Moto Guzzi was founded by Carlo
Guzzi and Giorgio Parodi. There was a third man, Giovanni Ravelli, involved but
he unfortunately was killed in a plane crash only days after WWI. The three
motorcycle enthusiasts met and discussed plans to build a new motorcycle company
while serving in the newly formed Italian Air Force. The flying eagle in the
company’s logo is in memory of Ravelli.
The greatest of all Moto Guzzi models
are based on only two engines. The first engine produced was a 500cc four stroke
engine that had the cylinder parallel to the ground and the other engine was the
90º transverse V-twin.
The single was in production since the initial prototype in 1920 and stayed in
production until 1976 in various forms. The transverse V-twin came to exist to
meet the requirements of a contract in the late 1950’s with the Italian army who
wanted a workhorse engine in a military vehicle with a single front wheel and
double tracks on the rear.
The engine did give way in later years to becoming a
motorcycle engine, due in part because of military and police demands for more
power after many years of using Moto Guzzi's single cylinder powered bikes.
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