Moto Guzzi V7 (2012) Review

I have long been tempted to own a Moto Guzzi. This  feeling goes right back to the early days of my biking ‘career’ when a mate let me loose on his V50 Monza. It was quite a contrast to the RD250LC I rode back at the time. A couple of years later I booked a demonstrator ride on a V65 Lario: The first of the multi-valve models from Guzzi and a sort of mini LeMans. Again I was rather smitten. Then I tried a LeMans itself, a IV, which I utterly loved. On the same day I also tried a Spada III which I was not so keen on.

The Guzzi Continued to Elude me

Somehow the years passed and the itch has remained unscratched, despite Moto Guzzi making several models over the years that I have liked. Most recently it is the compact V7 and it’s ‘Racer’ derivative that have appealed to me the most. Therefore when a friend came up to visit for an excellent biking weekend I gladly accepted his offer to take his brand new V7 for a ride.

Despite the less than ideal conditions on a dank and miserable November morning the little V7 was nothing less than an utterly charming machine. In a throwback to my earlier experiences the 750 V-twin was again a contrast to my revy four cylinder and two stroke bikes, to a point where I actually managed to stall the thing as I pulled away. I can’t remember the last time I did that on a bike!

A Proper Bike

Anyway I soon settled down and got on with enjoying a marvellous, proper motorbike. Stylish without trying too hard, as perhaps its flashy brother the ‘Racer’ does. The cool black colour scheme is perfect too. The fit and finish looked good and especially liked the traditional Moto Guzzi name plate emblazoned on the tank. Matched by a neat graphic  white script on the back of the seat too.

The performance was never going to be startling with only 50 bhp served up, but it was fine and the bike was happy around the 60-90 mph mark. It swept along the 11 miles of the A448 from Brigdnorth back towards Kidderminster as we crossed the border between Shropshire and Worcestershire. The bends were tackled with a smooth, planted aplomb. The Guzzi lapping it up. I was very at ease with the bike at once, my only negative would be that the foot-pegs could do with being shifted back just a touch. I can imagine covering many a pleasurable mile on this bike, enjoying a brisk pace but really just revelling in the joy of riding an uncomplicated bike in an uncomplicated way: Allowing you to just take in your surroundings and just enjoy being out there.

Pete, cheers for the ride…you have set me thinking again….

Words and Pictures: Tony Donnelly

Update: Twelve years on, still no Guzzi in the garage…One Day