Moto Guzzi motorcycles have a long and illustrious history. The V7 has helped to shape the modern range and in the Ultimate Moto Guzzi V7 Review we find out why. Moto Guzzi were the first motorcycle manufacturer in Italy, they have been building motorcycles in the same factory since 1921 and this is their 100th anniversary year (Don’t forget to check out the 100 year anniversary T-Shirts here). The First V7 90 degree v-twin rolled off the line in Mandello Del Lario in 1967 and an updated version was still in production in 1997, 30 years later. The new 2021 Moto Guzzi V7 is still made in that same factory, 50 years later.
Obviously the new models are very different from the original Moto Guzzi V7, but they retain that classic air cooled transverse v twin engine, two valve per cylinder design and all important style. The chassis is a fairly standard tubular steel design and has a removable section to aid maintenance. More to the point, they offer a refreshing change from the ‘Bigger means better’ approach of so many manufacturers.
The Solution To A Modern Problem?
In this world of hyper power sport bikes, elephantine cruisers and juggernaut like adventure bikes there really are motorcycles for every occasion. Market focussed bikes have become the norm today and every one is built to do a specific job really well. Sometimes so well that they seem to loose something. Complicated electronics and rider aids do sometimes seem to get in the way of that quintessential feeling of being at one with your bike.
In answer to this problem the industry created the retro bike niche to try and fill that gap. We are spoiled when it comes to retro styling now, with many bikes on the market like the Triumph Bonneville and Ducati Scrambler. However many do seem to focus on the visual aspects and forget other important factors. It was into this world, that the new Moto Guzzi V7 was reborn. In this Moto Guzzi V7 Review the motorcycle used was a V7 II Stone.
Just A Motorcycle?
Unlike so much of the industry the Moto Guzzi V7 is focussed on just one thing, being a motorcycle. To review it you have to ride it long term. It fulfills that role so beautifully well that you can’t fail to enjoy riding it. You can find bigger, faster, more powerful bikes out there anytime, but does that really matter? This bike has that all important ingredient so many lack, real character.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean poor build quality that will leave you at the side of the road. The build quality is faultless. Now owned and with work overseen by the industry giant ‘Piaggio Group’ manufacturing defects are rare. Today these Moto Guzzi’s are still built in the same factory at Mandello Del Lario that their vintage name-sake was. This motorcycle seems to take you back to simpler times faster than any therapy could.
Sticking to what they do well, Moto Guzzi have used their maintenance free shaft drive system to transfer power to the back wheel. The slight rocking motion at standstil if you open the throttle slightly always makes me smile but any torque reaction is minimal and this beautiflly designed shaft drive system makes sure you have more time for riding.
Fuelling relies on a single throttle body with a siamesed outlet for the two cylinders. This means the system always stays balanced without the need for balancing throttle bodies however many miles you do.
The Moto Guzzi V7 Review Reveals An Addictive Ride
Sitting on the Moto Guzzi V7 II Stone everything feels very intuitive. The seat height is under 800mm and riding position is comfortable and very neutral, with only a slight weight on the wrists. This disappears as soon as you are travelling above 40 mph. The dry single plate clutch is surprisingly light, but has a solid feel much like the rest of the bike. The gearbox is slick and the bike enjoys being pushed quickly through the gears. After 2014 it got a 6th gear too, which made it seem faster even if it wasn’t any more powerful. Keeping the seat height low opens the V7 Stone up to many riders put off by the high seat position of so many modern bikes
There have been other improvements since its relaunch too and the newest more powerful model promises even more fun. This is about so much more than power though. The simple pleasure of the Moto Guzzi V7 is rolling on the throttle on at low rpm and feeling that deep rumble turn into a gradual surge of power, Riding it for this review showed me it is an addictive motorcycle. Even after things smooth out above 5,000 rpm you never forget you are riding a motorcycle.
Simplicity And Soul
I love the simplicity and sound of the air cooled V-Twin, especially with the dry clutch. That slight rock at low revs is there, but not intrusive. You will feel the torque reaction, but it doesn’t affect the ride or handling. Even with the standard exhaust it has a deep throaty growl that makes the engine sound bigger than it actually is. Add that all together and you can’t help but smile. And that is what the Moto Guzzi V7 is about, smiling.
There are various model options available, from the all new 100 year anniversary Centenary model, to the Stone, Racer and Carbon models. All have their own distinctive charm. If you are in the market for a new bike, why not go and find one to test. You need to look past the spec sheet on this bike, you won’t be disappointed.
Form And Function
You get carefully chosen components everywhere on this motorcycle, right from the front wheel to the rear fender. Each manufactured to fulfil the needs of the motorcycle and rider. Moto Guzzi have added nothing that is superfluous. Even on the base model V7 Stone you see quality everywhere you look.
Front suspension is standard non-adjustable ‘Right Way Up’ Marzocchi’s and at no point did I feel they were lacking. Rear suspension on most is simple preload adjustable shocks and it does the job on the road perfectly well. Ohlin’s fully adjustable shock absorbers are fitted to the ‘Racer’ model, but they are only really needed for track day riding. At normal road speeds the standard suspension works better than the ones fitted to many modern bikes. The set up is plush without being soft and the simple preload adjustment is more than adequate when carrying a passenger or luggage.
The Fuel tank is generous enough to make this a practical old school touring bike too which is a nice touch. By keeping things simple Moto Guzzi have achieved what many seem unable to, they have kept weight down. The bike weighs in at less than an SV650. Making it among the lightest of any comparable bikes and there is something reassuring about the mechanical throttle linkage.
A Touch Of Modern
Rider aids are kept to a bare minimum of ABS and Traction Control. The Brembo brakes give you plenty of stopping power with a beautifully progressive feel. The ‘pull’ on the lever is easy, so you never feel the need to ‘squeeze’ the front brake hard. The single 320mm disc on the front is plenty with the sharp 4 piston caliper and the 260mm disc rear brake has a strong but graduated ‘Bite’.
From the mark 2 on you get a Continental 2 channel ABS system as standard, it worked really well and was never intrusive. It is the system designed for the California so is now well tested.
Traction control is also standard and has 3 settings to control rear wheel spin. Standard is perfect for most conditions but there is a rain setting if needed. You can also turn it off completely if you have a hooligan moment and want to let the tyres spin up a little.
In Conclusion The Moto Guzzi V7 Review Reveals A True Winner
I have seen these bikes called ‘Retro styled city slicker’ and I think that that does them a serious injustice. They are perfectly at home on the open road or even loaded up with luggage. The big 21 ltr fuel capacity and excellent fuel consumption mean a very practical 300mile range from a single tank of fuel too. They are a very versatile motorcycle, light by modern standards and very well put together.
Any Moto Guzzi V7 Review is subjective but as a motorcycle they will never break any records. The fit and finish are faultless and the package doesn’t have any real weak points. That does seem a rarity these days and for that reason alone I would say the world is a better place because of the Moto Guzzi V7. Its relaxed riding position makes everything very easy.
If the V7 had a motto, it would probably be simply, “Enjoy The Ride”.
Moto Guzzi release the new generation of V7 models in 2008.
Moto Guzzi released the V7 mark 11 in 2014 with some significant styling updates. This consisted of the Racer, Special and Stone, each bike used effectively the same platform but with altered styling.
- The Stone is the basic model
- the V7 Special is more retro-themed
- the Racer a café racer
The V7 II got a redesigned six speed gearbox. ABS and traction control were standard and they got an improved tubular steel chassis too. Moto Guzzi tilted the engine forwards slightly although weight balance remains the same. You also get a livelier ride from the new steering geometry that makes cornering even more fun.
Moto Guzzi released the V7 III in 2017 and it came with improved suspension, a redesigned gearbox and clutch, more powerful Euro4-compliant motor and the ability to add smartphone connectivity. They built the same three models as with the Mk II, but not all countries got every model. Some countries got a special Anniversario model based on the Racer but featuring more chrome. There were also Carbon, Milano and Rough variants, which were all styling tweaks.
Moto Guzzi have done numerous short run ‘Specials’. Released In 2015, we got the V7 Clubman Racer Verde Legnano Special Edition and 2016 brought us the fantastic Stornello Scrambler, so there are many styling variations on the basic design. Moto Guzzi took factory customisation to a whole new level with the V7, long may it continue.
Moto Guzzi V7 Review Latest News
The 2021 Moto Guzzi V7 boasts an increased capacity of 850cc for the V twin engine, but keeps the simplicity of the 2 valves per cylinder air cooled design. That gives you 53.8 lb.ft of torque and 64bhp at 6800rpm, an almost 25% increase in torque and power. You do feel that increase as soon as you twist the throttle too. You will find that the power is higher up the rev range on the new model, but the strong midrange torque takes you there with no fuss. Rear suspension of the 2021 Moto Guzzi V7 was also improved. New Kayaba rear shock absorbers have beenfitted. They have a longer throw and give a better ride than the original shocks.
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