Moto Guzzi V7 Classic – Motorbikes Reviews, News & Advice – bikepoint.com.au

26 Apr 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Moto Guzzi V7 Classic – Motorbikes Reviews, News & Advice – bikepoint.com.au
Moto Guzzi V7 Classic

Moto Guzzi V7 Classic

Moto Guzzi’s timeless V7 Classic takes us back to a simpler age

Faithful retro lines

Ease of use

Excellent fuel economy

Experienced riders may want a little more ‘oomph’

Retro sells, and bikes are no exception. Triumph has its Bonnevilles, Ducati has its SportClassics and now Moto Guzzi – a marque equally steeped in history and racing glory – has its V7 Classic.

The very first V7 rolled out of Moto Guzzi’s Mandello del Lario factory back in 1967. That was a 703cc V-twin, and it was the founding father of Moto Guzzi’s line of transverse V-twins – a line that of course continues to this day.

Today’s V7 Classic is styled more after 1971’s V7 Sport, just without the bum-stop seat and front drum brake. Of course the modern V7 makes the most of nearly four decades of automotive progress, and the end result is a thoroughly pleasing machine, both in terms of aesthetics and its suitability for its target market.

The V7 Classic is, in essence, an ideal first ‘big bike’; it’s an easy-to-ride machine that looks a million bucks and won’t land you in hot water – well, not unless you’re really trying. With modest power and torque figures and a manageable weight, it’s more about style, back-to-basics motorcycling and fun, rather than outright performance.

PRICE AND EQUIPMENT

At the core of the V7 Classic is a theme of simplicity, and as such you won’t find much in the way of either ‘bells’ or ‘whistles’. For a start it’s as naked as the day you were born, which many would argue is a big part of its retro appeal.

A tubular steel cradle holds a transverse 90-degree V-twin, and this powerplant is deserving of a little history lesson in its own right. It’s basically the same unit as you’ll find in Moto Guzzi’s Breva 750 – the present day roadster with more up-to-the-minute styling. With a capacity of 744cc you might initially think it could pack quite a punch, but in essence the technology employed here isn’t cutting edge.

In fact, for many years this engine called the Moto Guzzi Nevada home, that particular model dating back to mid ’90s. Admittedly it’s fed by a Weber-Marelli electronic fuel injection system (Moto Guzzi was one of the bike world’s early adopters of EFI), but this donk has two valves per cylinder, not four, and it relies on air cooling. Compression is a fairly low (by today’s standards) 9.6:1, and for the bottom line Moto Guzzi is claiming 48hp at 6800rpm and 55Nm at 3600rpm.

The go is laid down to the ground via a five-speed gearbox and shaft final drive, while the spent gasses exit via two flowing chromed mufflers that sweep along the majority of the length of the bike.

Handling the bumps is a non-adjustable 40mm conventional fork from Marzocchi. Doing duty at the rear is a pair of shocks from Sachs, each adjustable for preload via threaded collars.

Thankfully the original V7’s drum brake has made way for a single floating 320mm stainless steel disc, gripped by a four-piston Brembo caliper. You’ll find a 260mm disc at the rear, this mated to a twin-piston stopper.

Behind the classic round headlight you’ll find a stylish set of instruments. There’s a needle-and-clock-style speedo and tacho, each with a small LCD display, giving you either trip or odometer info, and the time or the ambient temperature. Nestled just above the dials is a cluster of the usual idiot lights, all of which are recessed into a black plastic surround.

The Moto Guzzi V7 Classic retails for $14,990 plus ORC, and is available in either white, or black with gold stripes.

ON THE ROAD

If you’ve got even the slightest hint of passion for old iron, it’s difficult not to fall in love with the V7’s simple, uncluttered lines, understated graphics and sparkling chrome.

On paper the V7 appears underwhelming – with less than 50hp, and a claimed dry weight of 182kg, we’re certainly not looking at track day fare. However, after an admittedly all-too-brief 150km strop through the hills, I found that once again here Moto Guzzi has created a machine that’s undeniably more than the sum of its parts.

Throw your leg over the firmish, square-edged seat, turn the key in the ignition, thumb the starter and listen to the V-twin beneath you stir into life. The stock pipes are muted, but they still have enough of a V-twin pulse to stir your blood. The bike shudders and shakes as its lumpy idle takes hold, but – like the slight torque reaction when you blip the throttle, care of the transverse engine layout – that’s all part of this bike’s soul.

Moto Guzzi V7 Classic
Moto Guzzi V7 Classic

Pull in the light clutch, feed in a couple of thousand revs and you’re away, the V7 lunging forward with a pleasing degree of urgency. It might not be power packed, but this is certainly a flexible, torquey engine, and the bulk of its torque is found right where you want it. Sitting on 100km/h in top of its five-speed gearbox will register a shade under 4000rpm on the tacho, so it’s relaxed enough for all-day cruising, even if its lack of bodywork means you’ll be sticking pretty closely to open-road speed limits.

There’s a juicy wave of grunt to be surfed from 3000rpm to 6000rpm. It’ll happily rev harder, but to be honest there’s little to be gained in doing so, and if you find yourself caning a V7 Classic then really you’re missing the point. The shaking at idle quickly evens out when you’re underway, and in general this is quite a smooth operator.

The vibes do build in the upper reaches of its rev range, but – as already stated – there’s little reason to take the bike there.

The fuel injection is spot-on, being crisp and responsive yet not overly so at around-town speeds, and the gearbox, while not the slickest unit I’ve come across, by any stretch, does a decent job nevertheless.

In the city the V7 is a delight. It’s really very slim – its fuel tank in particular – and with a good steering range, an upright ride position, a low centre of gravity and light controls, it’ll flit its way through any traffic gridlock with ease. That torquey engine delivers enough poke to keep all but mega-buck sports cars honest from a standing start, and its handling is on the money too.

Yep, once again, the suspension and brake package mightn’t redefine performance, but it all works surprisingly well. Combined, the front and rear stoppers pull the V7 up quickly and securely. There’s not much in the way of bite here, just progressive power and feel – perfect for relative newcomers to motorcycling.

The steering is wonderfully neutral, and the sure-footed way it tips in and then tracks through a bend – no doubt helped along by its 18-inch front wheel – brings a glow to your heart. On a winding road through the hills east of Melbourne I found there was plenty of fun to be had on a V7, even if the speeds were significantly down on more sporting fare. It’s all about making the most of what you’ve got.

Fuel economy is excellent. Over the course of my short run – which included highway, city traffic and mountain twisties – the V7 returned an impressive 19.6km/lt. With a 17lt tank, that give you a workable range of around 300km.

I love the V7’s styling, and evidently I’m not alone. I stopped off at two cafés on my loop through town and country, and two separate people on each occasion approached the bike with admiring glances, wanting to know more.

Downsides? Well, I can’t help think it’s a shame that the V7’s 744cc engine capacity puts it out of reach of the bulk of the Learner Approved Motorcycle Scheme legislation now in place in much of the country. This really is an ideal learner machine – forgiving but fun in equal measure.

I also think that, at $14,990, it’ll come off second best if potential buyers put it head to head with Triumph’s Bonneville. The Bonnie may be 21kg heavier, but it’s packing an extra 20-odd horsepower and an extra 1.4kg-m of torque too – in an equally well-executed retro package, worth $2500 less.

If this is a niche that appeals, I suspect the ultimate decider will be whether you have a natural leaning towards red, white and green, or red, white and blue.

SPECIFICATIONS – MOTO GUZZI V7 CLASSIC


Moto Guzzi V7 Classic
Moto Guzzi V7 Classic
Moto Guzzi V7 Classic
Moto Guzzi V7 Classic
Moto Guzzi V7 Classic
Moto Guzzi V7 Classic

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