Moto Guzzi reflect on history
On March 15, 1921, the company “Società Anonima Moto Guzzi” was constitued 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 Genoese ship owner Emanuele Vittorio Parodi, his son Giorgio and his friend Carlo Guzzi. Guzzi was a former comrade of Parodi’s in the Italia 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 his friend that the spread-winged eagle motif in the Moto Guzzi badge was chosen.
Thus this year, 2021, marks the 100th anniversary of the Moto Guzzi brand. A brand that likes to go their own way and do things a bit different. Take the truly incredible Moto Guzzi V8 (Link).
The hallmark of Moto Guzzi for anyone of our generation though is the 90-degree V-Twin and that is something that the Piaggio Group, who took over the company in 2004, recognise and have ensured that this trademark has continued. It is integral to the character and styling of every model.
It must be said that Moto Guzzi motorcycle can often be somewhat of an acquired taste for the uninitiated. Modern engine management systems have removed some of the more quirky negative traits that the big transverse twin exhibited, like a massive torque reaction under deceleration that could unsettle newcomers. I am glad to say though that the engine still retains a massive amount of character. While the dynamics of most Guzzi models certainly do lend themselves towards spirited riding, they are, in my opinion, the most enjoyable motorcycles in the world to enjoy riding slowly. And it isn’t always about the speed, is it…?
Moto Guzzi celebrate their centenary with a slew of new ‘Centenario’ models that are due to arrive in Australia around the middle of 2021. The limited series models in this release include the V7, V9 and V 85 TT. Pricing is yet to be set and we expect that some other models might follow down the track.
Guzzi have drawn on the history of the aforementioned 500 cc V8 race from the 1950s and also given a nod to the 350 Bialbero (Link). One of the most victorious bikes in history, the unbeatable dominator of the 350 class in World Championship GP Motorcycle Racing, with the amazing record of 9 consecutive world titles (5 Rider and 4 Manufacturer) from 1953 to 1957.
Green was also the first colour adorned by a Moto Guzzi with the early Normale model, and is probably the most iconic of the Eagle’s colours. The Style Centre reinterpreted it in a modern approach with a matt finish and associated with metallic colours the express the solidity and authenticity of the Larian brand.
The body colours are matched with a saddle covered with a natural coloured material, like that of leather, to highlight the typically Italian attention to detail. Other distinguishing details are the eagle in a gold finish and the dedicated logo that graphically celebrates Moto Guzzi’s 100 years.
The centenary models are not exactly ground breaking, and are more just a colour scheme change more than anything, and that will disappoint many that feel such treatment severely underdoes the rich lineage of Moto Guzzi throughout the ages. But I guess we can’t exactly expect a 300 km/h, 500 cc, four-stroke V8 in 2021 can we….. Gee, it would be nice though….