With a history of nearly 100 years, Moto Guzzi is the oldest European motorcycle brand. It was founded in 1921 by two aircraft pilots and their mechanic in Genoa, Italy. The brand is known for its high-quality and iconic bikes sold all over the globe. Here are other interesting facts about Moto Guzzi that might trigger your interest.
The original name
The company wasn’t always named Moto Guzzi. Its original name was Guzzi-Parodi but, since the Parodi family was already famous for its businesses in the shipping industry, they decided to distance themselves from the motorbikes and chose the name Moto Guzzi instead.
The eagle on the logo
All motorcycle enthusiasts are aware of the logo of the Italian company, an eagle. However, not many know that it is actually a tribute to one of the founding members, Ravelli, who died in a plane crash soon after World War I ended. The other two founding members, Carlo Guzzi, and Giorgio Parodi decided to commemorate their friend by using an eagle as their company logo.
The innovations of the company
Moto Guzzi didn’t just produce engines and motorcycles but invested in new technologies, some way ahead of their times. They used their original motor for around 45 years while constantly improving it.
The brand is known for creating the first motorcycle wind tunnel back in 1950. The wind tunnel was designed to test full-scale prototypes and see the adjustments and improvements they needed to make to provide more comfort when riding and a better body position depending on the speed.
Before the construction of the wind tunnel, Guzzi’s brother, Giuseppe, rode one of the company’s most famous motorcycles to the Arctic Circle to test some of the new parts.
Also in the 1950s, the Italian company first introduced a V8 engine racing bike that was capable of achieving 174 mph, approximately three decades ahead of the Grand Prix motor racing standards. However, the bike was considered too fast, and even the best professional riders were too afraid to test it for obvious security reasons.
A bumpy history
Throughout its almost 100 years of history, Moto Guzzi was passed over to several owners and came close to an end various times. The first time the company experienced financial problems was in the 1960s when sales declined for a few years. Moreover, the company that owned Moto Guzzi at the time was struggling with its own issues, which put even more pressure on the motorcycle business.
Probably the darkest moment of the company was in 2004 when it almost went bankrupt. The factory even closed its doors for a few days in a desperate attempt to find a solution and new investors. Luckily, Moto Guzzi overcame this financial crisis and ever since then it returned to business more powerful and determined to fight other giant motorcycle companies like Ducati and Yamaha.