Page 5. Motorized Motorcycle Triporteurs

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The earliest motorized three-wheelers of the late 19th century developed into the motor car as we know it today. It’s interesting to compare the vehicle above, where the passenger sits in front of the driver, with the commercial 3-wheelers below, using a similar layout for delivering goods.

Towards the end of the 1920’s, commercial triporteurs started to come onto the market in France. In Great Britain, where there was a greater production of large-capacity motorcycles, it seems that motorcycles with sidecars provided a similar function.

This page is a brief visual chronological history of open three-wheeled commercials based on motorcycles and mopeds. As with the rest of this website, it’s an ongoing project that I update as I find more material.

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Here’s a review of one of the first French models, a 1928 Triporteur with 500cc JAP engine. The article does not provide the manufacturer’s name.

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This brochure shows a 1932 Sachs 98cc 3-Wheeler Delivery Truck, an example of the lightweight 3-wheelers (dreirad) that were being manufctured in Germany by the early 1930’s.

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Meanwhile, in Italy, ‘mottocarro’ became a popular way to transport commercial loads, as this 1933 Moto Guzzi 500cc advert illustrates.

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1951 Ducati Cucciolo 50cc Utility Tricycle

As advertised in this March, 1951 issue of Moto Revue, M. Rocher of Paris supplied Cucciolo-powered machines of many varieities, including a motorized 3-wheeler utility tricycle.

It might seem a strain for a 50cc engine to power a triporteur that carries up to 200 kgs. But the Cucciolo engines are superb units. And when you consider the payloads of pedal-assisted (ie bicycle) triporteurs in France – eg in the Triporteur Championship Races through the streets of Paris from 1903 to 1943 the non-motorized tradesmens tricycles had to carry 65kgs – a Cucciolo buzzing away below you must have been the lap of luxury for a local delivery-man.

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Harley-Davidson Trike:

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An Italian Viberti 50cc:

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Moto Guzzi Depliant Ercolino 192cc:

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1958 EMW:
Essentially, this was an East German variant of the BMW. With the prestige associated with the BMW marque, it amuses me to see this offshoot which, as you can see in one of the photos, was designed with East German farmers in mind.

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Published on May 28, 2007 at 9:43 am  Leave a Comment  

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