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Remembering the 1950 Gilera Saturno Turismo

1950 Gilera Saturno Turismo

The 1950 Gilera Saturno Turismo motorcycle came from a distinguished company called Gilera, formed in the early 1900s by Giuseppe Gilera. This company made a name by making a motorcycle registered under the sports category. They produce a long chain of Gilera Saturno Turismo with different displacements, a generation of bikes model that has stayed for over 75 years. This article will feature this 1950 Gilera Saturno Turismo model that became so successful in motor racing.


After Giuseppe Gilera had established his company in the 1900s, serious work began in 1909 when he designed his first motorbike called the VT 317. The company's success started after the First World War when it developed the Gilera's 500cc that had a flathead. According to Ultimate Motorcycling, this bike was very competitive, and it won a couple of top international races. By the mid 1930s, Gilera released the Quattro Bulloni 500 and later the Otto Bulloni. The Rondine was a fantastic project that was completed in 1936 by the company. This bike was considered a futuristic racing machine, and the design work included a compressor and an engine with a straight-four stroke and 500cc. Rondine was registered in several races and set a host of world records, such as 274.181 km/h in a flying kilometer race in 1937. This record stayed for almost 20 years, and it took Dorino Serafini to compete in the European Championship in 1939.

After the Second World War, Gilera returned to work, and their first production was a new Saturno 500. This motorbike was first pictured in 1940 in a competition guise. The previous version had a 499cc, four-stroke single and overhead valve. The new Saturno 500cc motorbike began dominating the MotoGP World Championship, Moto Guzzi, and the stars of epic duels against Norton. According to Bonham, this motorbike won six different motorcycle rider titles from 1950 to 1957. In the late 1940s, Gilera Company produced a limited number of their Competizione versions of their Saturno to sell to privateers because they were in demand. As the company continued to rebuild and become creative, this successful model led to the development of another racer bike called the San Remo racer. This new bike was fitted with a more powerful engine, a full-width front hub, and a blade-type girder fork. The 1950 Gilera Saturno Turismo production work began in 1946 at the factory assembly in Italy and was referred to as a street bike. It was later modified in 1951 and fixed with a new engine, hydraulically damped rear shock absorbers, and telescopic front fork. The company continued to produce them with several variants for several decades.

Engine and Transmission

The 1950 Gilera Saturno Turismo was registered under the sports category. It was released with an engine displacement of 498.76cc (30.43ci) with a single-cylinder engine 4-stroke. This four-stroke engine was crucial in keeping the bike successful during MotoGP races. When the engine is engaged, it completes two cycles inside the crankshaft, leading to four strokes in the machine: suction, compression, exhaust, and expansion. According to Mech Content, the first stroke in the engine is called the Suction stroke that charges air or air-fuel mixture in the motorcycle engine. When this happens, the bike's piston will begin to move from TDC to BDC. The second stroke is referred to as the Compression stroke. This causes a new charge, which compresses and causes movement on the piston from BDC to TDC.

The third stroke is known as the Expansion stroke or power stroke. When the motorbike reaches the third stroke point, it leads to a compression charge, which leads to combustion resulting from high pressure that generates hot gasses inside the engine cylinder. This pushes the piston from TDC to BDC. On the other hand, hot gasses that build up in the engine are expanded to TDC from TDC. The fourth stroke, the last in the engine, is called the Exhaust stroke. Ideally, this process is referred to as the heat rejection process in mechanical terms. In this stroke, combustion products that the hot gasses have created are released from the cylinder when the piston moves from BDC to TDC. This four-engine stroke movement is what resulted in the 1950 Gilera Saturno Turismo engine creating heat within the engine and propelling the bikes to top speed and an 18.0 horsepower. The motorbike engine also has large valves; a piston with high compression, a close-ratio 4-speed gearbox fixed with a tall first gear and a Carburetor 32 mm. DellOrto RDF28 fuel system.

Chassis, Suspension, Brakes and Wheels

The front suspension of the 1950 Gilera Saturno Turismo operates with Girder forks. These forks hold the motorcycle axle to its frame and the front wheels. They are vital in determining how the bike handles during a run and dive when a rider brakes. The Girder fork is among the easiest ones in motorbikes front suspension. The bike's spring is fixed to the girder and then compressed against the bike's upper triple clamp. The braking system fitted on this motorbike is expanding brake (drum brake) on the Front brakes and expanding brake (drum brake) on the Rear brakes. The motorbike's front and rear tires are both of size 3.24-19. The wheel is well spoked and may not come out with ease when the bike is on top speed during a race. The seat is dual, meaning the driver has room to carry a passenger on the bike.

Physical Measures and Capacities

This bike measures 168.0 kilograms (370.4 pounds) in dry weight. The wheelbase is 1470 mm (57.9 inches) with a fuel capacity of 14.00 liters (3.70 gallons)

Final Verdict

Gilera Motorcycle Company has been successful in motorbike races throughout the company's production time. A lot of that success has been contributed by the 1950 Gilera Saturno Turismo, a motorbike that took time designing to complete what was arguably the best sportbike in the company's history. This motorbike is genuinely one of the most incredible classic motor racing bikes from Italy.

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Benjamin Smith

Written by Benjamin Smith

Benjamin Smith is one of the managing editors of Moneyinc. Ben's been focusing on the auto and motorcycle sector since 2005. He's written over 1000 articles in the space and continues to learn about it each day. His favorite car is "any Bugatti" and he's a die hard Harley Davidson fan.

Read more posts by Benjamin Smith

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