Happy Birthday Moto Guzzi!

Moto Guzzi was established 90 years ago today – on 15 March 1921. To celebrate the anniversary, Moto Guzzi is hosting a special Guzzi World Days event at their factory in Mandello del Lario, Italy in mid-September 2011.

The 90th Anniversary Guzzi World Days event is a chance for thousands of Guzzi devotees from all over the world (more than 16,000 riders attended the 2007 event) to celebrate the Eagle brand, see the new Moto Guzzi models and check out the Moto Guzzi factory where 90 years of motorcycling history lives side by side with state-of-the-art production technology.

This year will also see the launch of two new models – the Stelvio 1200 8V (and 1200 NTX) and the Norge GT 8V.

History lesson

On 15 March 1921 the “Società Anonima Moto Guzzi” company was established for the manufacture and sale of motorcycles and all other related activity in the metalworking industry”. The founders were Emanuele Vittorio Parodi, a well-known Genoese ship owner, his son Giorgio and his friend Carlo Guzzi.

Parodi and Guzzi had served in the Italian Air Force together with Giovanni Ravelli, a pilot killed on 11 August 1919 during a test flight. They remembered their friend by choosing a winged eagle as the symbol for their new company – now recognised worldwide as the Moto Guzzi emblem.

The firm set up shop in Mandello del Lario – in the factory where Moto Guzzi bikes are still produced today – and started creating machines that lead motorcycle development at a world level.  The 1928 GT500 Norge was ridden to the Arctic Circle by Giuseppe Guzzi. The 1939 Airone 250 (the best-selling Moto Guzzi model before the arrival of the 1946 Guzzino 65) and the 1950 Galletto played a key role in the mass motorisation of Italy.

During that period the company installed its wind tunnel – the industry’s first, and still visible today in Mandello del Lario. The development team included a designer who would soon enter the hall of fame: Milan-born Giulio Cesare Carcano, designer of the incredible Otto Cilindri with a top speed of 177mph (in 1954!) and the prototypes that, from 1935 to 1957, notched up an impressive 14 world speed championships and 11 Tourist Trophies.

During the 1960s, after the lightweight Stornello and Dingo, Moto Guzzi developed the 700cc V90 twin-cylinder engine with final shaft drive assembly that would come to symbolise the Mandello brand. It featured on models including the V7 Special, V7 Sport, California and Le Mans.

The powertrain was later adapted and evolved continually, so that it powers today’s most popular Moto Guzzi models like the V7 Racer, the Stelvio 8V 1200 and the Norge GT 8V – bikes that will be the stars of the show at the anniversary Guzzi World Days event in September 2011.

We’ll bring you more news about the celebrations as soon as we have it… In the meantime keep an eye out on their website – Moto Guzzi

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