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F.I.V. Edoardo Bianchi S.p.A., the oldest bicycle manufacturer in existence, was founded in 1885 by Italian Edoardo Bianchi. Bianchi built his first motorized bicycle in 1897, and in 1900 introduced his own car. Bianchi built his first single-cylinder 498 cm3 engine in 1910. In 1925 a factory racing motorcycle with two overhead camshafts (DOHC) of 348cc was introduced, designed by Albino Baldi, Bianchi’s chief engineer. For the next five years, Bianchi was Italy’s most successful racing motorcycle.

Bianchi’s three-wheeled truck of unified type model 500 M.C.U. was presented to journalists and general public on May 21, 1942. The main attraction was a stamped frame, which was made of two halves connected by a steel tube in front. The frame supports the engine and is connected to the rear by electric-welded cross members acting as the base for the cargo platform.

The rear suspension is on leaf springs, with the usual suspension eye and the typical cargo axle of those years.

The transmission was a single dry clutch with a hand lever for changing gears and a cardan shaft for transferring momentum from the gear shank to the rear axle.

Bianchi Supermil 500 MCU

The gearbox with integral reduction gear enables six forward gears and one reverse gear. Second and third gears are always engaged. The gearbox is controlled, as well as the selection of gears, by a hand lever with automatic locking.

Bianchi Supermil 500 MCU
Bianchi Supermil 500 MCU

The accuracy of the cutting of the gearbox gears as well as the perfect alignment of the transmission shaft between the gearbox and the differential (which is a gearbox with bevel gears on bevel bearings) avoids unnecessary power losses.

The rear wheels are interchangeable, with 3.50×16 tires run on pressed automobile-type rims.

Another very important feature of this truck is a braking system. The large diameter brakes on the rear wheels are pedal operated hydraulically (with piston pump). The front wheel brake is mechanical and is controlled by a lever on the steering wheel. Like other Italian tricycles, Bianchi 500 M.C.U. is equipped with “mountain brake”, which is controlled by a simple lever, located on the right side of the frame.

Finally, let’s move on to the engine. The engine is a vertical single-cylinder upper-cylinder of Bianchi’s own design with forced cooling. The light alloy piston has a diameter of 82 mm and a stroke of 94 mm, which allowed to achieve a full working volume of 498 cm3. Maximum torque is reached at 3,800 rpm and maximum power of 19 hp is reached at 4,200 rpm. Ignition is from a magneto.

Cooling, as on other “unified” Italian tricycles air, but with the possibility of forced cooling, which provides a centrifugal fan located in the front of the cylinder. The fan blows air to the head and spark plug with a large snail, providing excellent performance and consistent power, especially at high loads.

Bianchi Supermil 500 MCU

The oil is in the crankcase and forced lubrication is provided by a gear pump driven by the camshaft and equipped with an inlet filter submerged in oil.

The gas tank is located behind the driver on the body wall and has a capacity of 25 liters. The feeding system is gravity-flow, with the filter installed in the crane.

The front suspension is a fork made of stamped and boxed sheet metal with strong ribs, equipped with two tensile coil springs.

The unified tricycle Bianchi has a wheelbase of 1.30 m, ground clearance 0.2 m, saddle height from the ground 0.82 m, turning radius from the rear wheel 3.40 m, maximal speed with a 500 kg load on flat roads 65-70 km/h.

Bianchi Supermil 500 MCU

The great Milan manufacturer has presented a motorcycle worthy of the name it bears, which we are sure will find its admirers in our museum.

At the moment the tricycle is being restored by our friend Costantino Frontalini.

Manufacturer F.I.V. Edoardo Bianchi S.p.A.
Years of manufacture  
Quantity produced, units  
Today’s value  
Type Single cylinder, 4 stroke
Engine capacity, cc 498
Bore and stroke, mm 82 х 94
Engine rating 18 hp at 4000 rpm
Sparking Magneto MAgneti Marelli MLA 55
Carburetor Dell’Orto MC 26 F
Transmission 3-speed with reverse and multiplier
Frame type Pressed steel
Front suspension Parallelogram with a friction damper
Rear suspension Leaf springs
Brakes Drum type
Wheel size

3,5 х 19 front

6,0 x 16 rear

Length, mm
Width, mm
Height, mm
Wheelbase, mm
Ground clearance, mm
Cargo max weight, kg
Mass, kg
Gas tank size, l
Maximum speed, km/h
Range, km

* – Data on the results of the measurement at the exhibit of “Motorworld by V.Sheyanov”.