They brought the First World War: Giorgio Parodi was a military pilot, and Carlo Guzzi - his mechanic. When peace came, they decided to start producing motorcycles. Guzzi took over the design of the machine, and Parodi - the organization of production (funded venture by his father, the owner of the steamship line). Experimental samples were carrying brand GP , but March 21, 1921 the newly formed company was registered under the name Societa Anonima Moto Guzzi.
Designed by Carlo Guzzi motorcycle completely departed from the established canons in those years - at least with respect to the power unit. The cylinder is horizontal, and
reducing the base Guzzi made motor korotkohodnaya (88x82 mm, 499 cm3). Conspicuous huge outdoor flywheel. Carlo applied widespread in those years with the system timing races laid one over the other valves in the cylinder head but not posted inlet valve (a legacy of the days when the node is activated by the vacuum), and the outlet. Transmission, gear led to rigidly docked three-stage gearbox. The power unit was enclosed in a tubular frame duplex with a rigid rear suspension, front fork was a parallelogram. The machine weighs 130 kg, and the engine capacity of 8.5 hp clocked it up to a speed of 85 km / h. Motorcycles made for a design scheme, the company Moto Guzzi produced until 1976!
At the insistence of Parodi was elected in the most effective way to advertise those years - participated in the competition. Already in 1921, Gino Finzi won the prestigious race "Targa Florio". By 1923, has been prepared by a special racing model "Corsa 2V» with the overhead 18-horsepower engine. And in the next season on the track came out «C4V» with engine with four-valve heads and cylinder overhead camshaft; he developed a power of 25 hp Mentasti Guido on this bike won the "Grand Prix of Europe." Soon after his debut and 250 cc version of the machine, first in a race, then in road performance.
Outstanding novelty Carlo Guzzi introduced in 1928 - a model «GT» with sprung rear wheel. The pendulum suspension, equipped with friction dampers, was a triangular (in side view) design; the traction spring held under the engine. Motor power (still with stacked valves) was adjusted to 12 hp; the same engine, and stood on the model of "Sport 14" with unsprung rear wheel. In 1929, the company has mastered the production of three-wheeled motor-trucks. This type of transport used great popularity, so that their production continued until 1980.
The drop in demand in the crisis 30s caused a revival design activity Moto Guzzi. In 1932, in addition to the 250 cc and 500 cc road machines, the company released the "P175" with a 174-cc engine capacity of 7 hp In 1933 she made her debut a new series of 500-cc machines with overhead valve engines, four-speed transmission with foot switch and sprung rear wheels - 19-strong «GTV» and a 23-strong «GTW». But the flagship of the company was to be presented in 1933, the model of "three cylinders» with horizontal three-cylinder overhead valve 495 cc engine producing 25 hp Alas, complex and expensive machine is not aroused the enthusiasm of buyers, and Moto Guzzi managed to make only 12 copies.
Yet it is to increase the number of cylinders Carlo Guzzi saw the path to success, at least on the racetrack. Back in 1930, he tried a motorcycle with a horizontal 492-cc overhead valve four-cylinder engine equipped with a compressor. Although this unit gives as much as 45 hp, it was too unreliable, has become much more successful developed in 1933 with the construction of a two-cylinder V-shaped 495-Kubo-tion motor. For better smoothness of operation Guzzi chose the camber angle of 120 °, positioning the front cylinder horizontally. Overhead camshafts (one per head) had a drive shaft and bevel gear pairs. The engine develops maximum power of 40 hp, by 1935 it was brought to 45 hp At the same time the engine installed in the new chassis with a sprung rear wheel. On this bike Woods Stanley (Stanley Woods) won the race "Tourist Trophy" in 1935, and a single-cylinder 250-cubic version - and the race in the class of 250 cm3.
During the Second World War, the company produced an army motorcycle "Alche» (alce - elk), equipped with a 499 cc engine (with stacked valves) a power of 13.2 hp, and its version with the drive sidecar "Trialche» . Total Army received more than 8,000 of these machines. Fortunately, located away from major cities plant is not affected by the bombing and was able to quickly set up production motorcycles for civilian use. Along with the resumption of production of prewar models - the 250-cubic "Iron» (airone - Heron) and 500 bottoms «GTV»-companies presented in 1946 a light motorcycle "Guzzini» . Designed by a young engineer Antonio Mucicci, this machine had nothing to do with the traditional pattern - single-cylinder two-stroke engine (65 cm3, 2 hp) with a rotary slide valve at the inlet, a three-stage gearbox, spinal tubular frame, pendulum suspension one spring element at the bottom of the pendulum, the front fork parallelogram. No wonder that this simple in the production of the car became the sales leader in post-war Italy.
The company then carried out the reconstruction of pre-war models. In 1948, "Iron" was the front telescopic fork. Along with the standard model with an engine capacity of 9.5 hp started production version of "Iron Sport" power of 13.5 hp and a maximum speed of 118 km / h. In place of «GTV» in 1949 came the model "Astoria» (astore - Hawk) with 499 cc engine capacity of 19.5 hp, "telescope" front and rear suspension with hydraulic shock absorbers. Released next year sports model "Falcone» ( 499 cm3, 23 hp, 135 km / h), oddly enough, has returned to friction dampers. Moreover, in 1953 the engine from "Astoria" installed in the chassis "Falcone" - this modification is called "Falcone Turismo».
At the same time, the company expanded the range of light models designed Muchikki. The growing boom roller firm said in 1950 model "Galetto» (Galetto - Cockerel), a strange symbiosis of motorcycles and scooters. Traditions: Moto Guzzi engine - horizontal single-cylinder OHV unit (160 cm3 6.4 hp), locked with three-stage gearbox, located in the tunnel between the legs of the driver. The car had 17-inch wheels, and another wheel - spare - Located in front of the front shield facing. In 1952, on the car put four-speed transmission and a 175-cc engine capacity of 7 hp 1954 engine capacity was adjusted to 192 cm3, and power - up to 7.5 hp Oddly enough, the hybrid caught: he will be released until 1966 and during that time made more than 70 thousand. Machines.
Another design Mucicchi debuted in 1953 - a light motorcycle "Gigolo» with a horizontal two-stroke 98 cc engine (4 hp as standard
and 6.8 hp sports), a three-stage gearbox, front telescopic fork, rear suspension with friction dampers and kapotirovannym space between the engine and the fuel tank. In 1959, "Gigolo" was a 110-cc engine capacity of 4.8 hp chrome plated mirror cylinder and hydraulic shock absorbers Rear suspension. And replace the "Guzzini" in 1954 came improved model "Cardellini» (cardellino - finch), in 1956 received a telescopic front fork instead of a parallelogram. In 1957, the working volume of its engine rose to 73 cm3, and power - up to 2.6 hp After another rejuvenation in 1962, these parameters increased to 83 cm3 and 2.9 hp
Racing department after the war led by the engineer Giulio Carcano. By the 1949 season, he spent upgrading the old model cars; single-cylinder (249 cm3, 28 hp and 489 cm3, 34 hp) and two-cylinder 494-cubic (45 hp). They got low stretched silhouette (Carcano believed beneficial effect on handling low center of gravity) and of short-front forks. Bruno Ruffo became the world champion in the class of 250 cm3. The following year, on the Moto Guzzi riders in this category took place from second to fifth, but lost the title. Carcano responded to the challenge of creating an engine with two overhead camshafts and four-valve heads of cylinders, but the design was unsuccessful, and he was engaged in the improvement of the old motor. It has brought success: Ruffo again became world champion in 1951, and Enrico Lorenzett - in 1952.
The following season, the company Moto Guzzi decided to shift their focus to more cubic capacity engines. If a 350-cc race car was a direct development of the 250-cubic (the bore to 326 cm3 design with overhead camshaft), then racing in the senior class has been designed completely new car with a longitudinally positioned inline engine (492 cm3 54 hp) with two overhead camshafts with gear-driven, liquid-cooled, fuel injection system. The power unit was also the main bearing element chassis through the lungs tubular subframes were attached to him front fork and rear of short-floating axle. Alas, in the race this machine has proved to be not at its best. But in the class of 350 cm3 Englishman Fergus Anderson )on a single-cylinder machine won the world title, Lorenzetti took second place. For the season 1954 Godet Carcano has prepared a new single-cylinder car for racing in classes 350 and 500 cm3 with two overhead camshafts, a tubular space frame, which allowed a very low center of gravity of the empty and covers the entire front of the motorcycle fairing, tailored to the wind tunnel. Anderson once again became the world champion in the class of 350 cm3 and Australian Ken Kavanagh took third place in the class of 500 cm3. Another Englishman, Bill Lomas, Moto Guzzi brought championships in the class of 350 cm-1 in 1955 and 1956.
In the summer of 1955 on the road came out, perhaps the most difficult race bike of all time Moto Guzzi with eight V-engine. Two cylinder placed at an angle of 90 °, in each head housed two overhead camshafts. Fueled this unit eight carburetors, ignition coils provide eight and four breaker. Liquid-cooled engine was interlocked with the four-speed transmission (originally designed six-Carcano, but it was unnecessary) and was located in a duplex cross frame. Version 1956 has developed 67 hp at 12,500 rev / min, for the next season brought to power 75 hp motorcycle proved to be a very high-speed, but fragile: he could not win a single race, part of the World Championship standings. But the one-cylinder car in 1957 brought in the treasury team Moto Guzzi another league title in the class of 350 cm3. At the end of the same year, Moto Guzzi has entered into a secret agreement with Italian companies "Mondial" and "Gilera": the three giants, largely determine the face of racing in the 50s, at the same time leaves the big sports. This decision was not a whim: the emergence of the market for such vehicles as the "Fiat 600", hit hard by the motorcycle manufacturer. Save on motorsport, they were able to invest in the creation of new road models. In April 1956, the company introduced the Moto Guzzi brand new bike "Lodola» - tilted forward at an angle of 45 ° single-cylinder four-stroke engine (174 cm3, 9 hp) with overhead camshaft driven chain; duplex frame, front telescopic fork and rear suspension with hydraulic shock absorbers pendulum. In 1959 the company introduced a version of a motorcycle with 235-Kubo-tion engine producing 11 hp Quite popular was shown in the same year the bike "Stornello» (stornello - Starling) - 123 cc 7-hp engine with a sucker rod drive top flaps and slightly tilted forward cylinder, light duplex frame, "telescope" front and rear floating axle. In 1967, this car thoroughly modernized: Power 123-cc engine was raised to 10 hp, there was a 153 cc version of "Stornello 160" power of 12.7 hp In 1971, the capacity of the two options was raised to 13 and 16 hp respectively, to replace the four-came five-speed gearbox.
Another lightweight motorcycle design appeared in 1963 - the model of "Dingo» , with a two-stroke 49 cc engine capacity of 1.5 hp, three-stage gearbox and pressed the cap frame. This motorcycle Moto Guzzi produced until 1979 in a variety of options. In 1966 he started a moped "Trotter» with 41 cc engine capacity of 1.23 hp and a two-stage gearbox.
But not in the light of these cars were the future of Moto Guzzi. His three-wheeled ATV have developed in the late 50s by order of the Ministry of War. For this machine Carcano developed a 704-cc two-cylinder V-engine with a sucker rod drive top flaps of the centrally located camshaft. Then came the idea to use this engine, built a heavy bike for the Italian police - Carabinieri. Finally, in autumn 1965 the public saw a machine called V7 Bicilindrica: 704-cc engine capacity of 50 hp, coupled with a four-speed transmission, mounted longitudinally (on the location of the crankshaft) in a tubular frame duplex. Rear-wheel drive - the driveshaft. By the conviction of the company, this 243-pound machine was able to accelerate to 170 km / h. Alas, this was able to verify immediately. In 1966, the company was on the verge of bankruptcy and actually came under state control. Only in 1967 began mass production twin-cylinder machines - and it turned out that they had already become outdated. For updating engineer Lino Tonti took. First, in 1969, he introduced a modernized «V7 Spechial»; increasing the working volume of the engine to 748 cm3, and its capacity to 60 hp, it simultaneously reduced the weight of the car to 228 kg. In 1971, this car was "American" styling (high wheel, imposing saddle) and the name of «V750 Californian». But the main novelty of the year was the model «V7 Sport", equipped with uprated to 70 hp engine and five-speed gearbox. But most importantly, that this machine has not only excellent dynamic (top speed 205 km / h, "with hundreds of places" for 5 s), but also the rapid appearance in the style of "cafe-reyser."
As it turned out, not all units of the Carabinieri are ready to purchase complex and expensive two-cylinder machine Moto Guzzi. Basically the company for their needs in 1969 had a complete upgrade of its "Falcon". "Nuove Falcone» was boosted to 25.4 hp verhneklalanny engine (keeping the same dimensions 88x82 mm, and the first-born in 1921), a five-speed gearbox, rear pendulum suspension with hydraulic shock absorbers and modernized appearance. However, police nuances of fashion little interest, and civilian public reacted to the new incarnation of the legend lukewarm.
In the early 70s the company became the owner of industrialist Alejandro de Tomaso , which already belonged to another famous Italian motorcycle company - Benelli . The first fruit of this integration was the appearance in 1973-74 whole range of motorcycles Benelli - 50-cubic single-cylinder two-stroke models to 350-cubic four-cylinder four-stroke - branded Moto Guzzi. However, there were a means for the development of motorcycles with V-shaped "two", which have already become a symbol of the company. In 1972, to replace the 750-cc "Spechial" and "Californian" car came with an upgraded powertrain - 844 cm3, 64.5 hp, five-speed gearbox. Since 1973, the heavy motorcycles appeared disc brakes with hydraulic drive.
Caused a small sensation in the autumn of 1975 the tourist car «V1000 Envelope» with an automatic transmission car type, 949-cc engine producing 71 hp, large windshield and roof racks wardrobe trunks. But a year later the company Moto Guzzi introduced a much more convincing trump card - a road-racing bike «V850 Le Mans» with a 844 cc engine capacity of 81 hp, cast wheels and gorgeous appearance, designed by renowned studio "Ital Design" . At the same time on a motorcycle company began implementing the integrated brake system (force from the brake pedal is transmitted on one of the front discs), characteristic for modern Moto Guzzi.
Bet on the sale of motorcycles middle class Benelli under the brand Moto Guzzi has failed, and De Tomaso decided to develop this class of machines in the tradition of the company - with a two-cylinder V-engine and driveline to the rear wheel. These models - «V35» (346 cm3, 33.5 hp) and «V50» (490 cm3, 45 hp) - brought before the public in 1976.