I have typically focused most of my articles and blogs on Japanese motorcycles. That's because where I grew up, everyone I knew either owned a Japanese-made bike or was in the process of buying another one. But recently, I have become intrigued by a line of Italian bikes. It's Moto Guzzi.
Moto Guzzi is the oldest European motorcycle manufacturer that's still in production today. Established just after WWI, Moto Guzzi is noted for its historic role in Italy's motorcycle manufacturing. Its early innovations include the first center motorcycle stand, wind-tunnel tested designs, and the first ever motorcycle with an eight-cylinder engine. The three original partners were Carlo Guzzi, who was the idea guy; Giorgio Parodi, who was the money behind the company's start-up; and Giovanni Ravelli, a part of Moto Guzzi's grassroots inception, who perished in a plane crash before the company was actually founded. The remaining partners honored the death of their friend and fellow pilot with the Italian Air Corps insignia, the winged eagle, as the company's logo.
The legendary 90 degree V twin was designed in the early 60's and is still used today as the basis of their 700, 1100 and 1200 CC engines. Moto Guzzi bikes have never been mass-produced; with as many as 46,487 produced in 1971 and a mere 3,274 in 1993. My personal favorite is the Guzzi V7 Sport, which can be found priced from $15,500 for the 1973 model or as low as $8,500 for a 2014. This is what I'm looking to ride this summer!
For more on Moto Guzzi, here's the official website: www.motoguzzi.com. Enjoy!