This is such a cool little motorcycle. 106cc’s of all out Italian Stallion power. Ok, it tops out at about 60 mph (downhill with a tail wind) but those 60 mph’s are going to be a lot of fun.
Back in the 1950’s and 60’s you could could buy everything through the Sears catalog, even a car believe it or not…the Allstate version of the Kaiser ‘Henry J’. The car business was not the success Sears had hoped for, lasted only two years and they sold less than 2400 cars. Sears actually tried selling cars back as far as 1912, the Sears ‘Motor Buggy’.
But, we’re talking about motorcycles here. Sears sold a lot of motorcycles and scooters during that time period mostly from Puch and Gilera. You could get everything from a little 500cc moped to a 250cc Puch ‘Twingle’. One of the most popular was the Gilera 106cc SuperSport. It was light, easy to ride and cheap, new it only cost $389.00.
The 106 SS is a perfect little cafe racer platform, a great Moto Giro bike and really just a neat little motorcycle. As I was doing my research this morning, I found that there are a great number of user groups and forums about the Sears Allstate Gileras and parts are still pretty easy to find, so if you do find yourself the owner of one of these Italian Stallions, you’ll have a lot of help and support.
I found a good little 106ss this morning on ebay, it’s already in full cafe racer mode but needs a few things to make it street legal. It has been serviced and runs good. Honestly, these are unique and interesting motorcycles that are pretty crude in some ways even by 60’s standards, and at the same time incredibly capable and fun motorbikes. I love the simplicity of the Italian motorcycles of that era, they work so well. Maybe they are a bit crude but there is an elegance that goes along with it that make them so special. For those of us that like small motorbikes, these are almost too hard to resist.
Click on the pics below for more pictures and a contact phone number. This little Gilera could be a whole lot of fun for someone who wants something unique but doesn’t want to have to devote the next twelve months getting it rideable.
The Moto-Giro California is a few months away, but this is the perfect time to start planning and I have a great place to start. A 1966 Gilera 106. It fits right in the rules and will be perfect.
Back in the 1960’s Sears Roebuck and Company sold just about everything…refridgerators, mattresses, tools, everybody’s ‘back to school’ clothes and yes, motorcycles. The Sears catalog was the retail bible. What kid didn’t spend the entire month of November looking over the toy section, dad looking at tools and mom checking out all the Kenmore appliances? And there were those (the weirdo’s among us) looking at lawn tractors and motorcycles.
From 1951 through somewhere around 1969, Sears sold motorbikes from Puch, Vespa, and Gilera. Inexpensive imports that suited the American buying public. Now, I know I have written before that Americans always believed that bigger was better and small displacement bikes were basically the red-headed step child in the motorcycle sales world. But, think about this…the Honda CB350 is still the best selling motorcycle of all time.
Interesting thing here; though Sears sold bikes from various European manufacturers under the Allstate brand, the Gilera’s were sold under the ‘Sears’ badge. The Gilera 106 sold well but it was the 124cc model that actually sold better, but for some reason is more rare on the used market?
Basically the 106 was looked at as simply a little commuter bike. An arm stretching 9hp and, a top speed of somewhere a little short of 60 mph, it’s not something I would try riding on a Southern California Freeway, it’s not even legal on most use Interstates. But, country backroads or around town, way too much fun.
At a retail price back then of a wallet flattening $385, this little 106 Sears Gilera was a great value.
So, I found this really nice little Sears / Gilera 106 on ebay and it looks like a really good deal if you’re looking for a small bike that needs little work. The ebay ad says it only has 604 miles but if you look at the odo it really has 6043 miles, so…you may need to do a little service on the bike. Parts aren’t all that difficult to find, there is a great resource at Yahoo groups ‘Sears Motorcycleclub’. Find the tank badges, do a basic ‘go through’ of the bike and you’re ready to go. But…
…Like I said at the beginning of this little story, this Gilera is perfect for the California Moto Giro. Rides through the Northern and Central California countryside with like minded moto enthusiasts, read crazies, is way too much fun. This is a motorcycle that will put you in a very special club of riders. A club of riders that love motorcycles that have a bit of a story.
So, here is the story of this one. A young lady bought this little Gilera, she is a novice rider and simply decided it wasn’t for her. Her loss is your gain. All in all, if you are into small bikes that are runners right now, and reasonably priced…call this woman. And than get your self ready the MotoGiro…Italy or California. I’ll see you at the California Giro next year on my Benelli..
Click on the pics below for more info and a contact number. It is a really neat little bike at what I feel is a great price.
A few years ago I learned about the Moto Giro in Italy, this is a ride that is right up my alley. But…I don’t have a motorcycle that qualifies. To ride the Moto Giro in the full spirit of the event you need to be piloting a motorcycle that is less than 175cc’s and be built before 1958…hmmm, hard to find on my budget.
The Moto Giro was a classic road race. Started in 1914 as a test of man and machine over five days and the mountain roads of Italy. The riders became heroes and the machines sold…’win on Sunday…sell on Monday’ the axiom was so true back then. The Rally/Race survived both World Wars but, after some serious accidents in 1957, the organization and the Italian government pulled the race. I could go on and on here but, I’m going to write a whole story about the Giro, the Moto Giro America and the Giro California over at the regular Motoworld blog, ‘Helmet Time’ because…I now have a motorcycle that qualifies in one of the classes! Yeah, it’s going to take a lot of time and $$$ to be ready for this years ride but I can do it.
Today, cruising through ebay I found a very cool little Gilera that would be perfect for anyone wanting to ride a classic small displacement motorbike. It’s a 1956 Gilera 150 Sport. The bike has been sitting for a while, has 12,000 miles on the clock, it does run and runs pretty well according to the owner. The little 150cc motor puts out a staggering 8HP so don’t twist the throttle too hard or you’re going to find yourself flying into a corner a lot faster that you wanted…. It’s an old bike and it looks it’s age, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Think classic Italian, looking great for it’s age, Sophia Loren…is this little Gilera that good looking? No, but we’re getting there. It looks to be a good value and would be a great bike for anybody’s collection but more fun riding it to your favorite motorcycle hangout where it would surely draw a good group of admirers. Click on the pics below for more info and maybe your entry form into the Moto Giro.