With the V7 Classic, Moto Guzzi is hoping to recapture some of the character and style of the original 1967 V7, whose 703cc 90˚ v-twin helped define the company for decades to come. Unfortunately, it looks like the company has failed to do either, laboring the bike with not only an anemic 50bhp engine, but also inaccurate design.
The V7's look was defined not only by its shapely gas tank and
weird engine, but also by its exposed horizontal frame rails. The new V7 hides its non-horizontal frame beneath the
tank and plastic side covers, resulting in a product that, despite its
elegantly simple graphics and good color choices, ends up looking
Lacking its equally influenced-not-accurate competitors' — bikes like
Ducati's Sport Classic range or the Triumph Thruxton — modern
performance, we're left wondering to whom Moto Guzzi intends to sell these. A solid original, weighing less than the Classic's 189kg dry weight and making more than 60bhp, will outperform this new bike, looks much better
and can be had for around the same price. A used Triumph Bonneville is
equally inaccurate and share's the Guzzi's poor performance (can you
imagine using Triumph or Guzzi in the same sentence as poor performance
40 years ago?), but is widely available for considerably less.
We wish Moto Guzzi would catch on to what Triumph's doing with the rest
of its range. Instead of building bad bikes that only have heritage
going for them, the company desperately needs to look at what characteristics
originally made Guzzis great: a unique sense of style and class
combined with hair-raising performance, and develop a modern
interpretation that can sell based on merit, not memory. We're holding out hope for a 1200cc, 175kg Le Mans that combines Aprilia RSV-R Factory-level performance with its own unique take on cafe racer style.