It’s been 50 years since large-scale production of the Moto Guzzi V7 began, and the Italian brand celebrates the milestone by overhauling its V7 line for 2017. Introduced at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan, the new Moto Guzzi V7 III will be available in four versions – the Stone, Special, Racer and Anniversario, the latter limited to a production run of 750 units.
The origins of Guzzi’s V7 engine reach slightly further back into history, to 1961 when Giulio Cesare Carcano developed a 90-degree V-Twin design intended for the Fiat 500. According to Guzzi, Fiat liked the engine so much it requested more than the Mandello del Lario plant could produce, so an agreement was never reached. A few years later a competition was announced to produce a motorcycle for police that could travel 100,000 kilometers with as little maintenance cost as possible. That’s when the V-Twin engine made its debut on two wheels, and it proved to be a smart move.
The V7 700 was commissioned in 1964 and mass production of the then 703.3cc engine with 40 horsepower began in 1966. The following years saw designer Lino Tonti join Guzzi’s ranks. He expanded the size of the engine and later introduced the five-speed V7 Sport, which displaced 748.3cc and achieved 52 horsepower.
The modern V7 isn’t all that different in terms of displacement and power output. Guzzi has tweaked the package along the way, eventually resulting in the second-generation V7 II announced two years ago at the Intermot show in Germany. It featured revised engine components and positioning, a six-speed transmission, ABS and traction control. The V7 III, Guzzi proclaims, has been “completely revamped.”
Its heart is still a two-valve-per-cylinder, pushrod, 744cc transverse V-Twin with 80mm by 74mm bore and stroke, but the reinforced aluminum crankcase now employs an updated oil sump and revised crankshaft to improve engine response and engine braking. There’s a new oil pump intake duct, bypass valve and piston cooling jets. The aluminum heads, pistons and cylinders are new too. The exhaust system was changed as well with improved insulation, trivalent catalytic converter and double oxygen sensor helping the V7 III achieve Euro 4 compliance. Power output is an estimated 52 horsepower at 6200 rpm and 44.2 lb-ft at 4900 rpm.
The six-speed gearbox introduced on the V7 II is the same on the V7 III, but Guzzi explains that the first and sixth gear ratios are changed to better access the engine’s torque and power.
Chassis changes include a steel, double cradle frame that’s been reinforced at the front and a new set of spring preload adjustable Kayaba shocks with 3.1 inches of travel out back on the Stone, Special and Anniversario editions. The Racer features fully adjustable Ohlins kit with 2.9 inches of travel out back. All four versions carry over the 40mm telescopic fork with 5.1 inches of travel found on the V7 II.
Guzzi tightened up the trail (4.17 inches) and rake (26.4 degrees) of the V7 III compared to the outgoing version. The Italian brand also lengthened wheelbase by half an inch to 57.5 inches and lowered seat-height by almost an inch to 30.3 inches. The result, according to MG, is a motorcycle that handles better and offers more stability. The passenger’s footpegs are lower and further forward than the V7 II.
Stylistic updates include a new aluminum fuel cap, updated injector covers, side fairings and saddle. There’s also revised turn indicators and 1.5-inch (40mm) wider rearview mirrors.
In the electronics camp, the Continental ABS system returns alongside a new, adjustable Moto Guzzi Traction Control system as used in the MGX-21 Flying Fortress bagger. MGCT has two sensitivity levels, one for rain or low-grip situations and another for dry, clear roads. The MGCT can also be calibrated to the rear tire circumference to account for wear or tire profiles different from stock.
The V7 III range also accepts the optional Moto Guzzi Media Platform, which connects the bike to your smartphone. You can choose which fields display and also record trip information to review after the ride’s done. It records the last position you parked your bike and has a grip warning function to alert you of potential loss of traction.
All four editions roll on 18-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels. The V7 III Stone comes with lightweight alloy wheels while the Special, Racer and Anniversaro all have spoked wheels. Pirelli Sport Demon rubber keeps you connected to the road on all four options.
There’s only one circular instrument display unit on the Stone (the other three have dual circular units) and it will be available in Nero Ruvido, Azzurro Elettrico, Verde Camouflage and Giallo Energico colorways.
The V7 III Special most closely resembles the V7’s of the past, with lots of chrome, vintage-feel stitching on the saddle, and paint accents. It’s also the base of the Anniversario edition, which has its own special graphics, leather saddle, billet aluminum fuel cap, brushed aluminum mudguards, chrome-plated steel rear grab handles, and other detailed elements. The Special comes in Nero Inchiostro or Blu Zaffiro.
The V7 III Racer has sportier handlebars and a humped saddle. There’s anodized black aluminum throughout, brushed aluminum number plate, more rear-set footpegs and Ohlins suspension in the back.
And if the differences between the four different options of V7 III aren’t enough, Moto Guzzi offers an even broader assortment of optional accessories. Everything from windshields, luggage racks, levers, saddles, covers and more.
Pricing and availability aren’t provided by Moto Guzzi at this time.