Back to the future
Guzzi’s V7 is a modern take on a classic
Gorgeous: The Guzzi V7 owes a lot in basic design to the 1960s V7 MANUFACTURERS have found that nostalgia never ages and companies with long histories are plundering their back-catalogue for inspiration.
The modern Guzzi V7 owes a lot in basic design and layout to the 1960s V7 with its transverse V-twin engine and shaft drive, but that’s it.
VALUE At $13,990, the V7 sits between its main modern classic rivals, the Triumph Bonneville ($12,490-$13,990) and Ducati GT 1000 ($17,990-$18,990). Its value is in its maintenance-free shaft drive and attention to build quality, and details such as a lockable petrol cap.
TECHNOLOGY As in the 1960s V7, this model is a naked shaft-drive bike with a bench seat, wide bars and a 90-degree V-twin engine.
Unlike the original V7, it has Brembo disc brakes, WeberMarelli electronic fuel injection and Marzocchi forks. So while it may look like a well-restored classic, it goes, turns and stops like a modern bike.
Spoked wheels, big rear fender, single front disc, twin shocks, single headlight and twin clock-shaped instruments are the hallmark of classic uncluttered design.
Add to that the shaped tank, the deep chrome and the excellent build quality and you have a beautiful bike.
Modern touches include the small LCD screens in each instrument ‘‘ clock’’, the Moto Guzzi logo that lights up on the instruments, the Brembos, braided lines and smooth EFI. Triumph kept the traditional carbie shape for its EFI unit and Guzzi at least retains what looks like a traditional choke — a manually operated fastidle lever on the handlebar.
RIDING All Guzzis have that ‘‘ torque effect’’ of slightly rocking sideways with the throttle. It is less pronounced now, easy to get used to and a quirky characteristic that no true Guzzi fan would be without.
The EFI is very smooth from idle, making tight manoeuvres, commuting and roundabouts a breeze.
Despite the single front disc, there is plenty of stopping power and plenty of progressive feel back to the lever.
Its suspension seems better sorted than those of the Triumph and Ducati. Its 18-inch front wheel retains the style of the Bonneville’s 19-incher while almost matching the nimble turn-in of the GT’s 17-inch wheel. The narrow 130mm rear tyre also helps with turn-in.
Touring is easy, with the comfortable riding position, stress-free engine, and fivespeed transmission complemented by the windscreen and rack. The 19.5-litre fuel tank gives almost 400km of highway range.
VERDICT It looks gorgeous, has great build quality, will commute, handle and tour. A perfect package for those who like simpler motorcycling.
at a glance
Moto Guzzi V7 PRICE $13,990
ENGINE 744cc, 4-valve, fuel-injected V-twin; Power: 35.5kW@ 6800rpm; Torque: 54.7Nm@ 3600rpm
FUELTANK 19.5L (2.5L res)