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 Bianchi - 500 R Supercharged
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Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 500
Model : R Supercharged
Production : 1938 - 1939
Category : (R) Racing


500GP – 1939

So much started here

From 1924 to 1930, the flagship model of the firm founded by Edoardo Bianchi in Milan in 1897 was a remarkable twin-cam single, the Freccia Celeste ("Sky-blue Arrow"), built in various capacities. Bianchi also built an excellent V-twin, but its outstanding achievement was a transverse four introduced in 1939, which foreshadowed the layout of the modem superbike.

The Father of the Modem Four

The 1939 Bianchi 500 was the star of the November 1939 Milan Show, for its transverse four-cylinder layout was revolutionary for the period; so, too, was the use of a supercharger. It was one of several racing multis which appeared in the late Thirties, using a variety of layouts but all with outputs of around 80 hp and top speeds approaching 140 mph: the Gilera in-line four, the BMW flat-twin, the AJS V4 and the Guzzi transverse three-cylinder.

Original Technology

The Bianchi differed from the contemporary Gilera Rondine in the vertical disposition of its cylinders and its use of air cooling. It was also alone among its competitors in having its overhead camshafts driven by shaft-and-bevel gearing and triple pinions: all the rest except the Guzzi, which had chain-driven camshafts used pinions alone. Initial tests of the Bianchi by Alberto Ascari, later to achieve fame as a Grand Prix driver, were promising, but Italy's entry into the war brought its career to an end before it had begun.


Engine: Transverse 493cc (52x58mm) four-cylinder four-stroke, dry-sump lubrication

Power: 72 ch/8000 rpm est.

Valves: 2 overhead camshafts/8 valves

Fuel System: Cozette vane-type volumetric supercharger

Transmission: 4-speed; chain final drive

Suspension: pressed-steel girder forks (front); plunger (rear)

Brakes: light-alloy drum (front & rear)

Wheels: 3.25x19 in

A superb example of engineering, the Bianchi 500 was one of the masterpieces of the immediate prewar period.

Le fichier Moto Passion réalisé par François-Marie Dumas réunit près de deux mille photos accompagnées d'un historique très complet des machines présentées.
Il sera progressivement mis à jour ici et toute information complémentaire est la bienvenue sur info@moto-collection.org.

Cette documentation unique, qui constitue sans doute l'encyclopédie la plus exhaustive jamais écrite sur l'histoire de la moto, a été réalisée avec l'assistance de nombreux spécialistes dont principalement Didier Ganneau, Christophe Gaime, Mick Woollett, Jean Goyard, Bernard Salvat, Christian Rey, Yves Campion, Helmut Krackowizer, Michael Dregni, Michel Montange, etc. que je remercie ici.

Disponible sur demande :
- Les fiches originales sur papier
- Les photos et archives signées de mon nom en haute définition ou les documents originaux.
Me contacter sur info@moto-collection.org pour les conditions et droits d'utilisation.