Moto Guzzi V7 Classic — Second Week and 800 Miles on the Clock

This is the second review of my ongoing ownership of a 2009 Moto Guzzi V7 Classic. For the first part of the review, click here.

My second week of ownership of my V7 started with a rain day on a Saturday.  It rained so hard that I decided that I wasn’t going to ride until Sunday, where I would make a nice loop going to the Full Moon Cafe on Highway 41, then riding up to the Sly Fox Inn in Wheaton, Wisconsin before taking a bunch of back roads to my home in Oak Park.

It’s a nice loop to make.   The route involved a ride up the 294 towards Milwaukee and then dropping off at Deerfield road for the rest of the ride North on Highway 41.  After hanging out with the other 50-60 riders that show up there on Sundays, I planned a trip up to the Sly Fox where Vintage riders meet for Brunch and tire kicking.  Then the ride home involves skirting the lakes along the Wisconsin/Illinois border and then dropping down into Arlington for a jaunt down the 355/290 and home.  I think it’s about 200 miles or so.

I’ve ridden the bike just close to 800 miles now.   It’s had the 600 mile service done at Rose Farm Classics, which is a godsend to have as a dealer, resource and friend.  I dropped the bike off and he gave me a loaner 1200 Sport overnight while he did the necessary work.

Arriving the next day I found the bags installed, Guzzitech sump in place and the bike ready to go.  Of course everything was fine, and of course it took me forever to get out of there because Jim’s a great conversationalist, has interesting people show up, and now he had a beautiful white Cal Vintage in his showroom that a customer was to take delivery of next week.  We spent at least an hour discussing the merits of the Vin and the V7C with each other.

800 Miles and it’s all Smiles

After 800 miles, I can tell you that the V7 has no shortcomings for me.  It holds its own on the freeways with ease.  It handles the hideous street conditions in Chicago like a Hummer.  It gets awesome mileage.  It’s completely and totally comfortable, easy to ride for a beginner and for more advanced riders it rewards with a lightness, agility and very healthy torque curve. It makes you look cool without being threatening or looking like you’re compensating for something.  It says “I have everything I need”, not “I can have anything I want”.

The Moto Guzzi V7 Classic has absolutely the best gearbox that I’ve ever felt on a Moto Guzzi.  It shifts like a Japanese bike – snick snick.  Braking is predictable, and the Metzler tires are a great match for the chassis.  My only complaint is the instrumentation is rather busy and hard to read when you’re speeding down the road.  I don’t like to take my eyes off the road for any period of time, especially in traffic, and it’s taken some time to get used to just glancing at where the needles are pointing and registering it in your head.  I do like the ambient air temperature guage — nice touch.

The riding position is super for me.  I didn’t know what I’d think about such an upright position.  I mean, I expect it on my Eldorado, but on a modern bike positions are usually a lot more dramatic, either in the relationship of seat to gas tank, riding lean, peg location, whatever.  The standard seat is absolutely perfect for the city, and out on the highway, the wind blast is minimal (I wear a full face helmet).

It’s raining today and I have the bike is at rest till the weather clears.  I’m surprised at the size of the V7 with respect to the Eldorado.  It’s at least the same size, maybe just a little larger in some regard, although it is most definitely narrower.  I think you sit at about the same height, but you definitely notice the lightness of the V7 Classic and it’s handling is much, much more modern in its implementation.

The retro look is a wonderful compliment to the Eldorado as well, don't you think?
The retro look is a wonderful compliment to the Eldorado as well, don’t you think?

26 thoughts on “Moto Guzzi V7 Classic — Second Week and 800 Miles on the Clock”

  1. Just wanted to chip in to thank you for sharing your experiences about the v7. I’m considering one and your writings have helped a lot!

    Ride safe,


  2. I just had my V7 Classic delivered last weekend and echo many of your sentiments. As someone who has ridden strictly 70’s Japanese bikes until the V7, I am really enjoying the comparisons and contrasts. I got mine off ebay from an owner who purchased it new, put 100 miles on it and decided it wasn’t for him. I need to locate a dealer up here in the Boston area to give it the once over, but so far I love this bike. What are your thoughts on the sump? Essential or just nice to have?
    Thank you for sharing all of your knowledge and experiences. I enjoy reading them all very much.

    -Wade Paschall

    1. Congratulations! I’m glad you like it as much as I do mine. As far as the sump goes, I just like to have the extra oil. Under high loads, you’re going to have a lot of oil getting sucked up into the engine and this engine is a little more “revvy” than the big blocks (which is cool in my opinion!). I know Ed Milich personally, and he made the sump because he needed it under race conditions. You probably “don’t” need it, but it’s a tremendous peace of mind for $300.

      As far as dealers go, I don’t know the Massachusetts ones — I hear that Feracci is good. Don’t know your proximity — I hear that the Rhode Island guy has a great mechanic. I’d hit the Guzzitech Small block forum for advice.

  3. Thanks for the insight. I’m getting my first bike in 24 years (just turned 40!) and narrowed it down to the Bonneville t100 and the Guzzi V7 Classic. Now I’m sure (99% anyway) that I’ll be getting the Classic.

    1. Sweet! In my third week I just went sailing past 1100 miles and hit 1200 this morning in 23 days. This bike is a total champ, as it has broken in it just revs like there’s no tomorrow, and all the Guzzisti don’t treat it like a replica.

      Don’t let the hp numbers fool you, this bike gets up and rocks in all the “happy speeds!” Plus you just can’t beat the 50mpg. I’ve seen above 90 without a problem, and it just romps through the gears.

  4. Awesome reports and thanks. I’m looking at the Bonneville and the V7 and wanted to know if you test rode the Bonneville. Apparently the 09 bonnie has some changes like lowered seat and change in rider geometry with EFI. What’s your height/weight? Also, what maintenance/inspection schedule like with the guzzi?

    Thanks for the excellent write ups,


    1. I’ve ridden a couple of Bonnies. They are fine bikes. I like the handling, fit and finish and torque characteristics of the V7C better. The Bonnie has more of many things — power, weight, maintenance…

      I’m 6’1″ and 248 lbs.

      Maintenance schedule on the V7C is 600mi for first inspection, then every 6K after that. Check the oil regularly. No Chain, No Carbs, Nothing else. Just ride it.

  5. Hi Danilo !
    Thank you so much for these reviews about this gorgeous little motorbike.
    I’m french, and I only saw one in two years in Paris !
    I haven’t passed the bike driving licence yet, so I try not to go visit dealers too early….but I think this V7 will be mine soon !
    One thing I did not found in all the professional reviews and trials I have read is the capacity of the small “trunk” located under the seat on the left side of the bike. Can you carry a chain and a locker or something like this in it ? Or only a few tools ?
    I don’t know for you, but here we have to carefully lock our bikes in the streets…
    Thanks again and enjoy your rides,

    1. Depending upon the size of the lock, you can probably get something in there. It’s most certainly a tight fit. There are mounts available for Hepco Becker bags, and also a luggage rack. My old Eldorado has a luggage rack that I just wrap the cable lock I have around and use from time to time. Some ingenuity would easily solve this for you.

      Good luck — get all the education and training you can — it’s saved my butt from hitting the pavement a few times!

  6. G’day Danilo, from Stuart in Sydney, Australia.
    Mate, I have been riding since 1967 on and off, owned five bikes, my V7 Classic is number six, and for the last 18 months, for me, it’s been bikers heaven!.
    Simply the best motorcycle I have had the pleasure of riding, -it’s got what I WANT from a ‘bike.
    I fully agree with everything raised by you and others, ‘cept for one point.
    I’m 5’3″, the seat was a tad too high so after a full re-design, stepped down the front, upped the pillion, got rid of the seam around the edge, my wife and I are well pleased with the result.
    One suggestion, I had a centre stand fitted, and dead set, the perfection of balance has to be felt to be believed as you put it back on the stand!.
    I’m not kidding, it is so damn near perfect I regularly put it up with no footwear on, try that with most other bikes.

    Moto Guzzi has really got it right with the V7, despite its Retro look, most of the components are proven components, the quality of build and finish is excellent, and the horns, WOW!, trust the Italians to come up with a set of horns with such an attention grabbing sound, – brilliant!.
    For those amongst you holding back about getting one, you’ll only have yourself to blame if you leave it too late, don’t say you were’nt given a heads up!.

  7. David


    Great comments, great descriptions! Thank you for that.
    I’m close to complete a licence and thinking of buying that bike, I like its style, ergonomics and the character…..

    Could you please tell me, how mutch can a bike like V7 lean in curves?

    -I know, that this is no japanese sportsbike and I don’t require THAT mutch of leaning and speeding through curves, but…

    Does it handle well, while going through curves?
    Is it Secure/controllable, when you get close to the max lean angle?

    1. It is very docile or as “jiggy” as you want to be. It handles extremely well, like all Italian bikes. You can bring the V7 way over in curves, lean-off it or just ride it mellow. That’s what I like about it. Is it a superbike? No. The front forks aren’t adjustable — they’re very, very good, but you’d have to do some work on them to make them great, same with the rear shocks.

      I’m on my second year with the bike, and it just continues to show me new things. It’s a great bike to start with; take ‘er easy and she’ll reward you with ever-increasing pleasure.

  8. Thanks for the reply!

    I’m really convinced, that this is the bike for me. The way you told me it behaves….. that’s exactly, what I want from it.
    I’ ve also read pretty mutch everything, what I could have found about it on the web and moastly I found………lots of good compliments!

    If I’m lucky, I’ll earn enough this season, if not, next season, there’s 100% that the bike will be in my garage! 😀

    Enjoy your Guzzi and I wish it will serve you well for long, long time!

    Greetings from Slovenia!

  9. Hi Danilo,
    Jude from Melbourne, Australia here. Nice to read about how much you have enjoyed your V& Classic. I bought one about 2 & a 1/2 years ago as I wanted a new more modern bike. (I was riding a 500 Laverda that I had owned for about 20 years and done a bucket load of miles on and also a 668 Laverda). I wanted something Italian and classic that I could use as a longer trip bike. That is certainly what I got in the V7. I ran her in in 4 days around some nice hills and had her first service on day 5 of owning her. The first thing that I did was put a nice pair of Ikon red shockers on and it made a huge difference when riding on those more rough country roads. Then I put a small clear fairing which I just love on those long trips and in bad weather.
    I have now done around the 20,000kms and have sung the praises of the V7 so much that now 3 friends have bought the same model.
    The only drama’s that I’ve had is that around the 12,000km mark the connector to the Regulator burnt out causing her to stop dead, minor problem when you are a girl about 900kms from home. I managed to have this fixed with no damage to the regulator. However I have just had the same thing happen around 20,000kms and she is now waiting on the diagnostic’s to see why it has done this same thing again.
    I wondered if you or any other of your readers have had a similar problem or just unlucky me. I love everything about this bike but hate sitting on the side of the road waiting for a trailer and have lost some faith in the electrics of the bike. Would be great to here if anyone could share any simalar stories so I can maybe reassured that the V7 will stay in my stable of bikes and continue to be a favourite.

    1. I had my charging system die on a 300 mile trip at 17K miles. It was NOT covered under warranty for reasons that I question, and I was out $800 after towing, parts and labor, along with 3 weeks in the middle of the riding season.

      Still upset about it.

      I’d love to have a 500 Laverda!

  10. Hi Danilo, Thanks for the reply. The voltage regulator seems to be a problem with the V7 also I have been warned of bad earths throughout the new Guzzi’s in general. Don’t want to bad mouth any bikes, but if the riders are aware of minor problems before they become major ones it is a good thing.
    The Australian Importer is being great to deal with but I think for peace of mind I will have a Japanese Regulator fitted as well as having an auto electrician go over the whole bike. She heads off to the mechanic today so will give you the update.
    Not really what I expected after buying a brand new Guzzi that I’ve only had for 2 & 1/2 years.
    Yes the 500 Laverda is a great fun bike and a real head turner…

  11. Hey Jude, don’t make it bad…..I’d be a little annoyed as well, but shit happens.It’s been four months, how’s the regulator since you replaced it? Are you still reasonably happy with your purchase?


  12. Yes, the sting is finally over. I’m going to do some cafe work on it over the next few months, so that oughta be fun. I know Ed Milich a little bit and we’ve been corresponding. Look for details to see how and what I do. Not going for the big bore kit — more like doing what Ed’s been talking about in Cafe Racer Magazine — but putting a little spin on it to give it a more early 50’s GP racer look — “think Gambalunga”…. Silver….

  13. Gambalunga, literally long legs. Damn nice classic!! My father in law has a 1951 Falcone Sport (the one with the salami slicer on the side), similar, not the same,

  14. Great review! I just got a 2010 v7 for my first bike and I love it!! Old post I know but glad to hear others love it as much as I do!

  15. I am now considering geting one, especially as they have revamped the engine for 2013. my only worry is power. I live in the alps and so of course do alot of mountain pass riding. you think the v7c has enough hp for two-upm riding in a mountainous area? Together we are 280 lbs. Thanks for yur feedback. Regards from Austria!

    1. First of all, I weigh 250lbs alone, and it has always pulled wonderfully, as the engine is quite torquey, which is really what you want. You should be fine!

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