Moto Guzzi viert vandaag op 15 maart haar honderdste verjaardag. Een mijlpaal in de motorgeschiedenis en een ode aan de droom van 2 vliegtuigtechniekers.
GP, Guzzi-Parodi. Zo ging het merk oorspronkelijk heten, totdat Giorgio Parodi besloot dat hij z’n naam toch liever niet aan het bedrijf wilde koppelen. Zijn familie had namelijk stevige schulden in de scheepvaart. Carlo Guzzi mocht dus als mede-oprichter zijn naam aan het bedrijf geven en Moto Guzzi was geboren. Naar een logo moesten de heren niet lang zoeken, want de adelaar was het symbool van het Italiaanse luchtkorps waar beide heren werkten tijdens WOI. Maar tegelijk was het een eerbetoon aan hun overleden vriend en de racer van het trio, Giovanni Ravelli.
Moto Guzzi begon aanvankelijk klein met een simpele ééncilinder die bijna 45 jaar lang verkocht zou worden. Maar uiteraard waren er ook heldendaden zoals de broer van Carlo Guzzi die in 1928 op 4 weken tijd van aan het fabriek in Mandello del Lario naar de Noordkaap zou rijden om de kwaliteit van hun frames te bewijzen. En in 1935 won Stanley Woods de IOM TT in de Senior en Lightweight class op een Guzzi. Het merk werkte zich op tot de titel ‘Ferrari van de motorfietsen’ met lichte, mooi ontworpen motoren die hoge ogen gooide in de racerij.
In 1950 ontwierp Guzzi als eerste een aerodynamische kuip in een windtunnel – een technisch meesterwerkje van Gustave Eiffel dat je tot op de dag van vandaag kan gaan bezichtigen in Mandello. En da’s niet alles, want ook Guzzi’s ‘Otto Cilindri’ is een motor die geschiedenis schreef door als eerste de kaap van de 150 mijl per uur (240km/u, in de fifties!) te doorbreken.
Na een financieel zwarte periode in de sixties en weinig glorierijke overname door Alejandro DeTomaso (die ene van de Pantera) kon Guzzi zich doorheen de jaren opnieuw opwerken naar een succesvolle naam als onderdeel van de Piaggio Group. Zeker de laatste jaren scoort het merk weer successen met retro-bikes uit de V7 en V9 reeksen, maar vooral de V85TT allroad is een erg capabele middenklasser die op veel sympathie kan rekenen met zijn fantastische looks.
Ter ere van het eeuwfeest zal de hele range ook beschikbaar zijn in de Centennial kleurstelling die je hierboven ziet!
Altijd als eerste op de hoogte zijn van het laatste motornieuws? Download de MaxxMoto App, voor iPhoneof Androïd
A CENTURY OF MOTORCYCLING HISTORY CONSTANTLY AT THE CUTTING EDGE, WITH THE ABILITY TO INNOVATE WHILE KEEPING FAITH WITH VALUES AND TRADITIONS
PIAGGIO GROUP CHAIRMAN AND CEO ROBERTO COLANINNO: “THE MOTO GUZZI CENTENARY IS A PROUD MOMENT FOR ITALIAN INDUSTRY AS A WHOLE. TODAY THE BRAND IS ENJOYING A FRESH NEW SEASON OF SUCCESS AND CONTINUES TO INSPIRE GENUINE PASSION IN BIKERS ALL OVER THE WORLD”
A HOST OF MOTO GUZZI INITIATIVES TO MARK THE ANNIVERSARY, CULMINATING IN MOTO GUZZI WORLD DAYS IN MANDELLO DEL LARIO FROM 9 TO 12 SEPTEMBER
Mandello del Lario, 15 March 2021 – On 15 March 2021, Moto Guzzi will celebrate its first legendary 100 years.
A century of history, splendid motorcycles, triumphs, adventures and extraordinary personalities, who together built the legendary Eagle Brand. Moto Guzzi celebrates this exceptional milestone at a time when it is enjoying a fresh new season of success.
The motorcycle range has been extensively renewed, with the deployment of state-of-the-art technical features in terms of electronic rider aids, while the brand values of style and authenticity have been kept intact. Each Moto Guzzi motorbike is constructed at the Mandello del Lario plant with craftsmanlike care and commitment to a unique, authentic identity, skilfully balancing the classic Moto Guzzi style with cutting-edge technology and reflecting a construction philosophy that creates an exclusive relationship between the bike and the rider.
Piaggio Group Chairman and CEO Roberto Colaninno said: “The Moto Guzzi centenary is a proud moment both for the Piaggio Group, which was joined by the Eagle brand in 2004, and for Italian industry as a whole, not just the motorcycling sector. A capacity for innovation, boldness in moving ahead of the times, a competitive spirit, love for the product and meticulous attention to production quality are the skills that over the years Moto Guzzi has combined with its unique relationship with the local community. Ever since 1921, every Moto Guzzi bike that has gone out into the world has been built at the Mandello factory, the place where the company was set up exactly one hundred years ago. All this will continue through its second century of history. Moto Guzzi is an example of all-Italian excellence,” added Colaninno. “It has gone down in our country’s history without ever losing its youthful spirit and continues to inspire genuine passion among thousands of Guzzi bikers all over the world.”
The eagle logo, the unmistakable Moto Guzzi emblem, has in itself helped to create the legend of a brand that has always been indissolubly tied to the history of Italy.
The spread-winged eagle dates back to the military service of the company’s founders, Carlo Guzzi and Giorgio Parodi, in the Italian Royal Navy’s Aviation arm during World War One. It was during the war that the two friends, and pilot Giovanni Ravelli, decided to go into motorcycle manufacturing once the conflict ended. Ravelli was killed in an accident in 1919 and was never able to achieve his dream. Guzzi and Parodi chose the Eagle as their symbol to commemorate their companion.
Over its one hundred years, Moto Guzzi has won victories on racing circuits around the world, raising the Italian flag for an impressive 14 World Championship Titles. It was the motorbike of the speed record, the symbol of growth of a country looking to the future, the motorcycle of the police force and the army, and extended its vocation to the international stage, equipping the Californian Police and, more recently, the police forces in Berlin and many other European cities, as well as the sovereign’s escort in Jordan. Moto Guzzi is also the motorcycle of the Corazzieri, the elite corps that escorts the President of the Italian Republic.
From the very start, Moto Guzzi has been the motorcycle of choice for long-distance travel. It was 1928 when Giuseppe Guzzi reached the Arctic Circle on his GT “Norge”, starting a tradition that still continues, with travellers setting off on their Moto Guzzi bikes every day, somewhere in the world, bound for distant lands.
Today Moto Guzzi is a core division of the Piaggio Group, Europe’s leading constructor of motorcycles and scooters, which has conserved Moto Guzzi’s original characteristics, promoted its values and returned it to a forefront position.
The move back into competitive racing with the Moto Guzzi Fast Endurance Trophy, to be held this year on a European scale, and a new family of motorbikes have brought Moto Guzzi back to a prime market position and introduced its name to a younger public. The classic V7, which has just come out on the new 850 twin cylinder, and the classic enduro V85 TT intended for travel and designed for comfort and easy riding, are the best-sellers of a brand that has been enjoying a revival for a number of years.
Moto Guzzi has always been admired and respected by bikers all over the world, whatever motorcycle they own, and bikers will be the protagonists of Moto Guzzi World Days at Mandello del Lario from 9 to 12 September, the clou event in the festivities for the Moto Guzzi centenary, the main celebration for this special anniversary.
Moto Guzzi World Days has always been an unmissable occasion for bikers and now makes its eagerly awaited comeback, ten years after the last edition. Tens of thousands of enthusiasts will arrive from every corner of the planet to enjoy a unique and unforgettable event, made possible thanks to the collaboration between Moto Guzzi, the Comitato Motoraduno Internazionale and the municipality of Mandello del Lario.
100 YEARS OF HISTORY FOR THE MOST AUTHENTIC NAME IN WORLD MOTORCYCLING
It was 15 March 1921 when the “Società Anonima Moto Guzzi” company was established, for the “manufacture and sale of motorcycles and any other activity related or linked to the metalworking industry”. That was the moment when the founders, Carlo Guzzi and Giorgio Parodi, chose the spread-winged eagle as the company logo, in memory of their comrade-in-arms Giovanni Ravelli. The trio had served together in the Royal Navy’s Aviation arm, where they had developed the idea of setting up a business to build innovative motorcycles once the war had ended. Ravelli died in 1919 during a test flight and his two friends decided to commemorate him with the symbol of the air division. The eagle has been the symbol of Moto Guzzi since then, and rapidly became a world-famous trademark.
This was the beginning of an industrial enterprise based in Mandello del Lario – in the factory where Moto Guzzi bikes are still manufactured today – that has gone down in the history of world motorcycling, producing bikes that have become part of the collective imagination: bikes like the GT 500 Norge (1928) ridden to the Arctic Circle by founder Carlo Guzzi’s brother Giuseppe, the Airone 250 (1939), the Galletto (1950), which powered mass motorisation in the postwar period.
The 1950s saw the debut of the wind tunnel – a world first in the motorcycle industry, and still open for visits today at the Mandello factory – the brainchild of a close-knit team of extraordinary engineers including Umberto Todero, Enrico Cantoni and a designer whose name would quickly acquire legendary status: Milan-born Giulio Cesare Carcano, father of the incredible Otto Cilindri, or V8, with a top speed of 285 km/hour (1955), and the prototypes that won 15 world speed titles and 11 Tourist Trophy titles between 1935 and 1957.
In the 1960s, after the lightweight two-wheelers Stornello and Dingo, Moto Guzzi brought out the 700 cc 90° V-twin engine with cardan shaft final drive, destined to become the symbol of the Mandello manufacturer on such legendary models as the V7 Special, the V7 Sport, the California and the Le Mans. The engine was consistently evolved on this architecture and today, flanked by cutting-edge electronic control features, powers the most popular Moto Guzzi two-wheelers, such as the V7 range, the V9 Roamer and Bobber, and the great V85 TT tourer, the world’s first-ever classic enduro.
To celebrate the centenary, the entire Moto Guzzi range is also available in the special Centennial Livery, in an exclusive edition for 2021 only, inspired by the legendary Otto Cilindri racer.