Parilla Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Parilla Paintwork

Here is a short overview of the high-cam paint schemes.

The first years - Touring models

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1953-55 w/trim

Early logo


Some of the first high-cam gas tanks were similar to that of Triumph bikes. They came with chrome trim on the side and knee pad rubbers. There was also a variation of the tank without the trim and with more curves. This tank became the common tank for Parilla in the 1950's. There were two sizes. A smaller version for Touring models and slightly bigger tank for the MSDS/early GS bikes. The first years has the early "script" Parilla logo, while the later years sported the standard Moto Parilla logo. Colors were variations of red/black, cream/black, or plain silver. There was also pinstripes done in gold. Most frames, toolboxes, fenders, and forks were painted black. Some bikes had these parts in red.

Early MSDS - Grand Sport

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The first MSDS/GS tanks were a bigger version of the Touring tank. Almost all of this type of tank had the black & cream colors. There was a huge modification to the bottom to accommodate the top of the high-cam motor while making it able to sit low on the frame. A Twin tank was discovered with the same modification. Usually, the Twin tank doesn't have the cut-out, but this one did suggesting that the company used the same size tank for Twins and GS's. You can see the size difference between the Touring and MSDS/Twin tanks.

Late MSDS - GS - Sport

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Other than the high-cam motor, this tank identifies a motorcycle as a Parilla. It is a very unique part of a Parilla and very sought after for restorations and race conversions. This design started showing up on Grand Sports in 1958. The same tank found its way onto 1960's 125 Sprints and later Super Speedsters. Colors for most GS bikes is silver with a black pinstripe. The D shaped pinstripe is hard to replicate and all sorts of non-original variations have been spotted. The above example is very close to the correct "D" shape. Other designs were a lower "swoop" of silver, red, or blue on a metallic blue or white base color. The Sport models were mostly a black " boomerang" on a red tank. There are several size variations and most have a metal loop at the rear for a leather strap. 1950's tanks have a hinged cap, while the 60's tanks have a screw on cap. All GS bikes had black fenders, toolboxes and forks.

Early Tourist - Trailmaster & 125/175 Scramblers

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This type of gas tank was first used by the 175 Wildcat scrambler in 1958. It was a more compact version of the Touring tank. This tank was also used on the Trailmaster, and the early versions of the 125 scrambler and Tourist. Colors were gold with white panels for the wildcat, a metallic red (or blue) lower with a silver upper half, and a rare version of a metallic red base with a silver "swoop" on the sides.

Late Tourist -Trailmaster & 125 Scrambler

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This squared up version of the GS tank first appeared on Tourists and 125 scramblers around 1963. There is another slightly different version of the same tank that is not as tall and with a curve in the back. Most likely colors were metallic blue (or red) over silver. On most Tourists, the petcocks are mounted in the center on both sides. On most 125 scramblers, the petcocks are mounted at the rear of the tank. There were several different logo decals for this tank. Yellow and blue, white and blue and silver sparkle with red versions have been seen. Most frames, toolboxes and forks were painted Metallic blue or red with some bike's frames/forks painted silver.

250cc Wildcat Scrambler

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The 250 Wildcat tanks were designed for competition. There was a leather strap at the back and a quick release design for the front mounts without bolts to hold it in place. The majority of Wildcat tanks were silver with a black & red pinstripe. Less common designs were red with a white pinstripe and a metallic green or bronze, which has not been 100% confirmed. Almost all frames and fenders were painted black.

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