Moto Guzzi

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Moto Guzzi 250 TS

Moto Guzzi

Image of: Frank Wedge MGNOC

in the Italian province of Lecco Lake Como is the town of del Lario, the home and birthplace of motorcycle manufacture’s Moto

The company was established in 1921 by owner Emanuele Vittorio his son Giorgio, and their partner Guzzi. However, the first motorcycle was produced in 1919. input on that first (known as the G.P. after and Parodi’s initials) came blacksmith Giorgio Ripamonti.

The on their first bike was advanced for its time, being a 4-… single with OHC and valves. It was claimed to produce 12 hp, this early motorcycle of around 100 km/h (62 mph).

a number of modifications, the first – the Normale – was introduced in 1921, but not as the but as a Moto Guzzi.

The Normale was less powerful the prototypes with only hp available, which reduced the top to 80 km/h (50 mph). Interestingly, a on this new bike was a center something all other manufacturers later adapt for their This innovative idea the owner to remove either the or rear wheels instead of the rear wheel as in previous designs.

Racing Promotion

In the days of motorcycling, most of the used racing as a means of and advertising their machines. And Guzzi was no exception. Their competition event, the Milan to rally, saw Moto Guzzi finishing 20th and 22nd.

just one month later the had its first win when rider Finzi finished first in the Targa Florio.

Moto racing involvement lasted 1921 to 1957, and netted 14 world championships in Grand racing, and 11 IOM TTs .

The success in competition led to success in too. By 1924 the company had sales of some 750 motorcycles the previous year’s output), and by that number had risen to

Swing-Arm Invented

The year proved to be an important one for Moto indeed for all the motorcycle industry, as was the year they introduced a swing-arm. Another first was the use of the name Grand Tourismo—GT. But it was the that changed motorcycling English racing legend Woods won the 1935 TT (the win by a non-English motorcycle for 24 years).

used two Moto Guzzi for his TT win, a 250-cc single, and a new of engine in his 500-cc bike, a V-twin.

After the Second War, commuter motorcycles the rage. Troops returning to life needed a cheap of transport to get to and from their of work, and the motorcycle was the obvious for many.

Meeting the demand, Moto introduced its first street-based the Guzzino 65. The basic no frills proved very popular and the sold some 50,000 in three years. The Guzzino, later became the Cardellino, was into the 50s.

Big Wheeled

Another first for motorcycling and for Guzzi was the introduction of the Galletto, a wheeled scooter; a machine the company claimed combined the of a scooter with the predictable of a larger wheeled motorcycle.

The machine personally designed by Guzzi was the Lodola 175 of 1956.

Scale Wind Tunnel

In Moto Guzzi became the motorcycle company to use a full wind tunnel. The tunnel was to develop fairings, fairings were used on their Prix racers such as the eight cylinder 500-cc which was capable of some 285 (178 mph).

From the heights of success, the Guzzi company began to see which threatened their First the leadership of the company was by the … of one of its founders— Emanuele Parodi, who had died during the Next his son – Giorgio – died in 1955 and finally Carlo retired due to ill health.

Enrico Giorgio’s brother, had taken leadership of the company but, by the 50s, motorcycle sales were in decline in many of the world as more cheap became available. By 1967 the Guzzi company was forced to over control to Seimm, a receiver.


With controlling the company, it was decided to on inexpensive machines (achieved by manufacturing costs) and to this end the and Trotter mopeds were However, besides these new machines, development for a new engine place: the V-twin, designed by Cesare Carcano. The first machine with this new was offered to the public in 1967.

It was the Moto Guzzi V7, a 703-cc

Further development of the V-twin in the 750-cc V7 Special, and later the V7 Sport. The American market in took to the Moto Guzzi’s two machines designed especially for the California and the Ambassador.

The company’s changed after they taken over by De Tomaso Inc.; in particular, they and produced a 4-cylinder machine Moto Guzzi 254) in However, the main customers of Guzzi were not impressed and for the 90- V-twin forced further of the famous engine.

Included in the development were versions of the V-twin engine, the V35 and However, the competition heritage of Guzzi lived on through such as the SP. and the Le Mans.

Through the 90s and 2000s, Moto Guzzi through a number of management and restructuring of the company, but they are in production today with of the famous V-twin engine.


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