Gilera CX125 – With Phil Aynsley
One of the most interesting looking bikes I have photographed is the Gilera CX125
Only some 1000 were built, all in 1991 – although they were sold until the factory’s closure in 1993. The Luciano Marabese design was first displayed at the 1989 Milan Show with the bike’s standout feature single-sided front suspension and futuristic looks attracting much attention. The CX designation was a reference to the low-drag aerodynamic bodywork.
The design wasn’t as radical as it looked however. The twin spar steel chassis was a carry over from the previous SP/Crono models – apart from the modifications required by the new suspension. At the front this was a simple single telescopic fork, very similar to the nose wheel of a modern aircraft in fact. It was made by Paioli while the dished alloy wheels (and brakes) were made by Grimeca. The fact that the wheels and enveloping bodywork were clearly influenced by the 1984 ELF 2 racer is referenced by the ELF logo on the swinging arm.
A 125cc 2-stroke provided about 30hp (detuned 5hp from the Crono’s for more mid-range), enough to propel the bike to a top speed of 170kph.