Gilera - San Remo
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Gilera D2-492-67-16
Photo ou archives : F-M. Dumas

Capacity : 500
Model : San Remo
Production : 1949 -
Category : (R) Racing


500 Saturno "Sanremo" ·1949

Glorious career

Few motorcycles have had a career as long, glorious and diverse as the Gilera Saturno. Between 1940 and 1957, this single-cylinder machine revealed itself as one of the finest motorcycles of its day in sport, racing, speed, endurance and motocross events.

Five Wins in a Row

The Saturno Competizione, launched in 1940, became known as the Sanremo after its extraordinary victory in the 1947 Circuit of Liguria. It underlined its right to the title with five successive wins in this race, from 1947 to 1951, with Bandirola winning twice, then single victories by Masetti, Colnago and Valdinoci.

Lighter Weight

Much lightened, the Sanremo only weighed 287 lb against 351 lb for the Competizione. The surplus weight was eliminated from the cycle part (of which the frame, like the 1946 Rondine four, replaced tubes by pressed-steel components and used a diamond-section for the single downtube), the girder .fork and the rear swing arm. The Sanremo also inherited the Rondine's front brake with full-width drum, had a rear mudguard that doubled as a racing number plate and a new fuel tank with recesses for the rider's knees. Though not as fast flat-out as its rivals such as the Guzzi Dondolino and Gambalunga or the Manx Norton, the Sanremo compensated with a combination of virtues - its astounding pickup from low speeds, its unmatched handling and its remarkable ease of riding. Stroked out to 582cc (84x105mm), the Sanremo could be coupled to a sidecar - an outfit, with a top speed of 93 mph, lapped Monza at 75 mph.


Engine: 499cc (84x90 mm) air-cooled single cylinder four-stroke

Power Rating: 36 hp @ 6000 rpm

Valves: overhead

Fuel System: 35mm Dell'Orto SS carburetor

Transmission: 4-speed, chain final drive

Suspension: girder forks (front); swing arm (rear)

Brakes: drum (front & rear)

Wheels: 3.00x21 inch (front); 3.25x20 inch (rear)

Weight: 287 lb

Maximum Speed: 112 mph


The very rare Saturno "Sanremo."


Motorcycle encyclopedia Moto Passion, realised by François-Marie Dumas, include almost 2000 photos presented with an exhaustive history of the motorcycles exhibited.

This unique collection has been realised with the participation of many specialists. With many thanks in particular to Yves Campion, Michael Dregni, Didier Ganneau, Jean Goyard, Helmut Krackowizer, Michel Montange, Christian Rey, Bernard Salvat, Mick Woollett, etc

One can order here

  • Original cards on paper (in french)
  • High resolution scans or original documents presented and signed with my name.

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François-Marie Dumas

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