100 Years of Moto Guzzi—a Documentary

A friendship between two aircraft pilots and one mechanic has turned into a century-old business within the motorcycle industry. Despite one of the friends being killed in an airplane accident, the two other friends carried on with the dream. In 1921, Moto Guzzi hit the road.

The Moto Guzzi factory is located in Mandello del lario, Italy. Over the past 100 years, thousands of locals have worked in the factory, situated idyllically along the shores of Lake Como.

For two-wheeled visitors, it’s become customary to stop in Mandello and take photos of Guzzi bikes in front of the “red gate” at the entryway to the Moto Guzzi’s facility.

For a twenty-minute history of Moto Guzzi’s 100 years in business, watch their documentary below. You’ll find out what were the best selling bikes in what eras, how Moto Guzzi was the inventor of aerodynamic wind tunnels, what was involved in rebuilding a law enforcement bike fleet from scratch in under 24 hours, what happened after Moto Guzzi retired from racing, and what exactly a Guzzista is—it’s a beautiful story for this legendary motorcycle company.

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Heather Lea has traveled to over 60 countries, 40 of which were on a BMW F 800 GS during a 708-day round-the-world motorcycle adventure with now-husband, Dave Sears (Trip Blog: Riding Full Circle). Heather has been a freelance writer for over twenty-five years and a book and magazine editor for more than fifteen. Aside from Expedition Portal, her stories can be found in Overland Journal, Canadian Geographic, Kootenay Mountain Culture, and Canadian Alpine Journal. She loves doing anything in the backcountry, including backpacking, four-wheel-driving, ski touring, and climbing. Heather is a Canadian now living in Bellingham, WA. Find her on Instagram @writer_heather_lea or on Facebook @heatherleawriter.