**** Please note the motorcycle is located in Italy **** Photos provided by the seller****
• Classic French V-twin touring bike
• Capable of 110 km/h (70mph)
• Fully restored by vendor
• Includes a selection of spare parts
At the age of 18, René Gillet – the son of a railwayman - went to Paris and found work there in a general construction workshop, through which he developed a fascination with engineering.
He commuted in and out of the city on a powered bicycle, but craved something with a bit more power so began to make his own, using an engine attached to the front wheel.
But the young Gillet soon realised that a motorcycle had to be a lot more than just an upgraded bicycle, so decided he would build his own ‘proper’ motorbike.
He found factory premises in Paris’s 14th arrondissement, from where he started to make his bikes, the first of which appeared in 1897.
Full-scale production, though, began in 1902 with a single-cylinder machine, complete with block at crank level, while in 1904 he introduced a V-twin of his own design, the René Gilet company acquiring a reputation for over-engineered, high quality and high performance bikes.
Those V-twins, the first being a 500 cc sidevalve, would become something that René Gillet would become famous for, earning the company the nickname of the French Harley Davidson.
René Gillet bikes were strong, powerful and had plenty of torque, making them extremely popular with sidecar users as well as the police and military. A choice of 750cc ‘G’ and 1000c ‘J’ models were offered, of which this example is the former.
Registered new in 1939, this is one of the last René Gillet motorcycles sold before the outbreak of World War Two. It was sold at the peak of René Gillet’s popularity, as post-war it lost the police and military contracts to cheaper suppliers and never really recovered.
It’s a genuine 750 ‘G’ V-twin that was bought for restoration by the vendor and has since been fully refurbished before being offered for sale.
It is currently part of a private collection in Italy but the seller is happy for it to be transported anywhere in the world and will help with any paperwork.
Although it’s in Italy, the bike is Spanish registered and comes with a Spanish registration document, but this will be sufficient for it to be registered in Europe, the UK or any other market as an official import.
It also comes with receipts from a number of specialist workshops that carried out work on the bike during its restoration.
This is a truly superb restoration in excellent, show standard condition. The frame, fuel tank and saddle are all in fine order, as re the forks, the lights and the handlebars. It’s a matching numbers bike that has been restored to wholly original condition by a committed enthusiast, and no detail has been missed out.
Supplied with the bike are some useful spares, including a saddle and its original foot pegs and side stand.
The vendor reports that the 746cc twin is in good order and runs as it should, having been overhauled as part of the bike’s restoration. It is also beautifully presented, with a polished steel block and stainless exhaust unit.
This is a superb example of one of the all-time great pre-war bikes that deserves a very special place in a collection. It’s also a surprisingly fast and usable machine that will hold its own in modern traffic. It’s a lovely and beautifully presented bike that will also make a sound investment.
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