The XRT was everything the Dakota was not, with its 569cc (99 x 74mm)
engine and low 150kg (3311b) weight (it was also built for the Italian market
with the 348.8cc engine). Maximum power was now up to 47bhp at 7,000rpm and
Gilera claimed 105mph(169km/h).
All the good features of the Dakota engine had been retained, although the
hydraulically operated clutch had been abandoned in favour of a cable operated
Although the frame remained essentially the same, there was a new, stronger
swinging-arm. The rear drum brake of the Dakota had been replaced by a 230mm
disc, with the original 260mm disc up front retained. But with the benefit of a
more efficient rear stopper, braking was noticeably improved.
The 3311b (150kg) weight was for the model without electric start. The same
180w alternator was used for both the electric- and non-electric-start versions
of the XRT, but they came with nine and four-teen-amp hour batteries
In the styling department the XRT was a generation ahead of the Dakota, even
though a mere two years before the latter had been a real head-turner. The XRT
simply looked stunning with its flowing bodywork, upswept single silencer, twin
headlamp fairing, and massive sump shield/fairing enveloping the bottom end of
the engine. However much you might have
The XRT 600 was a definite improvement over the 350/500 Dakota, with its more
torquey 569cc (99 x 74mm) engine and superior power-to-weight ratio. There was
also an Italian-market 350 version.
admired the Dakota, the XRT just looked that much better. It was also a
better bike where it counted, out on the street or trail, with its improved
performance, superior power-to-weight ratio, better braking and improved riding
position. Viewed from every angle it was an excellent motorcycle.