Moto-Guzzi V7 Stone (2008-present): Honest, sporty feeling from the past.

     Engine: The air cooled, V2 90°, five speed, 744 c.c. engine delivers 50 bhp/ 6200 rpm. and 6.1 kgm/ 2800 rpm (44.25 ft lbs) torque, claimed figures. 
      Actually the sound of the starter – engine during start-up is genuinely classic. Thus its a spontaneous process, as soon the engine is started, rider begins a 30 years time travel to the past. The soundtrack of the air cooled V2 engine is always a distinctive companion. The longitudinal crankshaft mounting creates a torque reaction that tends to twist the motorcycle to the right side when opening the throttle in neutral. Final drive is shaft. 
      Depending on the selected speed at the gearbox, the engine will require at least 2500 rpm. in order to provide surge-free acceleration. The engine operation at the lowest area of the powerband is very good due to the fuel injection, while normally a twin cylinder engine fed by carburetors normally would require higher revs for smooth operation. The torque provided at the lowest spectrum of the powerband is quite good. Thus the area around 3000 rpm is adequate for everyday town rides while sporty riding will require at least 4000 rpm. 
     Engine performance is very linear, it will not be thrilling in the case of an experienced rider. The rev limiter intervenes violently at 7300 rpm indicated figure at the rpm meter, resulting in some serious surging. Thus the most enjoyable engine spectrum is between 3 to 5000 rpm. Sometimes during the test the second speed could not be engaged during up-shifting. An indicative average fuel consumption figure is 5.5 l/100 km (51.4 mpg Imperial). 
     Riding position: The height of the saddle is normal, 805 mm. (31.7 in.), which will permit a confident foot on the road even to average stature riders. This is great news, since the weight of the bike is increased, 179 kg (394.6 lbs), nominal weight without fuel. That is almost exempting female riders. 
      Rider is seated in and over the bike, riding position is almost neutral. Actually its slightly leaning forward, although the handlebar is wide and high. 
     The pillion is seated slightly higher than the rider, the saddle is rather narrow and hard for her/him. Pillion¢s knees form a sharp angle, while the handgrips are quite low. Thus the pillion could hold her/himself from the gap which is formed at the rear of the saddle. 
     The dimensions of the bike are normal, except from the width. Especially the fuel tank and the cylinders are narrower than expected. 
     On the road: A 40 mm fork is equipped at the front and twin shock absorbers at the rear. The shocks may be adjusted for spring preload. The suspensions feel comparatively soft. The suspension travel is 130 mm at the front and 118 mm at the rear. 
     OE tires are Metzeler Lazertec with dimensions 100/80-18 at the front and 130/80-17 at the rear. They are considered suitable for the character of the bike, they are good for a new-retro bike. However in absolute terms they are average. 
      In town the V7 provides nice and quite retro styled rides. The operation of the engine is enjoyable. 
      On downtown rides the V7 is slightly bigger than ideal for the rider. Thus if there is no hurry for the rider, the V7 is superb, if rider has to commute though, then a scooter is also necessary to the owner. Steering lock is quite good, it will be very helpful to downtown rides.
      Filtering is relatively good. The height of the handlebar is the same with that of car mirrors, while the mirrors of the bike are higher, although that means close to SUV mirrors. Guzzi¢s agility is average for downtown use, its not an obstacle though. 
      Urban imperfections are absorbed relatively well. Specifically small bumps are absorbed very well, however large imperfections are felt by the rider quite vividly. 
      On B-roads the conservative steering geometry and the weight of the bike are noticed. Thus agility is average while on the contrary, stability is increased. This matches quite well with the laid-back engine performance and the new-retro riding position, resulting to delightful rides. 

      At the fast pace, with the body leaning to the inside of the bends, feedback to the rider is decreased, rider will just notice the rear wheel skidding at the exits on slippery roads. 
     In a more traditional way of cornering, leaning the body at the same degree with the bike, (yeah like those times…), riding is much more enjoyable and quite as fast on the road. Suspensions are slightly soft for such a pace, thus a little more preload at the shocks is welcomed. 
      On the highway, the most comfortable travelling speed is 140 km/h (87 mph). Air resistance is not a big issue yet, while the engine operation is pleasant with some instant power available. Slightly faster at 160 km/h (99 mph), engine revs are increased to 6300 rpm., engine starts to feel stressed. Top speed is 180 km/h (112 mph) indicated figures. 
      On dirt roads the V7 is very good, comfortable and robust. The comfort provided is also due to the larger 18 inch wheel at the front. Here the front brake is very good, although the rear brake operates like an on/off switch, contrary to the superb on-road operation. 
      A single 320 mm  rotor together with a four piston caliper is equipped at the front and a 260 mm rotor together with a two-pots caliper at the rear. The front brake provides relatively good power, no initial bite and relatively good feedback. Due to the soft fork, the diving of the front end is great in case of powerful braking, which moderates extensively the feedback to the rider. The rear brake provides good stopping power, initial bite and feedback to the rider. It requires decent tarmac though, as it is rather powerful. 
      Model history/versions/optional/build quality/finish: The design of this engine goes back to 1977, the year that the Moto Guzzi V50 was introduced. The …reincarnation of the engine occurred in 2008, while it was extensively modified in 2012. 
     There are three versions, the Stone, Special and Racer. The last one provides a more aggressive riding position, improved suspensions and polished fuel tank. The rims are also different in each of the three versions. 
     The fuel cap is not supported, which does not coincide with the price of this motorcycle. An external air temperature indication and a trip meter are provided. The rims are nice. 
     Two Arrow silencers, Bitubo shocks, a large screen, a centre stand, hard 20 l panniers, a single seat, a two-up gel seat, a two-up lower (785 mm- 30.9 in.) gel seat and a rack are optional equipment. The Racer version gets the Record optional equipment package which makes her look like an Italian racer of the 70s. Build quality and finish are very good. 
     Comments: The styling is plain, especially at the white color of the bike tested, as if the owner should focus more on riding the bike than admiring her. The opposite is the case with the Classic and especially the Racer versions as it can be seen at the  photos, where the owner could spend much time just by staring at the bike. The price of the Stone and Classic is really close. The clocks are also simple, reminding of the Veglia-Borletti instruments of the 70s. 
     Ôhe V7 is an integrated retro motorbike which will fulfill the expectations of the owner, asking only minor compromises and providing large doses of the sensation of the past. 
Price Stone: 8050 ¤ 

Price Classic: 8250 ¤ 

Price Racer: 10050 ¤ 

+ Pure classic bike sensation 

+ Minor compromises asked 

 - Absolute power output (which is adequate for the character of the bike though)


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