The first thing that hit me when I walked up to the V7 wasn’t anything to do with how it might ride or perform…it was the looks. For me the combination of teal blue and orange was absolutely gorgeous, oddly reminiscent of the late 1960’s Porsche LeMans race cars in Gulf colours. I know this is a bit shallow, but there you go and the look of the latest generation of retro bikes is key to their appeal. As the trend in biking seems to continue to swing from sports bikes and sports touring towards ‘adventure’, naked and retro bikes the little Guzzi V7 is ‘on-trend’ and has pretty much nailed the retro look. With a transverse V-twin motor and shaft drive transmission the bloodline back to the classic 70’s Moto Guzzi is direct and unbroken. This isn’t a ‘tribute’ band type of bike, a Counterfeit Stones to the Rolling Stones, no this is the real deal. But all the modern amenities are there too, fuel injected Euro 4 compliant engine, traction control., ABS. The Guzzi even has a simple trip computer!
Get aboard and the upright position with just the slight lean forward gives you that classically sporting stance, but relaxed, un-flustered. Big tradition analogue dials for speed and revs are crisp and classically presented. Thumb the starter and the V7 comes to life with a little shiver to remind you that you are on a V twin. Less pronounced that the larger V9, but still evident and still welcome. Snick into 1st and it immediately becomes obvious this bike has sweet drive train, certainly when compared to its bigger brother the V9 Bobber I also rode on the same day. The special is a ‘proper’ motor bike, everything has a solid feel and there is no plastic adornment on the bike. However, like the V9, it really needs some decent aftermarket pipes to release the V twin character the regulated pipes are busily strangling the bike in order to meet noise regulations.
Once on the road I really enjoyed myself. The 750 doesn’t produce much power…52bhp and 60Nm of torque, but it is enough whisk around the country lanes of Worcestershire at a decent lick. This is no sports bike, but it isn’t trying to be and really is fun to ride….the bakes and suspension cope well with the power and get into a grove and on a sunny day and on classic English A and B roads this bike is a honey to ride. You don’t feel obligated to try too hard, just push on briskly and popping past any traffic that appears. If you want to a major adrenaline rush, buy a MV or a Ducati….this Italian is more about making swift understated progress and looking cool. A bike to ride nowhere in particular and not to a schedule, this is a good thing…a very good thing.
To summarise the Guzzi is beautifully finished bike: delicious detailing abounds from the paintwork, through the badging the chrome etc. This is a bike I really enjoyed. On a sunny afternoon the V7 is the perfect companion….stick on leather jacket, some wrap around shades and an open face lid and just go out and enjoy the ride. Drink in your surroundings, stop for a coffee, take your time appreciate the niceties of life