What You Need To Know About: Gilera

Published: February 9, 2016


Founded in 1909 by Giuseppe Gilera, Italian motorcycle manufacturer Gilera were known for their development of four-stroke engine machines.

After acquiring the rights to the Rondine four-cylinder engine in 1935, it formed the basis of the racing machines produced by Gilera for almost 40 years. Famously known for the creationed of the 1939 Saturno, designed by Giuseppe Salmaggi. Saturno was inspired by the pre-war Gilera VTEGS 500cc.

In 1969, Gilera were purchased by Piaggio and began to concentrate their focuses on creating scooters and moped styled machines.

Gilera Fuoco 500 image from Armin Vogel on flickr

Racing History 

Post World War II Gilera dominated the MotoGP, with six wins in eights year in the 500cc racing world championships.

A number of riders had successful rides on Gilera machines including Geoff Duke during the 1957 500cc MotoGP championships. Not forgetting, Marco Simoncelli in 2008 in MotoGp 250cc class too.

Appearances were also made at the Isle of Man TT during the Tourist Trophy class, machines were ridden by Britsh Bob McIntyre (350cc) and Geoff Duke (500cc).

However after many successful years of racing, Gilera made a gentleman’s agreement with a host of other Italian motorcycle makers to quit Grand Prix racing due to the lack of motorcycle sales after World War II and a way of cost-cutting; 1957 was the last season that Gilera raced at the MotoGP.

1954 Gilera 150 Sport image from Craig Howell on flickr

Popular Models 

Since the buy-out by Piaggio, Gilera have solely focused on creating moped styled motorcycles instead.

Gilera DNA

By far one of the most popular and successful models by Gilera to date.

The DNA gives you the ease of a scooter but with the look and feel of a motorcycle. The open-cradle frame gives it more stability and precise handling than your average scooter – no wonder it’s such a hit!

Available in 50cc and 125cc.

Gilera Runner 125

A massive favourite in the scooter market right now, the Runner 125 is sporty-looking and practical. Not quite a motorcycle but not quite a moped either, there’s no wonder it has become so popular.

Top speed of 73 mph, with a 4V liquid-cooled, single cylinder four-stroke engine  and tank range of 106 miles – it’s the perfect scooter for commuting on.

Price: £3,500 (new).

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