THE WIDOWS SONS, THE WORLDS LARGEST MASONIC MOTORCYCLE ORGANIZATION  WERE
FOUNDED ON FEBRUARY 18TH, 1998 AT THE MIRAGE  RESTAURANT, 10255 W IRVING PARK ROAD,
SHILLER PARK, ILLINOIS 60176 TO AID AND ASSIST WIDOWS OF MASTER MASONS


THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE
WIDOWS SONS

INTERNATIONAL MASONIC RIDERS ASSOCIATION

ARTICLES WRITTEN AND SUBMITTED BY WIDOWS SONS 
AND THE WIDOWS SONS CHAPTERS
 

1924 C4V

1924C4V

1928

1949

Moto-Guzzi the oldest European manufacturer in continuous motorcycle productionis in Italy.  It is one of seven brand names owned by Piaggio.

Moto Guzzi was established in 1921 in Madello Del Lario and has led Italy's motorcycling manufacture since, Moto Guzzi, has become a household name in worldwide bike racing and led all its competitors in ground breaking motorcycle innovation for the most of its history.

The company was began by two military aircraft pilots and a mechanic who served in the Corpo Aeronautico Militare during World War 1. The trio, Carlo Guzzi, Giovanni Ravelli and Giorgi Parodi started Moto Guzzi after the war. Carlo Guzzi and Giorgi Parodi formed the Moto Guzzi company in 1921, Giovanni Ravelli unfortunately died just days after the war had ended in an aircraft crash. Mr. Ravelli is commemorated by the eagles wings in the Moto Guzzi logo.

The first Moto Guzzi engine was a horizontal single.  It was caught on and wrote the first 45 years of the company's history. Up to 1934, each engine bore the signature of the mechanic that built it. In the 1935 Isle of Man TT,  Stanley Woods, a Moto Guzzi rider, had an impressive double victory with wins in the Lightweight TT and Senior TT.

Until the mid 40s, the horizontal four stroke 500cc single cylinder engines outfitted with one overhead and one side valve were the highest performance engines that the company sold to the general public.

During the period following World War 2 time became difficultwas difficult. The Moto Guzzi solution to their difficult times was to begin production of  less expensive, lighter bikes. The 1946 Motoleggera, a 65cc bike became very popular in Italy. A four stroke 175cc scooter known as the Galletto also sold well.

In the 50s, the company along with other Italian factories led the world of Grand Prix Motorcycle racing. With durable and lightweight 250cc and 350cc bikes. Moto Guzzi dominated the middleweight classes. The factory won five consecutive 350cc championships between 1953 and 1957. In realising that low weight alone might not continue to win races, the V8 500cc GP race bike was designed. This engine was to become one of the most complex engines of its time and despite the bike having led many races and frequently posted the fastest lap time, it often failed to complete races due to mechanical problems. Ultimately, the V8 was not further developed. By the time Moto Guzzi pulled out of racing following the 1957 season, it had won 3329 official races, 8 world championships, 6 constructors championships and 11 Isle of Man TT victories.

In1964, the Moto Guzzi company was in financial crisis. Parodi and his son Giorgio had died, Carlo Guzzi had retired and direction passed to Enrico Parodi.

In 1967, SEIMM a state controlled receiver, took control of the company and saw the adaptation towards cars. The company focused on popular mopeds including the Dingo and Trotter. They also developed the 90 degree V twin engine which would become iconic of Moto Guzzi.

Although the company had employed engines of myriad configurations, none symbolised the company more than the air cooled 90 degree V twin with a longitudinal crankshaft orientation and the transverse cylinder heads projecting prominently on either side of the bike. This V twin began life as a 700cc. It was continuously developed and later became 1200cc. The design is currently used as 750cc, 1100cc and 1200cc engines.

After experiencing financial difficulties in the late 1960s, De Tomaso Industries Inc. purchased SEIMM (Moto Guzzi) along with Benelli and Maserati in 1973. Under Tomaso's stewardship, Moto Guzzi returned to profitability, though other reports suggest a period of limited investment in Moto Guzzi followed attributed to DTI using Moto Guzzi financially prioritizing their automotive ventures.

In 1976 Guzzi released the 850 Le Mans, a cafe racer that was a stylistic masterpiece and still considered one of the most iconic and sought after of all Guzzis. A marketing success that would compete with other Italian superbikes, it spawned four later models from Mark II to its culmination in the 1990s, the Mark V. The initial model is known widely but incorrectly as the Mark I. Technically, it is simply the 850 Le Mans. It was named in homage to the 24-Hour endurance race and circuit in France. The Mark I had two production runs with slight modifications. The first run, known as Series 1, used the roundish CEV stop/taillight used on many Italian bikes of the decade. Less than 2,000 of the round taillight bikes were made and they are the most desirable Guzzi of the era. The second production run, known as the Series 2 and totaling around 4,000 bikes, used a De Tomaso designed rectangular taillight/reflector and modified rear guard. This was also used on the Mark II and SP models.

In 1979 a small block version of the air-cooled V-twin designed by engineer Lino Tonti was introduced as the V35. Radical when introduced, the design featured horizontally split crankcases and heron heads. The former was a common feature of contemporary Japanese motorcycle design, whilst the latter was widely used in car engines.

As Guzzi continued to develop the V-twin, power was increased in the mid 1980s when Guzzi created 4 valve versions of the "small block" series. Of these, the 650 and the 750 were rated at 60 bhp (45 kW) and 65 bhp (48 kW) respectively. The production of the 4-valve "small block" engines ended in the later 1980s.

Moto Guzzis have used a hydraulic integrated brake system, where the right front disc works off the handlebar lever, while the left front and the rear disc work off the foot brake.

The cartridge front fork used in Guzzi's motorcycles of the later 1970s and 1980s is a Guzzi invention. Instead of containing the damping oil in the fork it is in a cartridge. Oil in the fork is purely for lubrication.

Still under the De Tomaso umbrella, in 1988, Benelli and SEIMM merged to create Guzzi Benelli Moto (G.B.M. S.p.A.). During this period, Moto Guzzi existed as an entity within the De Tomaso owned G.B.M., but in 1996 celebrated its 75th birthday and the return of its name to Moto Guzzi S.p.A. In 1996, De Tomaso became Trident Rowan Group, also known as TRG.

The Moto Guzzi assembly line closed for a short period in March 2004, due to financial difficulties.

On 30 December 2004, Piaggio & Co. S.p.A acquired Aprilia and thereby Moto Guzzi, forming Europe's largest motorcycle manufacturer. Moto Guzzi S.p.A officially becomes a Unico Azionista of Piaggio, part of Immsi S.p.A. Investments have allowed introduction of a series of competitive new models in rapid succession.

In November 2007, Moto Guzzi unveiled the retro-themed 2008 V7 Classic at the Motorcycle and Bicycle Manufacturers show in Milan, Italy. It was available in Europe in mid-2008, and Moto Guzzi announced plans in late-2008 to make it available to U.S. buyers.

 

1969 V750

1971 V850 LeMans

2007

CALIFORNIA SPECIAL 2001

Breva 1100 V-TWIN with fuel inJection

1934 SPORT


REFERENCES:
Moto Guzzi Italy:  http://www.lifeinitaly.com/motorcycle/moto-guzzi.asp
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Squadra Guzzistra http://guzzista.wetpaint.com/page/Moto+Guzzi+-+A+History+Part1
otorcycle U.S.A. http://www.motorcycle-usa.com/1591/Motorcycle-Photo-Gallery/Moto-Guzzi-Motorcycle-Museum.aspx
 

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