GILERA MOTORCYCLES MANUFACTURER
Giuseppe Gilera founded Gilera, an Italian motorcycle manufacturer, in Arcore in 1909. (1887–1971). Piaggio purchased the company in 1969.
Gilera purchased the Rondine four-cylinder engine in 1935. With 45 kW, it was the world’s most powerful engine at the time (60 hp). The Gilera 500 Rondine racer from 1939 was the first across-the-frame 4-cylinder motorcycle. It had water-cooled double-overhead camshafts, a forced-inducting supercharger, and produced 60 kW (80 hp) @9000 with a top speed of 140 mph (230 km/h).  For nearly four decades, this was the foundation of Gilera’s racing machines. Gilera began producing four-stroke engine machines in the mid-1930s. The engines ranged from 100 to 500 cc, with the 1939 Saturno being the most famous. The Saturno, designed by Giuseppe Salmaggi, was inspired by the pre-war Gilera VTEGS 500 cc “Otto Bulloni” but was very different due to its unit construction. 
Gilera abruptly changed course after withdrawing from competition in 1957. They scaled back their previously successful four-stroke singles and began to focus on motocross and off-road events in collaboration with independent specialist Elmeca. Sales declined through the 1960s and by 1968 the company was in receivership. 
Gilera joined the Piaggio group in 1969. Gilera returned to the Grand Prix circuit in 1992, and Piaggio continues to produce small-displacement motorcycles bearing the Gilera name. The famous Arcore factory was closed in 1993, and now Piaggio in Pontedera manufactures Gilera motorcycles (only scooters).