Moto Guzzi turns 100 and is preparing to present a brand new sports naked

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Moto Guzzi turns a century and the Eagle that is on the tank thanks to a history of deep friendship continues to fly high even a hundred years later. Going back to the origins of one of the most important Italian motorcycle brands means moving from the shores of Lake Como to those of the Ligurian Mediterranean. It was March 15, 1921 and in the office of the notary Paolo Cassanello, located in Corso Aurelio Saffi in Genoa, the “Società Anonima Moto Guzzi” was founded with the aim of “the manufacture and sale of motorcycles and any other activity related or connected to engineering industry”. The partners include the shipowner Emanuele Vittorio Parodi, his son Giorgio and his friend Carlo Guzzi. Parodi and Guzzi also had a friend and fellow soldier in the Air Service of the Royal Navy, with whom they had fought side by side during the First World War. His name was Giovanni Ravelli and he died in 1919 during a test flight. The Eagle found on the Moto Guzzi tank is precisely that of the Navy Air Service, which tied Ravelli to his friends.

Michele Morosi

Since its foundation, all Moto Guzzi bikes have been built in Mandello del Lario and designed in Italy. Motorcycles that, especially in the post-war period, made the history of Italian and European motorization. The first to leave the gate of the current Via Parodi 57 is the Normale, with 8 HP of power. Successful models follow such as the 1928 Guzzi GT, nicknamed “Norge” for the raid on the Arctic Circle, and the Airone 250 (1939), the most popular “medium displacement” in Italy for over 15 years. Sports victories also arrive: the first is in the Targa Florio in 1921 which inaugurates an impressive series of successes. At the time of retirement from racing (1957), Moto Guzzi had 14 world speed titles and 11 Tourist Trophy. After the war, models such as the Guzzino 65 (“Cardellino”) were born, for over ten years the best-selling motorcycle in Europe. Then came the Galletto (1950) and the Lodola 175 (1956).

The Moto Guzzi Mandello sul Lago factory (credits Michele Morosi)

In 1950 the wind tunnel was built in Mandello del Lario, a first in the world of two wheels; here the Otto Cilindri was developed by Giulio Cesare Carcano, reaching 285 km / h. At the end of the 1960s, the 90 ° V-twin engine arrived, which became a trademark. Models such as the V7 are born around him, even in the Special and Sport versions. The two-cylinder is also available in smaller displacements with the V35 and V50, but it also grows in cubic capacity for California (1971), on which electronic injection and the three-disc integral braking system will make their debut later on. Dedicated to the US market, together with the other Ambassador and Eldorado configurations, it adopted the characteristic 850 cc engine. The sporting heritage is instead collected by models such as Le Mans, Daytona, Centauro and Sport 1100. An unmistakable taste and flavor that returned to the fore in the nineties, with the new California, Nevada and V11 Sport series.

1950-66 Rooster couple (credits Michele Morosi)

On 30 December 2004 Moto Guzzi became part of the Piaggio Group and in March 2005 the Breva 1100 was presented, a new proposal in the “naked” segment, followed in September by the Griso 1100. In May 2006 Guzzi returned to tourism with the Norge 1200, followed by the 1200 Sport and the Stelvio 1200. In 2007, however, the V7 family was reborn and in 2012 it was California’s turn, with the large 1,400 cc twin-cylinder. which is then also declined in particular versions such as the Eldorado and the Audace. More recent are the new V9s, the exceptional MGX-21 Flying Fortress and the V85 TT, with which Guzzi is back in the mid-displacement enduro sector. Its 850 cc engine is currently used (with the necessary modifications) on the entire production of Mandello del Lario and in the coming months we will see an evolution of greater cubature that will give life to new motorcycles. The first of these, which could be a sporty maxi-naked, will almost certainly be presented during the Moto Guzzi World Days, which will be held in Mandello del Lario from 9 to 12 September 2021.

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