Moto Guzzi has enjoyed a distinguished, if not sometimes rocky, history. Having started as the dream of three air corps men during the World War I years, the dream finally came to fruition in 1921 when Carlo Guzzi, Giorgi Parodi, and Parodi’s brother Angelo Parodi formed a silent partnership called “Societa Anonima Moto Guzzi” on the loan of two thousand Lira from Emanuele Vittorio, Parodis’ father. The first motorcycles produced went under the name Guzzi-Parodi, with a logo of an eagle to honor the passing of the third air corps man, Giovanni Ravelli. The name was changed soon thereafter to Moto Guzzi.
From the 1960’s, Moto Guzzi has passed under the ownership of other companies in order to keep solvent during some difficult financial times. But before and throughout the changes of ownership, there has always been a drive to not only keep up with the times, but Pokies see into the future with the unique vision of Moto Guzzi. Moto Guzzi is responsible for many ‘firsts’ in the motorcycle and transportation industry, including the first prototype shaft drive motorcycle, the first motorcycle to employ linked brakes, as well as the first motorcycle center stand on their 1921 Normale. Moto Guzzi has enjoyed everything from great racing success, to being known as popular post-war transportation due to not only their speed, but their economy and handling.
One of the most famous models was the Le Mans I of the middle 1970’s. This motorcycle was truly visionary, comparable to some of today’s bikes in some of its concepts. The Le Mans in its various versions enjoyed a great deal of popularity until the 1990’s when it was finally retired.
The modern Moto Guzzi, as part of the Aprilia group, still enjoys remarkable popularity as motorcyclists can appreciate Moto Guzzi’s sense of both tradition and innovation.