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.
Wed, 01 Sep 2021
2021 is an anniversary year for the company from Mandello del Lario: Moto Guzzi is actively celebrating its 100th anniversary since its inception. And in honor of this date, the Italians have prepared a new model that, on the one hand, has retained the familiar architecture of Guzzi, on the other hand, slowly distanced itself from the past.
Thu, 20 Feb 2020
The Italian concern reported positive sales results for 2019. Over the past year, the brand merger showed a 1.3% increase in sales to 611,300 units, of which 399,600 units (+1.6%) were two-wheeled vehicles. Sales statistics in the Asia-Pacific region improved markedly, with a 14.5 percent increase.
Wed, 12 Jun 2019
In fact, our old sport Ewan McGregor is not only a Hollywood star but also a big fan of motorcycles, including Moto Guzzi products. In 2013, he was honored to represent the California 1400 and is now an ambassador for the V85 TT touring enduro (Tutto Terreno). The V85 TT is an interesting and powerful model that has been ordered by more than ten thousand bikers around the world even before its introduction.
Mon, 30 May 2016
Trying to distort the concept of cafe racer as little as possible, Radical Guzzi specialists in their latest work pursued two goals: speed and style. The concept was developed by former BMW designer Sylvain Berneron. The 1200cc twin Moto Guzzi Griso has been pumped up to almost a liter and a half, equipped with a 1400 California cylinder-piston group.
Thu, 12 Nov 2015
Few believe that the true spirit of the Moto Guzzi brand is hidden in the sports cars of the 1970s and 1980s. But they are still in demand. Here is a great example of this from the Hamburg workshop Kaffeemaschine.
Thu, 25 Sep 2014
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
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
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
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
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.