The recollections of Mandello del Lario aged sooner than they should comprise. Three years in the past to the day, I visited the lifelong home of Italian bike producer Moto Guzzi and rode the supreme-technology Moto Guzzi V7 spherical Lago di Como, indisputably certainly one of principally probably the most idyllic areas on Earth.
The few fragmented scenes I can determine produce apparent why firm founder Carlo Guzzi nested his manufacturing unit on the east side of the Elysian lake: lengthy tunnels lower by way of the bases of mountains as slim roads climbed into the Alps and bent by way of lovely villages, the place white smoke billowed from stone chimneys, shaggy donkeys roamed entrance yards, and mountain goats skipped throughout the pavement.
Why then did the particulars of the sort of worthy journey seep so posthaste from the smooth tissue in my skull? Per likelihood due to I used to be using an unremarkable, fairly forgettable bike.
Whereas I appreciated the Moto Guzzi V7’s allure as a characterful, docile, and delightful entry-stage bike from an eclectic Italian impress, the supreme-technology mannequin neither charmed nor enraged me, significantly due to its 750cc, transversely mounted, 90-diploma V-twin lacked the vitality and pick-up important to entice and intoxicate. Now, if I had explored Mandello on the unique, extra extremely improbable 2021 Moto Guzzi V7, I’m particular these recollections could be fuller and fonder.
Moto Guzzi overhauled its V7 lineup for 2021, and principally probably the most well-known exchange to the middleweight bike is a authentic powertrain: a detuned mannequin of the 853cc V-twin from the impress’s off-road journey bike, the V85 TT.
The air-cooled, overhead-valve engine components shorter cylinders with gentle-weight pistons, a semi-dry oil sump, and a single mechanical throttle physique, and it now not handiest extra extremely improbable than the outgoing mannequin’s engine however moreover runs cleaner and is extra gas environment salubrious. In comparability to the outgoing V7’s “seven fifty,” the unique V7’s “eight fifty” has 25 % extra horsepower (65 HP @ 6800 rpm) and 23 % extra torque (54 lb-toes @ 5000 rpm), and Guzzi claims that 80 % of that torque is readily available at 3,000 rpm.
The natty, mansion-lined shoreline of Lake Como feels fancy a a methods off dream as I dash by way of the gritty, overcrowded loading docks of Lengthy Seaside, California on the V7 Stone Centenario, an even-edition mannequin of the bike that commemorates Moto Guzzi’s 100 years of proper manufacturing in Mandello.
The V7 Stone Centenario costs $200 larger than the wicked bike and is notorious by its smooth brown leather-basically based mostly utterly seat, satin-carried out silver 5.5-gallon gas tank with a golden eagle impress, and matte inexperienced side panels and entrance fairing. The eye-grabbing coloration process is an homage to the Moto Guzzi “Otto Cilindri,” the wild and salubrious-attempting, burly-fairing, V8-powered depart bike inbuilt 1955 [below], with intentions of dominating 500cc sizable prix racing, although overly intrepid and superior engineering saved the Otto from ever successful a depart.
Whereas principally probably the most useful ingredient inviting referring to the 2021 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone Centenario is its livery, the revamped bike is dramatically modified by its working gear and now not feels fancy a gutless, diffident bike that someone buys acceptable for its development.
The unique Moto Guzzi V7 is a methods extra attention-grabbing to dash, and its shift in persona is most improbable cherished from a terminate; the outgoing V7 felt hilariously gradual off of the highway, however the authentic mannequin’s elevated engine presents compelling low-terminate vitality that subtly coaxes you to push more durable to amusing perform. Everytime you occur to select to wish to supply points much more attention-grabbing, you might perchance presumably properly utterly disable the Moto Guzzi Traction Defend watch over (MGTC) system, which additionally presents two ranges of traction sensitivity, whilst you occur to’re into that sort of ingredient.
I dash up and over the iridescent inexperienced Vincent Thomas Bridge into San Pedro, the place I ranking photographer Heidi Zumbrun, who directly compliments the V7’s look. For 2021, Moto Guzzi redesigned the bike’s side panels and shortened its rear mudguard. The dual make use of pipes are beefier and invent-fit to remember the pure traces of the bike’s double-cradle tubular metal physique.
Heidi and I agree that whereas the Stone’s six-spoke forged aluminum wheels aren’t our style, we utterly esteem the bike’s LED headlight, which has a working light traces the define of the enduring Moto Guzzi eagle.
We dash two-up alongside the Pacific Ocean shoreline, elated and comment. The thicker, injury up-stage seat is sweet for my passenger, and I esteem the vibration-damping aluminum pegs below my toes. The unique V7 has elevated long-stroke twin shocks which might perchance presumably properly be fairly smooth and are mounted with extra ahead lean to current a cushier dash, even when there’s someone sat on the rear pillion.
Moto Guzzi additionally transformed the bike’s six-wobble transmission to be “extra fluid and true,” with diminished gear noise and no extra play. Our dash alongside the waft is relaxed, simple, and refined, till we come throughout a twisty stretch of highway and I in a neatly mannered intention query Heidi to kick rocks.
Leaning into the primary nook, I flash relieve to Mandello and have in mind how the supreme V7 struggled to exit from these mountain switchbacks, however this machine doesn’t warfare in any admire. It pulls onerous between turns, feels secure in transition, and braking from the one entrance disc is immense sufficient for this 480-pound [217 kg] bike. Moto Guzzi made reinforcements to the physique and headstock, and match the bike with a elevated swingarm that accommodates a well known broader rear tire and a elevated shaft supreme energy and bevel gear that might perchance presumably properly larger deal with the bike’s elevated torque.
The ensuing V7 feels a methods extra assured, nice larger planted, and clearly sooner than its predecessor, and after I ranking Heidi, we depart burly tilt by way of the curves however once more before heading relieve home.
As I pull into my alleyway I indisputably really feel fairly passionate about the 2021 Moto Guzzi V7, however then I pull into my storage and park subsequent to my Ducati Scrambler, and fact comes crashing down. In comparison with the wicked Scrambler, the torquier V7 has a lower favourite seat prime and a well known elevated gas tank, and is $700 less expensive than the Ducati, nevertheless it completely’s additionally 63 kilos heavier and is down on horsepower. For roughly 20 minutes I sit in my storage, evaluating the professionals and cons of each bike, till I impress: if this had been the light V7, there’d be nothing to match.
The 2021 Moto Guzzi V7 is with out problems likable, elegant to see at, and is far more stress-free to dash than its predecessor was. The thoughtfully carried out, great-wished redesign offers the vitality that the outgoing bike needed for with out making it inaccessible to entry-stage riders, and extra accentuates the charisma and magnificence that the V7 has exuded since its supply in 1961.
Whereas the bike I rode in Mandello neither charmed nor enraged me, this bike does each, and inside the future I am hoping to dash the unique Moto Guzzi V7 on the true roads that wind by way of the quaint cities of its century-gentle home.
Moto Guzzi | Phrases (and Otto picture) by Chris Nelson for Iron & Air Journal | Avenue check out images by Heidi Zumbrun