Moto Guzzi Motorbike History

Moto Guzzi is one of the oldest and most respected motorcycle brands in the world. It was formed in 1921 by 2 airmen and a mechanic in the Italian air force - Carlo Guzzi, Giovanni Ravelli and Giorgio Parodi. However, Ravelli died in World War I just before they started actualizing their plans, and his place was taken by Giorgio’s brother Angelo. Ravelli’s memory is commemorated on the eagle on the Moto Guzzi logo. The company is today based in Mandello del Lario, Italy. The company was originally named Guzzi-Parodi, but the name was changed on the insistence of Giorgio Parodi’s father, who was the company’s main financier in its infant days and did not want confusion of names with his ship making business.

Moto Guzzi is indirectly one of the 7 brands under the Piaggio group of motorcycles and scooters, having joined the group in 2004. The owning company is actually Aprilia, but this is itself directly owned by Piaggio. Following the original founders’ vision, the company has traditionally used racing for promotional purposes, and in the 1935 Isle of Man TT race, rider Stanley Woods achieved the rare honour of winning both the lightweight and senior races.

One of Moto Guzzi’s defining attributes is innovation and invention. Some of motorcycling most important firsts were achieved by Moto Guzzi. Examples are the first automatic motorcycle, first DOHC V8 motorcycle engine, first use of a drive-shaft on a production motorcycle and the first large-wheel scooter.

Moto Guzzi motorbike models

Moto Guzzi usual products are powerful motorbikes, and current models on sale in New Zealand include the California, the Breva, the Sport 1100, the Griso, the Nevada and the Strada. 

Looking at buying a Moto Guzzi motorbike? Check the history of any Moto Guzzi bike by entering its number plate in the field above.