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2012 Moto Guzzi V7 Models Get New Engine With More Power and Torque

Moto Guzzi V7

The Moto Guzzi V7 is prized for its classic style, but also known for its relatively modest engine performance.  The nearly ancient air-cooled v-twin displaces 750cc, but produces power more comparable to a modern, liquid-cooled 450cc single.

For 2012, thanks to further investment from parent company Piaggio, the V7 models receive a redesigned motor with increased compression, as well as refined fuel injection and engine management systems.  These motors are not just mildly modified from last year’s unit, they feature more than 200 new or redesigned parts … roughly 70% of the engine components.

The result of these changes is a claimed, and welcomed, 12% increase in horsepower (now 51 hp) and 10% increase in torque (43 foot/pounds), as well as significant improvements in fuel consumption and emissions.  The V7 continues to be primarily about style and simplicity, and in our opinion it hits a home run on both counts.  Cosmetic changes are limited to paint schemes, as well as new gas tanks and new, much lighter cast wheels on the standard V7.  The standard V7 and the V7 Special are each pictured, while the third model in the range (the V7 Racer) is not.  We do not currently have information about when these redesigned V7s will be available in the U.S. market.

Moto Guzzi V7 Special

65 Comments

  1. LongRanger says:

    Sweet bikes, but perhaps not for everyone, and that’s okay. I owned a 2010 V7 Cafe Classic this past summer and enjoyed it for what it was, but I sometimes found myself wanting more performance, like when pulling away at 70 mph or riding on imperfect pavement. But on the right days, it was a perfect bike.

  2. vato loco says:

    The power increase is of course welcome but I wonder if it’s really needed for the V7’s intended mission, i.e, negotiating the Roman urban grid, circumnavigating Lago di Garda, etc.

    I rode an Aprilia Sport City 250 in San Francisco for a couple years. Guess what? 16 horsepower was overkill. Although I sold the SC250 to thin the herd, another scooter is in my future, but this time a 150cc (probably a Vespa).

    My previous Moto Guzzi, a 1997 Sport 1100i, after a few simple mods, made about 82 rear-wheel hp, which isn’t much to propel a 500-lb motorcycle down the backroads. But what a blast I had on that bike! In fact, the only thing keeping me back was my skill level. If I had that bike today — with years more experience under my belt, track days, etc. — I’d have no problems keeping my riding buddies in sight.

    We all know horsepower sells. But at the end of the day, the fastest guy in our group rides rides a KTM 690. Imagine that: a 62-hp single leading a ZX-10, GSXR-750, and Tuono 1000R…

    • Scotty says:

      And of course some of us are irresponsible enough to use our 750s in missions for which they were not intended – like riding from London to the south of France and back with luggage. I’m seriously considering trading in my 2004 Breva 750 for the matte black base model 750.

      • Paul says:

        Could have done with the extra power when I rode my Breva from Ireland to the Alps and Dolomites and back, chasing my mates on their Beemer K1200s. Cost me a clutch, but it was fun

  3. Joey Wilson says:

    Suddenly, we have a dealer in the Nashville area that took the whole Piaggio plunge: MG, Aprilia, and Vespa scooters, in a full-line big dealership that already had the four Japanese brands and Victory. Got to go by there and saw the V7 and Stelvio in the flesh for the first time, was impressed.

    I’d often wondered, you look at pictures of these things and wonder will my knees hit the cylinder heads or roast my shins . . . obviously not. While I know that these flat-black-Stealth paint jobs are trendy right now, they’re not for me. But that red and white V7 just rings a lot of bells, reminds me of the bikes I remember when I was a kid. Would be a toss-up for me between this and a Bonneville SE (Thank God I don’t have to enter the Far-East-only CB1100 into this calculation). Yeah, they don’t have the power to bend space and time like so many Personal Cruise Missles have these days, but for a grown-up who just wants to enjoy the ride, they’re fast enough for me. Nobody does it like the Italians !

  4. Hot Dog says:

    Does this mean that Dr. John’s team will return? Ah, nope.

  5. Artem says:

    Cool, but not for 11500 euro (RU diller).
    Kawasaki W800 is about 9300 euro.

  6. Stinky says:

    I’ve always wanted to ride a Guzzi, still holding onto the dream. I’m sure there’s more power just waiting to be found by a good head porter. I fell in love with these bikes many years ago at Steamboat vintage races. Of all the different bikes being raced that day one sound got me out of the condo like Wiley Coyote. I had to wait for another lap to see an MG that was breathed on that had a sound like a NASCAR small block. The price has always held me up from signing on the dotted line. This might be the one to break the writers block. Ride it with a set of pipes for a couple years and see what it’d take to make it pop a little harder if it really needs it.

  7. Goose says:

    As a former Guzzi owner (2001 V1 Sport) and still a big fan of the brand I’m really happy to see the V7 get a little engineering love, it is long over due. The V7 has always struck me a great bike but the power was short even for the non-power mad types. A little more power combined with (relatively) low cost, great looks and handling seems like a winner. Add very old fashioned easy maintenance and it gets even better.

    A few more things, first, about the power. A few people have posted that old Guzzis made more power than the new V7. True in some cases but comparing a low cost, economy focused bike like the V7 with the old V7/ Le Mans is like complaining your VW Beetle makes less power than a 911 Porsche. The old V7/ Le Mans bikes were high end, limited production street racers, the comparison is apples and oranges. The comparison would be with the old El Dorado/ Ambassador or similar small valve engines. Part two, you guys are comparing claimed horse power like it was based on reality. NO anywhere near stock El Dorado made 64 HP, maybe 50 for a perfect bike on a very good day, more likely 40 to 45 HP for an average. This bike is quieter and meets the Emission requirements, trust me, the old bikes didn’t.

    Finally, I’ll add my voice to the people saying Guzzis aren’t for everybody. I loved my V11 and kept it for 9 years, a record for me. It was one of the best bikes I’ve ever owned but our relationship was not always smooth. I’m fairly handy in the garage and, with the help of MG Cycles and the internet (see V11lemans.com, the valve adjustment tutorial is mine) I kept it running well and got through the rough patches. These bikes are fueled by Italian passion, not Japanese logic.

    Goose

  8. DrBondTV says:

    I love Guzzis especially the V7 models. The upgrades are welcomes and the new colors are pretty good. Can’t wait to see the updated Cafe version.

  9. Jay Mack says:

    There is nothing wrong with that blacked-out unit that me riding it wouldn’t fix.

  10. MGNorge says:

    I bought my first Guzzi about 3 years ago, a Norge. I’m not sure if I really actually considered a Guzzi when I was younger but I do remember a fellow on a Centauro motor away from me coming out of a tight turn that I was impressed. I had one also owned a Honda CX500 so there seemed to be a draw toward Guzzis. Being a relatively low volume brand, being in a long downturn and dealers spread sparsely around the country had an excess of stock in their warehouses and at dealers. After finding myself looking for something a little different from everything else out there I my closest dealer invited me to take a long test drive. I was in love! So chock full of character, more than adequate power and a willingness to just keep on going had me hooked. Buying one for thousands less than MSRP clinched the deal. Since owning one I’ve found Guzzi owners less interested in how fast or how quick but how many miles they rack up each year! They’re easy to work on as far as maintenance goes which is not the case with many bikes today. They have a retro lure to the way motorcycling was years ago and that’s rather neat too. Go ride one and see for yourselves.

  11. endoman says:

    What would be really great would be to make a street legal MGS-01.

  12. Mickey says:

    Indeed striking motorcycles. In the 1960’s toward the end of my dad’s riding career he had a 125 cc Moto Guzzi, and my little brother bought an 850 Eldorado new in 1973. Always had a soft spot for Beemers and Guzzi’z although I have never personally owned either one. Almost bought a 750 Breva a few years ago, but couldn’t get over the lackluster horsepower on my test ride. I think I could have been happy with 75 horsepower, but not what 48?. Heck my brothers 73 850 had 64? horsepower nearly 40 years ago.(I also thought the cylinder heads on the Breva looked freakishly small compared to what I remembered of my brother’s Eldorado). Anyhow, I think they are beautiful motorcycles, full of charachter, and I do enjoy looking at them. I think a poor dealer network really hurts the Italian brands, and that’s a shame, as they build some fine sporting motorcycles.

  13. CurtyD says:

    And no price figures, because we don’t even know if or when i’s coming to the USA??

  14. Giancarlo says:

    I love the looks of the all black one.Someting in me always yearns for too much power and top shelf fork,brake,and shock kit and I cannot seem to turn it off?It is one of my favorite normal motorcycles and I am glad to see the 1973 looks brought back.GF

  15. CowboyTutt says:

    The V7 Racer in a big bore version or at least something bigger than 750 would be the “cat’s meow”. With all the money they spent on upgrades, why didn’t they just increase displacement to what is feasable in that motor??? I love MG’s but don’t understand their thinking on this. Really looking forward to the new big bore engine that is coming out (Maybe 1400 cc’s?) and oil or maybe even water cooling. -Tutt

    • todd says:

      I was really hoping they’d make it a 3-liter…

    • AndrewF says:

      They are probably thinking about keeping it light and different from their other bikes. 750cc is probably as much as they can get out of this small block engine. They do have a big block engine available they could use instead, but a: it would make the bike much heavier and bigger and b: they already have a bike like that – it’s called Griso.
      There are plenty of powerful bikes if that’s what you want, V7s are fine just the way they are.

  16. GS1100GK says:

    I have always loved MG’s and having something light the V7 to compliment my C-14 in the garage would be fantastic! To buy a MG you really need to want one since performance, and bang for the buck will usually be found in other brand showrooms. I compliment Piaagio for pumping investment dollars into MG product development pipeline.

    I’ve test ridden many and love the feel of that V-Twin, but the price and parts availability has always put me off.

    Now, all MG has to do is lower the price a bit to be more competitive and improve the parts supply pipeline and buying one would be a much easier choice. :)

  17. Philip says:

    I was wondering how much the bike costs and if the new fuel tank is smaller thus deleting any fuel economy gains?

  18. Randy says:

    No one will truthfully be able to say that a V Strom is the ugliest bike any more after seeing this thing that is for sure !!!

  19. MarkF says:

    I love this bike! Having previously owned a V65SP I know what to expect. I had that bike for tour & commute. Having just purchased a GS as a do it all if I had more money I would get the V7 as my fun & commute bike and save the GS for camping and touring. Like I said flat black and mags, just add a glossy stripe down the tank.

  20. BoxerFanatic says:

    I was hoping that the V7 would get more power.

    This is good, but I can’t believe that there isn’t much more potential in this engine.

    From the Ducati website, the Monster 696 produces 80hp (58,8kW) @ 9,000rpm and 50,6lb-ft (7,0kgm) of torque @ 7,750rpm.

    The larger 803cc 4-valve Monster 796 produces 87 bhp @ 8250 rpm, and 58 lb.-ft. @ 6250 rpm

    This bike is still nowhere near those, in terms of power, yet I wonder why it isn’t a 750cc 4-valve motor with ~80 horsepower, rather than 50. 50 is tractable, but hardly seems compelling or competitive with the market.

    I really want to like it, and the power increase helps, but it seems only half-way. I hope they bring a new V7 Cafe Racer with closer to 80hp, and looks like the V7 Clubman Racer concept.

    • bikerrandy says:

      These 750 Guzzis have a penta head design which isn’t about top hp, it’s about linear acceleration and simplicity. I have a `04 750 Breva with over 40K miles on it with absolutely no issues. It’s brakes are just fine as is it’s handling. In my youth I used to successfully amateur road race. If all you care about is hp get something else.

      • Goose says:

        I have no idea what a penta head is, the closest I’ve run across is Honda calling their old (wide valve angle) 4-Valve head as a penta head but that was more marketing the engineering term.

        Whatever, the small block Guzzi is a Heron head design. This design has a flat cylinder head with the combustion chamber in the top of the piston. The Heron design was considered a hot idea in the sixties, even making it to F1 engines. IIRC, Jaguar used it in their first V-12.

        By the lack of engines with Heron heads today you can figure the design didn’t turn out to be the way forward. That happened a few years later when Keith Duckworth released the Cosworth-Ford DFV V-8 F1 engine with the first modern (narrow valve angle) four valve head.

        More here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heron_cylinder_head

        Goose

  21. Face of itch says:

    Thank you, Piaggio, for breathing new life onto the V7 model line-up! I absolutely love the style of all 3 of the variants.

    For those of you who feel that it still doesn’t measure up to the new Bonneville, I poop in your cereal (I’m sure that, translated back into some language on some dark corner of the planet, this is a genuine insult).

    The Bonnie weighs in at around 40 to 50 pounds more than the V7 (depending on the version chosen for comparison), sounds about as bland as a ceiling fan, and is assembled in a 3rd world country where “I poop in your cereal” probably means something.

    Thank you again, Piaggio. May the curmudgeonistic among us reward your loyalty to a beloved platform that many, less enlightened, folks deride as an anachronism by adding their favorite variant to their stable. I’ll be first in line!

  22. Morris Bethoven says:

    Nice to see that it’s offered with cast wheels. I like the blacked out version. 50 hp might be OK if the weight really is 401# dry if you’re planning on riding it like a retro…. Does anyone know what the actual price is?

  23. CHRISTOW says:

    I have the almost identical bike, a ’77 BMW R100/7. More powerful though.

  24. Ed says:

    That’s beautifull bike but when a Triumph Bonneville starts out making 15 more horsepower and is in the same price range I’d have a real hard time buying it.

  25. Justin says:

    Price this the same or close to what a XL883 is, and they’d sell every one they could build…and probably piss Harley off in the process.

  26. Denny says:

    Unfortunatelly for Guzzi, the Racer again, has its tradidtional tacky styling. Well, what to say…. I would not want bike with “7” all over it.

    http://www.motorcyclespecs.co.za/model/moto%20guzzi/moto_guzzi_v7_clubman_racer%2012.htm

  27. RD350 says:

    I wonder why Guzzi decided to develop its new line around this “smallbore” 750cc rather than the already produced 1100cc from the earlier V11 Sport?

    Everyone loves these new retro Guzzis .. but everyone seems to want a full size version.

    It seems to me that Guzzi are missing the boat ..

    I love Moto Guzzi .. but they really need to get back to their sporting roots. Less weight and a bit more power please.

    • Scotty says:

      As a 8 years owner of a 750 guzzi maybe I can answer that. Its mostly down to weight – my Breva750 weights AT LEAST 40 kilograms less than the smallest big block Guzzi, and much less than that for the Calis and the Stelvio …

      Some of us are perfectly happy with a light 182kg 50hp bike that can take you to work and back and tour one-up on the backroads, and at least keep out of trouble on the motorway. And the small blovks have a completely different feel from the big blocks. They are not horsepower monsters, but then if that was all that counted all those HD riders would be on Diavels and Rocket 3s!

      Anyway, Guzzis are not for everyone, and there is nothing like them, big or small!

  28. Steve NJ says:

    I’ve always liked Moto Guzzi & the blacked out V7 looks like a lot of fun but I’d prefer it if MG bumped the engine displacement up to 1000cc or so…that would give it the added TQ + Hp we all want (say ~ 75 Hp/ 50 ftlb TQ)….
    that would be a fun bike & you could also ride with a woman on the back….

    • MGNorge says:

      Check out the Breva or Griso.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        While nice, neither of those bikes have the same classic lines and flare of the V7. It is baffling that they are holding back the big engine from this great looking bike.

        • Fred M. says:

          I don’t think that the chassis, brakes, shaft drive, or suspension is up to dealing with the much more powerful, heavier engine.

          You’d probably have to go to dual front discs. The forks would probably need to be upgraded to something stiffer like 43mm male slider forks. The shaft drive would have to be made stronger and heavier. The narrow 130 series rear tire won’t cope with the horsepower from the more powerful engine. The engine is physically larger and heavier, requiring a whole new chassis, probably with heavier tubes (thicker walls and/or larger diameters).

          They might be able to retain some styling cues and re-use some non-structural parts (lights, instruments, handlebars), but
          it’s pretty much a whole new bike.

        • Scotty says:

          The big engine is a compltely different beast, far heavier, different transmission, different shaft system. Its not a straight swap. I would like a 940 Bellagio power unit in the styling of the black V7, but not at the expense of all that extra weight. And believe me, you can feel it. The 750s are unique in being lightweight shafties.

          the black one would be a perfect replacement for my 2004 Bleva750 when the time is right.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            Let me rephrase then: I can’t believe they are holding this great looking bike back from the big engine.

            I wouldn’t want the extra power put into this dinky chassis. I want the V7 looks in a V12 flavor. That ain’t too much to ask!

  29. endoman says:

    The V7-Racer is way cool looking, http://www.v7racer.com , Maybe they should build a bike like that using the 1200cc motor.

  30. Gary says:

    Moto Guzzi has been making some big strides in a lot of areas. They are looking great, and styling is much improved in my opinion. More horsepower and torque is a welcome addition, hopefully, they will be able to keep it up.

  31. Jerrylee says:

    It seems M-G horsepower has gone “backwards” over the years. Maybe some of the earlier HP claims were really closer to the current model. Regardless, I agree something in the 70 or so would be nice to add some spirit to a classic look. I love Guzzi and they are becoming more tempting.

  32. Roadrash1 says:

    I like the fact that you can get one with cast wheels. I didn’t see that on previous V7’s. I know, spokes are classic & all, but I’ve always felt they were a PITA to detail. Call me lazy.

    I think I’ll try to get a test ride on one of these next Spring. Are they as low maintenance as they appear to be?

  33. lowflying says:

    Definitely cool bikes. But would 75 horsepower be too much to ask? Character only goes so far…

    • Fred M. says:

      Yes, 75hp would be way too much to ask. That’s asking an air-cooled, long-stroke, V-twin to produce for 100hp per liter. The new V7 makes peak horsepower at 6,200 RPM and peak torque at 5,000 RPM. To make 75hp, the engine would be gutless in the low RPM range that most buyers want to ride it in.

      Complaining about the lack of horsepower on a retro bike is like complaining about the lack of chrome on a sport bike. The original Moto Guzzi V7, which was considered a hot bike, made 45hp. The Ducati 750 GT, another performance bike of the same vintage, made 50hp.

      This is a bike for relaxed riding, not canyon strafing. It’s got 40mm, non-adjustable, conventional forks. It’s got low-tech, dual rear shocks. It’s shod with narrow bias-ply tires with tubes in them (in the spoked rim versions of the V7).

      I’ve got a 750cc Ural. It makes 40-46hp. It’s a fun bike. So’s my 146hp Buell 1125CR. So is my Genuine Stella Scooter (basically a Vespa PX-150) that makes somewhere around 15hp after the performance pipe and jetting. Different bikes for different types of riding. You don’t need lots of horsepower to have fun.

      • Jeremy in TX says:

        You don’t need big power to have fun. But for $10G, I’d certainly want more than budget bike suspension and 50hp on such a heavy bike.

        • Justin says:

          I don’t suppose you’ll be buying a Sportster anytime soon then. Think of that as a more obvious competitor, not something with more sporting intentions.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            You are correct. I will not be buying a Sportster anytime soon, or ever for that matter. A Triumph Bonneville variant is a more obvious competitor IMHO.

        • Scotty says:

          How heavy? If its a lot heavier than my Breva 750 I’d be surprised! 182kgs

        • Fred M. says:

          Let’s correct an error in your post where you call the V7 “such a heavy bike.” It’s a lightweight bike; it’s weighs in at 401.2lbs dry (2011 figure. 2012 figure not published yet). Perhaps the 51 horsepower and suspension make more sense to you now.

          This is a retro bike meant to compete against motorcycles like the Triumph Bonneville T100, Kawasaki W800, and Harley 883 Sportster. Those bikes weigh 75-140+ pounds more and have suspension that’s very comparable: Conventional, non-adjustable forks (39mm & 41mm vs. 40mm for the V7), dual shocks with preload adjustment (the V7 adds rebound damping adjustment).

          So, how is the V7 not competitive?

          • Jay says:

            Right. The light weight and shaft drive are the bike’s best qualities. Try finding those two features together on some other modern bike. 50hp is plenty.

          • Jeremy in TX says:

            You are correct. Taken against the intended competition, I have to agree it is competitive. I am judging it against bikes I would consider buying (and a peppier V11 would make the list.)

  34. motobell says:

    Guzzi (or anyone for that matter) needs to make a bike that looks like the matt black V7 just with a similarly upgraded v12 engine, upside down forks, sportbike quality rear suspension, radial brakes, lightweight superbike sized wheels and tires, keep the dual side exhausts and 2-up friendly ergos please.

    If this guzzi’s verson of sportclassic.. I just want a spotmodern without the ass in the sky styling of hard core nakes – – speedtriple, ducati streetfighter and Tuonos- are passenger unfriendly

    • Fred M. says:

      “without the ass in the sky styling of hard core nakes”

      Oh, so now you’re too good to be climbing aboard something that looks like a house cat in heat! ;)

    • BoxerFanatic says:

      V12 8-valve Griso isn’t all that far off, other than slightly less “classical” frame styling.

      A Matte black 8V Griso with upgraded Forks/Brakes would be pretty close to what you are describing, except perhaps the dual exhaust. That can likely be addressed, as well.

      Frankly, I really want to combine a Breva Sport headlight (near-round with a stacked projector and reflector inside), with a V11 LeMans half-fairing onto an 8V Griso, with a swappable mono-posto Cafe-Racer like seat, instead of the raised pillion stock seat.