Hit­ting the half cen­tury

Old Bike Australasia - - SUITABLE PARTNERS - Test Jim Scaysbrook Pho­tos Ben Galli

It was way back in ’67 when the V7 Moto Guzzi broke cover. Since then, the 90-de­gree V twin, with cylin­ders set across the frame and the crank­shaft run­ning fore and aft, has come to de­fine the mar­que, and the lat­est vari­ant – the third ex­am­ple of the 750cc V7 range – con­tin­ues the tra­di­tion.

To cel­e­brate such an im­por­tant mile­stone, Moto Guzzi have re­leased three ver­sions – the Spe­cial, Stone and the racer. Four in fact, if you could in­clude the very lim­ited edi­tion (750 made, only 20 com­ing to Aus­tralia) An­niver­sario.

We tested the V7 III in both Spe­cial and Stone ver­sions, the lat­ter be­ing the en­try model priced at a re­spectable $12990. All ver­sions boast a 10% in­crease in power over the V7 II; the re­sult of an all-new en­gine with a new crank­shaft de­sign and a com­pletely re­designed top end. The cylin­der head, still with two valves per cylin­der, is now of a hemi­spher­i­cal com­bus­tion cham­ber de­sign, and as well as the in­creased per­for­mance, all the changes are directed at mak­ing the V7 III com­pli­ant with ever-tougher Euro 4 emis­sion laws. A sin­gle body Marelli elec­tronic fuel in­jec­tion sys­tem con­trols the mix­ture and how it is burnt. I spent most of my time on the new Spe­cial, which is a more tra­di­tional de­sign than the edgy Stone. The Spe­cial has twin in­stru­ments, a plusher seat with a grab rail for the pas­sen­ger, spoked wheels on al­loy rims and Kayaba rear shocks giv­ing 93 mm of travel. Up front is a sin­gle Brembo caliper work­ing on a 320mm disc, and de­spite its pedes­trian ap­pear­ance, pro­vides ex­cel­lent stop­ping power. The seat is low, just 770 mm from the road, and the alu­minium footrests set rea­son­ably high, al­though you can still drag them through cor­ners with­out too much trou­ble. Be­ing brand new, the en­gine was tight, and an in-built red warn­ing light tells you to take it easy on the mo­tor dur­ing the run­ning in pe­riod. This rev-ceil­ing can be ad­justed as the en­gine gains a few kilo­me­tres. Even in brand new form, the en­gine buzzes along lustily, with 52hp on tap and plenty of mid-range torque. It’s a fun bike to ride with no vices and ex­cel­lent han­dling.

Chas­sis-wise, the V7 III main­tains the time-hon­oured dou­ble cra­dle lay­out, but the front end has been com­pletely re­designed and strength­ened, with re­vised steer­ing ge­om­e­try for sharper han­dling. A sys­tem called Moto Guzzi Trac­tion Con­trol (MGCT) pro­vides two lev­els, and can also be turned off (which I did) via the same but­ton on the right switch block that ac­ti­vates the elec­tric starter. I think this is largely su­per­flu­ous ex­cept for rid­ing across frozen lakes but is nev­er­the­less mar­keted as a safety bonus. The Stone sports black ex­haust pipes and a sin­gle in­stru­ment, with no chrome and a matt (satin) fin­ish in­stead of the gloss on the Spe­cial. Should you be lucky enough to get your hands on one of the 20 An­niver­sario be­ing im­ported, what you will re­ceive is a Spe­cial-based model with a chrome plated fuel tank with lock­ing bil­let alu­minium cap and a leather strap, a brown leather seat, al­loy mud­guards, and a stamped plate show­ing the in­di­vid­ual num­ber of the 750 be­ing pro­duced. All for $16,990 plus ORC. As is the norm th­ese days, there is a truly mas­sive ar­ray of gen­uine ac­ces­sories avail­able for all mod­els, but even in stan­dard trim, the V7 III rep­re­sents a highly de­sir­able se­ries with stacks of her­itage in a thor­oughly up to date mo­tor­cy­cle.

MAIN Ex­er­cis­ing the V7 III Spe­cial. BOT­TOM V7 III Spe­cial gets twin in­stru­ments.

LEFT Plush seat for the V7 III Spe­cial. RIGHT Plenty of black dis­tin­guishes the Stone.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.