History

A LEGEND, FOR MORE THAN 95 YEARS
 
On 15 march 1921, the company "Società Anonima Moto Guzzi" was constitued 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 Italia 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 memoryof this friend that the spread-winged eagle motif in the Moto Guzzi badge was chosen.

 


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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, and the Airone 250 (1939), which remained Italy's best selling medium capacity motorcycle for over 15 years. In the meanwhile, the marque also notched up numerous racing successes. The first was in the prestigious Targa Florio in 1921, which marked the beginning of an impressive succession of victories: up until its withdrawal from motorsports in 1957, Moto Guzzi accumulated an enviable collection of accolades including, among other titles, an astonishing 14 world GP championships and 11 Tourist Trophies.


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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. 


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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. 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.


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On 30 December 2004 Moto Guzzi became a part of the Piaggio Group (chairman and managing director Roberto Colaninno), the European leader in the two-wheeler market and one of the world's major constructors 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. From April 2006, the Breva and Griso have also been offered with Guzzi's hallmark 850 cc engine size.


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In May 2006, the Norge 1200 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. The Norge earned the admiration of the 14 journalists who, in July 2006, rode a convoy of the bikes 4,429 Km to Cape North, following the route taken in 1928 by the bike's predecessor - the GT 500 created by Giuseppe Guzzi.

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' - World Guzzi Days). 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.

 


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Moto Guzzi has answered the dreams of its loyal fans, and the sporting heart of the Mandello Eagle is beating once again: in March 2006 at the legendary Daytona circuit, Gianfranco Guareschi scored a historic double victory by winning both heats of the Battle of Twins. On 6 March 2007, Guareschi repeated the performance and won the following year's edition in the saddle of his trusty Moto Guzzi. Spurred by 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, the 1200 Sport is a sophisticated naked, brimming with personality in every aspect of its design, chassis architecture and ergonomics, and powered by the latest 1200 cc generation of the 90° V-twin. 

2007 saw the Mandello based brand bursting with even more life than ever. At the 64th edition of the Milan EICMA Show at the end of 2006, Moto Guzzi presented 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 an oversquare 940 cc engine. During the global Piaggio Dealer convention held in Berlin in February 2007, the project for a new Moto Guzzi was unveiled - a large street enduro with the evocative name: Stelvio.
On 26 March 2007, against the backdrop of Lake Como, Moto Guzzi once again proved that it keeps its promises by presenting the definitive version of the Bellagio to the press just a few months after the Milanese show, while the following September, it unveiled the powerful Griso 1200 8V. 
2007 was also the year of the Giornate Mondiali Moto Guzzi event, which was given an even more exclusive touch by the appearance by the cinema star Ewan McGregor. The actor 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, the home of the Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank, while the following May, journalists were given their first chance to test the abilities of the nimble V7 Classic on the streets of Milan. 

 


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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 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. 

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.

 


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In late 2009 the Piaggio Group also announced a significant investment programme, which involves not only the development of future Moto Guzzi product ranges but also the Mandello del Lario production facility, where a major restructuring project is currently in progress to make the plant more modern, functional and efficient to reflect the rebirth of the brand.


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A spate of new Moto Guzzi models was also unveiled at the 2010 edition of EICMA Milan. The all-new 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.

This year also saw the launch of the V7 Racer, a genuine production special with a 750cc engine inspired by the tuned specials of the 1970s based on the V7 Sport. The V7 Racer celebrates Moto Guzzi's traditional styling cues in a savvy mix of technology and exquisite craftsmanship. Details such as the chromed tank embellished with an elegant leather strap, and metal accents in the Moto Guzzi badge colour-matched with the red frame capture the attention at first glance. Boasting a small block engine of the same capacity is the Nevada Anniversario, which celebrates twenty years of the “baby” Guzzi with a new sports custom to join the ever popular Classic.

 


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2011 - the year of the 90th anniversary of Moto Guzzi - started off with a pleasant surprise: an all new version of the Moto Guzzi California. The prototype for the new California, powered by an all-new 1400 cc transverse 90° V-twin, reinterprets the legacy of a legendary motorcycle in an original new design that emphasises both the architecture of the engine and the generous dimensions of the saddle and the tank, which is sculpted around the cylinders.


But 2011 has many more exciting things in store to mark the 90th birthday of the Eagle brand: on 15 March, the Piaggio Group celebrated the official anniversary of the foundation of Moto Guzzi with a highly anticipated announcement: Mandello del Lario will once again set the stage for the GMG event in mid September this year. Preparations are already under way for an extraordinary “90th Anniversary” edition of the Giornate Mondiali Guzzi, to give thousands of loyal Guzzisti from all over the world the chance to celebrate together with Moto Guzzi, discover the brand's future models and see at first hand the modernisation and restoration work to transform the historic Mandello del Lario factory into a modern production facility, in which ninety years of glorious motorcycle history live side by side with the latest manufacturing technology.

 
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2012 starts under the sign of the new V7 range. New engine, revamped design, brand new equipment: the legend of the V7 reaches its highest expression yet.
The new V7 (available in three versions: V7 Stone, V7 Special, V7 Racer) is a completely new bike, more powerful, faster, thriftier, more ecological, better refined and more comfortable than the previous version, and yet still with a cardan shaft driven 90° transversal V two cylinder engine and double frame.
 
Even before its presentation, the new Moto Guzzi California 1400 captured the attention of motorbike fans all over the world. The announcement heralding the debut of the new cruiser built in the historic factory in Mandello del Lario, and a few early rumours, were all it took to arouse curiosity and anticipation about the latest representative of a tradition that has established Moto Guzzi as an aristocrat among world motorcycle brands.
 
The California 1400, introduced in Europe at the end of 2012 in the Touring version and at the beginning of 2013 in the Custom version and then launched in the USA in the spring, is powered by a brand new, powerful 1400 cc V-twin, the largest engine of its type ever produced in Europe.
 
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 highly popular among passionate “Guzzisti” all over the world: it is not by chance that Scottish actor Ewan McGregor, collector of vintage Guzzis, after seeing the new California Custom and Touring, chose to be the testimonial in a fantastic advertising campaign. Built by hand in the historic Mandello plant where Moto Guzzi was founded in 1921, these new flagships of Italian industry are the first Cruisers in the world equipped with traction control, “ride by wire” technology and LED Daylight Running Lights (DRL).
 
Thanks to the success of its product ranges, the result of an investment strategy that involved both R&D and restoration of the plant in Mandello del Lario, in 2012 Moto Guzzi – going blatantly against the European market trend – recorded a 15.3% increase in sales.
In 2013 Moto Guzzi, for the third consecutive year, bucked the downward trend on the Western motorcycle market, with shipment growth of 2.4% (approximately 6,800 bikes, compared with approximately 6,600 in 2012).
 
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In May 2013 Robb Report, the American magazine that has been the International authority and reference point in the luxury segment for almost forty years, listed the big Custom made in Italy at Mandello del Lario among its Best of the Best Luxury Portfolio for 2013.
After receiving unanimous approval all over the world, Moto Guzzi California 1400 adds further important recognition from the United States, taking first place - in August 2013 - in the Cycle World competition's Cruiser category.
This recognition takes on that much more significance because it comes from the most authoritative magazine from the other side of the ocean, a true reference point for enthusiasts all over the world, and because precisely the American market is the cradle of large Cruiser bikes, the true flagships of the road, which is teeming with the strong presence of American brands.
 
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In 2014 the revamping of the "small" V7, unveiled for the first time at Intermot 2014 in Cologne, represents a clear evolution compared to its predecessor, so much that it deserves a new name: V7 II. The second generation of the Moto Guzzi V7 keeps the stylistic personality of its predecessor intact: a design that dialogues between Moto Guzzi shapes from the past combined with the needs of a modern bike capable of satisfying the widest possible range of enthusiasts. At the same time, Moto Guzzi V7 II is a completely new bike in terms of technology, powertrain, ergonomics, safety, construction quality and finish and riding pleasure
The sixth gear, ABS braking system and Traction Control are among the most important innovations of the new 750CC BY Moto Guzzi.
The new V7 II comes in three versions:
V7II STONE: Eclectic and essential, the V7 II Stone now has new colours all satin finishes and inspired by typical ‘70s colour schemes that enhance the contrast of the new frame, built with more aesthetic welding where brilliant paintwork has been applied to enhance the ingenious architecture.
The rest of the bike, from the mirrors to the shock absorbers, from the mudguards to the wheels and even the side panels is dominated by black, now also extended to the tail light assembly and the new brake and clutch levers.
 
V7II SPECIAL: of the V7 versions this is the one that most approaches the original spirit of its ancestor, beginning from its graphics, christened  “Essetre” (S3) and inspired by the famous 1975 V750 S3. Following this graphic concept, the V7 II now has three glossy colour bases: classic black with orange stripes to faithfully revisit the colours of its famous ancestor and two brand new schemes on metallic red and light blue with a silver stripe. The tank on both bears the historic embossed logo and the wheels, spoked with lightweight alloy rim channels, are also done in black finish instead of chrome.
 
V7II RACER: Manufactured in limited edition as the celebratory plate located on the upper steering yoke indicates, the V7 II Racer confirms the previous model's equipment and features when the total-black look was introduced on the side panels, mirrors, silencer brackets and footpeg guards in contrast with the bright 22 litre chromium fuel tank. In keeping with the numbers theme, the number “7” remains on the top and tail fairings (which in the Moto Guzzi world was a favourite for the 250 class world champion Enrico Lorenzetti), in chromium. The single seat saddle is also back (although a two-up saddle and passenger footpegs are available on request), covered in Alcantara and Skai to match the leather strap personalised with the Moto Guzzi logo that decorates the crest of the tank.
The red frame is still spectacular, itself inspired by the legendary first V7 Sport series
 
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In 2015 Moto Guzzi introduces two and exciting motocycles powered by the spectacular 1.4 litre V Twin: Eldorado and Audace.
The new Eldorado is a luxurious motorcycle on the cutting-edge of technology which, powered by the largest V Twin ever manufactured in Europe, is a perfect interpretation of the most genuine Guzzi spirit. The new Eldorado is a true flagship in the bike world, embodying a splendid tradition in an increasingly solid present. And it does so looking decidedly to the future: chromium inserts and finely crafted details combine with LED lights and come together in classic lines that bring Moto Guzzi into a new dimension where refinement speaks Italian.
The Moto Guzzi Audace states its rebel spirit immediately simply with its name.
It is a musclebike designed to enhance the spectacular performance of the 1400 cc "Made in Mandello" big block. Nothing more than pure riding pleasure led the development of a model where the best available technology is at the service of performance and which has a look with a strong personality, a carbon look which takes on that dark soul already introduced on the Moto Guzzi V7 II Stone and reconfirmed with the elements of the Dark Rider personalisation designed for the “750” from Mandello.
 
Customisation is a labour of love on your bike and Moto Guzzi in 2015 has fine-tuned a complete line for enthusiasts that also includes four kits inspired by the history of the Eagle brand in line with the most modern trends. These are special pieces and parts that Moto Guzzi has arranged, creating four styles and just as many distinct riding experiences: Dark Rider, Scrambler, Legend and Dapper. In 2016 Moto Guzzi introduces a further evolution of the already exceptionally complete world of accessories dedicated to the V7 II (and its previous versions). There are new reference styles which Moto Guzzi offers, accompanied by the range of dedicated accessories that make them up. These are customisation formulas that correspond to clearly different styles, following your own personal taste and still leaving you with the widest possibilities of creating your own tailor-made V7, selecting your favourite parts from those in the entire range and mixing and matching.
 
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2016 opens up with the commercial launch of Moto Guzzi Stornello, a “light offroad” version of the V7II range. More than fifty years after its birth, one of the best known and most successful names ever hung on a motorcycle produced by Moto Guzzi is back, synonym of construction quality, versatility and inimitable style
The new stornello stands out with its numerous prestigious Italian made parts and the dedicated selection of colour schemes which enhance its charm and elegance. Available in a limited and numbered edition, the V7II Stornello is the latest representative of Moto Guzzi's exclusive ability to create true factory specials
 
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In March 2016, coinciding with the 95th anniversary of Moto Guzzi, the V9 arrives, a new medium engine capacity custom thatis introduced in two versions with two distinct personalities. The more classic is called the V9 Roamer, whereas the V9 Bobber represents the darker and more sporty Moto Guzzi soul and it stands out with its essential total black look and the large tyres on its 16 inch wheels. The two new Moto Guzzis are characterised by their exceptional construction quality and painstakingly crafted details. The overall reduced sizes make riding and control at a stand still easy, also assisted by the overall weight which is contained to under 200 kg. Such a solid, lightweight and fun chassis is combined with a V90 transversal 850cc twin-cylinder engine, completely new and designed to maximise elasticity and toque in order to guarantee character, easy handling and a quick response even at low rpms. The full compliment of factory equipment includes ABS, adjustable traction control that can also be disabled, immobilizer and a USB port.
 
The “big” news for 2016 is the definitive MGX-21 version “Flying Fortress”, a truly special and unique model, large with a courageous design, ostentatious and definitely not one to leave onlookers indifferent, as its name would suggest.
The MGX-21 Flying Fortress becomes a true bagger, mounting a pair of rigid side panniers built into the back of the bike. The new and magnificent bagger from Mandello del Lario maintains the spectacular 21” alloy front wheel protected by carbon coverings and it is characterised by the high level of technical content, several of which are patented, which make it the Moto Guzzi technological flagship. The construction craftsmanship and the quality of the components selected for this model are also exceptional, including numerous parts in carbon and the luxurious and ultra-complete instrumentation that incorporates a true entertainment system. The equipment is completed by all of the most advanced safety devices such as ABS, adjustable traction control (which can also be disabled), the Ride-by-Wire accelerator and cruise control. MGX-21 Flying Fortress is powered by the largest V-twin ever manufactured in Europe, the Moto Guzzi 1400cc with cardan final drive, capable of nonchalantly and precisely unleashing more than 120 Nm of torque from low rpms. It complies with the new Euro 4 pollution standard and has a new exhaust with extra-long silencers that stretch out on a strictly horizontal line.