Moto Guzzi made it!

Colored photograph from rear 3/4 of Moto Guzzi motorcycle with black tank with red stripes.

In spite of in dire economic circumstances, the Italian motorcycle manufacturer, Moto Guzzi, celebrated 100 years of production this March 15th gone. Piaggio even made a profit for 2020.

Truly astounding.

Somehow, for better or worse, with various owners, the concept remained intact, making it “the oldest European manufacturer in continuous motorcycle production.”

Boyhood Dream

Long and low with splashes of scarlet vectored over the black tank, for a sense of movement, the 750-S made a big impression on me. I was only a boy, but this vision stayed with me. Australians were actually big Ducati buyers. Moto Guzzi is rarer here. That trademark V-Twin, cited across the frame, added to the mystique. The headers and exhaust flow symmetrically when viewed from the front with a clear path to the rear.

Syncopation on Sydney Streets

Then there was the sound. A Le Mans Mark III with a Stucchi faring, heads poking out and with black Lafranconi exhaust, kept on catching my ear on a certain Sydney by-way. I even found the exact bike for sale, but had to pass it up.

Then Guzzi went off the radar. There was not even a specialist in Sydney for a while, though the Guzzis are not hard to work on.

A few years ago, I was recovering from injury. Drop bars and high pegs were not really a viable option, so I looked for a light road bike conducive to my rehabilitation. But you know how it is. Can’t knock back a Guzzi at the right price. And it was a big (read “heavy”) block. A direct descendant of the original 1967 police bike. I just adore all the contours and fins of the crank case. Pure sculpture.

Moto Guzzi in Space?

Not that I would pass up a small block. In fact, these lightweight engines were used in Israeli Air Force drones. One even features in my prequel.

Piaggio seems quiet on the subject, but I think the big block engine will not pass Euro 5 emissions. Sad, but the small block is now big (850) and has passed Euro 5 with more power. And, you know, women seem to prefer air-cooled engines. Why? I think they prefer the look.

Happy Birthday, Moto Guzzi!

Because Moto Guzzis are a little rare on the ground here, I’ll keep the model of the ‘birthday girl’ in my garage a secret. It’s insured, but you have to find one to own one. (You just never know who’s reading this….) But she’s all mine, bought and paid for. And she represents 100 years of Italian motorcycling history, as well as a boyhood dream. And that is, well, just special.