Strange and gorgeous Gilera Saturno Bialbero up for auction

An upcoming Bonhams auction features a number of stunning bikes, few more so than a 1988 Gilera Saturno Bialbero

Gilera Saturno Bialbero - side

Everything was better in the 1980s, apparently, and this Gilera Saturno Bialbero is a perfect example of why.

Whether you’re looking at the vibrant red paint, the similarly marvellous red three-spoke wheels (despite some degradation over the past 34 years), or at its exceptionally pretty face, it is hard to ignore the beauty of the Saturno Bialbero.

In terms of performance, the 500cc engine used in the Saturno Bialbero (which translates literally to Twin-Tree Saturn) was one of two twin-cylinder units produced by Gilera in the 1980s, the other being a 350. In the Saturno, the 500 motor produced around 45bhp which in its day would have made it good for around 115mph.

The 1988 example being auctioned by Bonhams at its upcoming Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show this weekend is unregistered and has no accompanying documentation. It was given to the vendor, who was an importer for Gilera at the time, “to assess its suitability for UK distribution,” Bonhams says. 

The odometer reads a colossal… 1,256km, which translates to around 780 miles. Why the low mileage, you ask? Well, it has not been ridden by the vendor since the year they became in possession of it. The fuel, oil, coolant, air filter, and battery have all been removed, meaning this gorgeous Gilera will require a loving recommission job before being ridden again.

Its frame number - ‘100004’ - is visible on the bike’s headstock, and the motorcycle comes with a complete original tool kit in a Gilera-badged pouch. Additional extras on this lot include the original owner's handbook and promotional material, as well as a full set of original, bound English-language workshop manuals and a photocopied version of that manual which includes a foreword and comments from the UK Gilera Club. There are also two full sets of keys.

This Saturno is estimated to sell for between £6,000 and £7,000.

Other quality examples in the upcoming Bonhams auction include a 1953 123.5cc MV Agusta Monoalbero GP racer; Kork Ballington’s 1979 and 1980 250cc World Championship-winning Kawasaki KR250 (sold by Ballington himself); and an ex-Troy Bayliss 2003 Ducati GP3 MotoGP bike (with cast iron brakes, but with the original carbon units available). Also going under the hammer is an unused, unregistered Yamaha OW-02 R7 which we’ve already covered in detail.