Have you ever wondered what’s behind Nearco, Levizir, and Ribot names in the Torpado line of models?
In Italy, a lot of people know at least something about Nearco, but here in Australia, unless you’re a racing horse aficionado, Nearco is a meaningless word. So, here’s a brief story of Torpado brand and some of our models’ names.
Torpado and Its Thoroughbred Bike Models
One hundred twenty-two years ago, in 1895, Carlo Torresini of Padua opened the doors of his moto and bicycle manufacturing business and called this new-born enterprise Torpado after mixing his surname with his hometown’s name.
The family-owned business produced many varieties of bicycles including some racing models. By the 1950s and into the 1960s, during the Coppi and Bartali era, Torpado emerged as one of the leading bike sponsors in the pro peloton and the second largest bicycle manufacturer in Italy.
In the early 1980s, the rival Agrati-Garelli group bought a 49% stake in Torpado to shut down its motorcycling production and in 1987 took over the entire company, ceasing bicycle manufacturing as well.
Torpado brand had vanished from the market until Esperia Cicli bought the name in 2001 and funded its revival. This time though, the chosen path to success led to the dirt trails and Torpado resurfaced as a mountain bike producer. The Impudent range of quality bikes was brought to the market through collaboration with professional racers.
By 2012, Torpado Impudent had become an icon of technological finesse and Italian quality craftsmanship in the mountain bike world. With great intuition and foresight, Torpado was the first manufacturer in the world to produce 27.5” mountain bikes and is among the pioneers of fat bike revolution.
Inspired by its achievements and industry leadership, Torpado launched the Torpado Factory Team in 2014 to test the company’s products in the rigours of professional racing.
Today, the company offers three high-end models in its stable: Nearco, Levizir, and Ribot. The word stable is not just a metaphor. Our top of the line model names are taken from the legendary thoroughbred horses.
Nearco had been described as “one of the greatest racehorses of the Twentieth Century” and “one of the most important sires of the century” by the Thoroughbred Heritage. Bred in Italy and owned by Federico Tesio, the stallion had never been beaten in a race winning 14 races including Derby Italiano and Grand Prix de Paris.
Levizir (Le Vizir) was Napoleon’s last and favorite horse. Ottoman Sultan, Selim III gifted this gray Arabian stallion to the Emperor of the French in 1802. Napoleon liked good-tempered, well-trained horses and Le Vizir, after three years of training, fit his needs perfectly. The stallion was Napoleon’s mount during the Prussian and Polish campaigns. Many art historians believe Ernest Meissonier depicted Le Vizir and Napoleon in ‘1814’ painting.
Another of Federico Tesio’s jewels, Ribot, is recognised as one of the finest European racehorses of the twentieth century. In 16 starts, Ribot never came second and was crowned a European Horse of the Year twice (1955 and 1956) not to mention the Italian, French, and English champion. Ribot triumphed in major races like Gran Premio di Milano, Gran Criterium, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, and Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe.
Now that horse in our logo? It’s where we draw our inspiration from — thoroughbred bikes for our discerning riders.