It’s a big year for Moto Guzzi, with the V100 Mandello roadster/tourer bringing the brand into a new era with liquid-cooled engine, active aeros and a massive onboard electronics package that includes semi-active suspension.
However, Moto Guzzi as a brand is very much grounded in history, and while this year is the big 100th anniversary of the company’s founding, there’s another important date the brand wants to celebrate: The 75th anniversary of its collaboration with the Cuirassiers’ Regiment. This is the special Carabinieri unit that serves as honor guard and security for the Italian president, and it’s played a major role in Moto Guzzi’s history. Were it not for the Cuirassiers’ Regiment and its demand for big-bore motorcycles, Moto Guzzi may never have developed the V7 to what it is today. That happened later on in the 1960s, not the 1940s, but it’s this collaboration in the aftermath of World War II that resulted in Guzzi’s most iconic models.
Moto Guzzi chose its V85 TT adventure bike as basis for the Guardia D’Onore special-edition model. The changes are mostly skin-deep, although there’s a set of crash bars and LED accessory lights fitted to the bike as standard. See below:
Just like the V85 TT bikes delivered to the Head of State at the Quirinal Palace, the V85 TT Guardia d’Onore features the typical black livery with white graphics that characterize the Cuirassiers’ Moto Guzzi machines. The white accents run along the front mudguard, continuing onto the fuel tank and the side panels and they are also picked up on the oversized Touring windscreen. The latter is part of the standard equipment package, along with the center stand, the engine guard bars and the supplementary LED lights. The pair of side panniers dedicated to this model are available on request.
There will be 1,946 of these bikes made, commemorating the year that Moto Guzzi and the Cuirassiers’ Regiment started their work together. They’ll be individually numbered, and buuyers also get a package of some other minor paraphernalia related to the bike’s history.
Curious about Moto Guzzi’s history with the Cuirassiers’ Regiment? See the excerpt from Moto Guzzi’s press release below:
The Cuirassiers and Moto Guzzi: 75 Years of History
The long history that binds the Cuirassiers’ Regiment to the Eagle from Mandello has its roots in the second post-war period when modern cars began to be favored over the outdated royal carriages for institutional travel involving the President of the Italian Republic. Consequently, the escort unit made up of select – and extremely tall – elite Carabinieri needed a means of transportation more suitable than horses to follow the motorized vehicles.
Confirming years of collaboration with the Italian armed forces, the choice fell almost naturally to Moto Guzzi, a true source of national pride, partly because of their countless victories achieved in motorcycle racing since the ’20s.
The need to quickly motorize a unit that had been strictly equestrian until then led the Cuirassiers to adopt 4 different Moto Guzzi models in just over 5 years. And so, the Alce, military bike par excellence, the Superalce, the Astore and its direct evolution, the Falcone Sport joined the regiment’s fleet.
However, it was only from the Astore that the bikes were specially outfitted to adapt to the needs of the Cuirassiers, including those connected to their specific height (in fact, the minimum height requirement to join the regiment was 190cm).
As the nineteen-sixties approached, it was still the Falcone Sport (with electric starter from 1959) that escorted the President of the Republic and the various foreign Heads of State visiting Italy. In line with the technological evolution in the motorcycle field, the first true change in the Cuirassiers’ motorcycle fleet came in 1968. With the V7 Special units, the single-cylinder was definitively surpassed to embrace the new Moto Guzzi era and the revolutionary transversal V-twin, destined to become the manufacturer’s calling card.
In 1975, one of the most innovative Moto Guzzi models arrived on the market – the V1000 I-Convert. With its increased engine capacity that reached 1000cc and its unprecedented integrated braking system, the I-Convert went to work straight away escorting the President of the Republic, paving the way for the next 40 years of Moto Guzzis destined for this role.
The mid ’80s marked the start of the long relationship between the Cuirassiers and the various Moto Guzzi California models, increasingly more muscular and with increasing engine capacity. Displacement went from the 948 cc of the California II used in 1985 all the way to the 1380 cc of the segment monarch, the California 1400 Touring, which cut a fine figure in the Cuirassiers’ parades and in presidential transfers from 2007.
In May of this important year, which marks Moto Guzzi’s 100th birthday, the Eagle brand presented the current President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, with V85 TT units, which joined his personal escort fleet.
The brand-new bikes feature a livery created specifically for the occasion, chromatically reminiscent of the California 1400 units already used.