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ANNIVERSARY

MOTO GUZZI STORY: 100 YEARS OF AUTENTHIC PASSION

March 2021 - On 15 March 1921, the company "Società Anonima Moto Guzzi" was constituted in the offices of the notary Paolo Cassanello in Corso Aurelio Saffi, Genoa, for "the fabrication and sale of motorcycles, and all other activities pertinent or correlated to the metalworking and mechanical engineering industries". The partners in the Company were the renowned Genoese ship owner Emanuele Vittorio Parodi, his son Giorgio and his friend Carlo Guzzi. Guzzi was a former comrade of Parodi’s in the Italian Air Corps, as was another friend Giovanni Ravelli, an aviator – like Parodi – who died, however, on 11 August 1919 during a test flight. It was in memory of this friend that the spread-winged eagle motif in the Moto Guzzi badge was chosen.

THE FOUNDERS.

WIDE REWIND:
wide.piaggiogroup.com/en/articles/people/the-founders-of-moto-guzzi

Guzzi, Parodi and Ravelli had served together in the Italian Royal Navy’s Aviation Corps and there they had developed the idea of going into the construction of innovative concept motorcycles after the war. Ravelli died in 1919 during a test flight and his two friends wanted to honour his memory with the military aviation symbol. Since then, Italian Naval Aviation eagle, which quickly gained notoriety all over the world, has been Moto Guzzi’s symbol.

THE MOTO GUZZI PLANT - HISTORIC IMAGES.

The company's first motorcycle was the legendary 8 HP Normale. This was followed by successful models such as the 1928 Guzzi G.T., dubbed “Norge” to commemorate the expedition to the Polar Arctic Circle achieved by the Italian airship, and the Airone 250 (1939), which remained Italy's best selling medium capacity motorcycle for over 15 years. Sports victories soon arrived: the first was the prestigious Targa Florio in 1921 which launched an impressive series of successes: the rich Moto Guzzi collection of wins when retiring from competition (1957) included an impressive 14 world speed titles and 11 Tourist Trophies.

THE EAGLE BRAND BIKES: THE FIRST 50 YEARS, 1921-1971.

The years following the Second World War spawned models such as the Guzzino 65 (“Cardellino”), which was Europe's best-selling motorcycle for over a decade. This was followed by the legendary Galletto (1950) and the Lodola 175 (1956). In 1950, Moto Guzzi installed a state-of-the-art wind tunnel at Mandello del Lario, making it the first constructor worldwide to do so. The company's racing division was a team of brilliant minds, with engineers such as Umberto Todero, Enrico Cantoni and the Milanese Giulio Cesare Carcano, who would soon achieve legendary status for creating the 285 Km/h Guzzi Otto Cilindri.

MANDELLO DEL LARIO: THE WIND TUNNEL.

Click to enlarge.

At the end of the 1960s, Moto Guzzi presented the 90° V-twin engine that was to become the very symbol of Moto Guzzi itself. This powerplant was used as the basis for models such as the Guzzi V7, the V7 Special and yet another icon, the Guzzi V7 Sport. The glorious V-twin was also produced as smaller capacity V35 and V50 variants. The largest iteration of this engine powered the definitive Gran Turismo - the Moto Guzzi California, which evolved to include electronic injection and a triple-disc brake system.

Click to enlarge.

Historic advertising of the American importer Premier: Moto Guzzi V7 (700cc), Police package. Right: Los Angeles police officers astride the subsequent Moto Guzzi 750 model.

MOTO GUZZI – LOS ANGELES POLICE.

Left: Moto Guzzi California (1987); right: Moto Guzzi Daytona 1000 (1989).

Dedicated to the US market, together with the Ambassador and Eldorado variants, the California boasted the classic 850 cc engine capacity, a displacement that has since been rediscovered and brought back into the current range. Models like the Le Mans, Daytona, Centauro and Sport 1100 kept the sports heritage of the marque alive. The unmistakable style and character of these bikes were brought right up to date in the 1990s with the new California, Nevada and V11 Sport series.

(Moto Guzzi brochure).

A NEW ERA. On 30 December 2004, Moto Guzzi became a part of the Piaggio Group, the European leader in the two-wheeler market and one of the world's major manufacturers in the sector. Expressing the spirit of this renaissance was the Breva 1100 presented in March 2005, a new and successful Italian offering for the naked segment. September that same year saw the widely acclaimed launch of the Griso 1100, a bike boasting original engineering solutions and unique styling.

In May 2006, the Norge 1200 (photo above), marked Guzzi's return to the Gran Turismo genre: a bike offering total protection from the elements, the new 1200cc V-twin engine and uncompromisingly generous standard equipment for devouring miles in complete comfort.
Testifying to the great passion that unites all Moto Guzzi owners, between 15 and 17 September, 15 thousand Guzzisti from over 20 different countries flocked to Mandello del Lario for the fourth edition of GMG ('Giornate Mondiali Guzzi', Guzzi World Days). The brand’s 85th anniversary is celebrated. Overseen by the Moto Guzzi Club, the countless Guzzi owners' associations around the world boast an unparalleled loyal following. There are over 25,000 Motor Guzzi motorcycle club members worldwide (the largest group of which in the USA, with 52 clubs in the country), and more than 70 internet websites dedicated to the brand.

The sporting heart of Moto Guzzi began to beat once more: in March 2006 when, on the Daytona circuit in the USA, Gianfranco Guareschi (photo above) took home a historic “double win” with two victories in the Battle of Twins. And he repeated the result in the 2007 edition. In the wake of these racing victories on the other side of the Atlantic, a new model was created to embody the sporting spirit of Moto Guzzi, the 1200 Sport, presented in October 2006, a naked sport bike with personality to spare, powered by the latest evolution of the 1,200cc 90° V-twin.
For 2007, the Mandello based brand proved to be more vital than ever, presenting the Griso 8V - an evolution of brand's mesmerising naked powered by a new 4-valve engine producing over 110 HP - and the Bellagio, a custom powered by a 940cc short-stroke twin cylinder.

2007 was also the year of the Giornate Mondiali Moto Guzzi event (Guzzi World Days), which was given an even more exclusive touch by the appearance by the cinema star: Ewan McGregor (photo above) had come to Mandello del Lario to collect his white California Vintage, which he had purchased a few months previously when filming scenes for his adventure TV show Long Way Down at the Guzzi factory. EICMA 2007 was the setting for the world preview presentation of two models at opposite ends of the spectrum in the comprehensive Moto Guzzi range: the Stelvio 1200 and the V7 Classic. The Stelvio 1200 was presented to the international press in March 2008 in the medieval town of Rocca Salimbeni, while the following May, journalists were given their first chance to test the abilities of the nimble V7 Classic on the streets of Milan.

A significant testimony to the brand's quality came when Guzzi won the contract to supply 35 Moto Guzzi Norge GTs to the Berlin police, while 20 Moto Guzzi California Vintage bikes were delivered to the Corazzieri Italian Presidential guard corps (photo above) the same year. 2009 saw the introduction of the V7 Cafè, a sports variant of the V7 to join the existing Classic, presented in Rome together with the Griso SE in March, and of the Stelvio NTX, which marked the introduction of ABS on the Guzzi's maxi - enduro. This bike, presented to the international press on the roads of the Dolomites, is powered by the first upgrade of the “Quattrovalvole” engine, with new camshafts.

2012: Chairman and CEO of the Piaggio Group, Roberto Colaninno, accompanied by Vice President Matteo Colaninno and the Chief Executive Officer and General Director of the Immsi Group, Michele Colaninno, is received in Amman by King Abdullah II of Jordan. On the occasion, the fleet comprising 24 Moto Guzzi California 1100 bikes was presented, built exclusively for the royal escort.

Official video by The Royal Hashemite Court: in Amman, celebrations for the 74th anniversary of Jordan’s independence. A fleet of Moto Guzzi California bikes leads the royal escort.

At the end of 2009, during the 67th International Motorcycle Show in Milan, Moto Guzzi captured the world's attention with three futuristic prototypes designed by Miguel Galluzzi and Pierre Terblanche: V12LM, V12 Strada and V12 X, which immediately received the Motorcycle Design Association Award (a design association with 165 members in four continents) for the best motorcycle design.

A spate of new Moto Guzzi models was also unveiled at the 2010 edition of EICMA Milan. The family of large 1200 8V bikes with four valves per cylinder – namely the Stelvio 1200 8V, the Stelvio 1200 NTX and the Norge GT 8V – was presented at the show, while the press launch for the bikes was held on the roads of Tuscany in Spring 2011. The V7 Racer was also born, a genuine 750cc production special on a V7 Sport base.

The postcard to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Moto Guzzi World Club, in collaboration with the Italian Post Office, created by Paolo Racano.

2011 was under the banner of the Eagle Brand's 90th year: on 15 March, the Piaggio Group celebrated the official "birthday" of Moto Guzzi by launching a series of events to celebrate this milestone of the most beloved Italian motorcycle company. In April, the new range of premium Stelvio and Norge 8V models made their début, subsequently the stars of the International Mandello - North Cape Raid which took journalists from the most authoritative international publications over the route taken by Giuseppe “Naco” Guzzi (Carlo Guzzi’s older brother) in 1928 (astride his GT Norge 500).

“Naco’s” bike, christened the Norge in honour of the Italian airship that first flew over the North Pole; it was donated by the widow of Ulisse Guzzi (Carlo’s son) to the Moto Club Carlo Guzzi of Mandello del Lario. Returned to working order in 1991, the sixty-plus-year-old bike was used to retrace the historic trip to Cape North of 1928, succeeding in the undertaking.

To close out the anniversary celebrations, more than 20,000 Guzzisti descended on Mandello for the Giornate Mondiali Moto Guzzi event, where they had the opportunity to see the future of the company first-hand, both in the product and in the new and modern infrastructures which will be integrated into the famous headquarters at via Parodi, 57.

2012 began under the sign of the new V7 range, equipped with a revamped, high efficiency powerplant which managed to catapult the new Mandello average to the top of the standings for most sold bike in the group in just a few months. At the end of the year, with the rumour mill in high gear, the new Moto Guzzi California 1400 arrived on the market in the Touring version. In early 2013, the Custom was also introduced. Both were powered by a brand new, powerful 1400cc V-twin engine, the largest motor of this kind every produced in Europe.

Official video (2013): Moto Guzzi California 1400 and Ewan McGregor.

With a spectacular visual impact, the style of the new California 1400 conveys the unmistakeable Moto Guzzi class and tradition, combined with never-before-seen lines, dimensions and technologies, but extremely popular with Guzzi fans from all over the world. Scottish actor Ewan McGregor was the testimonial for the California 1400 in a fantastic advertising campaign.
In May 2013, Robb Report, one of the most authoritative American magazines and a point of reference in the luxury segment on a global level, included the big Custom in its Best of the Best Luxury Portfolio for the year 2013. Then, in August, more important recognition arrived, once again from the United States. The California 1400 took first prize in the Cruiser category of the contest held by Cycle World.

WIDE REWIND:
wide.piaggiogroup.com/archive/wide2/moto/index_en.html#/Award

In 2014, the V7 was completely revamped and the Moto Guzzi V7II was born. The sixth gear, the ABS braking system and Traction Control were some of the most significant new features on the new model.

Official video (2015): Moto Guzzi Eldorado and Ewan McGregor.

2015 ushered in two new and spectacular motorcycles on the powerful 1400cc V-twin base: Eldorado and Audace. Modern and luxurious, Eldorado is the heir to the unforgettable “850” that made its fortune in the States. It is a luxurious motorcycle with cutting-edge technology: chromium inserts and exquisitely crafted details combine with LED lights and come together in classic lines that bring Moto Guzzi into a new dimension where refinement speaks Italian. Moto Guzzi Audace is a motorcycle with a strong and rebellious character. Designed to emphasise the spectacular performance of the powerful 1400 cc V-twin engine.

WIDE REWIND:
wide.piaggiogroup.com/en/articles/events/authentic-moto-guzzi-fan-ewan-mcgregor-is-back-on-a-mandello-bike/index.html

2016 opens up with the market launch of the Moto Guzzi Stornello, a light offroad version of the V7II range. Also 2016, coinciding with the 95th anniversary of Moto Guzzi, the V9 arrives, a medium size engine capacity custom born in two versions with rather distinct personalities. The more conventional version is called the V9 Roamer, whereas the V9 Bobber represents the darker and more sporty soul of Moto Guzzi, standing out with an essential, total black look and large tyres mounted on 16 inch rims. They are both powered by an 850cc, transversal 90° V-twin engine, completely new and designed to increase elasticity and torque to top levels in order to guarantee character, ease of use and quick response from low rpms. The standard equipment is plentiful and includes ABS, adjustable traction control (which can also be disabled), immobilizer and a USB port.

Moto Guzzi MGX-21 - Official video (2016).

In 2016, the MGX-21 Flying Fortress makes its début, one of the most spectacular Moto Guzzis ever. In fact, the MGX-21 is the most unconventional, rich and technological of the 1400 cruisers built in Mandello del Lario, a bagger that is unique in the world for its design, technological equipment, construction quality and painstaking detail, dedicated all those who love exclusive motorcycles, those who want to be thrilled before they even start the trip just by looking at this prestigious Italian bike. Powered by the 1400 cc big block and characterized by its large 21” front wheel, it boasts an extremely low and sleek side view. The red paint on the aluminium cylinder head covers contributes to emphasizing the power that this engine is capable of expressing, even in its aesthetics. Low in the back and raised at the front, thanks to the maxi top fairing with a bold and distinctive design, the MGX-20 takes on the look of a large, technological and luxurious motorcycle, able to eat up the asphalt smoothly for miles and miles thanks to an extremely advanced electronic riding assistance package that includes cruise control, traction control and ABS.

V7 III RACER, Sport heritage appeal - Moto Guzzi official video (2017).

2017 marks the 50th anniversary of the Moto Guzzi V7. To celebrate the fifty years since the birth of the first model, Moto Guzzi introduces V7 III, the third generation of the globally renowned and most beloved Moto Guzzi, completely revamped but leaving the originality and authenticity so typical of this iconic motorcycle unaltered. Since 1967, the year the first units were sold in Italy, the V7 became a pillar of the product range and the representative of the Italian motorcycle par excellence, standing out for its content and design, highly popular with a truly transversal and varied public. V7 III is available in the three versions, Stone, Special and Racer that, compared with the past, now take on stronger connotations and greater characterization.

Moto Guzzi V85 TT - ROCK(S) 'N' ROAD(S) – Official video (2018).

The 2018-2019 period was marked by the static introduction (in Milan, at EICMA 2018) and then the marketing (spring of 2019) of the more-awaited V85 TT, the bike that would mark the Eagle brand’s return to the large travel enduro segment. Moto Guzzi V85 TT creates the new classic enduro segment, capable of providing performance and modern technology wrapped up in a stylish body, rich in Moto Guzzi's almost centennial values and tradition. Moto Guzzi V85 TT was born on the base of a new technical platform and powered by a brand new 80 HP, 80 Nm engine, a 90° transversal V-twin engine, the only one of its kind in the world in terms of construction layout and riding sensations. It boasts premium standard equipment for the rider’s gratification, just as much on a daily commute as when touring or on an off-road excursion and it includes the Multimap Ride by Wire throttle, ABS and traction control. The Moto Guzzi MIA application lets you connect your smartphone to the instrumentation, significantly expanding functionality. Last, but not least, there is a vast range of dedicated accessories. In 2020, the Travel version arrived as well, outfitted with panniers and travel accessories, coming alongside the new V7III Stone S and V7III Racer 10th Anniversary models.

Click to enlarge.

In 2019 and 2020, Moto Guzzi returned to the most classic form of track racing with the Moto Guzzi Fast Endurance trophy. The Trophy, organised with the Italian Federation and dedicated to teams of two riders astride V7 III machines, was enormously successful thanks to an accessible and engaging formula.

Official video: Moto Guzzi Fast Endurance-Vallelunga (2020).

Much of the credit goes to the “seven-fifty” from Mandello which, outfitted with the Gcorse Racing Kit and Pirelli tyres, proved to be unexpectedly fast and extremely reliable, but above all easy, intuitive and usable on the track even by those who do not boast any racing experience. In 2021 it becomes the Moto Guzzi Fast Endurance European Cup:

www.motoguzzi.com/en_EN/fast-endurance

2021: MOTO GUZZI CENTENNIAL RANGE – V85TT, V7, V9 – & GMG.

ALSO READ:
wide.piaggiogroup.com/en/articles/products/with-2021-the-year-of-moto-guzzis-centennial-is-launched

MOTO GUZZI WEBSITE:
www.motoguzzi.com/en_EN