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Moto Guzzi

Celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2011, making it the second longest continuously operating motorcycle manufacturer, Moto Guzzi got its start on the banks of Lake Como in Lombardy, Italy when co-founder Carlo Guzzi couldn't find the perfect bike and instead decided to build it himself [source: Moto Guzzi]. Known as the great Italian "Eagle," Moto Guzzi has distinguished itself as a builder of motorcycles that win races; in fact, the company estimates its bikes have taken home approximately 3,300 titles during its history [source: Moto Guzzi]. Some of the company's more well-known vintage models include the Le Mans, Falcone and El Dorado, which are distinguished by their styling and reliability.

Perhaps the most interesting history around a Moto Guzzi bike is that of the original V7 Sport, which has been revived and modified today into the V7 Café Classic [source: Panettieri]. In the 1960s and '70s, V7 Sports were identified with a counterculture group known as the Rockers. Starting in England and then spreading to Europe and America, V7 Sports were used in races where competitors would start at a café and attempt to reach a predetermined point and then return before a song on the jukebox finished [source: Panettieri].

Read on to learn more about another Brit brand.

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