1921 – 2021, MOTO GUZZI CELEBRATES ITS CENTENARY ON 15 MARCH
A CENTURY OF MOTORCYCLING HISTORY CONSTANTLY AT THE CUTTING EDGE, WITH THE ABILITY TO INNOVATE WHILE KEEPING FAITH WITH VALUES AND TRADITIONS
PIAGGIO GROUP CHAIRMAN AND CEO ROBERTO COLANINNO: “THE MOTO GUZZI CENTENARY IS A PROUD MOMENT FOR ITALIAN INDUSTRY AS A WHOLE. TODAY THE BRAND IS ENJOYING A FRESH NEW SEASON OF SUCCESS AND CONTINUES TO INSPIRE GENUINE PASSION IN BIKERS ALL OVER THE WORLD”
A HOST OF MOTO GUZZI INITIATIVES TO MARK THE ANNIVERSARY, CULMINATING IN MOTO GUZZI WORLD DAYS IN MANDELLO DEL LARIO FROM 9 TO 12 SEPTEMBER
Mandello del Lario, March 2021 – On 15 March 2021, Moto Guzzi celebrates its first legendary 100 years.
A century of history, splendid motorcycles, triumphs, adventures and extraordinary personalities, who together built the legendary Eagle Brand. Moto Guzzi celebrates this exceptional milestone at a time when it is enjoying a fresh new season of success.
The motorcycle range has been extensively renewed, with the deployment of state-of-the-art technical features in terms of electronic rider aids, while the brand values of style and authenticity have been kept intact. Each Moto Guzzi motorbike is constructed at the Mandello del Lario plant with craftsmanlike care and commitment to a unique, authentic identity, skillfully balancing the classic Moto Guzzi style with cutting-edge technology and reflecting a construction philosophy that creates an exclusive relationship between the bike and the rider.
Piaggio Group Chairman and CEO Roberto Colaninno said: “The Moto Guzzi centenary is a proud moment both for the Piaggio Group, which was joined by the Eagle brand in 2004, and for Italian industry as a whole, not just the motorcycling sector. A capacity for innovation, boldness in moving ahead of the times, a competitive spirit, love for the product and meticulous attention to production quality are the skills that over the years Moto Guzzi has combined with its unique relationship with the local community. Ever since 1921, every Moto Guzzi bike that has gone out into the world has been built at the Mandello factory, the place where the company was set up exactly one hundred years ago.
“All this will continue through its second century of history. Moto Guzzi is an example of all-Italian excellence,” added Colaninno. “It has gone down in our country’s history without ever losing its youthful spirit and continues to inspire genuine passion among thousands of Guzzi bikers all over the world.”
The eagle logo, the unmistakable Moto Guzzi emblem, has in itself helped to create the legend of a brand that has always been indissolubly tied to the history of Italy.
The spread-winged eagle dates back to the military service of the company’s founders, Carlo Guzzi and Giorgio Parodi, in the Italian Royal Navy’s Aviation arm during World War One. It was during the war that the two friends, and pilot Giovanni Ravelli, decided to go into motorcycle manufacturing once the conflict ended. Ravelli was killed in an accident in 1919 and was never able to achieve his dream. Guzzi and Parodi chose the Eagle as their symbol to commemorate their companion.
Over its one hundred years, Moto Guzzi has won victories on racing circuits around the world, raising the Italian flag for an impressive 14 World Championship Titles. It was the motorbike of the speed record, the symbol of growth of a country looking to the future, the motorcycle of the police force and the army, and extended its vocation to the international stage, equipping the Californian Police and, more recently, the police forces in Berlin and many other European cities, as well as the sovereign’s escort in Jordan. Moto Guzzi is also the motorcycle of the Corazzieri, the elite corps that escorts the President of the Italian Republic.
From the very start, Moto Guzzi has been the motorcycle of choice for long-distance travel. It was 1928 when Giuseppe Guzzi reached the Arctic Circle on his GT “Norge”, starting a tradition that still continues, with travelers setting off on their Moto Guzzi bikes every day, somewhere in the world, bound for distant lands.
Today Moto Guzzi is a core division of the Piaggio Group, Europe’s leading constructor of motorcycles and scooters, which has conserved Moto Guzzi’s original characteristics, promoted its values and returned it to a forefront position.
The move back into competitive racing with the Moto Guzzi Fast Endurance Trophy, to be held this year on a European scale, and a new family of motorbikes have brought Moto Guzzi back to a prime market position and introduced its name to a younger public. The classic V7, which has just come out on the new 850 twin cylinder, and the classic enduro V85TT intended for travel and designed for comfort and easy riding, are the best-sellers of a brand that has been enjoying a revival for a number of years.
Moto Guzzi has always been admired and respected by bikers all over the world, whatever motorcycle they own, and bikers will be the protagonists of Moto Guzzi World Days at Mandello del Lario from 9 to 12 September, the clou event in the festivities for the Moto Guzzi centenary, the main celebration for this special anniversary.
Moto Guzzi World Days has always been an unmissable occasion for bikers and now makes its eagerly awaited comeback, ten years after the last edition. Tens of thousands of enthusiasts will arrive from every corner of the planet to enjoy a unique and unforgettable event, made possible thanks to the collaboration between Moto Guzzi, the Comitato Motoraduno Internazionale and the municipality of Mandello del Lario.
100 YEARS OF HISTORY FOR THE MOST AUTHENTIC NAME IN WORLD MOTORCYCLING
It was 15 March 1921 when the “Società Anonima Moto Guzzi” company was established, for the “manufacture and sale of motorcycles and any other activity related or linked to the metalworking industry”. That was the moment when the founders, Carlo Guzzi and Giorgio Parodi, chose the spread-winged eagle as the company logo, in memory of their comrade-in-arms Giovanni Ravelli. The trio had served together in the Royal Navy’s Aviation arm, where they had developed the idea of setting up a business to build innovative motorcycles once the war had ended. Ravelli died in 1919 during a test flight and his two friends decided to commemorate him with the symbol of the air division. The eagle has been the symbol of Moto Guzzi since then, and rapidly became a world-famous trademark.
This was the beginning of an industrial enterprise based in Mandello del Lario – in the factory where Moto Guzzi bikes are still manufactured today – that has gone down in the history of world motorcycling, producing bikes that have become part of the collective imagination: bikes like the GT 500 Norge (1928) ridden to the Arctic Circle by founder Carlo Guzzi’s brother Giuseppe, the Airone 250 (1939), the Galletto (1950), which powered mass motorization in the postwar period.
The 1950s saw the debut of the wind tunnel – a world first in the motorcycle industry, and still open for visits today at the Mandello factory – the brainchild of a close-knit team of extraordinary engineers including Umberto Todero, Enrico Cantoni and a designer whose name would quickly acquire legendary status: Milan-born Giulio Cesare Carcano, father of the incredible Otto Cilindri, or V8, with a top speed of 285 km/hour (1955), and the prototypes that won 15 world speed titles and 11 Tourist Trophy titles between 1935 and 1957.
In the 1960s, after the lightweight two-wheelers Stornello and Dingo, Moto Guzzi brought out the 700 cc 90° V-twin engine with cardan shaft final drive, destined to become the symbol of the Mandello manufacturer on such legendary models as the V7 Special, the V7 Sport, the California and the Le Mans. The engine was consistently evolved on this architecture and today, flanked by cutting-edge electronic control features, powers the most popular Moto Guzzi two-wheelers, such as the V7 range, the V9 Roamer and Bobber, and the great V85TT tourer, the world’s first-ever classic enduro.
To celebrate the centenary, the entire Moto Guzzi range is also available in the special Centennial Livery, in an exclusive edition for 2021 only, inspired by the legendary Otto Cilindri racer.
More, from a press release issued by Elena Bagnasco:
The organization of the ‘GP Days’ (Days dedicated to Giorgio Parodi) is ready to take off
The ongoing CV19 emergency and the related containment measures have certainly imposed substantial changes to the original program; however, nothing will be left behind.
As first-class citizen with his generous commitment, Giorgio Parodi was able to combine his profile of highly decorated aviator in three conflicts with that, equally brilliant, of successful entrepreneur and sport enthusiast.
Certainly, a model to refer to in times of grave distress due to the pandemic breakout.
Regarding to the greatest passions of his brave life, motorcycles and aircraft, two important Jubilees are approaching: The Hundred Years of Moto Guzzi (March 15th, 1921) and the one of the Italian Air Force (March 28th, 1923), organized in Genoa by the Air Force Association.
In accordance with the Institutions and the organizations invited, the initiatives planned will be carried out in two phases.
The first one, run in 2021 through strict security and health protocols, will carry out only institutional events; specifically, on March 15th, 2021 the donation of a copy of the Foundation act of ‘S.A. Moto Guzzi’ to Mr. Marco Bucci, Mayor of Genoa; while on 14th and 15th May the unveiling of Captain Giorgio Parodi’s statue, the presentation of the book ‘Giorgio Parodi: ‘The Wings of the Eagle’, the exhibition of the Moto G.P. (1919) at Palazzo Tursi, venue of the Municipality of Genoa, a visit to the Rolli Palasts and all symbolic venues of the aviator from Genoa and his life of effective entrepreneur.
The second one will take place on the 13th – 15th May 2022, hopefully in safer conditions, when all other planned activities will take place: the big motorcycle rally at the Porto Antico, organized by Moto Guzzi Club Genova and Moto Guzzi World Club; the exhibition of the 100 vintage motorcycles selected by A.S.I (Automotoclub Storico Italiano)- National Motorcycling Section, which will reach the Ligurian Riviera; the history of the motorcycles with the golden eagle voiced through ‘Moto Guzzi on the catwalk’; and more with the visits and the delivery of the funds raised to support the new Rehabilitation Department of the Pediatric Hospital ‘Giannina Gaslini’, the great air show of civil and military aircraft, organized by the Flight Club of Genoa, with the participation of valuable historic ’birds’ of A.S.I. – National Historic Aviation Section, and the concert at the ‘Carlo Felice’ theater, with the ‘Italian Gospel Choir’ accompanied by the ensemble of the Italian Air Force.
On March 15th, 2021, Andrea Natale, the president of the Moto Guzzi Club Genova, together with the president of the Moto Guzzi World Club, Mario Arosio, and the president of the Giorgio Parodi Association, Mrs. Elena Bagnasco, on behalf of the entire community of the ‘Guzzisti’, will present to the mayor Mr. Marco Bucci the copy of the Foundation Act of the SA Guzzi motorcycles, established the very same day in 1921.
Then on May 15th, 2021, a restricted group of motorcyclists will drive in front of the place where Giorgio Parodi ‘s statue will be positioned and the historic number 5 of Corso Andrea Podestà, venue of the notary office where on March 15th, 1921 the founding act was signed.
Artist Ettore Gambioli’s statue is in the pipeline; it will reunite, under the wings of Giorgio Parodi’s golden eagle, all ‘lovers’ of the well-known motorcycle brand and the flying enthusiasts.
The valuable sculpture will be ‘unveiled’ on May 14th, 2021 in front of the Mayor, civil, military, family and fellow citizens. The book “Giorgio Parodi, the wings of the Eagle” is almost at hand; it will tell us about the adventurous life of the Genoese brave man, with photos and unpublished documents, thanks to the support of researchers and sector specialists.
The presentation will take place at Palazzo Tursi, venue of the Genoa Municipality, immediately after the unveiling of the statue, with ample support of digital technology and reports to extend the participation to the maximum possible extent.
From 14th to 16th May the Rolli’s Palasts will be opened as UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2006, with the Spring edition of ‘Rolli Days’, an unique opportunity to visit the decorated residences of the most distinguished aristocratic families of the ancient Republic of Genoa, enriched by the most extraordinary art works of Europe of the so called “Golden Century”, between the XVI and XVII a.c.
The buildings – mindful of their public vocation to ‘hospitality’ – will host some unique pieces that are part of the history of the motorcycle: one above all, the exhibition of the only existing prototype in the world of the GP, Guzzi-Parodi at Palazzo Tursi.
To enlarge the participation from all over the world, the event will have an extensive digital program that will present some extraordinary places and, at the same time, will celebrate the unique relationship between the city of Genoa and the Italian motorcycle history.
The life of Giorgio and his family will also be explored through a series of geo-localized points of interest and thematic itineraries that will be visited both virtually and in person, thanks to the precious work of the TeA – Tourism and Environment Association.
An in-depth guide will be soon published, and it will allow to discover the details relating to each visiting ‘location‘.
Through the website www.giorgioparodi.it , the Facebook page ‘Giorgio Parodi: The wings of the Eagle’ all information and latest updates will be provided for bikers and air enthusiasts who desire to reach Genoa safely, from all over the world, on what it shines to be an once-in-a-lifetime event not to be missed.