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on 15 March 1921, the “Società anonima Moto guzzi”was set up at Mandello del lario, to“Fabricate and sell motorcycles and other activities relevant to or associated with the metal and mechanical indus- tries”. the partners in the enterprise were the well known genovese ship owners emanuele Vittorio Parodi, his son giorgio and ex comrade in arms in the Italian air Force and motorcycling enthusiast, carlo guzzi. In common with every great enthusiast, carlo guzzi was unable to nd the ideal motorcycle, so he decided to build it himself.

the rst motorcycle prototype was produced in 1919 in the Man- dello del lario workshop. Known as the g.P. (guzzi-Parodi) from the initials of the two partners, it was a 500 cc single cylinder with four valve cylinder head and overheard camshaft. It delivered 12 hp and had a maximum speed of 100 km/h. already revolu- tionary and well ahead of its time, the g.P. was modied several times, before arriving at the denitive version. the name g.P. was abandoned as it could have been confused with giorgio Parodi’s initials and so the name “Moto guzzi” was born, together with a contemporary icon, the eagle with outspread wings.

In 1921, the normale was born. this was the rst model marketed, with 8 hp, a maximum speed of 80 km/h. the normale was the

  • rst bike in the world to be tted with a centre stand, a feature

which would later be adopted by all other constructors. at the beginning of the century, the sophisticated publicity campaigns

of today did not exist and the only way to make the performance of a motorcycle known was to enter it in a race. and indeed, it was its racing debut, another historic date, which eventually brought

the Mandello del lario company into the international limelight. the race was the tough Milan-naples rally. two Moto guzzis took part and the nal classication was not exactly thrilling as they ended up coming 20th and 22nd. But victory was just round the corner. Just 30 days later, on 25 September 1921, Moto guzzi had its rst win in the targa Florio with gino Finzi.

this was the start of an extraordinary series of riding successes which continued without a break until 1957. By that time, Moto guzzi had collected 14 world championship titles and 11 tourist trophies.

Moto Guzzi – History still in the making…

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