A hundred years is a milestone birthday when it comes to any manufacturer, but especially one that builds motorcycles. Few companies manage to change with the times in such a way as to stay in business that long. Technology moves on and riders’ tastes can change, but Moto Guzzi has stayed strong.
To celebrate 100 years of Moto Guzzi, this issue we take a look back at an icon from Mandello del Lario: the fabled Moto Guzzi 500 V8 race bike of the type Guzzi developed from 1955-1957. Motojournalist extraordinaire and Motorcycle Classics regular Alan Cathcart tells us the history and development of the V8 racer, and also what the fabled creature is like to ride at speed.
In keeping with the times, Alan also takes a look at one of the 100 year anniversary retro models, the V7 Special, which has been given a larger, more powerful engine, the 853cc V-twin from the popular V85-TT adventure tourer for 2021.
And after celebrating its centennial, Moto Guzzi has announced the “Road to 2121: Moto Guzzi’s Next 100 Years.” To date, every Moto Guzzi ever made has been built at the companies’ Mandello del Lario factory in Italy. And while it sounds as though that will continue to be the case, a new larger factory is in the works with the aim of doubling production output by 2025.
The company presentation includes plans to redevelop the entire current factory and museum complex. The design is by renowned American architect Greg Lynn, known for the new San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and other ultramodern creations. The futuristic restructuring project will include a new factory and museum to be built at the current site in Mandello del Lario, along with a restaurant, a hotel, a conference center for hosting both internal and external events and more. The goal is not only a larger factory to keep up with increasing demand for Moto Guzzi motorcycles, but also to make the factory and museum even more of a welcoming destination for riders who visit from around the world. Work is scheduled to start by the end of this year, with a completion goal of the first half of 2025. I, for one, wish them all the best.
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