Moto Guzzi – one of the most well-known motorcycle brands in the world – was founded on this date in 1921 in Italy. It also happens to be the oldest European motorcycle manufacturer in continuous production. The marquee was founded by two Italian aircraft pilots and their mechanic during World War 1.
The founders were Carlo Guzzi, Giovanni Ravelli, and Giorgio Parodi. It was Guzzi who was the main technical and engineering brain behind the brand, Parodi provided the financial backing, and Ravelli who was already an established motorcycle racer took the responsibility of promoting the brand with his racing.
Ravelli, unfortunately, died soon after the WW1 in a plane crash and the company immortalized him by including Eagle’s Wing in their brand logo in his memory.
Along with thousands of race wins including 8 World Championships and 11 Isle of Man TT victories, Moto Guzzi has several industry innovations to their name including a DOHC V8 engine that managed to propel their race motorcycle to a top speed of 280 km/h in 1955, a good 30 years before any other motorcycle could achieve that speed in GP racing.
That engine was too complex though to make it into production and suffered from frequent breakdowns. Other contributions to the world of motorcycles include the wind tunnel for motorcycle testing, and large wheel scooter.
The brand has also seen several ups and downs in its history and also several ownership changes. Presently, Moto Guzzi is owned by Piaggio group. Many many happy returns of the day Moto Guzzi. May you keep riding and keep innovating.
Here are a few visuals from our encounter with one of the masterpieces – the Audace – during India in 0-100Motorcycles! You can read all about it here.