In motor country it is teeming with resurrections, reincarnations and things you can be surprised about as Benelli is now in Chinese hands and who is trying to storm the Iranian motor market.
But Gilera didn't make it
And of course we still have everything between the new Jawas and Nortons that actually have very little to do with their roots. In that bustle - nowadays 'Royal' - Enfield with the new and beautiful retro twins is a very believable rebirth that we think we know for certain that these retro - or simply 'very real' motorcycles have a solid right to exist.
Gilera was a top brand
So much for the resurrections. But there were also swan songs. Such as that of the once famous Gilera brand. Even before the First World War, there was a lot of demand for Gilera's. The war gave an extra boost, because Gilera was allowed to build motorcycles for the army. In the 'Russian' museum 'Motos of war' by friend Vyacheslav Sheyanov are some very beautiful Gileras. Unfortunately, that museum is about 1.500 km away from us.
Success through the wars
After the war Gilera continued to do well and in the 1930s the company started exporting 700 employees. The brand became extremely successful on the road racing circuits. During the Second World War, production was again army green. After that the match success was resumed. And after that? Then everything became less. In 1990, another attempt was made to score successes with the brand's sporting history.
The swan song
In 1990 a series of sporty single-cylinder four-stroke models were launched under the name of Gilera, the Saturno and the Nordwest, but in 1994 the Gilera brand disappeared from the market.
So the bialbero
But in the meantime there was the Gilera Saturno Bialbero. "Saturno" was a legendary name, and "bialbero" stood for the two camshafts in the single-cylinder block of the slender sporting engine with its "eighties" appearance. The new Gilera Saturno Bialbero was specially built to the wishes of the Japanese importer. The trading house C. Itoh.
Make slender, light and crazy about touring
The 492 cc single-pitter with a Ø 40 mm PHM 40VS Dell 'Orto carburetor delivered with its two timing belt driven camshafts, thick 40 hp, the trellis bicycle part had Marzocchi suspension and damping. The engine had a dry weight of 156 kilo and was thick 170 km / h fast. He exhaled through a rather loud LaFranconi two in one.
The brake mechanism of the Gilera Saturno Bialbero came from Brembo and the discs were Marvic cast wheels. Such an 1.000 went to Japan. And although they were about a quarter more expensive in Europe than, for example, a Honda CBR600, they were also sold in England to people who loved café racers.
Think 'nice' of a few hundred copies at the most. And the Gilera Saturno Bialbero single-pits with balance shaft wanted to 'race': Under the 4.000 - actually: 6.000 - rpm there was little wrong. Up there it became more and more festive. The Gilera missed the big success because of its price.
The price is now high again
So few have been sold. And the demand is growing. And what do we see then? The prices are going up. The starting prices for very nice specimens are around € 12.500. But look at what a modern, a new motorcycle costs? And in two or three years you write off. Little chance that a bialbero owner has to do that ...
Our photo model is at Gallery Aaldering, the mileage is a proud 80 kilometer. And the price? That is on request.