Tel: 01543 377871
(8am-4pm Mon-Fri )
Mobile: 07761 081967
email: Mitch Kay
Meccanica Verghera Ltd is now selling Gilera 500 GP replica motorbikes
A new 1957 Gilera 500 cc Grand Prix replica motorcycle
Meccanica Verghera Ltd
499cc dohc transverse four.
Bore x stroke 52x58.8mm. 10.5:1 compression. Four 26mm Dell Orto SS1 combustion with two float chambers.
Up to 29mm carburettors available.
One-piece cast magnesium crankcase.
Silver plated needle roller big end bearings. Cylinder head in two halves.
Wet sump lubrication, one gallon SAE40 or synthetic oil used.
Oil shared by transmission.
Gear driven Magnet Marelli or Lucas magneto ignition.
Runs on 100 Octane or lead free super plus fuel.
Meccanica Verghera Ltd five-speed cassette loading gearbox. Right foot change (one up, four down) Gear primary drive, wet multiplate clutch, chain final drive.
Tubular twin downtube in Reynolds 531, bronze welded by Barber Frames.
Meccanica Verghera Ltd telescopic fork with internal springs (damping to be modified by Maxton Engineering)
Travel 4in, damping fluid 150cc SAE 5.
Rear swinging arm suspension with Haggon Girling lookalike rear units giving 3in movement.
Front - Meccanica Verghera Ltd 250mm four leading shoe drum (twin sided tls)
Rear - Meccanica Verghera Ltd 220mm twin leading shoe
Front - Borrani or equal Wm 2x 18 inch
Rear - Wm 3 x18 inch, both with Avon Tyres.
PERFORMANCE160 mph (260 kph). 56 bhp at max rpm 10 000
Wheelbase 54.2in (1375mm)
26.5 degree head angle<
325lb (145.5kg) dry weight.
4-gallon (18.2litre) fuel tank
We are now making Gilera 500 GP replicas
We are now taking orders for new Gilera 500 GP replicas. Please contact us for further details
A Short History of the Gilera Marque
The Gilera family started in business in 1909 at Arcore near Monza, Guiseppe Gilera’s first machine being a 317cc side valve single.
At the end of WW1 the company was Italy’s main motorcycle supplier thanks to war contracts.
In 1936 Gilera bought the 1934-1935 Rondine (Italian for swallow), a four-cylinder 499cc supercharged and watercooled road racer designed by Carlo Gianni and Pietro Remor and produced by the Campagnia Nazionale Aeronautica (CNA) of Rome.
Count Bonmartini, a wealthy financier, had backed the Rondine racer (originally in sohc form) and engaged Piero Taruffi and Amilcare Rosetti as riders. Gilera developed the design, gaining many race successes and world speed records until the outbreak of war in 1939.
That season it was regarded as the fastest of European road racers, Dorino Serafini beating the supercharged BMWs at the German GP. Superchargers were banned post-war so in 1948, Remor designed a new 50 bhp/125mph aircooled dohc four (claimed weight under 300lb).
It became the dominant marque in the 500cc world championships of the fifties, taking the title in 1952 (Umberto Masetti), 1953, 1954 and 1955 (Geoff Duke) and 1957 (Libero Liberati). It is likely that Duke would have won the 1956 title for Gilera but for a six month ban imposed by the FIM.
Duke joined the Gilera Team in 1953 and quickly established rapport with the family-run factory. He persuaded Gilera to lower the machine and improve suspension and streamlining, in effect, 'Nortonising' it. Duke had won the 1951 500cc and 1951 and 1952 350cc world championships for Norton and was used to the qualities afforded by the Featherbed framed Manx models.
Among Gilera’s many classic victories, the one that stands out most is Glaswegian Bob McIntyre’s Senior Golden Jubilee Isle of Man TT win in 1957, when he was the first to lap the Mountain circuit at more than 100 mph. And on the fourth of eight laps (301.84 miles) he increased speed to lap at 101.12 mph on the dustbin faired model.
His average was another record - 98.99 mph. Earlier in the week he had won the Junior race on Gilera’s 350-4, setting new lap (97.42mph) and race (94.99mph) records over the seven lap (264.11 miles) race. By this time, the Gilera was giving out 60bhp at 10 000 rpm (claimed) but at the end of the season, Gilera pulled out of big time racing. Duke persuaded the factory to let him bring the racers out of retirement for the 1963 season and run the fours under the name Scuderia Duke (Duke stable). But by this time, Italian rivals MV had the upper hand at Grand Prix level.
In 1969 Gilera was taken over by Vespa’s parent company Piaggio. In 1994 the Arcore factory was closed (a Meriden style sit-in ensued) and production transferred to Piaggio’s plant near Pisa.
Today the Gilera name is prominent on the new breed of performance scooters and lightweight two and four-strokes.
The Kay family is now making Gilera 500cc GP replica motorcycles
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