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The Other Eagle Turns 100 – Moto Guzzi 100 Years

On March 15, 1921, the Società Anonima Moto Guzzi was established with the goal of “Manufacturing and sales of motorcycles and any other activity pertinent or connected to the metal mechanical industry.” It was in that moment the eagle with spread wings was chosen as the new company’s symbol. One hundred years later, there have been many motorcycles, victories, adventures and iconic characters that have gone into the building of the brand. Moto Guzzi 100 year birthday celebration this year includes a calendar full of events that will culminate in Moto Guzzi World Days (Giornate Mondiali Moto Guzzi), scheduled to be held in Mandello del Lario September 9-12.

Giornate Mondiali Moto Guzzi is always a must-attend event for the marque’s enthusiasts and is back 10 years after the last edition. Thousands of enthusiasts will flock from all over the world to experience the event, made possible by collaboration between Moto Guzzi, Motoraduno Internazionale Committee and the municipality of Mandello del Lario. For the  occasion, Moto Guzzi will produce a limited series of their models in a special Centennial livery, which will be available on V7, V9 and V85 TT units only throughout 2021. 

Moto Guzzi 100 years livery studio shot

The green livery and leather seats of these models is intended to be evocative of legends from the Moto Guzzi 100 year past including 1955’s 285-kmh Otto Cilindri, which was created to compete in the World Championship 500 class, and the 350 Bialbero, one of the most victorious bikes in World Championship GP racing with a record of nine consecutive world titles from 1953 to 1957. Green was also the colour worn by the Normale, Moto Guzzi’s first bike.

Moto Guzzi’s operational headquarters were originally opened in Mandello del Lario – in the same plant where Moto Guzzi are still produced to this day (although there is a new facility in the works)—and from there came bikes such as the 1928 GT 500 Norge ridden to the Arctic Circle by Giuseppe Guzzi, brother of founder Carlo, the 1939 Airone 250, and 1950’s Galletto, which contributed to Italy’s mass motorization in the postwar period. 

Moto Guzzi opened a wind tunnel in 1950, a world-first for the motorcycle industry, and it can still be visited in the Mandello plant. With technical specifications drawn from the results of tunnel testing, Moto Guzzi would go on to win some 15 world speed titles and 11 Tourist Trophies. In the 1960s, after the Stornello and Dingo light motorcycles, Moto Guzzi breathed life into its 700cc V-twin with cardan shaft final drive, destined to become the very symbol of the manufacturer and was fitted to models like the V7 Special, V7 Sport, California and Le Mans. Evolved versions of this engine still power the most popular modern Moto Guzzis such as the V7 and V9 range in the Roamer and Bobber versions and the classic enduro V85 TT traveller.

• Canadian Biker, Issue #352


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