Type Subsidiary
Founded 1909
Founder(s) Giuseppe Gilera
Headquarters Pontedera, Italy
Area served Worldwide
Industry Motorcycle and Scooter
Parent Piaggio

Gilera exhibit

1954 Gilera 150 Sport

Gilera is an Italian motorcycle manufacturer founded in Arcore in 1909 by Giuseppe Gilera. In 1969, the company was purchased by Piaggio.

History[edit | edit source]

In 1935, Gilera acquired rights to the Rondine four-cylinder engine. This formed the basis for Gilera' s racing machines for nearly forty years. From the mid-thirties, Gilera developed a range of four-stroke engine machines. The engines ranged from 100 to 500 cc, the most famous being the 1939 Saturno. Designed by Giuseppe Salmaggi, the Saturno was inspired by the pre-war Gilera VTEGS 500cc “Otto Bulloni” yet was quite different due to its unit construction.[1]

In 1969, Gilera became part of the Piaggio group.

In 1992, Gilera made a return to the Grand Prix arena and Piaggio continues to produce small-displacement motorcycles with the Gilera name. The famous factory of Arcore was closed in 1993 and now the motorcycles (only scooters) bearing the name Gilera are produced by Piaggio in Pontedera.

Racing history[edit | edit source]

After World War II, Gilera dominated[citation (source) needed] Grand Prix motorcycle racing, winning the 500 cc road racing world championship six times in eight years.[citation needed] Facing a downturn in motorcycle sales due to the increase in the popularity of cars after the war, Gilera made a gentleman's agreement with the other Italian motorcycle makers to quit Grand Prix racing after the 1957 season as a cost-cutting measure.

European championships[edit | edit source]

Year Class Rider
1939 500cc Kingdom of Italy (1861–1946) Dorino Serafini

MotoGP World Championship[edit | edit source]

Gilera 5004C

Gilera won the following World Titles:

Year Class Rider
1950 500cc Italy Umberto Masetti
1952 500cc Italy Umberto Masetti
1953 500cc United Kingdom Geoff Duke
1954 500cc United Kingdom Geoff Duke
1955 500cc United Kingdom Geoff Duke
1957 500cc Italy Libero Liberati
Year Class Rider
2008 250cc Italy Marco Simoncelli
Year Class Rider
2001 125cc San Marino Manuel Poggiali

MotoGP World Constructors champions[edit | edit source]

  • 500 cc class
    • 1952, 1953, 1955, 1957

Isle of Man Tourist Trophy[edit | edit source]

  • 350 cc class
Year Champion Class Motorcycle
1957 Isle of Man TT United Kingdom Bob McIntyre Class 350 cc
  • 500 cc class
Year Champion Class Motorcycle
1955 Isle of Man TT United Kingdom Geoff Duke Class 500 cc
1957 Isle of Man TT United Kingdom Bob McIntyre Class 500 cc

Motorcycle models[edit | edit source]

Historic product[edit | edit source]

1947 Gilera Saturno.

1991 Gilera 125 CX

Gilera B300 twin and a 150 sport (behind)

Giler B300

Gilera 150

Modern product[edit | edit source]

Gilera SMT[edit | edit source]

The Gilera SMT is a cross moped "for the big city". It is a supermotard which means it is an offroad moped fit for the big city, but can also handle bumpy roads. It has 17-inch rims with broad tires, six gears and a 50 cc engine producing 8.5 hp (6.3 kW).

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. James Adam Bolton (February 2011). "The Gilera Saturno". Motorcycle Classics. Retrieved on 2011-03-11.

External links[edit | edit source]

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