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 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 modern superbike.
The Bianchi 500 GP motorcycle was the star of the November 1939 Milan Show, for its transverse four cylinder layout was revolutionary for the period and 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 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. Initial test of the Bianchi by Aberto Ascari, later to achieve fame as a Grand Prix driver, were promising, but Italys entry into the war brought its career to an end before it had begun. More specs and user manual of Bianchi GP500 you can see in next overview.
Bianchi 500 GP specifications
Engine: transverse 493cc (52 x 58 mm) four-cylinder, four-stroke dry sump lubrication
Valves 2 overhead camshafts; 8 valves
Fuel System: Cozette vane type volumetric supercharger
Transmission: 4 speed; Chain final drive
Suspension: pressed steel girder forks
Brakes: light alloy drum
Wheels: 3.25 x 19 inch