The Gilera brand, part of the Piaggio Group, has a rich history but has been somewhat overlooked compared to its sister companies like Moto Guzzi and Aprilia. However, there’s a new effort to revive Gilera in China through a joint venture with Zongshen Piaggio Foshan. This collaboration aims to bring back the Gilera name on a range of motorcycles.
In March 2022, plans surfaced for a Gilera version of Aprilia’s 896cc V-twin engine. This engine, previously used in models like the Shiver and Dorsoduro, was showcased in prototypes in China. The Zongshen-Piaggio venture has since registered two sets of designs for a complete bike.
The first design closely resembles the old Aprilia Shiver 900, which ceased production in 2021 due to Euro 5 emissions rules. Interestingly, the design patent even refers to it as “Shiver 900.” The second version, code-named GLR900, shares the same mechanics but features a refreshed look. It retains many components from the Shiver, but it introduces new plastic side panels on the fuel tank, a modernized headlight, and other subtle design changes.
While both versions are mechanically identical, the company seems to be considering two style options for the production model. Performance-wise, the old Shiver 900 claimed 95 horsepower and 66 lb.-ft. of torque. If the reborn version meets global emission standards, these numbers might see slight adjustments. Importantly, manufacturing in China is expected to result in lower costs compared to the previous Italian-made Aprilia Shiver, potentially making the new Gilera version more competitive in the market.
Considering the progress of the Cyclone brand, which is also using a similar engine and chassis, there’s potential for the Shiver to make a comeback. Whether the new Gilera motorcycles will be sold globally remains uncertain, but leveraging the well-known Gilera brand could give them an advantage in the market compared to lesser-known names.