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.