Gilera 125 1956
The history of the racing Gilera 125 is one of the oddest
tales in Grand Prix racing. It is not clear why the racer was built in the first
place, since Gilera was already making plans to withdraw from racing at that
time (1956). Moreover, the Gilera company had always counted exclusively on
larger vehicles. The only logical explanation seems to be that once this small
two-cylinder vehicle was tried out, its performance was so high that the company
had to manufacture it, even while on the verge of retiring from racing.
The Gilera 125 two-cylinder was indeed very powerful. The
small motorcycle generated 20 h.p. at 12,000 r.p.m.—more or less the same power
generated by the finest MV Agustas and Mondials in the class, but they had been
evolved over several years.
The new Gilera motorcycle made its debut in the second race of the Italian
championship. It was ridden by Romolo Ferri at Monza to a dazzling victory,
which was all the more important in that he outraced the world champion, Carlo
Throughout the 1956 season Ferri and the Gilera two-cylinder were the only
obstacles to Ubbiali and his MV 125. The Ferri-Gilera combination also won the
world championship German Grand Prix, which was run that year at Solitude.
Motorcycle: Gilera 125 Two-cylinder Manufacturer: Moto Gilera,
Arcore Type: Racing Year: 1956
Engine: Gilera two-cylinder, four-stroke, with two-shaft overhead geared
distribution. Displacement 124.6 cc. (40 mm. x 49.6 mm.)
Transmission: Five-speed block
Power: About 20 h.p. at 12,000 r.p.m.
Maximum speed: Over 115 m.p.h. (with front and rear fairing)
Chassis: Double cradle, continuous, tubular. Front and rear, telescopic
Brakes: Front and rear, central drum, double cam