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After the tragedy of World War II, Moto Guzzi made history with the unforgettable Airone 250: developed in 1939, for more than 15 years this bike was the most popular mid-ranger in Italy. It provided an excellent foundation for new decades of Guzzi successes, led by models like the Falcone and the Guzzino 65, the best-selling Guzzi ever. Subsequently, the legendary brand was consolidated by the Galletto (1950), the Cardellino (1954) and the Lodola 175 (1956). In 1950 Moto Guzzi was the first motorcycle manufacturer to build a futuristic wind tunnel, in Mandello del Lario. The racing team was a brilliant group including engineers Umberto Todero and Enrico Cantoni, and a designer whose name would soon go down in history: Milan-born Giulio Cesare Carcano, creator of the Guzzi V8 (Otto Cilindri), a motorcycle capable of achieving 285 km/h at top speed.
The birth of the Legend
A great story always has a strong incipit. The “Moto Guzzi” public limited company (società anonima) was established in Genoa on 15 March 1921. The three founders were friends bound by ties of courage and esteem: shipowner Emanuele Vittorio Parodi, his son Giorgio and Carlo Guzzi, a former comrade in the Italian airforce, designed the spread-winged eagle. The emblem, which would come to be an epic symbol, was chosen in memory of their friend Giovanni Ravelli, a pilot like Parodi himself, who had died on 11 August 1919 during a test flight.
The first Moto Guzzi creation immediately established an absolute benchmark: this was the Normale, with 8 Hp. But it was a project combining passion and technology that took the Eagle from the success of the Normale to the legend of the Guzzi G.T. in 1928: the bike was nicknamed the “Norge” after an unforgettable journey of 4,429 km to the Arctic Circle. Seventy-eight years later, in July 2006, 14 journalists would repeat the triumph of Carlo Guzzi’s brother Giuseppe, known as Naco, on the new Norge 1200. The company was also making a name for itself in motorcycle racing: its first triumph was in the Targa Florio race in 1921, which paved the way for a dazzling success story of 3,329 wins: by the time Moto Guzzi withdrew from racing in 1957, its accolades included 11 Tourist Trophies (notably Omobono Tenni’s 1937 victory) and 15 world speed titles.
Moto Guzzi is an Italian motorcycle manufacturer and the oldest European manufacturer in continuous motorcycle production. Established in 1921 in Mandello del Lario, Italy, the company is noted for its historic role in Italy's motorcycling manufacture, its prominence worldwide in motorcycle racing, and industry innovations—including the first motorcycle center stand, wind tunnel and eight-cylinder engine.
Moto Guzzi Motorcycles
The glorification of power
Another decisive step for Moto Guzzi came at the end of the 1960s, with the development of the 90° V-twin engine. A robust high-performer, the V-twin would come to be regarded as the symbol of the Mandello del Lario constructor. It was the splendid heart of bikes like the Guzzi V7, the V7 Special and another legend, the Guzzi V7 Sport, the first mass produced model to beat the 200 km/h threshold. The fabulous V-twin was also developed in smaller displacement volumes with the V35, V50 and V65.
A triumphant postwar period