The Long & Colourful History of Italian Motorcycles

Just like in the 4-wheel world, specifically the sports car arena, Italy has always played a major part in motorcycle development, especially on the track. Aprilia and Moto Guzzi are known throughout the world today, but let’s take a look at the early days of Italian bike design and development.

Moto Guzzi

This is the oldest European motorcycle manufacturer, which was founded in 1921 and focused primarily on racing. Their recipe includes a 90° air-cooled V-twin engine with an excellent pedigree, their machines are easily noticed, as they have a transverse cylinder head on each side, similar to BMW bikes. Check out the stunning range of Moto Guzzi bikes at Wheels Motorcycles, a leading UK big bike dealership that showcases a range of Italian machines, including Aprilia and Ducati. There are many seasoned veteran UK bikers who prefer the Moto Guzzi, a brand that has legendary status.


No article about Italian motorcycles would be complete without a section on Aprilia, a post WWII manufacturer founded by Alberto Beggio, an Italian entrepreneur with an addiction to speed. The company was taken over by Piaggio in 2004 and from that time, the focus was on road and track racing. Take a look at the awesome Aprilia RS 600 to see what superb engineering and racing technology can do when they come together. They made their mark in the 50cc, 125cc, 250cc and 500cc classes in road and track racing and even to this day, Aprilia are often on the MotoGP podium. They are known to be an aggressive team that isn’t afraid of the big boys like Honda and Yamaha and their racing experience is reflected in their stunning range of production motorcycles. Click here for information on vehicle alarms, which are necessary today.


The second oldest Italian bike manufacturer, Ducati was the brainchild of Antonio Ducati and his 3 sons were brought into the business. At the start, they focused on radio components, such as vacuum tubes and condensers; their Italian factory was bombed into oblivion by a large group of US bombers in 1944. After the war, the company made small engines to be fitted onto bicycles and in 1950, their first motorcycle came off the production line; a 50cc machine with a top speed of 40mph that managed an incredible 200 miles per gallon. In 2012, the company sold out to Lamborghini and they continued to develop a wide range of production motorcycles and are regarded as very successful.

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If you are a lover of Italian bikes, you certainly wouldn’t be the only one and there are big bike dealerships in the UK that showcase the best of Italian motorcycles. Click here for further information on applying for a provisional bike licence in the UK. You won’t be able to hop on a big bike until you have the coveted Class A licence, which allows you to ride any bike.

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