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Lowbourne Classic Vehicles
Melksham Wiltshire

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1963 GILERA B300 EXTRA – THE FIRST PARALLEL TWIN !! For Sale

I am selling off my classic bike collection due to retirement. 1963 GILERA B300 EXTRA – ABSOLUTELY STUNNING AND MUSEUM CONDITION! 1963 Gilera B300 The B300 was the sensation of the 1953 Milan motor show. The 300 vertical twin was virtually a doubled-up version of the well-developed 150cc single. Although lacking in power, the B300 was exceptionally smooth, easy to start and very rider-friendly. This was a luxury tourer from a company that mainly produced inexpensive small capacity bikes that were marketed in the U.S. under the Sears & Roebuck brand. NOW REDUCED IN PRICE, NO MESSING OR TIME WASTERS PLEASE! This is a very rare bike indeed imported from Italy from a private collector fully restored To the highest standard possible. The motorcycle is now UK registered with V5 in my name As 1952 rolled into 1953, Italy was the land of mainly single-cylinder motorcycles. A few four-cylinder machines were about, but strictly for the racetrack. Dozens of companies made scooters and little motorbikes, like the Ducati 65 and MV Agusta 98, and there were even a couple of big 500 singles, notably the Moto Guzzi Falcone and Gilera Saturno. Several small twins were on the market, such as the Rumi two-stroke Sport 125 and the Drusiani four-stroke Comet 175, but in the main, singles were in favor. They were cheaper to make and sell, for starters; Italians needed basic transportation in the 1950s, not performance. Also, the government granted a large tax break to purchasers of small-displacement (175cc and under) machines, so there was little impetus to build larger ones. As a little background, Count Giuseppe Gilera had founded his eponymous company in 1909, when he was 22, and done extremely well. So well, that in the midst of the Great Depression he bought the rights to the famous Rondine four-cylinder engine and was racing an updated version successfully after World War II. The B300 used a unit-construction engine, enclosing the four-speed transmission, a much more modern notion than having a remote gearbox. A duplex primary chain ran the power from the crankshaft to the multiplate clutch, which was bathed in oil. Bore and stroke for each cylinder was 60 x 54mm, for a total of 305.3cc. A single camshaft at the front of the engine operated the four valves, with the tried-and-true nut and screw adjusters for setting tappet clearances. The pistons rose and fell side by side in the traditional 360-degree firing fashion of parallel twins. A single 20mm Dell’Orto carburetor took the gas from the four-gallon tank, mixed it with the appro­priate amount of air and fed the fuel into the cylinders, where it was compressed at a rate of 6 to 1—Italian gasoline in those post-war years was of the low-octane variety. The spent fumes passed through a pair of shiny header pipes to the rather elegant chromed mufflers. The result of all this was a claimed horsepower of 12.5 at 5,800 rpm 1955 Gilera B300 Extra. With a 500cc championship on display, Gilera decided to build a sportier utility bike. In the fall of ’52 Gilera presented its prototype of the B300, a cheerfully competent parallel twin—B However, this grated on all those Italian engineers whose motorcycles were winning races all over Europe. In 1952 Italian machines had won the 125, 250 and 500 world road-racing championships, Gilera taking the 500cc title with its DOHC in-line four This was a workaday engine, intended for reliability rather than performance, and was mated to a modern chassis using what the Italians called a duplex “open” frame. Two steel tubes came down from the steering head to the front of the engine, with the two mid-frame tubes securing the rear. As we say today, the motor was a stressed member. The rear suspension used a swingarm with Sturcher shock absorbers; the front was a Gilera-made telescoping fork. Wheels were both 18-inchers, with a 3.00 tire on the front, 3.25 at the back, both having 6-inch single-leading-shoe full-drum brakes. Wheelbase was an abbreviated 52 inches, dry weight was a modest 303 pounds. The kickstarter was on the right side, as was the gear-shift lever. The middling-twin prototype was received so enthusiastically that Gilera apparently accelerated the production schedule—the first ones to be sold being listed as 1954 models—with two versions available with trim and fender differences, the Normale and the Extra. Styling was very Italian, with a smoothly sculpted gas tank; a sprung solo saddle added to rider comfort, and an optional passenger pad could be affixed to the luggage rack on the rear fender. However, in the spirit of togetherness a dual seat was soon available. Gilera took its advertising seriously, hiring some famous Italians to promote the new machine. As a commuter the B300 was fine, but the sporting public had a few complaints, among them being that the engine ran hot and vibrated at high speeds. After a few bearing failures at high speeds, it was felt that the oiling system was a bit deficient; the factory listened. In 1957 the B300 appeared with more cooling fins, a beefier frame and improved lubrication. Also, the compression ratio was raised half a point, to 6.5:1, the carburetor was 2mm bigger and the intake valves enlarged. Now the engine was putting out 15 horses at 5,800 r Of greater note, perhaps, was the report that Gilera was pulling out of Grand Prix racing. The company had taken the 500 world title in 1953, ’54, ’55 and again in ’57. But the heir to the company, Giuseppe’s son Feruccio, had died in 1957, and the driving force behind the racing seemed to have gone with him. However, this was not just a Gilera decision, as Moto Guzzi and Mondial also announced that they were pulling out of the GP circuit. Much of this had to do with finances, as it was terribly expensive to run a race team and the sale of motorcycles in Italy was on the wane, with a Fiat 500 car being a lot more practic An interesting historical note is that the one company that did not pull out of racing, MV Agusta, won 64 out of the 76 GP races over the next three years. The Gilera company continued on, and minor changes were made in the B300 for the 1964 model year. Nothing radical, just a little more compression, a bumpier camshaft and now 15.5 horsepower at 6,500 rpm, though by now the weight had gone to more than 340 pounds dry. Gilera also showed a prototype of a B500, with twin carburetors and a five-speed transmission, but that never went into production. 1955 Gilera B300 Extra. By now the Italian utility motorcycle market had been hopelessly compromised by inexpensive automobiles. Sales drooped, and the count went looking for a buyer. In 1970 Piaggio, the maker of the Vespa scooter, bought the com­- pany. A year later, at age 84, Giuseppe died; he and his motorcycles
This advert has now been removed through sale or otherwise, please see the list below for similar live adverts
Year Make Description Price
1948 Gilera 1948 Gilera Saturno 500 Competizione 1948 For Sale £17,900
1937 Gilera 1937 Gilera 500 VL, anno 1937, Targa Oro A.S.I., perfettamente c For Sale £15,746
1955 Gilera 1955 Gilera Saturno For Sale £14,300
1946 Gilera 1946 Gilera Marte 500, anno 1946, iscritta ASI, modello civile, For Sale £13,918
1940 Gilera 1940 Moto Gilera VTE Quattro Bulloni For Sale £13,000
1949 Gilera 1949 GILERA SATURNO 500 For Sale £12,995
1950 Gilera 1950 GILERA SATURNO SPORT For Sale £11,700
1933 Gilera 1933 Gilera VL 500 For Sale £10,900
1989 Gilera 1989 SATURNO BIALBERO 500 For Sale £10,800
1945 Gilera 1945 GILERA NETTUNO SPORT 250 OHV NICE CONDITION For Sale £8,500
1995 Gilera 1995 Gilera Nuovo Saturno 500 1995 For Sale £7,750
1958 Gilera 1958 GILERA B 300 EXTRA TARGA ORO For Sale £5,891
1972 Gilera 1972 Gilera 124cc Regolarita' Competizione For Sale £4,300
1967 Gilera 1967 Gilera 300 extra 1967 twin For Sale £4,200
1958 Gilera 1958 Gilera 175 Rossa Extra For Sale £3,800
1962 Gilera 1962 Gilera 300 B Rossa Extra For Sale £3,300
1962 Gilera 1962 Gilera Giubileo 98, anno 1962, restauro totale, iscritta AS For Sale £2,993
1953 Gilera 1953 Gilera 150 Sport Low miles For Sale £2,950
1969 Gilera 1969 Gilera Giubileo 150 ~ Stunning bike For Sale £2,950
1962 Gilera 1962 Gilera B300 Extra not restored For Sale £2,865
1958 Gilera 1958 Gilera Super Rossa 150 - rare 4 stroke For Sale £2,450
1956 Gilera 1956 Gilera 175 For Sale £2,348
1966 Gilera 1966 Gilera Giubileo 98 Original For Sale £2,295
1960 Gilera 1960 Gilera 124 Vintage italian motorcycle For Sale £2,100
1959 Gilera 1959 Gilera 175 Militare For Sale £1,900