Marzocchi is a leader company in motorbike suspension manufacturing. The motorbike suspension business unit is owned by the Italian company VRM Spa.
Marzocchi was funded in late 1949 by Stefano and Guglielmo Marzocchi. The IDROFLEX is a big success at the 23rd Motorcycle Show in Milan. It is a revolutionary, lightweight motorcycle with 105 cc and a hydraulic integral suspension manufactured by the REOM Company (Societa’ per il Commercio e l’Industria Radio Elettro Ottica Meccancia), which was recently founded by the Cavalieri Ducati Brothers in Milan.
Stefano and Guglielmo Marzocchi worked on the project and design of this futuristic motorcycle, featuring a two stroke horizontal engine, front and rear suspension with internal spring, and hydraulic damping unit.
The profit from the project’s sale, and their termination pay from Ducati, allowed the Marzocchi brothers to set up a Mechanical Precision Workshop in the basement of their home.
The two brothers started a new project of a telescopic hydraulic front suspension and a hydraulic rear suspension. The era of the motorcycle suspensions began.
The economic boost of Italy and the consequent increased use of two-wheel transportation vehicles, led to new models of suspensions that soon were mounted on medium weight motorcycles such as Mondial, Ducati, Moto CM, Maserati, … (1952).
At almost the same time, Marzocchi started making suspensions for motorcycle races, and using high quality test benches, they achieved results that would also be important for the mass production.
In 1953, the production of the Idroflex case was halted and the manufacturing of front and rear suspensions was stepped up.
1957: Tarqinio Provini won the World Championship with his Mondial Bialbero 125 cc.
After two serious economic crises were overcome, at the beginning of 1970’s The upturn of the Marzocchi Company coincided with that of the manufacturers of heavyweight and off road motorcycles.
In 1971, Ducati requested the development of a special front fork with disc brakes for heavyweight motorcycles. The Marzocchi brothers and their colleagues designed a new fork with a front axle, which was revolutionary for that time. The forks with the front axle would be renowned as PA (“Perno Avanzato”), mainly thanks to the outstanding victories of Ducati in the 500 cc. and 750 cc. class races in Imola at the 1972 World Championship.
In 1974, the suspension factory, which was renamed MARZOCCHI S.p.A. in 1971, was moved to a new site in Lavino di Zola Predosa.
In the 1970’s the motorcycle market constantly grew, and the factory in Zola Predosa is able to match its demands. Research became the central point of the production. New models and new materials were carefully studied and used to provide the best possible product features and development. A front fork for Enduro with central axle and seagull-like lower crown with a maximum travel of 250 mm was produced.
Its testing was done with the help of the Russian rider Ghennadi Moiseev, who won the 1974, 1977 and 1978 250cc World Championships on his KTM motorbike. The development of the front axle suspensions for Motocross followed, as well as the AG Strada rear shocks with separated gas reservoir, and the ZTi Magnesium front forks, which helped Marzocchi to gain worldwide fame. The latter were assembled as OEM forks on KTM, SWM, Fantic Motor and Montesa motorcycles.
Johnny Cecotto won the World Championship title with the Diemme motorbike 350 cc. in 1975 and in 1978, Mike Hailwood won with the Ducati 900SS on the Island of Man.
In the meantime, Marzocchi also began working for the automobile Grand Prix and started to equip the F1 Ferrari with their rear shocks and pumps. Marzocchi supplied the first rear suspension in 1982. The first victory took place on July 3, 1981: Didier Pironi won the GP of Zandvoort with his Ferrari 126 C/2. The following month, the victory of the Grand Prix of Germany went to Patrick Tambay. On april 29th, 1984 Michele Alboreto, on Ferrari F1 126 C/4 equipped with Marzocchi rear shocks and pumps won the Belgian GP at Zolder. Minardi, Tyrrel, Lotus, Lamborghini,… also used them.
In the late 1980’s, a new market segment emerged. At the 1989 Motorcycle Trade Show, American Mountain Bikes were presented and a promising future for a huge market was announced. Marzocchi immediately understood the grand possibilities for this new field, and as with the different motorcycle types, began the development of a suspension for bicycles.
The STAR FORK was designed in 1989, and mass production began in 1990. The first production fork, STAR FORK, was followed by the various XC models, which in 1996 were replaced by the BOMBER models- new in materials, function and design. The constant improving of these models led to many accomplishments, among which was the Downhill World Cup won by Corrado Herin on the 1997 MONSTER T, a downhill fork with 40 mm. diameter aluminum stanchion tubes.
In 1991, once again exploiting the experience of making large motorbikes suspensions, Marzocchi started widening their range of products. They started manufacturing scooter forks for world
famous companies such as Aprilia, BMW, Beta, MBK and Peugeot.
At the beginning of the 1990’s, a new fork model design, MAGNUM, was completed for the off-road motorbike. The MAGNUM was used by a lot of riders and which obtained a lot of victories
in the World Championship of both Cross and Enduro categories through the success of Hansson on Honda (1994 500 cc. Cross World Champion) and Giovanni Sala on KTM (1994 and 1995 250
Enduro World Champion). 1998 witnessed the birth of the SHIVER Upside-Down fork, which immediately won the 125 cc. Cross World Championship with Chicco Chiodi on Husqvarna.
Complimented in 1999, then in the Enduro World Championship by Erikkson on Husqvarna in 1998 and in 1999.
In the following years, more and more manufacturing companies decided to equip their motorbikes with Marzocchi forks: Aprilia, Ducati, Guzzi, BMW, Cagiva, MV Augusta, Husqvarna, Beta, KTM, Honda, Derbi, Gas Gas, Muz, Sachs, as well as Victory and Excelsior Henderson whom specialize in Cruiser models.