Gilera RC 600 Enduro


Make Model

Gilera RC 600 Enduro


1989 - 91


Four stroke, single cylinder, DOHC, 4 valves


558 cc / 34.0 cu-in
Bore x Stroke 98 x 74 mm
Cooling System Liquid cooled
Compression Ratio 9.5:1


2x Teikei E27PV2A carburetor


Starting Kick

Max Power

49.5 hp / 36.5 kW @ 7250 rpm

Max Power Rear Tyre

45.5 hp / 33.9 kW @ 6750 rpm

Max Torque

51 Nm / 37 lb-ft @ 5500 rpm

Transmission  /  Drive

5 Speed 
Final Drive Chain

Front Suspension

41mm Morzocchi  forks
Front Wheel Travel 130 mm / 5.1 in

Rear Suspension

Boge shocks variable preload

Front Brakes

Single 260mm disc

Rear Brakes

Single 220mm disc

Front Tyre

90/90 -21

Rear Tyre

140/80 -17

Dry Weight

141 kg / 310.8 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

12 Litres / 3.17 US gal

Consumption Average

19.2 km/lit

Braking 60 - 0 / 100 - 0

14.0 m / 40.5 m

Standing ¼ Mile  

13.8 sec / 148.8 km/h

Top Speed

161.2 km/h / 100.2 mph
Road Test Motosprint Group Test 1989

Motosprint Grup Test 1990


Throughout the late 1980s Gilera took a serious interest in the Paris-Dakar and similar rallies. This culminated in 1990 with a Gilera class victory in the Paris-Dakar event.

An offshoot of this was a plethora of production models, including the RC600, RC600R and Nordwest.

All used a 558cc (98 x 74mm) variant of the motor used on the XRT. Quite why Gilera chose to decrease the bore size by 1mm is unclear, but this had the effect of reducing the capacity from 569 to 558cc. There were other differences too, the carburettor size being increased from the 25mm instruments on the XRT (the same as the Dakar series) to 30mm on these later models.

The gear ratios remained the same but outright power was significantly improved - 53bhp on the RC600 and Nordwest and 54.5bhp on the RC600R - all three machines peaking at 7,500rpm.

Works-entered RC600Rs dominated the 1991 and 1992 600cc-class of the Paris-Dakar, making it one of the truly great machines in the history of the event (others including the BMW GS, the Cagiva Elefant and a small number of exotic Japanese factory entries.


But it was the Nordwest which really caused a stir with its unique style and beautifully flowing lines.

The Nordwest boasted an uprated specification (at least for street use) over the RC600, with its three-spoke cast alloy wheels, twin 270mm semi-floating discs (front) and single 240mm disc (rear) and both wheels shod with Michelin Hi-Sport 17in tyres (120/60 front, 120/70 rear). There were also upside-down 40mm (stanchion diameter) front forks and Gilera's 'Power Drive' rear suspension (single shock). Other features (some of which were shared by the RC600 series) included: an alloy swinging arm, speedo, tacho and temperature gauge, a cast

aluminium rear carrier, stylish bodywork, oblong indicators, plastic chainguard and 520-size final drive chain. And, unlike the RC models, the Nordwest did not feature a back-up kick-starter. Gilera also had other four-strokes in the pipeline, but none made it into production.

Source Gilera The complete story Mick Walker