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Days of Future Past: 1991 Gilera CX125 for Sale

It's always fun to see older cars and bikes that were meant at the time to embody the designs of tomorrow, even if that future never actually came to pass. Somehow, even though the world this wild Gilera CX125 embodied only exists in some sort of alternate reality, at least it doesn't rely on vaporware to actually function: radical styling aside, the underpinnings were the tried-and-true two-stroke engine and six-speed transmission from their existing Crono, and that single-sided front end is really just a conventional telescopic fork with one leg...

The single-sided front end matches the ELF-designed single-sided swingarm and makes it look like the bike is simply floating above its wheels when viewed from the right, like an artist's sketch made real. Developed by Paioli, it's not actually an alternative swingarm front end like Yamaha's RADD or the Bimota Tesi, but there's no downside to it in terms of function. In fact, that's really the biggest disappointment here: the radical styling that was clearly inspired by the ELF racing machines is just that, styling. There's no futuristic technology or exotic powerplant. It's just a sporty, economical two-stroke dressed up with stylish bodywork.

In fact, the most futuristic technology found on the CX125 was the engine counterbalancer that contributed to the bike's exceptionally smooth-running character and the electric starter. The simple bones underpinning the sleek body mean the CX125 works pretty well, taking into account the minuscule displacement of the tiny two-stroke. The 300lb wet weight meant the 125's 28 rear-wheel horses could push the little machine up to a top speed of around 100mph, but the question really is: at whom was this machine really aimed? 125 two-strokes are, even in Europe, learner bikes or commuters. And although the technology of the CX125 was decidedly modern, the futuristic styling wouldn't really have been a priority for practical types, and 16-year-olds looking for sportbikes were probably interested in something much more race-replica-y.

Although it wasn't priced much higher than its much more conventionally-styled stablemate, performance was slightly less and the bike didn't sell very well at the time. This particular example is complete and appears to be in decent condition, although some cracks in the bodywork are visible and there is some plastic discoloration, as well as a bit of rust and the usual cosmetic issues that arise when a bike sits for any length of time. The biggest issue is the lack of a title.

From the original eBay listing: 1991 Gilera CX125 for Sale

1991 Gilera CX125 located in Santa Ana, California. This bike is in very good condition for it's age. Gauge shows 3684 KM = 2210 miles. There are a few cracks in the plastic body parts, "see pictures". This is a very common problem with these bike. Engine runs great, no problems. The CX125 is a very rare bike here in the USA. More info is available on our website. Bike is sold with a bill of sale only. I don't have a title for the bike and can't get one here in California.

There are no takers yet at the starting bid of $7,995. These aren't exactly cheap for the performance they offer, but a CX125 would make a hilarious weekend ride in Southern California, where originality is at a premium. Honestly, I love these, so it's a shame that it wouldn't be easy to legally register one here.

-tad

11 Comments

  • And now for something really different!

    So great!! One of my favorite things about motorbikes is the oddball selection. This would 100% complete my TRON haloeeen costume. So want this!!

    Much better looking then the light purple ones you see come up in Europe, cheaper too.

    • Shame the seller is playing hardball. Last couple we’ve featured didn’t exactly seem to be hot sellers, and this one isn’t perfect. He may change his tune down the road… Too bad. I’d seriously love one of these!

  • Fair warning. Tough seller. She’s rough so I went in a little low assuming we could move up a bit. After his response…forget it! Not winning anyone over with that customer service. I just wanted it for museum for all to see and experience. Oh well…

  • So – Cool looking bike. However, it raises a question in my mind: If “single fork” front suspensions can/do work (presumably) well (enough?) then why hasn’t that idea taken off across the motorcycle design world? OR… Are there simply inherent engineering shortfalls which nobody is talking about? Seriously. I’d really like to know, and would welcome commentary on this. Thanks !

    • I’m not an engineer, but my understanding is that there’s no real point, aside from it looking cool. There’s no performance advantage, theoretical or otherwise, like you’d get from a swingarm front suspension. And, like a single-sided swingarm, you pay a weight penalty: the extra reinforcement required to make a SSS as stiff as a DSS means it’s heavier. Kind of like a trellis frame: a bunch of small, thin tubes properly triangulated will be lighter and stiffer than something like a spine frame. The only real benefit, other than the looks, are faster wheel changes, something that’s pretty much useless on a roadbike, but makes sense on an endurance racer like the ELF2 that inspired the CX125. In addition, it’s harder to fit dual calipers on the front of a single-sided fork. That doesn’t matter here on a lightweight 125, but on a bigger bike, it means you’re not going to have cutting-edge braking performance. Yamaha’s GTS1000 got away with it, but it’s really more sport-touring than actual sport.

  • Spoke to by business partner on this one, he said they are IMPOSSIBLE to get fairings for and for some reason, not terribly easy to repair (fairing wise) so it’s a good thing it didn’t pan out. We’ll find a nicer one with a more pleasant seller. I’d rather pay more from a cool person then less from a “less then cool” Seller. Still a cool find Tad….Super interesting bike!

  • Seemed to me that when leaned over the lateral stiffness would be less and might have some odd behavior. Without having ridden one, it’s just blind speculation. Really low weight hides a lot of thing a bigger bike might make grossly apparent. Would love to try this if I could turn around and sell it if He answer to the above was less than favorable. Out of my financial impulse buying range as this stands.

  • I have bought a number of bikes and parts from Rick (RMD Motors). He sells a product at a price. Take it or leave it. Not sure how this is any different from the over priced grey market bikes coming out of the Disney living room that where being so feverishly defended over the last 2 years.

    The bike would have come in from Japan without a title, so again, not sure what the big deal is – take it or leave it 🙂

    Now onto the bike – a buddy had bought a CX 125 back in 1991 as a pure novelty and at 120kg+ it was significantly slower and less capable on the road than the 110kg TZ125 or the similarly svelte RG125. But it was way cooler than any other 125 of the day. It was a like a DB1 for kids 🙂

  • Not that hard to get a title. Pay 6% sales tax and registration fee and you’re good to go.

  • I think the isssue is us emissions/epa testing. If the brand never sold bikes in the US I dont think you can register it for the street. So yes you would have a title but you wouldnt be able to ride it.

    I admit I like these bikes for their odity, it would be a cool addition to my little collection but not at the price the seller is asking for.

  • I’d rather crawl through burning broken glass than be caught riding this … Ummm… Bike?

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