Italian Motorcycle Companies: the ones that do not exist anymoreKeyin Web
The Italian motorcycle panorama these days is famous because of brands like Mv Agusta, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi, Ducati and Benelli. In the year in which Ducati won every competition that can be won (MotoGp Team Title & Rider Title, SBK Team Title & Rider Title), we feel it is right to also celebrate the companies that did not make it. Let’s discover them together!
Founded by Angelo Gatti in 1908, Atala started its journey in the two-wheeled world producing bicycles. Motorcycle production did start after a while and continued to be one of the main Italian motorcycle companies until the 80’s. Easily recognizable thanks to its famous red/white livery, Atala motorcycles were famous for their aggressive design.
In 1985 Edoardo Bianchi decides to found what is now the oldest bicycle company in the world: Bianchi. It cannot be entirely defined as Italian motorcycle company because Bianchi produced almost everything (cars, trucks, and motorcycle) to help motorizing Italy.
Some Bianchi motorcycle won races until the mid 60’s. Even Tazio Nuvolari won some races on a Bianchi Freccia Celeste. The company now only produces bicycles, but its contribution to Italian motorcycle history cannot be forgotten.
Garelli is an Italian motorcycle company founded by Adalberto Garelli in 1919.
Today the company only produces mopeds but it has an incredible racing pedigree: between 1982 and 1987 the company won all 125 world titles with Nieto, Cadalora and Gresini. Their Vip 3, a 3 speed moped, was the most desired two wheeled vehicles among Italian youngsters between 1978 and 1980.
Founded in 1909 and part of the Piaggio group since 1969, Gilera is among the most famous Italian motorcycle companies. The company won 6 world 500cc titles in the 50’s setting records that still today highlight the brand racing DNA and the brand ability to build innovative and incredibly competitive motorcycles. The company closed in 2012 but its last creature was a moped capable of reaching 200kmph (124mph).
Even if it is not among the most known Italian motorcycle companies, this brand must be mentioned because of how it was born. The De Angeli-frua family – strong in the texile field – decides to diversify their investments and in 1945 decides to create a motorcycle company. They hired the Engineer Falchetto (which at the time used to collaborate with Lancia) and started production. With more than 500.000 vehicles sold, Motomic started great. Unfortunately, the new models did not manage to hold against Vespa and Lambretta market power. 1970 is the year that sees the last Motomic vehicle leaving production line.
Company with a strong racing DNA, Paton comes from the fusion of the names of the two owners: Pattoni and Tonti. Born form the ashes of the Mondial racing department, Paton was the first racing motorcycle for a lot of riders. Paton never won a race in world competitions but managed to get point in multiple occasions.
The best results though, come from the tourist trophy, in which Stefano Bonetti’s Patons gets victories and a lot of credibility. The company in 2016 changes its name in SC-Project and moves from Milan to Cassinetta di Lugagnano.
This fusion of two production poles – Daldi and Matteucci – became famous in the Italian motorcycle market thanks to its innovative solutions applied to all sorts of two-wheeled vehicles.
Demm participated to a lot of races and set 24 world records in Monza with the Siluro. In the 60’s Demm motorcycle won everything there was to win in all Italian speed competitions, mountain races included.
Unfortunately, this incredible company was not able to survive Italian recession and had to close doors.
Our tour of the Italian motorcycle companies that did not make it ends here. Hope you guys enjoyed it and learned about some companies you did not know.