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.
Apparently I am on a Sears Allstate kick this week. I found another Sears motorcycle that is really interesting and has a huge potential for being so cool to ride. A Puch 250 Twingle. As I look back at bikes that I have wrote about, a couple of ‘Twingles’ have come up. This time I did a bit, actually a lot, more research of this design. While I don’t want to burden you with all that I found scouring the internet and friends for information, there are a few little nuggets here.
The basics of the ‘Twingle’ design are two pistons sharing a common combustion chamber, one piston handles the intake, the other the exhaust. This design was patented back in 1912 by Alberto Garelli and first put to use in a Garelli 346cc motorcycle. Well, then World War One hit and most all production went to weapons. In 1923 Puch started using an asymetrical port timing, it’s complicated and I can’t really explain it all that well, but it really made the difference in the performance of the bike. Basically, more power (?) and seriously better gas mileage.
The design was successful and in 1931 Puch won the German GP with the split single model. Because of Puch’s success, other manufacturers took up the design, particularly DKW, from there DKW was the dominant force in that design.
Next up was another World War and again motorcycle production shifted to military use. After the war Puch modified the original Split Single design by moving the intake to the front of the engine just under the exhaust. Interestingly, Yamaha a few years ago reversed the intake and exhaust on their motocrossers most thought it was revolutionary but,actually a sixty year old concept/design.
Those of us that have ridden two strokers forever remember the days of pre-mixing and what a pain it could be. Thanks to Puch, oil injection came to the world. Puch put an oil pump system into the gas tank, note the two filler caps, and made gassing up your two stroke 250 easier.
The Puch/Sears Twingle was produced up into the late Sixties but by that time it was way behind, (performance wise), Japanese speedsters like the Suzuki X6, the Kawasaki Samurai and even the lowly little Honda CB160. Styling was a bit dated, Puch took it’s cue’s from the older Honda Benly, pretty conservative looking.
So, I found this neat little Sears Twingle on ebay today and looks to be a great platform for a cool cafe racer or even an awesome vintage racebike It’s a nice condition ’67 Sears Twingle that runs well and really doesn’t need all that much to look nice as well. I also found a really good source parts source for this motorcycle, check out www.motorwestmotorcycles.com. Click on the pics below for more info and more pictures.
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.