What do you know about Moto Guzzi? You might know that they have a name that sounds rather strange and you might even know what they do for a living. That being said, you may not know much else about the company. All of that can change if you decide to read through this article, which lists 20 different things that you might find of interest about this company.
1. They're all about motorcycles
This one should be easy. As a matter of fact, you might think of this one as a way to break into learning more about the company. If you ride motorcycles yourself or if you merely enjoy them from afar, you might have already been aware that the company manufactures motorcycles. On the other hand, this might be the first time that you're hearing about them and you're anxious to learn more about what they do. Now, you know what type of business thay are involved in.
2. They're based in Italy
It doesn't matter if it's motorcycles or automobiles, or anything else for that matter, most people believe that things made in Italy are a cut above the routine stuff that you can get in virtually any other location. That may or may not be true as far as making a blanket statement. However, when you're talking about this particular company, it would be safe to say that if they're not the very best motorcycle manufacturer out there, they certainly are among the best ones in existence.
3. They are the oldest motorcycle manufacturer in all of Europe
They've been manufacturing motorcycles since the 1920s. In fact, they are the oldest motorcycle manufacturer that has been operating non-stop in any European country. That fact alone should tell you that they definitely know how to manufacture motorcycles.
4. The company is well known for its history
Throughout the years, this is a company that has been integral to the history of Europe itself, manufacturing motorcycles for all types of needs. They've built motorcycles for the military, for professional racers, those who ride casually, and everything in between. They have managed to cement themselves as a critical and pivotal point of history not only in Italy, but throughout Europe.
5. They're equally well known for developing new innovations on a routine basis
There's no doubt that the company has made a lot of different inventions over the years. You might be interested to know that motorcycles as you know them would not exist if it weren't for the fact that this particular company has always had an eye toward developing new things. Some of their inventions have been so important to the industry that they have found themselves onto virtually every motorcycle that is produced today, regardless of who manufactures that motorcycle or where it's located.
6. They have gained a reputation all over the world for dominating the racetrack
They're capable of manufacturing motorcycles that are very fast and everyone that's involved with this type of racing is well aware of it. In fact, you might say that the corporation has even dominated the race track for almost as long as it's been designing and building motorcycles. They definitely know how to make them go fast and they know how to manufacture them so that they're reliable enough to make it to the end of the race.
7. They're actually owned by another equally famous company
There's a better-than-average chance that you have heard of another Italian company called Piaggio. It just so happens that this is the parent company for Moto Guzzi. It's interesting to see how one company benefits another and in this particular case, each company has the opportunity to benefit from the other’s reputation. In addition, Moto Guzzi can benefit from the massive amount of financial power that Piaggio brings to the table. Up until now, the company has most closely been associated with aircraft but now it will forever be linked to some of the best motorcycles ever made.
8. Virtually all of their motorcycles are air-cooled
One of the things that really makes this company stand out is that almost all of the motorcycles they manufactured were built with air cooled engines as opposed to using the liquid cooled versions that almost everyone else was building. This does a lot of things, not the least of which reduces the amount of weight that the motorcycle must carry. It also means that as a rider, you don't have to worry about leaks and in most cases, it means that that engine is going to perform more efficiently. You might even get a few extra horsepower out of it.
9. They even have their own museum
This company has achieved so many things that they actually have their very own museum. It's hard to imagine a company that has achieved so much that they're capable of filling an entire museum with their own products, but that's exactly what we're talking about here. This is a company that doesn't do things the way that most of their competitors do. Instead, they operate head and shoulders above the competition and that's proven by the examples that sit in that museum.
10. The company's first engine was found on bikes made 45 years later
If you wonder about quality of the motorcycles made by the company, you might be interested to know that one of the engines they developed in house was still found on bikes that were being manufactured a full 45 years later. That definitely stands as an important testament to the quality of engineering that went into making that engine.
11. They're responsible for coming up with the kickstand
Have you ever seen a motorcycle without a kickstand? It's such a common feature on bikes that you would think seeing one without one would be crazy. You might be interested to know that it was none other than Moto Guzzi that came up with the idea to put a kickstand on there in the first place. Otherwise, bikes might actually be a lot different than they are today and more importantly, how would they stay upright when they're not in motion?
12. Their bikes have a unique appearance
The motorcycles made by Moto Guzzi definitely have a unique appearance. Even the newer models are distinct in the way they look. They have a tendency to sit a little bit lower to the ground than most motorcycles made by other companies. In addition, the seat itself sits lower and the front of the bikes typically have a shorter, more boxy appearance with handlebars that are both shorter in length and lower in stature.
13. They struggled through financial difficulties in the 1960s
There are very few companies that don’t find themselves struggling through some type of financial woes at one point or another. For this particular company, this very type of situation happened during the 1960's. It happened as the direct result of a number of different things, not the least of which included a decline in sales that lasted for more than a couple of years. There were also some issues with the company that actually owned Moto Guzzi at the time, as they were experiencing some financial difficulties of their own.
14. The company has gone through several different owners
As the direct result of the fact that financial difficulties occurred, the company that owned Moto Guzzi at the time ended up selling the company as part of the liquidation process. It was then purchased by someone else. This has actually happened a number of different times over the years. It's really not that uncommon, especially when you consider the fact that the company has been in business for almost 100 years.
15. The company came close to closing down in 2004
The 1960s weren't the only time that the company went through some difficulties. While they had their fair share of financial issues back then, they came very close to going out of business in 2004. Things became so bleak that they were even forced to close their doors for just a few days as they tried desperately to find additional funding. Fortunately, they were able to secure that funding and their doors opened back up few days later. Since then, they've been in a much more stable position and haven't had to worry about potentially shutting down operations.
16. They employ a large number of engineers
It should stand to reason that any company that manufactures motorcycles and creates the types of inventions that they are known for would employ several engineers at any given time. It's virtually the only way to guarantee that they're able to do what they've consistently done since the first motorcycle rolled off the assembly line back in 1929. To this day, they have about a dozen engineers on their payroll at all times.
17. Some of the best racers in the world have ridden their motorcycles
If you think they build good motorcycles for people to ride around on the streets, you might want to consider the fact that virtually everything they do is tested on the racetrack first. They have one of the best reputations in the world when it comes to motorcycle racing. Many individuals that are well-known motorcycle racers have openly said that they prefer to ride something manufactured by Moto Guzzi over almost anything else in existence. When you see the types of innovations that the company is known for, along with the high degree of reliability and performance that its products offer, it's no wonder that so many people insist on riding these bikes and virtually nothing else.
18. They developed the compact reactive driveshaft
In order to create motorcycles that are capable of doing what many consider impossible, they had to first identify problems that limited performance and then find ways to get around those issues. One of the issues is that motorcycles can only produce so much horsepower before the turning of the drive shaft has a direct and rather dire impact on the suspension system, adversely affecting drivability. Therefore, the company developed what is now known as the compact reactive driveshaft. It basically absorbs the power output and then gears it down before it starts turning the wheels so that the suspension and ease of handling is not impacted in a negative aspect. The end result is a motorcycle that produces a lot more horsepower and is capable of outrunning virtually anything else out there.
19. They have their own wind tunnel
You know the company is dedicated to creating high performance motorcycles when they have their own wind tunnel. What you really need to know about this company is that they don't just have their own wind tunnel, they actually invented the wind tunnel. Up until they came up with the idea to build one, no one had ever really thought about making a wind tunnel for motorcycles. This dramatically changed the way that they tested motorcycles and it gave them the ability to see how they would perform before they ever hit the streets or the racetrack. This in turn gave them the opportunity to make necessary adjustments whenever needed and they could do it all by manufacturing just a single prototype.
20. They have a separate line of scooters
It isn't always about creating fast motorcycles. The company actually has its very own line of scooters, specially designed with extra large wheels to make them easier to handle. These scooters work exceptionally well for people that both live and work in metropolitan areas where traffic is heavy and space is at a premium. It gives them a chance to get where they need to go quickly and they don't have to go through all the headaches of owning a car or trying to find a full-size parking space. They're also more fuel efficient and they cost less to insure. This makes them a perfect fit for anyone that wants all of the benefits of a motorcycle’s size but doesn’t necessarily want the price tag or the high horsepower that usually comes with them. The scooters are more affordable and they're much easier to handle, even for novice riders. You might say that this is a company that can handle just about anything on two wheels.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker