Words/Photos: Bob Pickett
Moto Guzzi has been making motorcycles from its Mandello del Lario factory since 1921, and its V7 is an undeniable nod to its long, illustrious history.
First launched in 2008, the V7 Special came along in 2012, before the third-generation V7 III Special arrived in 2017. That’s the one we’ve been riding.
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Moto Guzzi V7 III specs
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.
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.
What nick is it in?
This bike had one owner from new, and they kept it in immaculate condition.
What is 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.
Thanks to the guys at East London Kawasaki/Bacons Motorcycles. Here are their details:
737741 Eastern Avenue, Ilford, Essex IG2 7RT,
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