All Tests – Tests Moto Guzzi V7 Stone, Special and Racer: authentic! – V7 Stone, Special, Racer: classic, classy or sporty

Moto Guzzi V7 Stone, Special and Racer tests: authentic !

All Tests - Tests Moto Guzzi V7 Stone, Special and Racer: authentic! - V7 Stone, Special, Racer: classic, classy or sporty

A true monument in the history of Moto Guzzi – even motorcycles at all! -, the V7 range is getting a makeover. Improved if not transformed, the V7 Stone, Special and Racer 2012 rely on their authenticity to seduce. Testing.

V7 Stone, Special, Racer: classic, classy or sporty

Described by Mario Garibaldi, the manager of the V7 project, as a motorcycle "young, trendy, pure and easy to customize", the V7 Stone and its deep matt black dress is somewhat eclipsed when stationary by the flashy colors and chrome of its sisters, V7 Special and especially V7 Racer.

Technically very close to previous models, the "Gouzzi" will not disconcert regulars when it comes to taking a seat on its large and soft saddle located at 805 mm. Strictly identical on the V7 Stone and V7 Special, the driving position is still relaxed: generously bent upwards and tilted towards the rider, the wide handlebars exert no constraints.

Despite its larger volume, the gas tank hardly spreads the legs … but its cutouts do not offer much more room for the knees than before! In the same spirit, the footrests placed on the front are fixed a bit high to comfortably accommodate the guibolles of more than 1.75 m.

At the controls of the V7 Racer, the fate is not quite the same: the Racer adopts straps fixed under the upper crown – but which go up via steel tabs to preserve comfort – carrying the upper body on the top. ‘before. Placed further back, its sublime aluminum rear controls naturally put additional strain on the lower limbs..

Far from being radical however – compared to a modern sports car – this ergonomics (re) plunges the pilot directly into the 60s, when Cafe Racer were the must for a sports biker. With its splendid chrome tank covered with a leather strap, and its race number on its small headlight cap and on its single-seater seat covered with suede and stitched in red, the V7 Racer bravely assumes this role. !

In the same way, the bellows placed on its fork sleeves (as on the Stone), its numbered plate on its upper yoke, its perforated side trim and its magnificent aluminum legs, advantageously replacing the passenger footrest plates are as many elements capable of making the "Cafra" lover salivate…

Docile and endearing

Accessible (a 1.75m driver puts both feet on the ground) and easy to handle – especially in its Stone and Special versions – the V7 is not, however, the most comfortable in town. Shifting modestly, it turns out to be a heavy suspicion to place at very low speed despite its featherweight: the fault, no doubt, to its consequent values ​​of wheelbase (1449 mm) and caster angle (28 °).

In the absence of storage space under its long leather saddle, warnings, lever spacing adjustments and coded key, the Moto Guzzi is also moderately suited to urban uses of the "motorcycle-work" type. -dodo".

On a daily basis, whether it is without a center stand (available as an option at 191 €), ABS (even optional), a fuel gauge or a second daily trip on its half-analog console. digital (read the "Instrumentation" part of our technical sheet on the following pages) will not plead in its favor either..

In addition, its dry single-disc clutch is not exactly a model of progressiveness – a feature common with this kind of device – while the modifications made to the gearbox do not solve all of its concerns. A little softer, the selection still requires taking the time to break down your movements to avoid "snags".

And yet, despite all its "small" inconveniences – to which are added sensitive tingling in the hands and feet, especially in the towers – the V7 quickly charms. The enterprise of seduction begins as soon as the twin-cylinder is started: the starter coughs, seems to hesitate, then the engine shoots off, gently swinging the crew to the right then to the left as they go up and down. pistons. Ah, that typical "Moto Guzz-ien" reversal couple !

A bit too muffled, the muffled and irregular sound at idle has not changed: you have to wait around 3000 rpm for the Mandello del Lario block to be heard with more conviction, the noises of air suction then coming to accompany the melody which has become more rumbling of the twin.

Available under 2000 rev / min provided to be gentle on the throttle with formidable precision, the engine still lacks a little trunk under 3000 rev / min. Pulling out of a pin or overtaking vigorously (at 90 km / h, it turns at 3500 rpm in 5th gear) requires not to make a mistake in the report … At the same time, it remains a twin cylinder tumbled by 50 ch !

Progressive and without downtime, the revving is reinforced noticeably past the mid-range cape: without going so far as to speak of "furious" acceleration, the thrust is more consistent and ends especially later than before..

The new V7 maintains the effort up to 6000 rpm before violently breaking 1000 revs higher: these "high speeds" are obviously not his cup of ristretto, but he accepts more readily to rub shoulders with them. An improvement that strengthens both its field of action and its endearing character !

Cool !

Fairly discreet in use, the final shaft transmission of the V7 slightly relaxes the rear units when accelerating and compresses them when the throttle is cut off. This characteristic "bridge effect" is not prohibitive, but it more quickly highlights the limits of the suspensions.

Dry on small shocks despite their new calibrations, the Sachs shock absorbers of the V7 Stone and Special sink generously, or even bottom out on pronounced compressions. Hardly in fast driving, the springs end up no longer absorbing the bumps but on the contrary amplifying them: the rear is then subject to movements incompatible with a truly sporty driving.

The phenomenon is much less noticeable on the V7 Racer, equipped with two Bitubo WMY01 shocks adjustable in preload, compression and rebound. Barely less manoeuvrable in small corners despite its bracelets, the Racer is much more rigorous and precise than its two sisters at a good pace.

From there to qualifying it as a "tool" and recommending it to the riders of the next Moto Tour, there is however a step that MNC will not take, if only because of its perfectible braking. Identical on the three motorcycles, the Brembo front caliper suffers from the same shortcomings in terms of bite and dosage as before: to stop quickly, the only solution is to operate it with full hand and force !

Responding more strongly, the rear requires on the contrary a minimum of attention not to block the 130 mm wide tire during reflex braking: an ABS would be welcome, but its transplant on the V7 is not to the agenda according to Moto Guzzi engineers interviewed on site. Pity…

Verdict: better everywhere !

Favoring a coiled driving to sporty driving, the Moto Guzzi V7 2012 has evolved only by small touches on the dynamic level. The improvements made to its engine, on the other hand, are more sensitive and allow it to sharpen its claims against its rivals (see box opposite).

The competitors of the V7

  • Triumh Bonneville : in-line twin, 865 cc, 68 hp and 68 Nm of torque, 225 kg all full (€ 8,490)

  • Kawasaki W800 : in-line twin, 773 cc, 48 hp and 60 Nm of torque, 216 kg all full (€ 8,499)

Certainly, a more marked increase in its performance would have been welcome, as would the adoption of more rigorous brakes and shocks. But the builder of Mandello del Lario preferred to optimize a known recipe by concentrating its efforts on the perceived quality and the finish..

And the result is up to par, especially on the V7 Racer: this bike is almost lovingly contemplated and gives pride of place to noble materials (leather, suede, aluminum) with an eye for detail and a taste that reminds us of why Italy is the homeland of two-wheelers…

On the other hand, if the V7 Stone and the V7 Special appear to be relatively well placed financially (respectively € 7,799 and € 8,199), the approximately € 9,399 requested for the V7 Racer seems a little strong … coffee! Moto Guzzi hopes to sell some between "300 and 500"in France, all versions combined: a case to follow in the market reports Site !

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