When do bikers actually love or at least like their machine? A look at the top 10 motorcycle registrations proves that Germany stands for model boys. All good motorcycles, no question. But could it be that the best motorcycles with the fewest defects appear here, not the best ones? Our test object is different: we drive the characterful Moto Guzzi V7, which is definitely not one thing: mainstream.
A friend of mine is a football fan (don't worry, it's about the Guzzi again). Every Saturday and Sunday in front of the Glotze Fussi, however, is not family-compatible. So the cuts on the radio have to be enough, but according to him they are always interrupted by Tina Turner songs. Why do you think that's the case?
The answer is simple: because it's not what most people like on the radio that's played, but what doesn't bother most. And here the circle closes: One could well put forward the theory that motorcycle manufacturers shy away from mistakes rather than particularly outstanding properties that may be anathing. And so the case for the tested Moto Guzzi V7: Many people look at the mopeds, but preferably german or Japanese.
The Guzzi is a true character head, and basically unchanged. The V7 was first introduced in 1967, and the third generation has been launched since 2019 after a long production break. Of course, this is a new construction and not a screw identical to the original model – but nevertheless this is not a retro bike like the Kawa Z 900 RS, but the Moto Guzzi looks as if it has simply been built since the 60s. Today you can literally hear the developers at the dinner in front of the Siesta wrestling with the question whether one should really have installed the ABS, after all, it would have gone 40 years without this new-fashioned nonsense.
It was enough for the ABS, also for 52 hp from the longitudinal built-in V2. A gimbal pushes its torque and horsepower to the rear wheel, which is unusual overall. Crisp the look: Our version is black with green longitudinal stripe, but there are five others. Sometimes with chrome, sometimes matte, sometimes colorful. All in all, they all have one thing in common: if a child were to paint a motorcycle, it would be quite close to the Moto Guzzo V7. A Naked Bike, as they say today, used to be simply called ... Motorcycle.
Then let's go, jet through today's here and now.
The casual swing on the bike immediately promotes it: the Guzzi is a small bike. A total of 2.18 meters is only long, and the seat height is low at 770 millimeters. This may please smaller people, long-legged people will have to contend with the tight knee angle. Great pleasure when looking at the cockpit: two analog, chrome-framed round instruments illuminate the driver, and he automatically beams back. That is how it must be.
But what is it? In the speedometer on the left there is a small field. The key rotation brings it to light: a small on-board computer shows things like the filling levels, mileage and more, which is rather unimportant for driving.
The side stand up, the first gear in and can go. Two things stand out: Guzzi does not offer a main stand for the V7. This is common with Naked Bikes, but with the Guzzi necessary, because this would further limit the already scarce slant freedom. The clear "Klong" when inserting the first makes it clear, secondly, that the V7 is a thoroughly mechanical bike. Here the biker is ignited, puffed, klongted, the biker becomes part of the machine.
Gnarled, but sufficiently precise, it continues in the gearbox. It can be switched well, only the idling, which likes to hide. Surprisingly strong is the engine: its red range starts already at 6,500 rpm, it has felt more than 52 hp (at 6,200) and 60 Nm of torque at 4,900 rpm. Also great is the sound from the two chrome-plated tailpipes of the V2, dull lymerating and never too loud, it accompanies the driver.
The sitting position is sporty, but not uncomfortable. The bench is comfortable, but too short for passenger operation. The Guzzi is, as already mentioned, a small motorcycle. At 213 kilos, it's also a relatively light one, which makes her good-natured and easy to steer in curves. The work of the stereo rear suspension was not quite as convincing in the test: the Guzzi resonates on long ground waves, while short shocks mean a dry thrust into the butt. Not to be misunderstood, this is never uncertain.
What remains as a conclusion? The Moto Guzzi V7 can be found in an unfamiliar neighborhood: Similar to choppers or super athletes, the Guzzi serves a relatively small target group. The brand's fans appreciate what others may find quirky.
A motorcycle like this will never make it into the top 10 of the registration statistics. It is not difficult to see this as a value in itself with the immensely characterful Moto Guzzi.
The test bike was provided to us by ZTS in Hamburg.