The recollections of Mandello del Lario aged faster than they need to comprise. Three years ago to the day, I visited the lifelong house of Italian bike manufacturer Moto Guzzi and rode the supreme-technology Moto Guzzi V7 spherical Lago di Como, indisputably one of basically the most idyllic areas on Earth.
The few fragmented scenes I can decide produce obvious why company founder Carlo Guzzi nested his manufacturing unit on the east aspect of the Elysian lake: long tunnels decrease via the bases of mountains as narrow roads climbed into the Alps and bent via adorable villages, where white smoke billowed from stone chimneys, shaggy donkeys roamed front yards, and mountain goats skipped across the pavement.
Why then did the particulars of the kind of worthy adventure seep so posthaste from the soft tissue in my cranium? Per chance because of I was utilizing an unremarkable, reasonably forgettable bike.
Whereas I appreciated the Moto Guzzi V7’s charm as a characterful, docile, and beautiful entry-stage bike from an eclectic Italian impress, the supreme-technology model neither charmed nor enraged me, particularly because of its 750cc, transversely mounted, 90-diploma V-twin lacked the vitality and pick-up essential to entice and intoxicate. Now, if I had explored Mandello on the original, more highly fantastic 2021 Moto Guzzi V7, I’m definite these recollections would be fuller and fonder.
Moto Guzzi overhauled its V7 lineup for 2021, and basically the most well-known replace to the middleweight bike is a original powertrain: a detuned model of the 853cc V-twin from the impress’s off-road adventure bike, the V85 TT.
The air-cooled, overhead-valve engine parts shorter cylinders with gentle-weight pistons, a semi-dry oil sump, and a single mechanical throttle body, and it now no longer handiest more highly fantastic than the outgoing model’s engine but additionally runs cleaner and is more fuel atmosphere salubrious. In comparability to the outgoing V7’s “seven fifty,” the original V7’s “eight fifty” has 25 percent more horsepower (65 HP @ 6800 rpm) and 23 percent more torque (54 lb-toes @ 5000 rpm), and Guzzi claims that 80 percent of that torque is on hand at 3,000 rpm.
The natty, mansion-lined shoreline of Lake Como feels fancy a a ways off dream as I sprint via the gritty, overcrowded loading docks of Long Seaside, California on the V7 Stone Centenario, an even-edition model of the bike that commemorates Moto Guzzi’s 100 years of right manufacturing in Mandello.
The V7 Stone Centenario prices $200 higher than the depraved bike and is infamous by its soft brown leather-basically based completely seat, satin-carried out silver 5.5-gallon fuel tank with a golden eagle impress, and matte green aspect panels and front fairing. The attention-grabbing coloration procedure 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, though overly intrepid and advanced engineering kept the Otto from ever winning a depart.
Whereas basically the most helpful ingredient inviting relating to the 2021 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone Centenario is its livery, the revamped bike is dramatically modified by its running gear and now no longer feels fancy a gutless, diffident bike that somebody buys appropriate for its trend.
The original Moto Guzzi V7 is a ways more interesting to sprint, and its shift in persona is most fantastic loved from a terminate; the outgoing V7 felt hilariously gradual off of the road, but the original model’s elevated engine presents compelling low-terminate vitality that subtly coaxes you to push harder to a laugh carry out. Whenever you happen to pick to pray to produce issues even more attention-grabbing, you would possibly perchance presumably well completely disable the Moto Guzzi Traction Defend watch over (MGTC) system, which also presents two ranges of traction sensitivity, while you happen to’re into that kind of ingredient.
I sprint up and over the iridescent green Vincent Thomas Bridge into San Pedro, where I rating photographer Heidi Zumbrun, who at once compliments the V7’s appearance. For 2021, Moto Guzzi redesigned the bike’s aspect panels and shortened its rear mudguard. The twin employ pipes are beefier and invent-fit to be aware the natural lines of the bike’s double-cradle tubular steel body.
Heidi and I agree that whereas the Stone’s six-spoke cast aluminum wheels aren’t our taste, we completely esteem the bike’s LED headlight, which has a running gentle traces the outline of the enduring Moto Guzzi eagle.
We sprint two-up along the Pacific Ocean shoreline, elated and remark. The thicker, damage up-stage seat is good for my passenger, and I esteem the vibration-damping aluminum pegs under my feet. The original V7 has elevated long-stroke dual shocks which would possibly perchance presumably well be quite soft and are mounted with more forward lean to present a cushier sprint, even when there’s somebody sat on the rear pillion.
Moto Guzzi also remodeled the bike’s six-wobble transmission to be “more fluid and true,” with reduced gear noise and no more play. Our sprint along the waft is relaxed, straightforward, and refined, until we come across a twisty stretch of road and I in a neatly mannered intention question Heidi to kick rocks.
Leaning into the first nook, I flash relieve to Mandello and keep in mind how the supreme V7 struggled to exit from these mountain switchbacks, but this machine doesn’t warfare in any admire. It pulls hard between turns, feels stable in transition, and braking from the one front disc is immense enough for this 480-pound [217 kg] bike. Moto Guzzi made reinforcements to the body and headstock, and fit the bike with a elevated swingarm that accommodates a well-known broader rear tire and a elevated shaft supreme power and bevel gear that would possibly perchance presumably well greater address the bike’s elevated torque.
The resulting V7 feels a ways more assured, great greater planted, and clearly faster than its predecessor, and when I rating Heidi, we depart burly tilt via the curves but again sooner than heading relieve house.
As I pull into my alleyway I indisputably feel reasonably smitten by the 2021 Moto Guzzi V7, but then I pull into my storage and park next to my Ducati Scrambler, and truth comes crashing down. When compared with the depraved Scrambler, the torquier V7 has a decrease favorite seat prime and a well-known elevated fuel tank, and is $700 less costly than the Ducati, but it absolutely’s also 63 pounds heavier and is down on horsepower. For roughly 20 minutes I sit in my storage, evaluating the professionals and cons of every bike, until I impress: if this had been the gentle V7, there’d be nothing to compare.
The 2021 Moto Guzzi V7 is without complications likable, elegant to see at, and is way more relaxing to sprint than its predecessor used to be. The thoughtfully performed, great-wished redesign provides the vitality that the outgoing bike wanted for without making it inaccessible to entry-stage riders, and additional accentuates the charisma and magnificence that the V7 has exuded since its delivery in 1961.
Whereas the bike I rode in Mandello neither charmed nor enraged me, this bike does every, and within the future I’m hoping to sprint the original Moto Guzzi V7 on the true roads that wind via the quaint towns of its century-gentle house.
Moto Guzzi | Phrases (and Otto image) by Chris Nelson for Iron & Air Magazine | Avenue take a look at photography by Heidi Zumbrun