Motorcycle Guzzi is a historic Italian motorcycle manufacturer, part of the Piaggio Group since 2004, known for its 90° V-twin engines
The "Società Anonima Moto Guzzi" was established in Genoa on 15 March 1921 with the authority to manufacture and sell motorcycles and to carry out any other activity pertaining or correlated to the metalworking industry. The production site will be in Mandello Tonzanico, which later became Mandello del Lario. The partners are the shipowner Emanuele Vittorio Parodi, his son Giorgio and his friend Carlo Guzzi, his former comrade in the Regia Aviazione together with his friend Giovanni Ravelli - an aviator like Parodi himself - who died during a test flight and to whose memory owes the introduction of the eagle with spread wings in the famous logo.
Mandello del Lario is equivalent to Moto Guzzi: initially however, the founding partners had thought of starting production right in the Genoese area, taking advantage of the expert workers available in the city thanks to the presence of Ansaldo. In 1919, following the Biennio Rosso which brought the Genoese capital into a state of civil war with the uncontrolled occupation of the factories, the
the decision was taken to temporarily move the production center to the quiet province of Lecco. There first motorcycle Guzzi produced is the Normale: the 8 hp engine allowed it to reach a top speed of 80 km/h. It was made in 17 specimens and was the first motorcycle in the world to be equipped with a central stand. Two specimens participate – in 1921 – in the Milan-Naples, reaching their destination after 877 km of gran Fondo without breaks and, in the same year, also conquers the edition of the Targa Florio. Guzzi's consecration in the racing world came in 1924 when the 500 C4V model took first, second and fifth place
in the European Championship. In 1934, the company is the largest motorcycle manufacturer in Italy and, in 1939, he presented the Airone 250, a motorcycle that would remain in production for over 15 years, reaching 29.926 units built. Shortly before the start of the Second World War, production was converted to the military market: special models such as the Alce, the Trialce and the Military Airone were produced for the Royal Army. In 46 the company became Moto Guzzi SpA and put the Guzzino 65 called “Cardellino” on the market with the first 2-stroke Guzzi engine. In three years, 50.000 copies will be made; followed, in 50, by the Galletto and the Facone (famous for the introduction of the first “upside-down” fork) and, in 1956, by the Lodola. The post-war period is also famous for the return to the world of competitions: in 1949 Bruno Ruffo on a Moto Guzzi 250 is the first world champion of the newborn motorcycle world championship; the same pilot will confirm dominance also in '51. The following year it was Enrico Lorenzetti's turn while Fergus Anderson conquered the 350 cc riders' title in '53 and '54. In 1957, together with FB Mondial and Gilera, the famous "Abstention Pact" from competitive activities was signed: up to that moment Moto Guzzi had 3.329 victories in official races, 14 World Titles and 11 victories in the Tourist Trophy. At the same time, Moto Guzzi builds a futuristic wind tunnel and is appreciated for the establishment of an excellent racing team which sees prominent technical employees such as Umberto Todero and Enrico Cantoni, supported by Giulio Cesare Carcano, the designer of the Guzzi Otto Cilindri from 285 km/h top speed. The classic 90° V-twin, symbol par excellence of Moto Guzzi, saw the light of day at the end of the 60s: around this engine – under the De Tomaso management established in 1973 – models such as the Guzzi V7, V7 Special and V7 Sports. The California will follow with an 850 cc engine destined for the American market, the grand tourer par excellence equipped with injection electronics and three-disc braking system. The sports range, on the other hand, included the Le Mans, Daytona, Centauro and Sport 1100 models. After numerous sales and acquisitions that saw Moto Guzzi pass from hand to hand, on 30 December 2004 it became part of the Piaggio Group and, already in March of the following year, the naked Breva 1100 was presented followed by the Griso 1100, later also offered in the more classic 850 cc engine capacity. The return to grand touring dates back to 2006 with the Norge 1200, followed by the 1200 Sport produced following the two victories of Gianfranco Guareschi at the "Battle of twins" at Daytona astride the MGS-01 Corsa. The following years will see the evolution of some models such as the Griso 8V, powered by the new 4-valve-per-cylinder engine and 110 HP of maximum power; followed by the Bellagio and a road enduro named Stelvio. In 2010 the V7 Racer was born, a 750 cc series special inspired by the elaborations of the 70s on a V7 Sport basis. Thanks for the introduction
of the California 1400 and the in-depth and continuous work of the R&D department, 2012 marks a growth in sales of +15,3% in sharp contrast with the trend of the European market. In 2014 the new Moto Guzzi V7II arrives followed by the mighty Elodrado and Audace,
both powered by the 1400 cc V-twin made in Mandello. In 2015, the "Moto Guzzi Garage" initiative was launched, a customization program through which the manufacturer allows enthusiasts to create motorcycles tailored to the owner's needs. In 2016 the name "Stornello" was revived, attributed to a series special on a V7II base; then comes the new custom called "V9" in the Roamer and Bobber configurations. The latest and most extreme creation on a 1400 base is the powerful MGX-21 cruiser.
The history of Moto Guzzi is based on historical models such as Airone, Falcone and Galletto; impossible not to mention the Dingo, the California and the unforgettable Le Mans. In 2017, to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the birth of the first model, Moto Guzzi introduces the V7 III. With a glorious past in the world of racing as well as in mass production, today Moto Guzzi offers a range made up of Cruisers, Classics and Customs that wink at the past. The most recent novelty is undoubtedly the unprecedented V85TT with which the brand makes its return to the world of road enduro.