We were reminded of the Gilera CX125 by the Filippo Barbacane Guzzi, which adopts its single-sided front end. Released in 1991, it was designed by Federico Martini, who was also responsible for the Bimota DB1. Like that bike it features all-encompassing plastics, but we actually find the exaggerated front fairing more reminiscent of the Osmos Rolling Bird. It’s defining feature, however, was the right side view created by the illusion of floating, near-solid wheels.
Other than the funny suspension, the CX125 was utterly conventional.
Loosely based on the Gilera Crono race-replica, the CX125 used a
detuned version of its 125cc two-stroke developing slightly more than
30bhp and redlining at 12,000rpm. Like the Crono, the CX125 used a
steel frame rather than the aluminum item employed by rivals like the
Cagiva Mito and Aprilia RS125. Still, it weighed in at a svelte 120kg
(264lbs), meaning it was able to reach an impressive claimed top speed
The single-sided front end is similar to the BMW Telelever system in
that it employs a swingarm, shock and forks, well, a single-sided fork.
Check out the top yoke and its single, huge fork cap. Steering is
accomplished by a series of connecting rods connected to the bottom
yoke. The 17″ wheel is dished so that the single caliper can sit on the
bike’s center line, which is apparently critical to the suspension
system’s operation, but not in a way we’re able to comprehend.
At the time, Gilera claimed such advantages for the front end as
increased rigidity, reduced weight and improved aerodynamics although,
bizarrely, it didn’t claim any anti-dive properties as on Telelever
suspension. In practice, however, the CX had only 100mm of fork travel
to the Crono’s 130mm; testers reported it felt a bit “stiff.” Sadly the
CX front suspension lacked any adjustment. It’s likely this low-spec
nature was what enabled Gilera to sell it for only a very slight
premium over the Crono, which was fully adjustable.
Gilera had big plans for the suspension setup, including several
larger capacity models, but those plans seemed to disappear during
Piaggio Group’s doldrums during the early- to mid-’90s. Piaggio, which
has owned Gilera since 1969, now sells a range of scooters under the
via Inside Bikes