Posts by Category: Gilera

Gilera March 6, 2013 posted by

Stellar Deal: Gilera Saturno 500 (in Switzerland)

Last year we have posted a few ads of the stunning Gilera Saturno 500. This bikes was born as a child between Japan and Italy (the idea came  form the Japanese Gilera importer). The name Saturno came from the past and in particular from 1949 when the following single cylinder prototype was built:

1949 Gilera Saturno

The modern Saturno 500 is in itself a rare motorbike. This one found in a warm home Switzerland looks like a real deal. With less than 4000 km and  at a price of 4800 $ this is the best sample I came across (too bad I just invested into a 2 stroker for the summer...).



Pictures are scarce but  the bike looks in original conditions and with that mileage I think this is a top deal. The seller includes a new battery, the workshop manual and relative maintenance manual. For a real enthusiast, hurry up by clicking on the link below (fixed price sale form Swiss auction site RICARDO.CH):

1989 Gilera Saturno 500


Gilera September 29, 2012 posted by

Gilera Saturno 500 -The Red Mono Exotica (France)

The Gilera Saturno ranks second in my all time favorite single cylinder sport bikes and it ranks number one in the road legal category .-)

This is the third model we have covered this year and the second one spotted in Switzerland. This time French is the language of choice when you'll get in touch with the seller based in Lausanne. The sample below seems to be in absolute top conditions and very well taken care of.

This featherweight single-seater promises a huge amount of fun with its 45 horsepower at the rear wheel with just 145kg. Add to that the fantastic retro looks, some fine components such as the Brembo Serie Oro front disc caliper, the single high side exhaust and the exquisite red paint color combination and there you have a truly original piece of Italian exotica at its best.

Inspired by the Japanese importer who wanted a smaller capacity sport bike that was easier to import and sell in the local market, Gilera was intrigued and decided to put it into a small and quite limited production. The sample here is from 1990 and it has 11.500 km.

According to the seller (see original text below in French), this bike has never been raced, it has a new timing belt, battery and more importantly it had all bearings and motor seals replaced for a cost of value of $1000. In addition it is fitted with some fine looking accessories such as the Rizoma end bar rear mirrors and the smaller turn light, fitting well with the overall style of the bike (we all hate those huge squared original turn lights typical of bikes registered in those years). And did I mention you get the rear stand included in the price. Well, I guess this is really the last detail you care about. Concerning the price, about $7000, this seems in line with the previous Swiss find even though the condition and maintenance of this model make it even more attractive.

From the seller:

Model très rare, pour collectionneur ou amateur de circuits, expertisée du jour.
Performante (180km/h), grandes qualités routières (légère et facile à piloter), frein Brembo Serie Or, fourche marzocchi
Pneus neufs Bridgestone BT-003 RS Racing Street, courroie de distribution neuve, batterie neuve, roue libre neuve, grande révision effectuée (changement de tous les joints et roulements moteur CHF 1'200), rétroviseurs RIZOMA class retro, petits clignotants, béquille de stand arrière.
Permis A Motocycles d'une puissance maximale de 25 kW et un rapport puissance/poids maximal de 0.16 kW/kg
Bien que homolguée en Suisse en 34 chevaux, elle dispose d'origne 45 chevaux à la roue.

Enough words for this truly original sport bike. If you want to take it to next step here's the useful link and info (fixed price private ad):

1990 Gilera Saturno 500



Gilera April 20, 2012 posted by

Rare…Red…Hot: Gilera in Germany

Looking for something really rare? Ever heard of an Italian bike built from an idea of the Japanese importer? How about lightweight is better than power...and how about classic looks remind us all of the style of the 60s? By now you might be wandering what the hell am I talking about...let's play a little more...

Q: Is it red ?
A: Yes it is.

Q: How many cylinders does it have ?
A: 1.

Q: Ok, it must be the ultra expensive Ducati Supermono, right?
A: Wrong, try again.

Q: I don't know, give me a hint...
A: It has the name of a planet

Right, it is the Gilera Saturno 500 Bialbero:

A born child form an imaginative idea of a Japanese, traditionally always keen on small capacity bikes and the even more crazy acceptance of Gilera. The engine comes from an Enduro bike, the relatively popular Dakota model. The name Bialbero stands for double head cam also often referred to as DOHC which was state or the art in 1991 for a mono cylinder bike.

Add a larger single carburetor, a stiff tubular frame, a mono sear, mono large diameter single disc front brake, Ferrari red paint, a round light, an exhaust taken straight form a Manga comic and there you have an amazing fun package.

And here are the specs:

And a little video from...Japan...

On sale in Germany for 3820 Eur, The bike was originally registered in Hungary and is now on sale in Germany. It has 15.500km.

Here's the link:

Gilera Saturno 500 Bialbero


Gilera January 25, 2012 posted by

She’s Italian, Exotic And Single: 1991 Gilera Saturno Bialbero

She's Italian, Exotic And Single: 1991 Gilera Saturno Bialbero


Boy, this is a a bike I didn't expect to do a post on twice.  The first Saturno Bialbera I posted was located in PA; unfortunately for us in the New World this bike is located in the Netherlands.  You can't be an isolationist though if you yearn for one of these as less than 1100 Saturno Bilbero's were produced and most of them were exported to Japan.

The bike came about  from a direct collaboration between Gilera and its' Japanese importer.  I think they got it right but maybe were too early to cash in on the retro craze.  It's a damn good looking little bike with a nice mix of modern and retro design.  I'm not sure I'd hold out hope for a 2.0 version either as Gilera only produces scooters now.  Yawn.


It must have been hiding in a collection as it only has 11 miles.  The seller states he would be willing to assist with worldwide shipping if you are tempted.


You might remember Marco Simmoncelli raced a Gilera badged  Aprilia  in the GP's.  It appears the small number that were imported into the UK sold for approxiametley 5000 British Pounds.  That was more than the average 600 of the day.



I wonder how a nice looking and smartly priced single would sell in the United States right now.  We don't have a good track record of buying them.  The engine is a spin off of Gilera's Dakota engine, which from what little I can find, is nice solid engine.


Brush up on your Dutch and place a bid here.


This isn't the bike for sale but at least you get a little sound of the engine.  I want to know where this shop is in Japan.  The poster has quite a few videos of exotic bikes that come and stop by.







Gilera May 6, 2011 posted by

More UK Teasers: 1989 Kawasaki KR-1R And 1993 Gilera GFR125 SP

More UK Teasers:  1989 Kawasaki KR-1R And 1993 Gilera GFR125 SP


I know it is a tease for those of us in the U.S., but I couldn't resist posting these two beauties.  I bet you could count the number of these bikes in the U.S. on one hand.  So sit back, dream and enjoy the pictures.

First up is an ubber rare KR-1R.  Yep, not an "S" but  an  "R".  I couldn't verify the number but the seller claims less than 200 were produced.  If you've followed some of our posts on the KR-1 you know that even though it is possibly the most dated 250 stroker, it is also has possibly the strongest engine out of the bunch.

You know if it came from Japan in the late 80's to the early 90's and said "Sports Production" on it you got some extra goodies.  Kawasaki gave you larger carbs and a close raito gearbox with the "R".  The rest of the specs are shared with the KR-1S.

Just a generic picture but sure demonstrates someone has taken good care of the bike.  It only has 6300 miles on it.

The business end.  Any other two stroke owners had someone pull up next to them and yell at them that something is wrong with their bike because it is smoking? 

This would sure go nicely in someones two stroke or Kawi collection.  The asking price is close to $15,000 in our depressed dollars. 


Maybe I'm off on my numbers, while trying to find some info on the GFR I came across a post by an owner here in the States that claimed 100 of these bikes were imported here.  I'm pretty sure I saw one at the Barber Museum, 99 to go.  A reply from someone in the UK claimed they are rare even there.

Claimed horespower is 31hp.  Riders claim a little more pep than an Aprilia RS125 of similar age.

This is what the teenagers that purchased the GFR were dreaming about: this was Gilera's 250GP bike in the early 90's.  Ridden by the like of Jean Phillipe Ruggia and Carlos Lavado.

The little Gilera packs a few surprises.  Can't say I was expecting a single sided swing arm.

Hmmm, what do we have here?  Is one for a reserve?

I wonder what parts are like to track down.  Gilera is owned by Piaggio but  I couldn't find much (meaning any) info on the status of the company itself.  The mileage is low, less than 10,000, the price is high, almost $5,000.  I like it though, its' lines are modern and it really doesn't look its' age. 


Gilera March 9, 2011 posted by

The Italian-Japanese Connection: 1992 Gilera Saturno Bialbero

The Italian-Japanese Connection: 1992 Gilera Saturno Bialbero

I think we have the understatement of the day from the seller of this bike.

Here's one that you don't see every day,if at all in the USA


Gilera isn't a household name and this particular model is another one of those bikes that I didn't know even existed until finding this auction.  The Saturno Bialbero was born from a collaboration between Gilera and their Japanese importer.  The result was an ultra light weight single.  You've probably never seen one because only 1100 were produced and most were sold in Japan.  A few made it to the UK and at least two made it to the USA.


The engine is a larger version of Derbi's "Dakota" engine, a 4 valve 350cc single.  It was enlarged to 492cc and stuck in the trellis frame you see.  Power output is claimed to be 45hp.  Not that impressive until you consider the bike only weighs 330 lbs.

Other goodies include Marzocchi suspension and Brembo brakes.  Wheels are brought to you by Marvic.  Pretty cool little bike if you ask me.  Basically Derbi's version of a modern cafe racer.

The story from the auction:

Here's one that you don't see every day,if at all in the USA!You are bidding on what might be the ultimate modern big single-a 1992 Gilera Saturno "Bialbero" in great condition.I have never seen another one stateside,although they do pop up in the UK & Germany,along with Italy & Japan once in awhile.This particular bike has a clear Pennsylvania title,and runs very strong!

I obtained this bike,along with another matching bike that was converted to a race bike,back in May of 2009' from a broker on Long Island.He was selling the pair for the widow of the owner who had these shipped over from the UK to his summer home here in the states.After passing away,she enlisted his help in selling these,and I purchased both.After a couple of winters,I am happy to say that this street model is ready for many summers to come.Please bid responsibly,and any withdrawn bids will be blocked from further bidding.

This particular bike was gone through last winter after all the fluids had been changed,along with the timing belt.At that point,she fired up immediately,and pulled strong.This past spring,when leaving the house,I noticed a "knocking" sound,which turned out to be a bad bottem end bearing.Time for a rebuild.I had the motor completely gone through by one of the premier mechanics in Western PA.,and he rebuilt the motor from the bottem end up.New crank,rod seals,valves,springs,etc. which were sourced from Bob Wright Motorcycles in the UK(Thanks Bob!).He has practically everything for these,and gets the parts to your door within a week!Everything else was measured for tolerance during the rebuild,and she now runs as she should.I have put about 150 miles on her since,with no issues.All receipts and documentation are included.The only mod from original was the addition of a K & N filter to replace the airbox,but I have the original one that goes with it.The bikes mileage is actually in kilometers(22,769),which converts to 14,148 miles.

Cosmetically,the bike looks great-a solid 9 out of 10.These bikes are one of the most beautful bikes ever produced,and you can spend hours just looking at the details.It really is a "poor man's Bimota".The bodywork is very clean,and there are some scratches here & there on the frame,but nothing that distracts.The Marvic wheels have a little fade to the red paint,but they all do that.It is definatelly too nice to have the bike repainted,and I wanted to keep it as original as possible.The mirrors on the fairing were replaced with a pair of Napoleans,as the originals were MIA.

The bike has both electric & kick start,and both work great.The front brake is a full floater(Brembo Goldline),and the rear is the original Grimeca.Braided stainless lines front & brear.Factory aluminum rearsets & clipons give the bike a nice tucked in stance,and she handles like she is on a rail.Pirelli tires have plenty of tread left.All lights,signals,switches work great,and the bike recently had it's PA State inspection.

If interested,I will offer the winning bidder the opportunity to purchase the converted race bike,as there are a lifetime supply of spares with it including an aluminum alloy race tank,along with another rebuilt crank assembly.I'm sure that we can work out a deal!


Did you catch the end there?  The winning bidder will get first dibs on buying the converted race Saturno Bialbero the seller has.

I know I'm in the minority here in the States but I love little bikes.  I wish there were more of us out there so  the manufactures would take a chance on a high spec,  small cc bike like this one (Supermono anyone?).  There are a few of us that love cc challenged bikes as the bidding is quite active on this bike.  .