1. Moto Guzzi was founded was two aircraft pilots and their mechanic
Carlo Guzzi and Giovanni Ravelli were two aircraft pilots who envisioned building motorcycles after the war, alongside mechanic Giorgio Parodi. Guzzi would engineer the bikes, Parodi would finance the company and Ravelli would promote the motorcycles with his racing expertise.
2. The eagle on the logo represents one of the founding trio.
Unfortunately, Ravelli passed away in a plane crash, just days after the war was over. However, Guzzi and Ravelli decided to commemorate their friend by using an eagle as Moto Guzzi’s logo.
3. It wasn’t originally called Moto Guzzi.
Moto Guzzi was originally called “Guzzi-Parodi”, but the Parodi family was already quite known for its financial stakes in the shipping business, so they decided to distance themselves from the motorcycle industry.
4. They used the first engine they ever developed for 45 years.
Carlo Guzzi’s first engine design was a horizontal four-stroke single-cylinder 500cc engine that dominated the first 45 years of the company’s history, albeit in various configurations.
5. Carlo Guzzi’s brother rode a bike to the Arctic Circle to test a new suspension.
In 1928, Giuseppe Guzzi, Carlo’s brother, rode the famed GT Norge motorcycle from the factory in Mandello del Lario, Italy to the Arctic Circle in order to test the first motorcycle rear swingarm suspension.
6. Moto Guzzi dominated the legendary and highly dangerous Isle of Man TT
Thanks to their lightweight and agile motorcycles, Moto Guzzi claimed eight drivers’ championship titles, six constructors’ titles and eleven wins in one of the most grueling, legendary, and prestigious races in the world, the Isle of Man TT.
7. They built the world’s first motorcycle wind tunnel.
In 1950, Moto Guzzi built the world’s first motorcycle-specific wind tunnel at their factory in Mandello del Lario. The wind tunnel was capable of testing full-scale prototypes, which allowed racers to mimic real-life riding conditions and optimize their seating and body position at different racing speeds.
8. They created a V8 racing bike in the mid 1950s that was way ahead of its time.
In 1955, they introduced a 500cc racing motorcycle fitted with a V8 engine, dubbed the Moto Guzzi Grand Prix V8. It boasted 80 bhp at 12,000 rpm and was capable of achieving 280 km/h – a speed reached thirty years later in Grand Prix motorcycle racing.
9. They also built racecars.
Moto Guzzi built the Nibbio 2 in 1958, a racecar purely aimed at breaking the top speed record around the legendary Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Italy, and it did.
10. Moto Guzzi powered the world’s fastest car in 1963.
Powered by Moto Guzzi’s 250cc racing engine and weighing less than 300 kg, the Stanguellini Colibri broke six international speed records at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza in 1963.