Moto Guzzi V7 Classic 750 (2011) Motorcycle Review New Motorcycles New Zealand

7 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Moto Guzzi V7 Classic 750 (2011) Motorcycle Review New Motorcycles New Zealand
Moto Guzzi V7 750 Sport
Moto Guzzi V7 750 Sport

Moto Guzzi V7 Classic 750 (2011) Review

2011 Moto Guzzi V7 Classic 750

A European motorcycle owner is a rider who enjoys being different. Even though today’s Japanese manufacturers produce a stunning array of machinery, the Europeans’ are getting stronger with each passing year. Moto Guzzi is one such Italian marque that has quite a following in New Zealand and, under the Piaggio Group umbrella since 2004, has been increasing both its range offering and popularity.

This month’s 2011 Moto Guzzi V7 Classic 750 test bike is supplied by NV motorcycles of Morrinsville, and is for sale at $12,500 including an awesome set of new Mistral exhaust pipes that simply have to be heard to be appreciated.

With so many 1000cc to 1200cc mainstream machines on the market, there’s plenty of big motorcycles to choose from. So why would you want a 750? The V7 Classic may not have all the power in the world compared to others, but I reckon that’s its advantage.

The power available on my own 1200cc Suzuki means I mostly only ride it below 5000rpm, which is well in the range of what the V7 Classic is capable of, and spare.

Yet there’s far more to it than just engine capacity. The V7 Classic pulls no tricks as it’s a simple motorcycle; simple to ride, that is. Its low maintenance shaft drive will inspire some folk, and only two cylinders with two valves each might get someone going, but I think its the old school styling that would bring the buyers’ in.

Plus, it’s a particularly good starting point for a rider getting back into motorcycling.

Riding the V7 Classic 750 also feels like an old school experience as the riding style takes me back to many bikes of the seventies. Somehow it feels smaller than a 750. The handlebars are pretty high while the nearly flat seat is quite low.

And a great steering lock allowed me to perform ‘U’ turns on a narrow road.

Out on the road the Moto Guzzi doesn’t like being shoved into a corner with the expectation it’ll punch you out the other side. It rewards a smooth riding style where the rider plans the approach, chops down a gear or two to reduce speed rather than braking, gets a lean on and gently accelerates away to the next corner. Sweeping lines with the same throttle position were a definite treat, made all the more fun because the V7 has narrow 100/90/18 and 130/80/17 section Metzeler tyres which allowed me to change my line easily, and without the fuss you have on a bike with a large rear tyre.

Gravel sections were easy too; the V7 was one of the few road bikes I’ve ridden of late that I felt really confident on, leading me to wonder if the front wheel was larger than 17 diameter. A quick tyre inspection after my ride confirmed the front is 18, with a 17 hoop on the rear.

With no fairing you’re out in the wind, which in itself suits the power of the V7 Classic 750, as during my ride I never wanted to or even needed to wring its neck, to see what it would do. It’s perfect for many riders nowadays.


The smooth V-twin powerplant has more than enough poke for most good riders, but the way it delivers that power makes all the difference to your ride. The motor produces all of its torque in the low-mid rev range, allowing me to keep it in the same gear for longer between the turns. Although the rev limiter kicked in approaching 8000rpm, the engine began to run out of puff around the 7000rpm mark.

So anywhere between about four to six grand I found the best way to accelerate was to just change up a gear, and let the V-twin’s torque do all the legwork.

Even without adjustable front suspension and only preload-adjustable twin rear shocks, the tall-geared Guzzi takes all the corners in its long stride. I couldn’t feel any of the old shaft drive ‘dip’ going into a corner when off throttle, nor ‘rise’ when powering out of a turn. Or even any shaft drive snatch.

Fast and slow corners were a treat to sweep through or duck around and if, like me, you find yourself entering a turn with too much speed, all you have to do to save the day is pull on the front Brembo anchor to scrub off excess speed. I got into the habit of leaving it in third and fourth a lot and using the engine braking to do the usual slowing. The truth of it is I was mesmerised by the beautiful howl coming for the German-built Mistral pipes that Nick Kampenhout fitted in the shop after trading it.

The V7 Classic may only have a single disc up front but slowing from any speed was never a problem, largely thanks to its four-piston Brembo front brake caliper. Brake-feel at the lever was also superb, adding even more enjoyment to my ride.

Moto Guzzi owners are very passionate and seldom trade them in, they just keep adding to the collection as the years roll by. Having said that, with 1950 miles showing on the imperial speedo (3130km), this 2011 V7 Classic 750 was traded on a 1200 Sports 4V model.

V7 Maintenance

The maintenance plan is every 8000km. It’s shaft driven with an independent gearbox, engine and diff, so it uses three different oils. It’s a pushrod engine, so we adjust the valve clearances every 10,000 to 15,000km.

You’d be looking at a bill of say $300 – $350 max, it’s very simple, says Nick Kampenhout from NV Motorcycles.

Things to look for when buying a pre-loved Moto Guzzi? The biggest thing would be to check going through the gears, says Nick. Make sure they aren’t trying to find themselves when you change gear, let them select so they pull through cleanly.

If you feel it when you grab the gear lever with your foot and you feel the gear intermittently and then lock through, I’d say the dogs are wearing. Probably from high mileage; a lot of earlier machines, early ’90s, were renowned for that.

Nick also says to check any gearbox and diff noises, such as a whine because someone may have run it low on oil. A compression check always answers the big question. Look for oil leaks from the rear main bearing of the engine; if there’s any sign of leakage it dribbles oil onto the clutch plates and you’re left with a slipping clutch.

To repair this, the frame actually lifts off the engine, but Nick reckons it’s very easy.

Get it to a trusted bike shop for an appraisal. It may cost $40 or $60 but they do a 40 point check.

Feel free to make a comment or ask us a question about this story on the Motorcycle Trader page.

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