Get to know Moto Guzzi, who have been building some of the world’s most badass bikes for almost a century.
Few things get motorcyclist obsessives as amped as seeing a mint Moto Guzzi out on the street. Though Guzzis haven’t always resonated with the market, Italy’s oldest motorcycles have always been distinctive, full of character, and wholly unique. For superfans like Ewan MacGregor, who calls himself a “Guzzisti,” it’s astonishing that a brand with such a rich, vibrant narrative, dotted with a lifetime of accolades, stays out of view from the mainstream.
Moto Guzzi came to life on March 15, 1921, in Mandello del Lario, a small town on the shores of Lake Como where the company is still headquartered.
Owner and founder Emanuele Vittorio Parodi and his son, Giorgio, along with family friend Carlo Guzzi, helped create the brand’s first mass-produced bike, the Moto Guzzi Normale, which had a single-cylinder engine producing a whopping 8 horsepower. 2,065 examples of the Normale came out—not bad for a first go—followed by a slow-but-steady flow of bikes that included the 1928 GT 500 Norge, one of the first production motorcycles with a rear suspension.
Moto Guzzi also found success on the racetrack, with its lightweight grand prix bikes winning several world championships.