Moto Guzzi is an Italian motorcycle manufacturer and the oldest European manufacturer in continuous motorcycle production.
Established in 1921 in Mandello del Lario, Italy, the company is noted for its historic role in Italy's motorcycling manufacture, its prominence worldwide in motorcycle racing, and industry innovations—including the first motorcycle center stand, wind tunnel and eight-cylinder engine.
Moto Guzzi was conceived by two aircraft pilots and their mechanic serving in the Corpo Aeronautico Militare during World War I: Carlo Guzzi, Giovanni Ravelli and Giorgio Parodi. The trio envisioned creating a motorcycle company after the war. Guzzi would engineer the motor bikes, Parodi (the son of wealthy Genovese ship-owners) would finance the venture, and Ravelli (already a famous pilot and motorcycle racer) would promote the bikes with his racing prowess. Guzzi and Parodi (along with Parodi's brother) formed Moto Guzzi in 1921. Ravelli, ironically, had died just days after the war's end in an aircraft crash and is commemorated by the eagle's wings that form the Moto Guzzi logo.
Carlo Guzzi and Giorgio Parodi, along with Giorgio's brother Angelo, created a privately held silent partnership "Societa Anonima Moto Guzzi" on 15 March 1921, for the purpose of (according to the original articles of incorporation) "the manufacture and the sale of motor cycles and any other activity in relation to or connected to metallurgical and mechanical industry".
The very earliest motorcycles bore the name G.P. (Guzzi-Parodi), though the marque quickly changed to Moto Guzzi. As the only actual shareholders, the Parodi's wanted to shield their shipping fortunes by avoiding confusion of name G.P. with Giorgio Parodi's initials.
Carlo Guzzi's first engine design was a horizontal single that dominated the first 45 years of the company's history in various configurations. Through 1934, each engine bore the signature of the mechanic who built it.
Until the mid-1940s, the traditional horizontal four-stroke single-cylinder 500 cc engines outfitted with one overhead and one side valve (also known as: IOE, inlet over exhaust or F-head) were the highest performance engines Moto Guzzi sold to the general public.
In the 1950s, Moto Guzzi, along with the Italian factories of Gilera and Mondial, led the world of Grand Prix motorcycle racing. With durable and lightweight 250 cc and 350 cc bikes designed by Giulio Carcano, the firm dominated the middleweight classes. The factory won five consecutive 350 cc world championships between 1953 and 1957.
Moto Guzzi withdrew from racing after the 1957 season citing escalating costs and diminishing motorcycle sales. By the time of its pull out from Grand Prix racing, Moto Guzzi had won 3,329 official races, 8 World Championships, 6 Constructor's Championships and 11 Isle of Man TT victories.
After World War II company had a hard time, like others in Europe. So light and inexpensive cycles were produced. The 1946 "Motoleggera", a 65 cc lightweight motorcycle became very popular in post-war Italy. A four-stroke 175 cc scooter known as the "Galletto" also sold well. Though modest cycles for the company, the lighter cycles continue to feature Guzzi's innovation and commitment to quality. The step-through Galletto initially featured a manual, foot-shifted three-speed (160 cc) configuration then later a four-speed (175 cc) set-up by the end of 1952. The displacement was increased to 192 cc in 1954 and electric start was added in 1961.
In February 1967, SEIMM (Societa Esercizio Industrie Moto Meccaniche), a state controlled receiver, took ownership of Moto Guzzi. The SEIMM oversight saw Moto Guzzi adapting to a cultural shift away from motorcycles to automobiles. The company focused on popular lightweight mopeds including the Dingo and Trotter – and the 125 cc Stornello motorcycle. Also during the SEIMM years Guzzi developed the 90° V twin engine, designed by Giulio Cesare Carcano, which would become iconic of Moto Guzzi.
Thu, 25 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0700
Piaggio will present an update Moto Guzzi V7 lineup at next week’s Intermot show in Cologne. Dubbed the V7 II, the new model family will again be available in three versions, the V7 II Stone, V7 II Racer and V7 II Special. Guzzi’s signature longitudinally-mounted engine returns, but mounted 10mm lower and tilted 4° forward, addressing rider complaints about a lack of knee space.
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0700
More than 2,000 attendees visited America’s Car Museum for its 3rd annual Vintage Motorcycle Festival ‘The MEET’ last weekend in Tacoma, Washington, where over 300 motorcycles and scooters were showcased on the Haub Family Field at LeMay. The event drew pre-1981 motorcycles and scooters from the U.S. and Canada, including an antique motorcycle display, swap meet, cruise-in and a 78-mile roundtrip tour from ACM’s Anderson Plaza to Mt. Rainier.
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0700
The stage is set for ”The Meet at ACM” motorcycle show this weekend in Tacoma, WA. While festivities will begin on Friday evening, America’s Car Museum (ACM) will host the third annual Vintage Motorcycle Festival on Saturday from 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Organizers expect 450 vintage motorcycles and scooters from all over the nation to attend.
Tue, 11 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0800
The latest suspension manufacturer to hit the block, Nitron is hitting the ground running. Its latest offering, the Adventure series of shocks, leaves no question as to its intended pursuit. Crafted from aluminum alloy with stainless steel fittings, Nitron Adventure Series of shocks are lighter weight than standard ones, and are built to withstand the harsh environments adventure riders are known to travel.
Tue, 04 Feb 2014 00:00:00 -0800
The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) reported a modest 1.4% growth in U.S. motorcycle and scooter sales in 2013, with consumers purchasing 465,783 vehicles. The sales data represents numbers from the MIC’s member brands which include BMW, Can-Am, Ducati, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Kawasaki, KTM, the Piaggio Group (which includes Aprilia, Moto Guzzi and Vespa), Victory, Suzuki, Triumph and Yamaha.
Fri, 31 Jan 2014 00:00:00 -0800
The California 1400 line of cruisers headlines Moto Guzzi’s 2014 model lineup. As the Europe’s continuously operating motorcycle manufacturer (the company was founded in 1921) Moto Guzzi shows no signs of letting up any time. soon.
Wed, 15 Jan 2014 00:00:00 -0800
During the Save and Ride sales event, from now until February 28, participating Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Piaggio, and Vespa dealerships are offering savings of up to $1500 on select new, unused, untitled, 2013 and previous model years. See the list below for eligible models. Aprilia Save & Ride Models Shiver 750: savings of $1500 off MSRP of $9,499 RSV4 R APRC ABS: savings of $1000 off MSRP of $14,999 Tuono V4 R: savings of $1000 off MSRP of $13,999
Moto Guzzi Save & Ride Models Norge GT 8V: savings of $1300 off MSRP of $16,290 V7 Special: savings of $1200 off MSRP of $9,190 Stelvio NTX ABS: savings of $1000 off MSRP of $15,990
Piaggio and Vespa Save & Ride Models Piaggio BV 350: savings of $700 off MSRP of $5,699 Vespa LX 150: savings of $500 off MSRP of $4,599 Vespa S 150: savings of $500 off MSRP of $4,499 Vespa LX 50: savings of $300 off MSRP of $3,399 Vespa S 50: savings of $300 off MSRP of $3,299 Piaggio Typhoon 125: savings of $300 off MSRP of $2,699 Piaggio Typhoon 50: savings of $300 off MSRP of $1,899
In addition, all four brands are offering special financing rates of 0.9% for 36 months or 3.9% for 60 months to qualified buyers.
Tue, 05 Nov 2013 00:00:00 -0800
Not to be left out of the 2013 EICMA show announcements, Moto Guzzi has announced its changes for the three models that make up the V7 line. Known for their 1970s-inspired style, the V7s are built, according to Moto Guzzi press materials, “to three fundamental pillars: the 90° transverse V-twin, the timeless double cradle frame and the renowned cardan shaft final drive.”
Well, one of these pillars gets a functional update for 2014. The engine now utilizes a wet flywheel instead of the previous dry alternator.
Fri, 01 Nov 2013 00:00:00 -0700
Motorcycle and scooter sales in the U.S. in 2013 remain consistent with last year’s figures, according to data released by the Motorcycle Industry Council. Several manufacturers blamed poor weather for the poor start this year, and the rebounding sales in the third quarter helped to negate the slow sales from earlier in the year.
Fri, 11 Oct 2013 00:00:00 -0700
On October 20, Bonhams will be auctioning off a collection of original illustrations by Bruce Smith from the 1960s and 1970s. Each one will be signed by Smith on heavy cartridge paper. The collection is comprised of cutaway illustrations of a 1963 Royal Enfield Interceptor 750cc, Chris Vincent’s 1964 BSA 650cc A65 Race Outfit, and a 1966 Greeves Racer, the largest of this series being 45cm x 62cm.