Motorworld by V.Sheynov» collection

Designers kept the engine of the LTE motorcycle, but raised its ratio of compression to 5:1 and got the increase in power to 14 h.p. However, if the engine was similar, the transmission mechanism was completely different. The first change was that the altered transmission came with a cardan drive for the rear wheel (instead of chain-and-sprocket drive). Spiral wheels were used in the gear box, but spur gears were used as well driving the cross shaft in front of the rear axle of the motorcycle. The second spur gear set was mounted in the sidecar wheel drive (most Gilera Marte motorcycles were three-wheel machines), and that made rear wheels work synchronously. The distributor box at the sidecar came with a cam clutch that was switched on with a cantilever on the motorcycle whenever it was necessary to activate the drive. Gilera Marte frame was for the most part the same as with model LTE, and only the right side of the rear fork was new: it was welded of two moulded parts of the curved lever. The suspension mount was the same as with the preceding model: rigid front fork combined with patented Gilera coil springs in horizontal boxes providing a better grip for the rear wheel.

Even military motorcycles from such companies as Bayerische Motoren Werke, AG and Zündapp Werke, GmbH were in many aspects inferior to Gilera Marte motorcycle. Gilera designed and built a truly innovative machine which during WWII was unique among other military-purpose vehicles.

Manufacturer Moto-Gilera, Milan (Italy)
Years of manufacture 1941 – 1946
Quantity produced, units 2500
Price 70 000 L
Today’s value 3 927,16 $
Type 4-stroke, 1-cylinder, L-head
Engine capacity, cc 498, 7
Bore and stroke, mm 84 х 90
Engine rating 14 h.p. at 4800 rpm
Sparking Magneto Marelli
Carburetor Dell’Orto
Battery 6 V
Clutch Dry, multiple-plate
Transmission 4-speed
Frame type Tubular welded
Front suspension Parallelogram
Rear suspension torsion bars with horizontal coil springs in boxes
Brakes Drum type
Wheel size 3,50 х 19
Length, mm
2 300
Width, mm
Height, mm
1 020
Wheelbase, mm
1 400
Ground clearance, mm
Seat height
Mass, kg
Gas tank size, l
Maximum speed, km/h
Range, km