march 06, 2018 - Moto Guzzi

MOTO GUZZI 1921-2019: THE EAGLE BRAND

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 ship owner from Genoa 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 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. 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 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.

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 datein the 1990s with the new California, Nevada and V11 Sport series.

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.

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.

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 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.

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 roadsof 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.

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.

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.

2011 - the year of Moto Guzzi's 90th anniversary - started off with a pleasant surprise: an all new version of the Moto Guzzi California, unveiled during the international Piaggio Group dealer meeting. The event which brings almost two thousand Piaggio Group Dealers together every year at the Grimaldi Forum in Monte Carlo, concluded with an unexpected sneak preview of a prototype that prefigures the future product strategies for the Eagle Brand in the year marking Moto Guzzi's 90th anniversary.

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.

2011 was under the sign 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 Naco Guzzi in 1928. To bring the anniversary celebrations to a close, more than 20,000 Guzzisti gathered at Mandello for Moto Guzzi Days, 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.

In the meantime the first images arrive from Miami of the California 1400, a bike destined to turn a page in Moto Guzzi production history with its charm and content.

Even before it was presented, the new Moto Guzzi California 1400 had drawn the attention of bike fans from all over the world. The announcement of a new arrival in the cruiser family built in the historic Mandello del Lario plant and the first indiscretions were enough to peak curiosity and expectations for the latest heir to a tradition that places Moto Guzzi among the noblest brands in global motorcycling.

Refined style, cutting-edge technology and exceptional dynamic features characterise the new California 1400 in the Touring and Custom versions which represent two distinct models in character and intended use.

The Moto Guzzi California 1400, introduced in Europe at the end of 2012 in the Touring version and at the beginning of 2013 in the Custom version, 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 extremely popular with Guzzi fans from all over the world. It is not by chance that Scottish actor Ewan McGregor, a vintage Moto Guzzi collector, chose to be the testimonial for the California 1400 in a fantastic advertising campaign. Built by hand in the historic Mandello del Lario 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” multimap 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 historic Larian plant, in 2012 Moto Guzzi – going blatantly against the European market trend – recorded a 15.3% increase in sales. In the first six months of 2013 Moto Guzzi continued this extraordinary curve, documenting an 11.2% increase in the first half of the year compared to the first half of the previous year.

In May 2013 Robb Report, the American magazinewhich, for almost forty years, has been the most authoritative point of reference in the luxury sector world, included the large Custom that is made in Italy in Mandello del Lario in its Best of the Best Luxury Portfolio for 2013.

After receiving unanimous approval all over the world, in August 2013 Moto Guzzi California 1400 adds further important recognition from the United States, taking first place 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, a segment which is teeming with the strong presence of American brands.

In 2014, the V7 is completely revamped and the Moto Guzzi V7II is born.

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, the ABS braking system and Traction Control are some of the most significant new features on the new model.

2015 ushers 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 more than 40 years ago. It is a luxurious motorcycle with cutting-edge technology which looks 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.

Moto Guzzi Audace is a motorcycle with a strong and rebellious character. Designed to emphasise the spectacular performance of the powerful "Made in Mandello" 1400 cc V-twin engine, the largest ever produced in Europe.

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 perfectly conveys that dark soul of Moto Guzzi.

Also in 2015, the great Moto Guzzi Garage initiative begins, dedicated to Customizing, a true labour of love on your bike. Moto Guzzi has put together a complete line of accessories for enthusiasts that can be used either individually or in kits inspired by the Eagle brand's history. 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, these styles are joined by the Lady Guzzi (dedicated to a female demographic), Alce and Clubber, that are reminiscent of the legendary '60s era Café Racers.

2016 opens up with the market launch of the Moto Guzzi Stornello, a light offroad version of the V7II range. And so, more than fifty years after its birth, one of the best known and most successful Moto Guzzi names returns, synonymous with construction quality, versatility and inimitable style. The new Stornello stands out with its numerous prestigious parts and the dedicated selection of colours schemes which enhance its charm and elegance. Available in a limited and numbered edition, V7II Stornello is the latest interpretation of that exclusive Moto Guzzi ability to create true factory specials.

In March 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 sportier soul of Moto Guzzi, standing out with an essential, total black look and large tyres mounted on 16 inch rims. The two new Moto Guzzi bikes are characterized by exceptional construction quality and painstaking finishing. The overall small sizes suggest an easy ride and control even at a standstill, also assisted by the overall low weight, contained to less than 200 kg. Such a sturdy, lightweight and fun chassis combines with 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.

The 2018 V9 versions are the result of the constant perfecting that Moto Guzzi dedicates to its bikes. Roamer and Bobber are now distinguished by a big difference, with two clearly distinct personalities: one more touring and the other sportier. V9 Roamer turns heads even more on long routes by introducing a new pair or rear shock absorbers and a new protective top fairing. V9 Bobber gains new opaque graphics and is available in three colour variants: Impeto blue, Nero Notte black and Tempesta grey.

In 2016, the MGX-21 Flying Fortress makes its début, one of the most spectacular Moto Guzzis ever. In fact, the Moto Guzzi MGX-21 is the most non-conventional, rich and technological of the 1400 cc 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 to lovers of 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.

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.

The challenge of introducing a new version of such a famous motorcycle with such a rich heritage and so much success is one of the most difficult, considering the fact that the V7, the brand's best-seller since 2009, constitutes the Moto Guzzi entry-level bike, dedicated to both women and men, in addition to young people who want to proudly own one of the most iconic Mandello del Lario production motorcycles. 

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. Consistent with the other Moto Guzzi models in the range, the V7 III also has a dark version that stands out for its total black graphics. It is the Stone and a more classic one dominated by chroming, more in line with the design of the forerunner, which is the Special. The Racer, on the other hand, represents the successful sports heritage of Moto Guzzi, a winner of 15 world titles and 11 Tourist Trophies when the decision was made to retire from racing (in 1957). The V7 range has now been expanded: Moto Guzzi pays homage to fifty years of the V7 model by introducing a fourth version, called the Anniversario, a numbered and limited edition, characterized by brand new and exclusive details.

At the end of 2017 Moto Guzzi showcases three new versions during EICMA that enrich the V7 III range with a renewed homage to the art of customisation: the Carbon, Rough and Milano special editions.

The V7 III Carbon (in limited edition and numbered) celebrates customisation, when interpreted with originality and good taste, combining V7’s authentic style with the precious and modern quality of many carbon fiber components, as well as numerous other contrasting details in red colour as the engine heads, the seams of the new seat in Alcantara material and the

Brembo front brake calliper. The V7 III Rough is distinguished by the knobbly tyres cast on radial spokes and the many details that give V7 III Rough a country citizen style. The equipment is completed by the dedicated seat with stitching, a passenger grab strap and the pair of aluminium side fairings. The V7 III Milano is distinguished by its highly refined style and high-end gear, including dual circular instrumentation, chrome exhausts and passenger handlebars. It is distinguished by the shiny colours of the tank and for the spoked wheels that contribute to giving it a modern look. The standard equipment is completed by prestigious details such as the aluminium fenders and side fairings.

During the International Bicycle and Motorbike Exhibition on November 2017 Moto Guzzi showcased the new V85 Concept. This is another step by Moto Guzzi towards the near future, which will bring the Mandello Eagle to celebrate its 100-year anniversary in 2021 with a new range of motorcycles built on the technical base of the V85. It is a motorcycle dedicated to trips, which have always been the heritage of Moto Guzzi in their purest and most original manner, which bring to mind the epic and adventurous rally raids of the 1980s, a world from which it has inherited style, charm and emotion, but which has been designed to face both everyday and long-range roads, according to the most up-to-date requirements and the forthcoming ventures. The V85 pays tribute to the great adventurous trips and is dedicated to those who, despite never ceasing to dream of adventurous journeys, are seeking out a motorcycle capable of returning that spirit to their everyday journeys. A new Moto Guzzi engine is being launched in the V85. The construction design is proprietary and excludes the entire current Moto Guzzi production: in fact, it is a two-cylinder 90° transverse air-cooled 850cc which, thanks to its complete redesign, has 80 HP of maximum power. This feature, coupled with the powerful torque at low speeds typical of all Moto Guzzi two-cylinders and the lightness of the V85, make it fun to use in for on-road and off-road riding.