. MORE THAN 20,000 PARTICIPANTS FROM 50 EUROPEAN AND NON-EUROPEAN COUNTRIES
. START OF THE THREE DAYS OF FESTIVITIES FOR THE 90TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE EAGLE BRAND
. FROM TODAY UNTIL SUNDAY THE LARGEST MOTO GUZZI RALLY EVER
Mandello del Lario, 16 September 2011 - The "three days" of festivities organised in Mandello del Lario to celebrate Moto Guzzi's ninetieth anniversary began today, with a record-breaking turnout.
Guzzi World Days (GMG) looks set to attract more than 20,000 participants - a significantly larger number than the previous edition, held in 2007 - from all over Italy, Europe and the world to celebrate the ninetieth anniversary of the "Eagle brand" founded in 1921 by Emanuele Vittorio Parodi, his son Giorgio and friend Carlo Guzzi, which became part of the Piaggio Group at the end of 2004.
The bikers who have been arriving in Mandello del Lario for GMG 2011 since the beginning of the week represent more than 50 countries: not only Italy and every European country, but also as far afield as Australia, the USA, Canada, Mexico, Japan.
The turnout is further confirmation that Moto Guzzi is not just one of the world's most famous motorcycle makers, with 14 world speed titles and 11 Tourist Trophies to its name, but also a vital chapter in the history of motorcycling, thanks to models like the legendary Galletto, the extraordinary Eight Cylinder and the twin-cylinder V7 Special, California and Le Mans, which established the international reputation of the unmistakable 90? V drive shaft engine featured on all current Moto Guzzi bikes, from the 750 to the 1200cc models
During the three-day event on the Lecco side of Lake Como, Moto Guzzi's historic headquarters in Via Parodi 57 - the subject of a major investment program targeting the production plants, as well as the future product ranges and new engines of the prestigious brand - will be open to all Guzzi enthusiasts for an authentic full immersion in the Moto Guzzi universe. A special route has been organised for visitors to learn about the work underway to renovate and requalify the historic factory of the "eagle brand" and the symbolic locations of the Guzzi legend, such as the monumental 1950 Wind Tunnel, the production shops and the Moto Guzzi Museum.
Today's opening of the new route inside one of the temples of world motorcycling was attended by the senior management of the Piaggio Group, led by Roberto Colaninno. Outlining the investments allocated to the new products for the Moto Guzzi brand - a total of more than 40 million euro over the next 5 years, in addition to the investments in the Mandello del Lario plant - the Group Chairman and CEO stressed the success of the Moto Guzzi range to date and the company's business results.
Thanks to the new 2011 models like the Stelvio 1200 8v - also in an NTX version -, the Norge 1200 8v and the "special" little V7 Racer, in the first eight months of 2011 the Moto Guzzi brand sold more than 4,300 bikes worldwide. The figure reflects growth of 31% from 3,280 bikes in January-August 2010, and is particularly significant in view of trends on the European motorcycle market, which slackened by 8% in the first 8 months of 2011.
Tomorrow, Saturday 17 September, will be the main day of GMG 2011, when the number of visitors from all over the world "invading" Mandello del Lario will reach their peak. The GMG compere for the day will be Ringo, artistic director and Rider DJ of Virgin Radio. From the stage on the lakeside, directly from Ringo's microphone, the bikers will be able to describe their passion for their machines and be the stars of the day with their stories of travel and comradeship. The festivities will continue in the evening, with the awards for Guzzi bikers and clubs and the spectacular Moto Guzzi Rock Live concert.
A special area has been set aside for visitors to meet the designers of the Style Centre, who will illustrate the distinguishing stylistic features of present and future models. The visitor route will culminate in a "technological treasury": a multimedia environment where visitors will be able to experience the future of Moto Guzzi. Apart from the tour, many other events have been organised to help visitors feel 100% part of the great Guzzi biker family, including the historic parade to be held on the morning of Sunday 18 September.
Another not-to-be-missed attraction are the test rides, where bikers will be able to road test all the latest entries in the Moto Guzzi range: the flagship Norge GT 8V tourer, the adventurous Stelvio 8V - also available in the super-accessorised NTX version - and the fascinating V7 Classic.
GMG 2011 is also the setting for the presentation of the California 90, a special 90th anniversary edition of the world's best known Italian custom bike. The California 90 is the most luxurious version of this world-famous model.
The full program of the three-day festival for the Eagle brand is online at www.motoguzzi.com, where registrations for the event are still open, in the special section on GMG 2011.