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Motorworld’s newspaper №74

In the end of 1930s, the Moto Guzzi company established strong business relationships with the Italian Army. Moto Guzzi trikes were popular among the military because of the relatively low prices, good load-carrying ability and ride characteristics.

Moto Guzzi has reinvented a tricycle and designed half-dozen of various models from 1928 till the end of 1930s (Moto Guzzi Mototriciclo 32, Moto Guzzi Trialce, Moto Guzzi Mulo Meccanico, Moto Guzzi 600 U, etc.).

Moto Guzzi Mulo Meccanico from the «Motorworld by V.Sheynov» collection

Moto Guzzi Mototriciclo 32 from the «Motorworld by V.Sheynov» collection

The Moto Guzzi E.R., produced from 1938 till 1942, was a great leap forward compared to previous models. The trike got a brand new frame made of pressed steel. The rear wheel rims with swinging arms were also made of pressed steel. A gear unit (three forward gear + reverse gear) was integrated with the engine. The carrying capacity of E.R. has increased to 1,000 kg. The trike was equipped with a chain drive; a simple belt brake was replaced by two mechanically operated drum brakes.

The current army rarely used the E.R. model. The main place of its application was the Italian National Air Defense Force (UNPA). The trike was actively used by UNPA for debris removal and firefighting. Its special cargo box contained a wide range of tools.

As for the UNPA, it was founded in 1934 and left a contradictory impression in the memory of generations. During the war, Italy was under a massive bombardment. Members of the UNPA have saved many lives, pulling people out of the rubble. The UNPA had wide powers. The civilian population was obligated, under threat of punishment, to provide UNPA with any assistance.

UNPA, on the other hand, recruited mostly unsuitable men. Towards the end of the war, UNPA began recruiting women and the elderly. At the same time, some Italians joined the UNPA to escape from the army. In Sicily, the saying “idiot from UNPA” (‘babbu ill’unpa’) still exists.

Manufacturer Societa Antonima Moto Guzzi, Mandello del Lario, Italy
Years of manufacture 1938 – 1942
Quantity produced, units 4 319
Price N/A
Today’s value N/A
Type Single horizontal cylinder, 4 stroke
Engine capacity, cc 498,4
Bore and stroke, mm 88 x 82
Engine rating 17,8 hp at 4300 rpm
Sparking Magneto
Carburetor Dell’Orto 2 MC 25
Battery N/A
Clutch Multiple-plate, oil-bath
Transmission 3-speed + reverse gear
Frame type Pressed steel
Front suspension Parallelogram with a friction damper
Rear suspension Leaf springs
Brakes Drum type
Wheel size Front – 19 x 3,50, rear – 19 x 4,00
Length, mm
3 950*
Width, mm
1 560*
Height, mm
1 650*
Wheelbase, mm
1 880
Ground clearance, mm
Seat height, mm
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”.