The Moto Guzzi Italian motorcycle company was established in 1921 and is considered to be the "official motorcycle of Italy".
The Moto Guzzi Motorcycle Company specialises in transverse mounted V-twin engines. Moto Guzzi has introduced many innovations which include the cartridge style front fork as well as the patented Compact Reactive Drive Shaft system, which simulates BMW's Paralever. Moto Guzzi was also the first motorcycle company to develop and produce the "swing arm" style rear suspension. Their motorcycles have been used by police forces in many countries including Argentina, Italy as well as the United States. Moto Guzzi is also known throughout the world for their reliability and their engine which is considered to be bullet proof. Presently there are many more Moto Guzzi motorcycles that have done more than 100,000 miles and which are still in use worldwide than any other motorcycle brand.
From the early 1930's until well into the 1960's, Moto Guzzi was the largest name badge amongst the Italian motorcycle manufacturers. Carlo Guzzi who was both an engineer as well as the co-founder of Moto Guzzi had first designed his Moto Guzzi engine which was a horizontal single cylinder motor that had managed to dominate the first 45 years of the Moto Guzzi's history. From the founding of the Moto Guzzi Motorcycle Company, they would use racing in order to promote their brand of motorcycles.
Until the mid 1940's, Moto Guzzi's motorcycles that featured the horizontal single cylinder were the highest performance level motorcycles that the company sold to the public.
By the 1950's, the Moto Guzzi motorcycles had managed to make a large impact in the world of Grand Prix motorcycle racing thanks in part to their lightweight and durable 250 cc and 350 cc motorcycles which were designed by Giulio Carcano. Moto Guzzi had also managed to dominate the middleweight classes as well with the factory racing teams winning five consecutive 350 cc Mot GP championships between the years of 1953 and 1957. Giulio Carcano realised that the Moto Guzzi motorcycle's low weight alone could not continue to win any more races so he sat back down at his drawing board and designed one of the most complex racing motorcycles of the 1950's. This new motorcycle which Giulio Carcano designed led many races as well as frequently posting some of the fastest lap times but had a bad habit of breaking down before the Moto Guzzi team could finish the race and so by 1957, Moto Guzzi pulled the plug on their Moto GP racing due to issues to the recent failure of their newly designed engine as well as the rising cost of racing.
After the Second World War was as difficult for Moto Guzzi Motorcycles so they sat down and came up with a solution which was for the company to produce a line of cheap lightweight motorcycles.
Most of Moto Guzzi Motorcycle's production was sold to the Italian army as well as their police but also Moto Guzzi supplied their motorcycles to various American police departments which managed to challenge the market which had been dominated by Harley Davidson till that point in time.
One of the most unique features of a Moto Guzzi motorcycle is their use of an integrated hydraulic braking system in which the right front disc is controlled by the handlebar lever and both the left front disk and the rear disc brakes were operated by the use of the foot brake.
After having financial troubles in the late 1960's Moto Guzzi was bought by an Argentinean industrialist named Alejandro de Tomaso in 1972 in which he purchased the name jointly with Benelli Motorcycles as well as Maserati. This was a short period of cost cutting for Moto Guzzi; as de Tomaso was utilising Moto Guzzi in order to help finance his sports car venture the De Tomaso.
Later in 1988 Benelli Motorcycles ended up merging into Moto Guzzi which created the name of Guzzi-Benelli Moto. The Trident Rowan Group which was an American investment firm was attempting to take control of the Moto Guzzi name through share purchases but in the 1990's this attempted take over was stopped dead in its tracks thanks to the takeover by Aprilia who was a competitive Italian motorcycle manufacturer in 2000.
Again in 2004 the Piaggio group had taken over Aprilia which also had the rights to Moto Guzzi, in which they were able to form Europe's largest motorcycle manufacturer.
Original Authors: Nicholas
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 03/06/2008