Gilera 150 cc: Thinking out of the box

Many people are quite unimaginative. Some people are more flexible between the ears. Traditionally it was the case that it was best to buy a used motorcycle from a motorcycle shop that was not a dealer of that brand. The next step is to find your dream motorcycle at a car dealer. For a classic car dealer, classic motorcycles are often a kind of 'by-catch'. Or they were just bought out of emotion. In any case, they fall outside the ordinary 'commercial thinking & revenue modelling'. For example, we found a Gilera 150 cc at a well-known car dealer.

Thinking even wider

If you also give up the old Dutch compulsive neurosis of 'Only a heavy one is your true', then an uninhibited pleasant world can open up for you. Because now look outside. Think about speed limits, traffic-calming bumps on the road. Automobile seniors who slide over the asphalt at a pace of sixty. Then a good Honda CB 750 may run close to 200 on the counter, but what good is it? And – also not unimportant in this time of crying dike residents – on a light classic you are suddenly endearing instead of threatening.

Nice inside

Do you want to spear on the motorways to Austria or Switzerland with a very fat modern bicycle? You can cover those 1000 kilometers in a day. But driving through to Zeeuws Vlaanderen on a few light motorcycles? Then, including terrace stops, you are also on the road for 10 hours over more than… 300 kilometers. Only as an indoor free-scroller with a terrace hanging factor you arrive at your destination completely fresh and fruity. You have been able to enjoy the environment. Didn't use any fuel at all and your rear tire is also completely return-travel-proof. Keep it up.

150 cc was once almost the middle class

Things come together at the Gilera 150cc that we found with Albert Venema, which has a particularly good reputation when it comes to full-sized classic Americans. The Gilera came blowing in once. It's not nearly as impressive as a Norton Commando or a BMW R90S or a Ducati 750 SS. But he's Italian, he looks great and is quite tough in a somewhat endearing way.

In addition, such a brave little Italian can push you to a healthier life. Because a well-modelled Brabant Burgundian of 40+ rides like a joker on such a thing. A well-trained Frisian of 1m92 is not the best match either. When this Gilera was born, a southern Italian averaged 1m64 or thereabouts. And because McDonalds was not commonplace at the time, those Italians were also sinewy to slender. Alberts Gilera is a sleek motorcycle for everyday use. But in the XNUMXs, Gilera dominated racing with fantastic four-cylinder engines. Six world championships were won in the half-litre class.

Built to race

The company was founded in 1909 by the then 22-year-old Guiseppe Gilera. Because he had to pay for his competition activities. In WWI, the company grew enormously due to military assignments and even became the largest motorcycle manufacturer in Italy. The 500 cc Saturno's are now worldwide sought-after classics (and just like so many other toppers of the time, those Saturno's have returned to the market a while ago because of the milking out of famous names). But for the accounts it were the 125 and 150 cc OHVs that had to pay for Guiseppe's hobby.

From 1950, the Gileras for public roads received telescopic front forks and rear suspension. Between 1958 and 1968, Gilera had to deal with the global extinction of motorcycling, as driving was then also within reach for Guiseppe Modaal. In 1969 the namesake of the brand died and Gilera was sold to Piaggio.

Still affordable

Meanwhile, the small Italian motorcycles cost more than change, but they remain pleasantly affordable. They make shopping into a party and you can make the best trips with them indoors. They are simple and sound in design and the parts supply is good. I think I'm going to lose about ten pounds. Well worth it.

Also read:
- A nice convulsion: the Gilera Saturno Bialbero
- The Honda CB 77, Laverda's example
- More stories about classic motorcycles




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  1. 'still affordable'…mmm

    Snooping around on the Venema site in Drempt, I learn that €3,5K still needs to be deposited for this endearingly sweet Gileraatje..
    As a proven "old dick" I still think that is serious money, an amount that you can also buy a nice Uraltje-with-span or something for..

  2. Carel van der Wal Konigstraat in Haarlem. On Sunday afternoon with the bus from IJmuiden to Haarlem, look in the window of Carel van der Wal and enjoy all the goodies that were in the shop window, but no driver's license yet, as long as we have one now, the goodies will be within reach. After hard work and pocketing a few guilders and a driver's license, the first Duc bought a Mach 1 here, then a Mark 3 Desmo (Nostalgia, Nostalgia) and had maintenance carried out by Carel van der Wal.
    Old oil went straight into the sewer, according to Carel it was still good to lubricate the sewer, never have any blockages, Carel at the time, this was the normal course of business. Think back with pleasure to that time, not of that oil of course.

  3. Carel van der Wal Koningsstraat in Haarlem, No motorcycle license yet but on Sunday with the bus to Haarlem, look at Carel van der Wal with his nose pressed against the shop window to be able to view all that goodies well and dream when we have our driver's license and then it will happen.
    With driver's license in his pocket there the first Duc bought Mach 1 then a Mark 3 desmo, nostalgia, nostalgia.
    Maintenance carried out at Carel van de Wal, old oil hop into the sewer. According to Carel, this oil was still good enough to prevent blockages in the sewer. Beautiful memories. Only that oil that was a pity, but that's how it was at the time.

    • Well… 'In the early days' everything was different. Not necessarily better. In the archive I found a drawing in a car magazine explaining how to dig a hole in your garden. Grind in it. Oil in it…. About thirty years ago there was the idea in Tiel to make a few streets key-friendly for fellow citizens. The oil could then simply go into the sewer. Just like home'

        • Yvonne, your grandfather was a wonderful man, I have great memories. The last memory though will stick with me for the rest of my life. I emigrated to the US on December 13 1981. A week before I left I said my goodbyes to Carel. Carel passed away a few days later. RIP Carl.

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