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1 GUZZI History: Beautiful, Clever, Asleep and Impassioned

2 GUZZI with V-engine panorama


4 GUZZI Atmosphere

5 GUZZI Links

1 GUZZI history:


The history of Moto-Guzzi is beautiful, it the one of a meeting of 3 mechanics impassioned, coming from extremely different social classes.

When the 1st war bursts, Carlo Guzzi is engaged as plane mechanic. He became friendship with two plane pilots loving motor bike: Giorgio Parodi and Giovanni Ravelli. The evening to relax them a bit, they speak about motor-bike and Carlo draws up its great ideas on the motor bike which he would like to build. Soon, they make a pact, As soon as the war will be finished, they will launch out in this project. Carlo Guzzi will build the motor bikes, Giorgio Parodi , son of a rich family of Genova ship-owners will deal with the financing, and Giovanni Ravelli , a well known motor bike pilot, he will be charged to make shine the motor bike in races. Unfortunately, he died in an air crash, little after the war. It is in its memory, that the mark, an eagle with the spread wings, refers to aviation.


Beginnings: in Mono Veritas

But the project still hold on, the Parodi family brings the funds, Giorgio and Carlo, cap always on the head, creates a workshop in Mandello del Lario at the edge of the Como Lake. (the factory, still at the same place today has besides as an address via Parodi) .

The idea of Carlo, it was to create a handy motor bike with a low possible gravity point, he builds a single 500cc, 4 strokes, horizontal, with supersquared dimensions 88x82 to place larges valves, a rigid framework, a low saddle. And it's works, from 1921 the motor bike won races and Guzzi sold bikes.

La première Guzzi

It's interesting to notice that the engine dimensions of this 1st motor bike will be still the one of the last Falcone in 1976 !

For this period, Guzzi will be tested many other engine architectures, 3cyl on line, V-twin (in the wrong direction ; -) like ducati but 120°), 4cyl longitudinally with Cardanic shaft and of course famous V8 but the bike development will not be really finished before the withdrawal of the factory in races, in 1957. Listen to V8


In fact, it will be to horizontal singles, which will return most of the 3329 victories between 1921 and 1957.




The advent of the V-twin

The beginning of the Sixties are sads years for motor bike, only the lightweights resist...

Police force will save Guzzi of the bankruptcy!

Indeed, the Italian state launches an invitation to renew its park of motor bikes and wishes a big-engined Bike. In the paperboards, Guzzi has an engine designed by engineer Carcano for a military 3x3, Guzzi decides to make him adapt this engine to motor bike, it will be V7 ! Huge, this high-performance touring Bike, initially a 700cc, will be a good commercial success in the USA, where for its aspect and its engine character, it will be called The Buffalo . It will be also declined into 750 and then into 850 and will give rise to 1st Calif.


The Design of this V-twin front the road is original, all-alloy, one piece crankshaft and camshaft on bearings (the Guzzi secret is that there is clearance everywhere - Francesco TM ). See the engine

The true stroke of genius will come from Tonti Lino which replaces Carcano left to the retirement. Tonti will take on its account the precepts of Carlo Guzzi in its time, lowering the gravity point, performances improvement and priority to the handling. It will replace the too high dynamo by an alternator in the front of the crankshaft and will design a dismountable frame which encloses the V7 engine and will give rise to a motor bike considered as most beautiful in the beginning of the Seventies, the V7 Sport. Mike Hailwood after tested the bike will say that it has the best production frame ever designed.

V7 Sport

The motor bike sets out again and Moto Guzzi will be an innovator, integral braking, the fairing studied in the factory wind tunnel, the torque converter. Then begin the Le Mans line, the passage to 850 then at 1000 of the V-twin and the brilliant variation of sporting models or tourisms, however each one very typified, starting from the same frame and based on the same engine.

The flat will come from management: in 1967 with died of Giorgio Parodi, a trust company, Seimm makes the interim and in 1972 starts the time De Tomaso . This one, also owner of Benelli, wanted to beat the Japanese on their ground by proposing copies (less well finished...) of their production. It is not the best period, but, he had the clearness to recognize he take the wrong way and to return to the V-twin range to give rise to Le Mans and V50. Besides, since the death of the founders, they are not engineers whose Guzzi misses but advised managers.

Alejandro de Tomaso

The following influence, after a unhappy period of concessions à.la.mode (aesthetic doubtful, 16 inches wheels), will be the one of Doctor John Wittner.The factory was sleeping, but this Guzzi impassioned American dentist won in 1984 and 85 the US championship of endurance, and to prepare Guzzi (very modified) of Doug Brauneck which won in 1987, the American battle of the twins. The leaders of the factory awoke in start, They made John their privileged consultant, they took up the idea of its frame to build the Daytona, the Centauro, the 1100 Sport and the current V11 Sport while they tightened the production quality (it was more than time).

John Wittner et la Daytona

In this cruel world, you always needs more money to exist, and after the supervision of a group of American investors, it's Aprilia which repurchased the mark in this year 2000. We hope they will not remake the DeTomaso mistake !

While waiting, we muscle our zygomatics in the hell roaring, turning the gas handle of our good old Guzzis.

2 Motor-Guzzi V-engine Panorama

Already in 1933 , Carlo Guzzi had designed a V-engine for a motor sportbike, the Bicilindrica . It was in fact 2 singles 250 coupled to constitute a longitudinal 120° V.

I am only interested here in the V7 engine and his derivatives.

To see there clearly, simplest is to differentiate the models according to their frame:

- Guzzi with Giulio Carcano frame

- Guzzi with Lino Tonti frame (Large Sporting Blocks)

- Guzzi with Lino Tonti frame (Large Blocks Tourisms) (Maj 11/2001)

- Guzzi with Lino Tonti frame (Small Blocks) (Maj 12/2001)

- the Quotas (which I do not know where to put !) and Guzzi with John Wittner frame (Maj 11/2001)



850 LeMans 1977

passed in 1000

and repainted with the beautiful colors of the 750 S3.

Guzzi shamefully copied me while lauching the 1000 S...

1000 GT 1988

100000 km of happiness to its handlebar,

as good with two riders and luggages,

than fighting the small roads on sunday morning.

I grafted her a Calif side.

I had to sold her to buy the following one.

V11 Sport 2000

I cracked, forty years Crisis...

All I like, a black motor-bike, stripped, pure.

I paid her Mistrals and

a Magni fairing,

she likes it!

4 GUZZI Atmosphere

In general, it is not sad, here is my modest contribution to the Net:


My small is delirious pastiche of 1 April 2001 , 1000 sorry to the true Moto-Net.com, Attention, it's for initiates, it was intended to my friends on the Net Mailing list, the Scudéria Guzzi .


My trip in Mandello in July 2001 , where one learn that the factory has nothing to do with the standards ISO 9000 and it's fine like that!



5 GUZZI Links


The Official Site (in Italian and English): http://www.motoguzzi.it

The Official Site USA-Canada (in English and French): http://www.motoguzzi-us.com


Guzzi Links: http://www.dropbears.com/bikelinks/guzzi.htm

The Belgian Guzzi Club: http://www.motoguzzi.be/

Spares for your Guzzi: http://www.la-boutique-italienne.com/


The Best Guzzisti of the World : http://www.scuderiaguzzi.org/


"Scudéristes" Sites:

Roland and Sergio did a crowned job: http://perso.wanadoo.fr/rolcat.vm/guzzi/accueil.html

Francis Fraisse (the scud site Webmaster): http://perso.infonie.fr/ffrancis/

scud advertisements: http://motoguzziannonces.free.fr/

JMMeu: http://daytonasite.free.fr

Tristan and Benjamin: http://www.nitot.com/

Damien Fuzeau: http://damien.fuzeau.free.fr/

SuperSide: http://web.wanadoo.be/asb/john.htm

Philippe Bredel (the jap of the scud): http://www2.gol.com/users/bredel/v11racing.html

and http://ecwww.eurecom.fr/~bredel/links/

Jérome Bedier: http://perso.wanadoo.fr/moto-guzzi/

Didier Chapuis: http://g-vibrations.ifrance.com/g-vibrations

Patrick Jeantaud: http://pjeantaud.free.fr/moto_guzzi/

Isabelle Berly (press photographer special event): http://isabelle.berly.free.fr

Pascal @donf in twin and his V11: http://perso.wanadoo.fr/twin.zone

Fabien is interested by the small blocks: http://perso.wanadoo.fr/smalltwins/  


(Accueil) (MZ) (MOTO-GUZZI) (SZR) (Miniatures) (Me joindre)

Nicolas POIRET - October 2000