Moto Guzzi has been making motorcycles from their Mandello del Lario factory since 1921. The V7 Special is a nod to Guzzi’s long history, launched in 2012, with annual updates leading to the Model III, the one that we rode. The bike we rode was fitted with Mistral Exhausts.
Give me some spec
A 748cc, 90 degree air-cooled transverse twin with shaft drive makes 52bhp @6,200rpm and 44.2lb-ft of torque @ 4,900rpm, housed in a stainless steel double cradle frame.
Seat height is 770mm. Wet weight is 209kg, hauling this to a stop is a single 320mm disc, with 4-piston Brembo caliper with ABS up front, supported by a single 260mm disc with 2-piston caliper ABS rear, sitting on spoked wheels.
So what is it like to ride?
In photos, the V7 looks like it will be a big, heavy thing. Reality? It’s quite small. That, plus the low seat height and the narrow waist make this an easy bike to get on and feel at home.
You’re tilted toward the low bars, the pegs are forward of centre, combining to create an involving stance.
It pulls away nicely, builds power in a friendly way, then you give the throttle a bit more of a yank… the torque kicks in, the shaft drive dips you to one side as the rear bites, and you’re heading forward with a real surge. Guzzi’s proprietary traction control system is a boon here, keeping it all under control.
Earlier models got comments about the rear being bouncy and imprecise: Not the Model III. Whatever mods Guzzi made worked. The Special’s rear is well damped, keeping it in line with the rest of the bike. Some people find the weight distribution of that transverse twin odd, but I didn’t notice it at all. The lack of ground clearance is never an issue and it is fun to ride on country roads, steering being reassuringly solid and confidence building.
The brakes are sufficient to haul up the Guzzi, the front does dive a touch under firm braking, but it all stays tidy.
The sound of those Mistral pipes is gorgeous. At rest a throaty grumble, as things build that grumble turns into an addictive roar, dropping off the throttle is rewarded with popping and cracking. It’s addictive.
Cons? Not many. Stuck in heavy traffic, that clutch is going to get tiring. And it isn’t always easy to find neutral (put these two together in town, that’s not ideal). But guessing this would get easier with practice.
But the V7 Special is a bike you need to ride without any preconceptions. Take this out and you’ll be more than pleasantly surprised at a bike with genuine soul.
What nick is it in?
This bike had one owner from new, they kept it in immaculate condition.
What’s it worth?
The dealer wants £6,299 for an immaculate 2018 bike with 8,380 miles logged (pre test). Our dealer search found a few, prices ranging from a 2015 bike with 7,050 miles for £4,999 to a 2018 bike with 500 miles for £7,999.
With thanks to East London Kawasaki for the loan of the bike:
East London Kawasaki/Bacons Motorcycles, 737-741 Eastern Avenue, Ilford, Essex IG2 7RT
Tel: 020 8252 6020
- USED BIKE RIDE: Moto Guzzi V7 III Special - 22 June 2021
- Quick spin electric special – the commuter solution - 22 June 2021
- Quick Spin: 2020 Royal Enfield Himalayan - 22 June 2021
Does this get you revved up? Tell us why...
Subscribe to MoreBikes Newspaper
Get MoreBikes delivered through your letterbox every month. 12 issues for £15. Click here for more information.
Get MoreBikes.co.uk Updates
Enter your e-mail address below and you will receive biking news straight into your inbox...
You can unsubscribe at any time.