After years of being largely ignored by the folk at Moto Guzzi, out of the blue I get press releases and these photos. Even better, it' s telling of the factory's open house weekend with full access to the factory, wind tunnel and museum. As ever with the Italians there's a deliberate cock up - you've got barely five weeks to cajole your loved one into a romantic weekend in Milan, lose her (or him) in the famous shopping arcade, before jumping on a train to Mandello del Lario.
If there's a brand I'd love to work for it's Guzzi. Yes, I'm a dyed in the wool Ducati fan, but where could you take it? It's already hyper successful, and any downturn in sales might result in the hunt for a scapegoat. So if things go well, you risk getting no credit - but if things turn sour...
Guzzi, on the other hand, are ripe for a Frederico Minoli style turn round. He's start (I'd guess) by losing the dealers who only stock Guzzis because they wanted the Aprilia or Piaggio franchise, build up the dealers who are enthusiasts with their mile crunching existing customers - and then go chase the new wave hipster wannabes. World Ducati weekend was one of Minoli's first innovations and it's great to see Guzzi following suit. And nice to at last have someone prepared to act as a real press officer rather than avoid the little people, even if we did know who your dad is...
Shameless plug of my Moto Guzzi book that you can buy here – and there was a big piece on the Guzzi factory in Benzina issue six
Moto Guzzi's own PR guff follows!
THE WEEKEND DEDICATED TO PASSION FOR MOTO GUZZI IS BACK AT MANDELLO DEL LARIO THIS SEPTEMBER.
OPEN HOUSE AT MOTO GUZZI - FROM FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 TO SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 14 AT THE HISTORIC FACTORY IN VIA PARODI - THREE DAYS OF CELEBRATION OF THE EAGLE BRAND.
TOURS OF THE FACTORY AND HISTORIC MUSEUM, BIKE TEST RIDES AND MORE. THE WORLD OF MOTO GUZZI IN A SINGLE WEEKEND.
Mandello del Lario, 5 August 2014 – Following last year's resounding success, the Moto Guzzi Open House Weekend returns this September.
From Friday 12 September to Sunday 14 September the famous red door on via Parodi, the historic entrance to the Moto Guzzi factory at Mandello del Lario, will open up for a weekend dedicated to the legendary motorcycle brand that has been continuously manufactured on the banks of Lake Como for 93 years.
For the 2014 Open House, Moto Guzzi has prepared a full schedule of activities which range from guided visits to the engine and vehicle production lines to the opening of the museum, the Moto Guzzi store with its brand merchandise and accessories and, above all, the chance to test ride a wide selection from the Moto Guzzi range.
Riders will be able to test the whole range: the powerful California 1400 (available in Touring and Custom versions), the three interpretations of the best-seller Moto Guzzi V7 (V7 Stone, V7 Special and V7 Racer), the striking dual-purpose Stelvio 1200 and the spirited Moto Guzzi Griso, the naked with a personality all its own.
The Moto Guzzi Mandello plant is a symbolic place in Italian motoring history and one of the most famous in the world. Here, since the year it was founded in 1921, Moto Guzzis have been manufactured without interruption. It is a site with a rich heritage that has accompanied Italian industrial development and the affirmation of the eagle brand on a global level, one of the most beloved brands by riders from all continents. This has been the birthplace of such legendary models as the Falcone, the Galletto, the V7 family, the iconic Le Mans and Imola models all the way to the current, technologically advanced California 1400 models.
Of course Mandello was also the birthplace of the famous and successful racing Moto Guzzis, that were to dominate the most glorious years of motorcycle racing, taking 15 championship titles (8 rider and 7 manufacturer) in the World Motorcycling Championship.
ACTIVITIES AT MOTO GUZZI OPEN HOUSE WEEKEND 2014:
This is an opportunity not to be missed by any motorcycle enthusiast: the opportunity to test the products in the Moto Guzzi range, right here in the place where every Moto Guzzi is born, on the magnificent roads that run along Lake Como.
Test riding will be held on Saturday 13 September and Sunday 14 September from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM with registration opening at 9:30 AM.
THE MOTO GUZZI MUSEUM
From 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM on Friday 12 September and from 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM on Saturday 13 September and Sunday 14 September, the Moto Guzzi Historical Museum will be open to the public. This space contains more than 150 models that have made the history of the Mandello Eagle, an extraordinary path going back to the roots of the Moto Guzzi legend.
Factory bikes, racing bikes, prototypes and engines are accompanied by an exceptional collection of never before seen photographs and documents which narrate the deeds of one of the most noble brands in global motorcycling, capable of producing models which became legends.
ENGINE ASSEMBLY LINE
This is the area of the plant where the legendary twin cylinder engines, the emblem and heart of Moto Guzzi, are individually assembled by hand. Here a unique engine was born and made history and secured Moto Guzzi’s place in global motorcycling lore. Today this engine has evolved into the 1400cc unit that equips the new California, the largest V-twin engine ever made in Europe.
MOTORCYCLE ASSEMBLY LINES
Here the Moto Guzzi bikes take shape. Here the finished twin cylinder engine meets the motorcycle that will accompany it for the rest of its life. On the line visitors will be able to follow, step by step, operation by operation, the birth of new Moto Guzzi machines that continue over 90 years of tradition and experience.
First commissioned in the Mandello del Lario plant in 1950, this was the first example of a wind tunnel for aerodynamic motorcycle testing. A singularly fascinating place, today it is the testament to a technological first and a glorious history that only Moto Guzzi possesses.