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The Little Guzzi Rooster and Pirelli: Feeling the Wind in Your Face

Unveiled before the public in its prototype version on 16 March 1950, The Guzzi Galletto (literally, the “little rooster”) motorcycle was a marvel of practicality and style. With all the agility of a scooter, coupled with the “high wheels” typical of top-class motorcycles. Pirelli fitted it with its 17-inch Ciclomotore 275 tyre and it could race up to 80 km/h.
As we are told in Pirelli magazine no. 3 of 1950, the painter Domenico Cantatore, an inveterate “Guzzista”, went on a pilgrimage to Mandello Lario to attend the “robust cock-a-doodle-doo of the Galletto”: a race amid lake and mountains. Commendator Carlo Guzzi himself was waiting for him and, when the painter expressed his “desire to own a motorcycle”, he confessed that in his heart he was “very sensitive to the allure of art”.

In those days, it seemed that all Italians had a burning desire to own a motorcycle or a scooter to experience “the pleasure of feeling the wind in one’s face”. The Galletto was, of course, a luxury model, “aimed at a more affluent category of users”, as Vittorio Bonicelli pointed out in Pirelli magazine. But another world-famous two-wheeler was also racing on the 1950 market: the Vespa, manufactured by company Piaggio. It first came into being in 1946, creating the motor-scooter segment out of nothing. And, similarly, its Pirelli tyres went by the name of Motor Scooter: little 8-inch diameter wheels with a striped 120 Rigato tread pattern, which gave this “little two-wheeled marvel” – as the article published in 1949 in Pirelli magazine was titled – its superb handling.
In those days, the Innocenti Lambretta was already going wild, up and down the streets and squares of Italy. The “minuscule but heroic” Lambretta, as Pirelli magazine described it, was heading straight towards the gilded world of racing, fitted with streamlined fairings and windscreen, to smash speed records. The comment on the sporting feats of the Lambretta tyres was: “although they are subject to exceptional wear and tear due to the extremely high rotation speed of such small wheels, the Pirelli tyres behaved magnificently”.

In those years of post-war Reconstruction, an important page was being written in the history of mobility on two wheels.

Unveiled before the public in its prototype version on 16 March 1950, The Guzzi Galletto (literally, the “little rooster”) motorcycle was a marvel of practicality and style. With all the agility of a scooter, coupled with the “high wheels” typical of top-class motorcycles. Pirelli fitted it with its 17-inch Ciclomotore 275 tyre and it could race up to 80 km/h.
As we are told in Pirelli magazine no. 3 of 1950, the painter Domenico Cantatore, an inveterate “Guzzista”, went on a pilgrimage to Mandello Lario to attend the “robust cock-a-doodle-doo of the Galletto”: a race amid lake and mountains. Commendator Carlo Guzzi himself was waiting for him and, when the painter expressed his “desire to own a motorcycle”, he confessed that in his heart he was “very sensitive to the allure of art”.

In those days, it seemed that all Italians had a burning desire to own a motorcycle or a scooter to experience “the pleasure of feeling the wind in one’s face”. The Galletto was, of course, a luxury model, “aimed at a more affluent category of users”, as Vittorio Bonicelli pointed out in Pirelli magazine. But another world-famous two-wheeler was also racing on the 1950 market: the Vespa, manufactured by company Piaggio. It first came into being in 1946, creating the motor-scooter segment out of nothing. And, similarly, its Pirelli tyres went by the name of Motor Scooter: little 8-inch diameter wheels with a striped 120 Rigato tread pattern, which gave this “little two-wheeled marvel” – as the article published in 1949 in Pirelli magazine was titled – its superb handling.
In those days, the Innocenti Lambretta was already going wild, up and down the streets and squares of Italy. The “minuscule but heroic” Lambretta, as Pirelli magazine described it, was heading straight towards the gilded world of racing, fitted with streamlined fairings and windscreen, to smash speed records. The comment on the sporting feats of the Lambretta tyres was: “although they are subject to exceptional wear and tear due to the extremely high rotation speed of such small wheels, the Pirelli tyres behaved magnificently”.

In those years of post-war Reconstruction, an important page was being written in the history of mobility on two wheels.

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