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Limited Edition Moto Guzzi V7 Racer

Who has a more legitimate claim to retro cafe racers than Moto Guzzi?  The new V7 Racer unveiled yesterday is a limited edition model with a bespoke look, including handmade, brushed aluminum parts, chrome tank (complete with leather strap) and high-end brakes and suspension, courtesy of Brembo, Marzocchi and Bitubo.  No word yet on market availability or pricing.

77 Comments

  1. Kery says:

    Must make one more comment:

    Twins are at least arguably the best motorcycle powerplant for strong vibes, great torque, decent power etc. IMHO, Ducati’s motors look like they were stolen from an air-compressor, BMW (I love em!!) but they are visually somewhat ungainly looking, Harley (no comment), parallel twins (eh….they’re ok I guess) clean appearance. Moto Guzzi……..Awesome aesthetic!!! Strong looking, beautiful shaped motor from the front to the shaft housing. The V-cyl arrangment is just the most beautiful configuration, and making the motor longitudinal was pure genuis. None of the above comments I’ve made have anything to do with the actual output of the motor….just the aesthetic. Someday, I’ll own a Guzzi.

  2. Goose says:

    A thought from a Moto Guzzi owner I’ve been enjoying reading this thread. It is finally time for me to add a thought or two.

    First, I’d like to say my 2001 V11 Sport has been far more reliable than Jimbo’s bikes from the past.
    Second, I’ll agree with everybody who can’t understand why Guzzi keeps building bikes based on a 40-ish HP 750 when they have a a couple of great 1200 80 to 90+ HP twins in the catalog.
    Third, if you only value bike based on practical value why did you even read something about a Guzzi? You won’t like it, guarantied.
    Finally, for the styling, I like the idea but it seems over done, as others have pointed out before. Who had black rims in the seventies? I could be wrong but this smells (like and old sweat sock) like Pierre Terblanche’s nearly always grossly overdone work. He may have some talent but he doesn’t seem to know when to stop “improving” his designs.

    JMHO,

    Goose

  3. PN says:

    I like it, especially that chrome tank. I think it’s perfect and it grows on you. Good job. It’d be lots of fun to ride.

  4. Tom Shields says:

    When I started college in the early ’70s, Moto Guzzis were true Italian exotics, much like the Ducatis, Aprilias, and MV Augustas of today.

    Sadly, MG has taken the Harley-Davidson approach to product development and continues to market a bike that, with a few nods to modern updates, is essentially unchanged from its heyday. I love the cafe racer look, and the V7 Racer is certainly attractive. But just a casual glance reveals the undoubtedly flex-y frame and swingarm, dual rear shocks, standard forks, and a single front disk – it all yells “price point” at me, and I’m sure this bike will not be inexpensive.

    There’s only so much power to be gotten out of that engine – I understand this and it’s always been a cool-looking mill to me. But that doesn’t excuse the low-tech used everywhere else.

  5. jimbo says:

    Back in the early 80s (19, not 18) a co-worker/professional machinist fully restored to OEM specs an original MG V7 Sport. He had so many vehicles he ran out of storage space so he stored it unused for years at work, where I often just sat and stared at it.

    I’m age 55. That MG could be the most beautiful and architecturally correct vehicle I’ve ever seen. Every part just flowed perfectly to the next. Every part seemed proportionally perfect compared to every other. The front wheel hub with ventilated dual leading shoe brakes was especially beautiful, composed of some of the most attractive polished aluminum ever. The metal screen at the vent opening was great. The hub had many curves, shapes and forms, and each led perfectly to the next; it was timeless, as was the rest of the bike. IIRC the frame was red and the tank was a light yellow/green metallic. Gorgeous aluminum rims had the deep sharp dip then a deep sharp rise outside the spokes. The round bulge around each nipple where it joined the rim somehow gave tremendous confidence-kind of train like in its sturdiness and rugged look. Rims may have been Marzochi?

    This modern incarnation is close but not quite there in looks. I think it could have been closer/better. The single disc vs. the original hub described above is a failure (cosmetically, not speaking of performance, though I presume the ventilated dual leading shoe was probably king for its era). Ditto the black rims. A natural aluminum finish on the fork sliders would be much preferred. Can’t remember if the original had fork gaters. The motor is a spitting image and is wholly acceptable looks wise.

    The only known reasons for the power deficit is the motor’s age and modern emissions regulations.

    I had two MGs, a 97ish Quota 1100 and 96ish Sport 1100, both injected. The Quota motor blew a rod around bearing around 13k no fault of mine. The Sport had a couple issues, one my fault the other unknown fault origin. Parts support was horrible in the late-90s early 00s. I kid you not: WELL OVER $100 FOR A BRAKE LEVER!!!! I spent many hours trying to cross reference a replacement; can’t recall the outcome.

    I would generally not trust MG USA at all, unless the distributor is completely overhauled and dramatically improved from what it was back then. Calling the USA distributor back then was like calling a guy in the back of his garage. Absolutely horrible.

  6. Paul says:

    The concept of the V7 is great. The issue for me is a frame that’s too small and not enough horsepower. I crave bikes of this type but as we all know, they are few and far between in today’s market. The new Norton is a great example of what a fifty plus year old man needs, but has not proven it’s self like the Moto Guzzi. In the 70’s I used to dream of a new Guzzi or a new BMW R100S. I got the Beemer and it’s putting out just enough power to be totally useable. Come on Guzzi, build us something for modern roads.

  7. Fischer says:

    Help me to understand, please. Why can’t you get 80 hp out of the V7? Will it explode at anything over 50 hp? The current flock of motorcycle buyers has gotten a taste of real horsepower and is not at all impressed by a wimpy 48 hp. This cafe bike would sell a lot better if it had performance at least comparable to an XR1200 Sportster. I don’t necessarily believe that the only market for a bike like this is to bearded old men afraid to twist the throttle, but to anyone that thinks cafe bikes are cool and fun to ride. Guess MG is going to have to drop the price once they find that there is no demand for a SLOW cafe racer.

  8. Mike says:

    If Guzzi got their dealer network straightened out and made a nice clean naked example with comfortable ergos, they would sell a million and start the trend of the UIM instead of the UJM.
    Priced below the Ducati insanity they would grab many buyers and could offer a decent accessory line up of basics. With the global economy the way it is, niche model marketing is not going to lead to anything other than financial difficulties for manufacturers.

  9. Ken says:

    You know, a closer look at that pic makes me think that the rear number-plate/cowl is actually just a cover over the standard seat from the cafe classic. remove that cowl, and thake the number off the front flyscreen (just white, thanks…), and the bike would look oodles better in my mind.

    And for those who don’t understand period pieces…that bike would have been a great performer for the era it is trying to reproduce. The performance envelope matches the styling envelope. Complaining about power with this is like whining about a 427 Cobra replica not out-handling a last-generation corvette on a skid-pad test…wrong concept.

  10. Eclogite says:

    Beautiful bike, but I’m sure will be rather pricey.

  11. HM in Appalachia says:

    I mostly like it.The chromed? tank,I am afraid tha MG sees it as a car show ’57 Shevvie for redneckdum?Lose the chrome,it’ll look better.I am one of those too poor to pay attention folks so my view/opinion really doesn’t matter,and I know it.

  12. PeteN95 says:

    Most of us racers don’t like seeing people running race numbers on the street because it reflects badly on our racing groups, but if it’s so slow it probably can’t speed or wheelie, I guess that’s OK?! ;)

  13. T. Rollie says:

    It’s funny that we readers/riders sit here with or without our cash and say, “that’s a nice bike, I would buy one but it needs….” And then we ask for a little more horse-power, a little lighter weight, more room, different exhaust, different color. Lets face it, we’re not actually going to buy any motorcycle. We’re dreaming, but we’re too broke, too old, or too lazy to actually buy one.

    • Scott in the UK says:

      Or indeed too satified with what we have. I have had my Breva750 since 2004, the only replacement I would want at this stage is another Breva750.

  14. jerrylee says:

    I’d say they’re targeting Bonnies and Truxtons with this one (Kerry gets it). Nice cosmetic spin on the current retro V7. Their target obviously isn’t performance as even the still rather weak MG 1200 two valve motor would overwhelm those skinny little forks.

    A retro around a 1200 more along the lines of the old 1000s would perk my interest more and be a nice replacement for the aging V11-V12 standard lineup. I like the styling of this V7 but a nicely tuned old Le Mans 850 or 70’s V7 Sport would likely blow the mirrors off this version based on a test ride I did on a Norge about a year ago.

    I like retros and I love Guzzi’s (being the bearded old guy that I am Zombo) but Pioggio needs to develop the water cooled OHC twin motor that was on the drawing board decades ago adding some performance to the line up along with the retros like Triumph has done with their incredible 1050 and 675 triple motors.

    Not a buyer on this one but I’m certain there is some MG in my future again someday.

  15. venator390 says:

    Randy, Those are exhaust brackets. The only things they attach to are the mufflers and the frame.

  16. MV Owner MG Fan says:

    Being a Brutale owner, the V11 motor would be much more appealing from a performance standpoint, but damn, MG sure does make some good looking bikes and the V7 is no exception!! I’ve always loved the way their bikes look, especially that 90 degree opposed twin engine. Would I sell or trade my Brutale for one? Never in a millon years!! Would I consider buying the V7, or any MG for that matter, absolutely (really like the Griso as well). MG is not about top end performance….They are about quality and about owning a great looking bike with a distinctive look all their own. I love the way this bike looks!

  17. Zombo says:

    Guzzis are bought for nostalgia – mostly by middle aged guys with beards . But it’s sad that the European bike manufacturers are coming up with most of the new models while the asian manufacturers refuse to even bring their european offerings over here . Don’t know if they would sell , but I’m guessing a good portion of those riding a well handling fast moving bike wouldn’t consider an unsafe move like taking a hand off the bars to wave to slow moving loser cruisers . What is it with this waving shitola anyway ? It was kind of cool 15 years ago , but now with all the bikes on the road you’re friggan’ waving every damn 20 seconds . Stop it idiots just stop it , it was a trend that had it’s time now it’s over .

    • Scott in the UK says:

      Zombo the waving thing has been going on since probably about 1900. I certainly remember people waving in the early 1970s when I was on the back of my Dads bike. Not only that, people would stop and help complete strangers in trouble! Just because they rode a motorcycle.

      Must dash – off to tend my beard. ;-)

      • Zombo says:

        110 years ago when there were 100 bikes on the road waving was fine on bikes and in model Ts . Now with 100 million bikes it’s idiotic and downright unsafe in some situations . To each their own I guess .

  18. Randy says:

    Could someone explain to me the small triangular struts just forward of the shocks? They are on both sides and brace the brake hub to the frame on one side and brace the driveshaft to the frame on the other side. Wouldn’t this render the shocks immovable? What am I missing here?

  19. I love Guzzi. This one is overdone bordering on tacky. Probably going to be overpriced and underpowered. A cafe model should not have the weakest engine in the lineup. This will be a bike that people buy to stare at and pose on though so why waste the engine.

  20. Scott in the UK says:

    Ok as a long term Breva750 rider who’s been riding since I was 7…heres my take. Its too tacky. The Cafe is a far more stylish bike in every way.

    Now for the power debate – on the Cafe a few more HP would be nice, but its not esential. Guzzis are for riding, not posing, bench racing, or appendage waving. It was probably 24 hours after the first Cafe was sold that one of my fellow Guzzisti loaded saddlebags, tent, bedroll, and the kitchen sink on the back of one and rode across the country. No one likes us and we don’t care. :-) We just ride.

    As my freind said below – I don’t need no heavy complex bikes. There is fun in lightness and simplicity.

    all the best,

    Scotty The Aussie in the UK.

  21. Kjazz says:

    I think if they’d have just left the number plates off it’d be way better off. But looks are in the eye of the beholder.

    As far as the bigger motor (1200) goes, it would cost a bunch to engineer that into this bike. They coulda started with the 1200 Sport, but either way, the bike would’ve costed a lot more to the consumer. This is a narrow niche anyway, probably not worth risking anything from Moto Guzzi’s perspective. And besides, riders/buyers who are THAT sensitive to a minimum horsepower number, aren’t going to seriously consider MG anyway….there are so many streetfighters, nakeds etc. that are close enough in the styling spectrum that are likely considered alternatives. But then again, if they get the idea everyone wants the look but more power, maybe they’ll gamble on it and build some. It’ll be pricier and risky, MG dont need that right now.

  22. BoxerFanatic says:

    Very nice look, but I would minus the number plates for a classy street bike.

    They either need to 8-valve up the V7 engine… or build more V12-8V bikes. Or both.

    I would love a little bike like this, but 80hp would be nice. Single brake doesn’t bother me, if it is a good one. Love the red powder-coat and chrome tank with the leather strap, and the general look. It should at least perform somewhere near an SV650 level, though.

    On the other hand, I would LOVE a V12-8V Griso, outfitted with the V11 LeMans bullet fairing, and other hardware. Just a bit more attention to aerodynamics.

  23. Denny says:

    This is not about retro anymore. This is about to rip buck, pardon Euro. Overdone, overhyped and tacky styling; lucky that this is just a ‘niche’. At the end it hurts more than benefits. In any case, thanks to editors they bring it up to our attention.

    Regular retro bikes form MG, Duc a Triumph are lot more appealing.

    • Austin ZZR 1200 says:

      “tacky” is exactly the word I was looking for to describe the appearance and value proposition of this bike. I would also like to add that its about time to bring back the ZRX..

  24. IBKING says:

    Now if I can only find a dealership within 500 miles of me…..

  25. W Devine The Woodlands, TX says:

    That’s a classic!!!

  26. mudnducs says:

    BEAUTIFUL motorcycle. Classic lines. …yes, it needs the 1200 Griso motor.

  27. GMan38 says:

    Now, if it had the 1200cc engine…

  28. Steven says:

    Is this an AXE commercial?

  29. Dave says:

    FAIL! Lose the number plates, they look out of place on this bike.

    • Jon says:

      I agree! The first thing I thought was the number plates gotta go. How cheesey! The bike looks pretty cool, but without the performance, I’m a non-buyer. Want retro Guzzi? Make a 1000S style bike with a modern “big” engine. Keep it simple.

  30. Tim says:

    I like the look a lot, but I readily admit that I’m in to classic bikes with this cafe styling. It won’t be cheap though.

  31. Ken says:

    Graphic scheme is almost there…tank is beautiful, red frame/hubs are must-have, flyscreen is nice, rear “number plates” are overdone. Power levels too low by today’s standard, but it would still be a fun bike. I love stuff where I can wring out a bike and feel like a hero on the streets without being in risk of revoking my license.

    However, given the price, I could do better things starting with a base V-7 or the Cafe Classic. The reason I loved standards is that you could do something like this yourself and end up with something totally awesome AND unique.

    I’ve never been one to directly purchase off-the-rack-custom.

  32. GP says:

    Kitschy in every sense of the word. Absolutely terrible. Looks like the designers over at Moto Guzzi were inspired by American Chopper. Sticking a bunch of tacky crap on a bike doesn’t make it cool…….

  33. Kerry says:

    I like it, but I own a 04 Thruxton so I completely get it. The hp argument is null and void. Would it be nice to have the extra ponies…..sure it would. But honestly, the buyers for this bike dont really care that much. They’ll still buy it and dig it for what it is. AND, they’ll have a new “meaning to life” by going out and planning their hop up!!

  34. Fischer says:

    It’s a nice concept and would work great with about 80 hp. The price will probably be along the lines of the retro Ducatis with nowhere near the performance. I hope MG is paying attention to what the consumer wants or this will be an also ran.

    • Scott in the UK says:

      IIRC the V7 Classic is one of the best sellers for Guzzi in the last few years, so I suppose a Guzzi type person would be fine with the “lack” of hp. 40hp on my Breva 750 hasn’t stopped me enjoying my bike all over the UK and France in the last 6 years. I”m probably “over” the hp thing after 35 years riding….

      Prefer the Cafe though in lime green. This is a bit too tacky.

  35. John says:

    Nice, however, 40 hp no way, 60 hp getting better, 80 hp, now we are talking. The bike needs a better lump for the price they are going to charge.

  36. Marc says:

    Every MG I have sat on my knees rest on the valve covers! At 6’4″ they are just not an option. I agree with the post that calls them the Italian HD never thought of them that way before but it is true.

  37. chris c says:

    cool cafe style, needs more horses tho

  38. jon risor says:

    no thanks, I can CAFE out five honda CB whatever and still have some change in my pocket! 40+ years from now it will be a retro/retro collector bike, maybe…….

  39. hoyt says:

    Cool! Price will be interesting…if its too high, they might sell less than something like a higher priced MGS01-based street legal bike (hint). A wide variety of riders still admire the MGS-01 (rightfully so). Guzzi’s V11 has a great power band for the roads that matter most. Add a bit more cc’s, cut weight and it will be a phenomenal streetbike

  40. Brinskee says:

    MG is the Italian HD. Both have absolutely no appeal to me whatsoever. Sure, sure, they are aimed at different market segments. Doesn’t matter. Premium price for ancient tech? Retro styling? Uh how about we move forward…

    • MikeD says:

      +1. MGS-01 legal for the streets? Updated Centauro, V11 or less FUglier Stelvio? ANYDAY over this piece of ancient shiny butt jewelery memorabilia.

      Italian H-D alright…(^_^ ).Maybe im too young to apreciate it.

  41. hipsabad says:

    I don’t need a heavy, bloody 1100. MG just needs to put a better 750 or 850 motor in there. If BMW can make an 80hp 800 then so should Guzzi. I believe, unlike most posters, that lighter weight and reasonable power make for a much more agile, and thus fun machine, than the hubristic overkill typically on offer. But Moto Guzzi, what’s with the wimpy forks? How much more can it cost to merely make the forks 43-45 mm? As far as brakes go, one front brake disc is actually better than two for unsprung weight reasons – again, light is right. And if you’ve ever ridden a KTM 690 Duke you will understand that it can be more than enough. However, the front brake on this machine looks to be unimpressive. The styling’s ok, if a bit poncey, but why not use round-finned barrels for the cylinders for a much nicer retro look? Why do the manufacturers always do a half job? I thought Italian sylists would know better – but then look at the ugly new Multistrada! I would like to question whoever signs off on these designs. A gently customized W650 is still a better looking retro.

  42. Rick Hermanns says:

    I like the idea but not the execution. Most hit the V7 nail! A repli-racer needs enough power to get out of its own way. The chrome-don’t-get-you-home fuel tank is a wasted effort. Single disc (I guess if the bike is not quick…), spindly looking fork legs, built-in lucky #7 (?) plates….. Even as a styling exercize, it leaves me wanting more…..more power for one!

  43. rapier says:

    I loved my original 74 that I had in 77 78. I couldn’t quite bear to buy Japanese yet and while the electrics were supposedly a bit sketchy the basic mechanical rightness of the thing was a joy and a comfort. Took my first major tour to the mountains from Chicago on it. It made my previous Triumphs and Ducati singles seem like a bicycles. I can’t imagine I’ll ever own another one baring hooking up with that heiress and certainly not a small one in any case.

  44. graham says:

    i agree with john. mg really needs a v11 version. they would sell a bunch of em’.

  45. Motobell says:

    John’s last line said it best. I love mg and love the v11 but this very weak. Give me a modern standard with as much you can squeeze from that mg mill with sportnike suspension, radial brakes etc.. Just make a modern v11 and offer retro looking kit for people who want it

  46. Trpldog says:

    I bought a new moto Guzzi LeMans 850 in 1976 and it was, looking back, one of the most enjoyable bikes I have ever owned. (until an encounter with a left-hand turning Chevy – but thats another scar…i mean, story. Love to have a Guzzi, but my Speed Triple would get jealous for sure. Im 55 and Retro – why not my bike too.
    Ride safe.

  47. John says:

    Can a V11 be squeezed in? MG keeps putting the 40hp V7 in bikes with near $10K prices. That’s a tough performance/$ hurdle to jump over for many. If they want to pull people to the brand, then they need to make the bike back up the look with atleast 1100 monster level of performance. Triumph is missing the mark with the thruxton for the same reasons as well.

    I love my V11 Lemans. If MG cannot entice those who already appreciate the qualities of their product, then how do they expect to draw others? I’ll say no to a V7 anything.

    • rocker59 says:

      No. the big block engines will not fit the small block Tonti frame.

      You’d have to go to the California Vintage for its big block Tonti frame.

      What you would have then would be a 500+ lbs 90bhp bike built on a 40 year old chassis being sold for $15,000+.

      Would you buy it?

  48. Herpaderp says:

    Big hat, no cattle.

    Single disc? Chrome tank? Likely $8k+ price tag? I don’t get it.