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Moto Guzzi celebrates 100 years of tradition, style and performance

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Sculptures of steel and alloy, fast and loud – when it comes to motorcycles, there is no country that commands as passionate a following as Italy.

Iconic brands like Ducati and Aprilia may come to mind, but it’s Moto Guzzi who have held an important place in the heart of Australian motorcycle lovers for 100 years.

According to Charlie Brown, the Chief Executive Officer of the Moto Guzzi Club in Sydney, “Like most of the Italian motorcycle manufacturers, they had very humble beginnings, often involving family and friends.”

Founded in 1921, Guzzi was one of the first generation of Italian motorcycle manufacturers, with Moto Guzzi motorcycles notching up numerous racing successes.

“The first was in the prestigious Targa Florio in 1921, which marked the beginning of an impressive succession of victories,” says Mr Brown.

“Up until its withdrawal from motorsports in 1957, Moto Guzzi accumulated an enviable collection of accolades including, among other titles, an astonishing 14 world GP championships and 11 Tourist Trophies.”

Known for its 90-degree V-twin engines, which are transversely mounted and feature shaft drive, Mr Brown says for most Australian Moto Guzzi lovers the 1960s model was a culmination of years of tradition meeting style and performance.

“It became the powerplant for a host of models that are still admired around the world,” he says.

“This, coupled with great innovations such as external flywheels, integral braking system, inverted front suspension, rising rate rear suspension and many more.”

However, the most famous innovation was the development of the Moto Guzzi V8 in the mid-1950s.

“This bike went from drawing board to racetrack in six months,” says Mr Brown. “It achieved a speed of 280kmh, this was 20 years before such speeds were achieved in Grand Prix racing.”

As 2021 marks the 100 years anniversary of the timeless myth of Moto Guzzi motorcycling, Mr Brown says that, for Australians, the factory based on the shores of Lake Como in Mandello Del Lario continues to be an iconic destination for enthusiasts.

“For organisations like ours, the motorcycles are legendary and even when riding current models, you can feel the history!” he says.

“With significant investments for the current owner, Piaggio Group, we have seen the launch of many new models and the production facility is being upgraded…We look forward to the tradition continuing!”.

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