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Clymer Manuals Gilera Saturno 500 Vintage Motorcycle Walk Around Video

Clymer Manuals got an up-close look at Gerald Tims' 1948 Gilera Saturno 500 at the 2013 HoAME Vintage Motorcycle Show.

Clymer on the lift didn't have to go far to attend the 2013 Heart of America Motorcycle Enthusiasts club 22nd Annual Vintage Motorcycle Show. Classic vintage antique motorcycles motorcycle bikes British, German, Japanese, Italian, European, American motorbikes were all on display. Manufacturers included Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Yamaha, BMW, Harley Davidson, Vincent, Triumph, BSA, Norton, Brough Superior, Indian, Cushman, Vespa, Laverda, Puch, Lambretta, MV Augusta, Ducati, Matchless, Zundapp, Moto Guzzi, AJS and more. There were 100% perfect restorations, bike ridden in, a few trailer queens, full-on customs, cafe racers, choppers, bobbers, trials bikes, dirt bikes, road racers...any type or style motorcycle you could imagine.

Translation by Google:

The SATURNO is a motorcycle built by Gilera between 1946 and 1958.

Designed by Luigi Salmaggi in the late thirties and presented to the Milan Furniture Fair of 1940 as the heir of Otto Bolts , the Saturn is a single-cylinder four-stroke 500 cc . Because of the Second World War the start of mass production, however, will be postponed to 1946 (6 specimens "Competition Type" will be built before the outbreak of war).

The engine is the classic single-cylinder Gilera pushrod and rocker arm 500 cm ³, with the "classical" measures bore and stroke of half-liter of the house of Arcore , or 84x90 mm. Regarding the chassis, the chassis is a single cradle in open tubes, the fork is a parallelogram, while the rear chainstays are employed molloni inserted in the sides of the wheel, assisted by shock absorbers in compass, the system employed in Gilera since the mid years thirty. The exchange rate is a four-speed transmission with foot pedal.

Four versions are available: "Tourism", "Sport", "Competition" and "Race". In 1953 we add the versions " Cross "and" Regularity "disciplines in Italy were spreading in those years. Main difference between Sport and Tourism is the head, in aluminum on the front and cast on the second. For the reborn Italian Army , the Police and the Guardia di Finanza , were built specially dedicated military versions, which differed from the civilian models for painting (gray-green instead of black with red tank) and various modifications to the mechanics (such as a lower ratio compression , different gear ratios, etc ...).
The Saturn remained virtually unchanged until 1951 , when it was adopted a front fork telescopic. The following year were also redone the suspension rear, with a more modern swing arm swinging two telescopic shock absorbers and dampers to the hub.

In this configuration the "Saturn" was built, until 1958, in 1250 a total of about 6,000 copies made, largely divided into versions "Tourism" and "Sport", also included 300 specimens "Competition", 60 "Stroke ", 18 "Cross "and only 2 "Regularity ". An unknown number of specimens "Tourism Type", for registration such as sidecars , were equipped with an engine increased to 600 cm ³, obtained by increasing the stroke to 105 mm.

In 1952 he was presented with a racing version for runners private, with DOHC engine and particularly relieved, became notorious as the " Feather ", of which 110 copies were made.

The production of the Saturn stopped for two reasons: on the one hand, the "500" on the market in Italy (in addition to Gilera, the Falcone 's Moto Guzzi ) were now outdated, both as a technique such as performance, and on the other the economic boom allowed anyone buying a much more comfortable car . The role of "flagship" of the House of Arcore then passed to the smallest twin-cylinder 300 , already in the catalog since 1953. To review a single-cylinder Gilera around half a liter of displacement have to wait until 1985 , when it will be presented the ' enduro Dakota , followed in 1988 by a " new Saturn "which, however, had little in common with her namesake of forty ' years earlier.

1946 Gilera Saturno 500 Competizione
Claimed power: 35hp @ 5,700rpm (rear wheel)
Top speed: 107mph (Goodwood 2010)
Engine: 499cc air-cooled OHV pushrod single, 84mm x 90mm bore and stroke, 12:1 compression ratio (running methanol/9:1 stock)
Weight: 299lb (136kg) with oil, no fuel

In Competizione guise, the Gilera Saturno became the dominant force in postwar Italian road racing.

Most fans of the golden age of 1950s GP racing instinctively think of a 500cc Gilera road racer as being the legendary twin cam 4-cylinder. But in the immediate aftermath of World War II, and for almost two decades thereafter, Europe’s race tracks were inhabited by another successful 500cc Gilera racer, the Saturno single.

It was the most plentiful 500cc Italian post-war GP racer built, a bike that achieved consistent success for years against its more exotic rivals, especially on tight courses where its lighter weight, leaner build and easier power delivery were assets its riders could make the most of.

Between 1940 and 1959, Gilera made 6,026 Saturnos. It is in every way the BSA Gold Star of Italy, with an equally illustrious competition history.

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