Gilera is an Italian motorcycle manufacturer founded in 1909 by Giuseppe Gilera who came up with the first bike of the company in the same year. The model was called VT 317 and only a few units were produced. As World War I started, Gilera started producing 500cc models. Moreover, during the 1930s, Gilera released two new notable motorcycles, the Quattro Bulloni 500 and the Otto Bulloni.
Another impressive model from Gilera is the Rondine, a cross-racing bike released in 1936. What's interesting is that this bike managed to set a new world speed record, 274.191 km/h in 1937. As the war ended, Gilera was getting ready to present the new Saturno 500, a bike used by Umberto Masetti during the world championship in 1950 and 1952.
Gilera became an important brand in motorsports, as they managed to win 44 international Grand Prix titles before 1957, when the company left the racing competitions. However, they continued producing bikes for the general public, their most representative models being the Giubileo, Rossa, Turismo and the Sport.
In 1969, the Italian motorcycle company was bought by the Piaggio Group, a move which helped them to get back among the most powerful companies on the market. Moreover, they rolled out a brand new model, the 125cc Dual Cylinder Cross motorcycle which was meant for cross races.
In 1992 and 1993, Gilera managed to win the 250 class in the World Championship while the manufacturing process was moved to Pontedere in 1993. They started making sport scooters, the most important being the Runner.
Moreover, in 1998 they come up with another 125cc model called the Coguar. In 2001, Manuel Poggialli managed to win the World Championship in the 125cc class. Nowadays, the company competes in most motorsports challenges.