2012 Moto Guzzi V7, Special &
New engine, revamped design, brand new
equipment: the legend of the V7 reaches its highest
1. THE NEW V7: EVOLUTION IN KEEPING WITH
Created in 2008, the V7 Classic won over enthusiasts
with its design inspired by the famous forerunners,
V7 Special and Sport from the seventies, but combined
with the technology and usability of a modern Moto
Guzzi. Later on the V7 Cafè in 2009 and the
exclusive V7 Racer the year after contributed to the
success of the V7 Classic, first appearing as a show
bike at EICMA 2009 before production began at the
unanimous demand of the markets until it well exceeded
the barrier of 1000 units sold.
These three models completed the range which was
able to rekindle youthful memories for more expert
bikers, memories of trips and friendships experienced
in the sixties and seventies, when the motorcycle
represented a symbol of freedom and non-conformism.
These values, sustained by a brand that celebrated
ninety years of history, made the V7 a bike which
fully expressed the passion and skill of the rider.
The new Moto Guzzi V7 project begins with an examination
of its identity: elegant, Italian, two cylinder, affordable
and with a unique history. In order to preserve the
traits of this personality and project it into the
future, the only path that could be taken was that
of totally innovating it within a perimeter of tradition
delimited by its technical specifications and its
design style. This is why we can say that the V7 is
a completely new bike, more powerful, faster, thriftier,
more ecological, better refined and more comfortable
than the previous version, and yet still with a cardan
shaft driven 90° transversal V two cylinder engine
and double frame. That is, the distinctive elements
of a tradition which has its roots in an idea conceived
in 1967: the Moto Guzzi V7 700cc.
2. THE NEW, SINGLE THROTTLE V7 ENGINE.
The original engine design dates back to 1977, the
year of the Moto Guzzi 50s fortunate début.
Since then the engine has been continuously updated,
sustaining displacements of 350 up to 750 cc, going
from carburetor to electronic injection, but staying
faithful to the genial layout introduced in the original
design by engineer Lino Tonti. Appreciated all over
the world for its proverbial reliability and functional
regularity, the small block, after many years, needed
a bit more liveliness at high rpms.
And so, the search for greater performance opened
the door to a new design, rich with innovative solutions
that project this engine among the most advanced in
its category with more than 70% new parts, equal to
more than 200 new or redesigned mechanical organs.
This design freshness can already be seen in the
layout of the thermal group which is a summary of
the design philosophy for the entire bike: innovation
which respects tradition. And so it is that the square
finning, legacy of production from the 1980s, passed
the baton to a rounded shape which is reminiscent
of the first generation of two cylinders from Mandello.
The valves cover is also a homage to the origins
of the V7; made in aluminium, it faithfully covers
the profile of the finning, showing off the Moto Guzzi
signature in bas-relief. Another element which is
immediately recognisable is the disappearance of the
two intake manifolds and relative throttle bodies:
in fact, the new small block is the first single throttle
Moto Guzzi engine.
The manifolds were replaced by a single Y manifold
made of rubber, completely ribbed and straight (diameter
of 36 and 39 mm respectively from the injector groups
and the throttle body) which links to a single Magneti
Marelli MIU3G 38 mm diameter throttle body.
This is a modern unit which allows two lambda probes
to be managed, thereby obtaining a mixture to the
cylinders which is more uniform with consequent improvement
in fuel economy and harmful emissions, besides contributing
to the increase in performance, which was the goal
of the entire design. For this purpose a new head
was designed, working on the intake ducts, now larger
in diameter and better linked to reduce losses and
increase turbulence, as well as repositioning the
spark plug hole more centrally, thanks to the use
of a more modern plug with d=10mm threading and a
The squish area and the compression ratio is also
increased, thanks to the use of new, higher performance
pistons which increased the ratio by one point, going
from 9.2 to 10.2. In addition to the pouches obtained
at the top of the piston, the bottom of these are
completely redesigned to make the structure more sturdy
without increasing the weight. The segments are also
new, with more modern sizes, material and shapes,
and they contribute to improving efficiency and oil
The general efficiency of the engine stems from
the contribution of the new cylinder finning, greater
dimensions and wheelbase which lowered average operating
temperatures, and the new filter casing, redesigned
to accommodate the "breathing" needs of
the two cylinder from Mandello.
With this new configuration, the two cylinder from
Mandello became significantly more sturdy in engine
torque and above all in maximum power, growing 12%
with higher inclination for spurts and a power curve
which expresses its additional horses already from
The transmission has also been revamped, still five
speeds, but with a new pre-selector which has made
control more precise, smooth and quiet.
3. DESIGN: SKILFUL ALCHEMY BETWEEN TRADITION
The design of the new V7 tells of the historic lineage
of the model through a mix of forms and volumes which
cite the famous ancestors, from the V7 750 Special
remembered in the accents and the side panels, to
the V7 Sport, which influenced the tank, the main
new feature introduced in the new V7.
A change in look, now more imposing in form and
capacity, the new tank brings with it a superior material
perception of metal with respect to polyethylene,
the material which was used to make the previous unit.
This is thanks to the most advanced moulding technologies
which allow construction of a metallic tank which
is the same size, but lighter and with greater capacity
(22 l) compared to the previous polyethylene unit.
This is further proof of the design philosophy that
guided the entire V7 project where innovation of the
processes restored the pleasure to the rider of gripping
a real, resounding metal tank in true Moto Guzzi tradition.
The rest of the new V7 design confirms that alchemy
of tradition and modernism introduced in 2008 with
the first V7 Classic, where, through the generous
chrome trim, enthusiasts will be able to appreciate
the cigar shape of the silencers, the dials on the
instrument panel, clearly inspired by the Veglia-Borletti
from the 1970s, the flat and long saddle, with the
proud "Moto Guzzi" inscription emblazoned
on the rear part as well as the new valves covers.
The Moto Guzzi V7, iconic and prestigiously manufactured,
is now available in three version, two touring and
one sport, respectively the V7, V7 Special and the
V7 Sport. Just like in 1971 when the sport version
completed a range made up of the dominating V7 and
4. THE FRAME: THE CERTAINTY OF THE DOUBLE
CRADLE, THE NEW, LIGHTENED WHEELS.
The double cradle frame, with bolted and removable
lower elements, is a key element of the V7 project
and it has not undergone any changes compared with
the previous version.
This is a unit of legendary solidity and sturdiness
thanks in part to the headstock angle of 27°50',
an angle which ensures stability and directional precision.
The Marzocchi fork is also confirmed, using 40 mm
stanchions and equipped with dust boots in the Racer
version, with 130 mm travel.
Sachs shock absorbers for the V7 and the V7 Special
with adjustable spring preload and offering 118 mm
of travel, while the Racer, as usual, stands out with
a pair of refined Bitubo WMT gas shock absorbers equipped
with an external tank. The brake system consists of
a 320 mm floating front disc and a 260 mm rear disc.
The entire range is now equipped with one of two
different types of new wheels: in lightweight alloy
with doubled six spokes for the V7, spoked with new
aluminium rim for Special and Racer. A reduction in
weight for all three compared to the previous version
which means an advantage in terms of gyroscopic inertia
which translates on the road into greater agility
and superlative feel.
The Pirelli Sport Demon tyres which are standard
equipment on all three versions also contribute to
the efficient and safe ride.
The V7 range.
Moto Guzzi V7:
This represents the entry level model to the range,
more for the versatility of its style than for essentiality
in its equipment. Thanks to the new lightweight and
minimalist alloy wheels, the new V7 winks at a more
varied audience than the other two versions, clearly
inspired, even in the chromium plating choices, by
the legendary Moto Guzzi bikes of the past. The plain
colour combined with the simple design of the doubled
six spoke wheels enhances the brightness of the chromium
plating and the various metallic tones, providing
the whole package with great appeal and modernism,
representing the ideal base for developing new aesthetic
The lightweight alloy wheels allowed a reduction
of 1440 grams at the front and 860 on the rear, with
a consequent drop in gyroscopic inertia of about 30%,
an advantage in terms of dynamics which translates
on the road into greater agility and speed entering
Moto Guzzi V7 Special:
This is the closest to the original V7 concept,
not only because it shares its name with the first
V7 signed by Lino Tonti, but because if faithfully
cites the same riding philosophy, that of a touring
bike with sophisticated finishings and exclusive technical
solutions. Just like its ancestor, it is wrapped in
a two-tone colour concept and equipped with precious
spoked wheels with aluminium rims which, as in the
case of the V7, contribute to improving the riding
dynamic thanks to the lower weight compared to the
V7 Classic. The new engine, significantly more powerful,
is perfectly suited for medium range touring and contributes
to low fuel consumption and greater tank capacity.
It provides a flagship riding range, a role which
it can easily interpret once equipped with bags and
windshield, accessories which go well with the overall
design of the V7 Special.
Moto Guzzi V7 Racer:
The Racer is now the only sport version of the V7
and the model in the range which benefits the most
from the two most significant new features: the new
single throttle engine which provides more sporty
performance and the metal fuel tank, further enhanced
by the specific chromium treatment for this prestigious
Manufactured in a numbered limited edition as shown
by the commemorative plaque on the steering yoke,
the V7 Racer stands out for the executive refinement
of the details as well as the elegant leather strap.
This is a clear reference to legendary bikes of the
past, as are the metal accents of the Moto Guzzi badge
which is colour-coded with the frame. The red frame,
itself inspired by the legendary early V7 Sport with
CrMo frames, is the result of a special painting treatment
extended to the hubs, wheels and swingarm as well,
which accentuates the architectural purity of the
Perched on top of the frame's tubes is an ultra
sporty single-seater saddle (a two-seater saddle and
pillion footpegs are available as optional accessories),
upholstered in suede and terminating in an aerodynamic
tail fairing that also incorporates lateral race number
panels in true Seventies style.
With its tiny Plexiglass screen above a race number
panel, the top fairing - an exemplary expression of
the Guzzi school - cites the front of the legendary
Gambalunga. This unequivocally sporty element is in
perfect harmony with the new design of the front mudguard.
One of the most distinctive features of this unique
special edition is the widespread use of brushed,
drilled aluminium. This hand-crafted treatment, which
requires superb artisan skill, has been applied to
the side panels, the throttle body guards and the
silencer mounting brackets.
Other standout features are the adjustable set-back
billet footrests, the lightweight steering stem and
the steering yoke guard consisting of a double chromed
ring, which is so exquisitely crafted that it looks
like an ornamental feature. There is also a pair of
prestigious Bitubo WMY01 shock absorbers with adjustable
spring preload in rebound and compression thanks to
a 12 click adjusting knob. This is a bike which should
be ridden strictly in black, with a skullcap helmet
and leather studded gloves.
V7 RACER OUTFITTING:
• Numbered limited edition plaque.
• Frame, swingarm and hubs in red finish.
• Chromium metal fuel tank.
• Leather fastener strap along centreline of
• Single-seater saddle in suede.
• Singe seat tail fairing with integrated race
• Top fairing with integrated race number panel.
• Sports mudguard.
• Side panels in brushed, drilled aluminium.
• Throttle body guards in brushed, drilled aluminium.
• Silencer mounting bracket in brushed, drilled
• Chromed upper steering yoke guard.
• Chromed heat shield.
• Front fork stanchion dust gaiters.
5. THE ORIGINS OF THE LEGENDARY V7.
The year was 1961 and the success of the mass produced
car was radically reorganizing the motorcycle market.
Moto Guzzi, empowered with enviable design capacity
reacted to the unfavourable circumstances by exploring
new markets, from delivery tricars to agricultural
machinery and special vehicles - even cars. For the
latter, the genius designer Giulio Cesare Carcano
designed a two cylinder 90° V air cooled engine
destined for a sport version of the Fiat 500, capable
of touching 140 km/h.
They liked the new engine in Lingotto, but the annual
quantity that Vittorio Valletta requested exceeded
the production capacity of the Mandello del Lario
plant, so the agreement never came to fruition.
Engineer Carcano, however, did not lose heart and
he increased the size of the two cylinder engine to
754cc to use it on the "3X3", a popular,
variable track three wheel drive vehicle destined
for the Alpine troops. At the same time a ministerial
tender was launched to provide motorcycles for the
Highway Police; the winner would be whoever could
travel 100,000 km with the lowest maintenance cost.
It was the right occasion to place engineer Carcano's
two cylinder on a bike, the Moto Guzzi V7. It was
an innovative project that combined the reliability
of automotive standards with a level of comfort and
mechanical affordability unknown to the competition
that arose the curiosity even of foreign police forces,
Los Angeles being among the first. The commissioning
of the new V7 began in 1964. The bike had a 703.3
cc engine which developed 40 hp and it weighed 230
kg. In 1966 mass production began, destined for the
police department and foreign markets, while the next
year the V7 was distributed in Italy at the competitive
price of 725,000 lira, much more convenient than the
German and English competition.
6. EVOLUTION ACCORDING TO LINO TONTI.
Giulio Cesare Carcano's creation was perfected by
an expert designer who joined Moto Guzzi in 1967:
Lino Toni. Hailing from Forlì, with a great
deal of experience in competitions with Mondial, Bianchi
and Gilera, the engineer was called on by the general
manager Romolo Stefani to expand the range of the
maxi-bike from Mandello del Lario. The V7 appeared
at the right time, bikes were coming domineeringly
back into fashion almost as a reaction to the conformism
of the car and the market is particularly open to
innovations. The first thing Tonti did was to increase
the engine size to 757 and the power to 45 hp to launch
the V7 special in 1969, faster, more refined and elegant
compared to the V7. Then he created, initially for
the American market, the V7 Ambassador and the California,
the latter destined to be one of the great Moto Guzzi
success stories. The next milestone coincided with
Lino Tonti's masterpiece: the V7 Sport. The designer
from Forlì had clear ideas and he set the three
parameters of the sport bike from Mandello: 200 km/h,
200 kg, 5 gears. To reach the objective he made some
changes to the engine, taking the displacement to
748.3 cc and the power to more than 52 hp, redesigning
the crankshaft and camshafts, in addition to placing
the alternator in the front in order to keep the vertical
The engine was lodged in a tight, double cradle
frame, painted red for the first 200 units made in
CrMo and assembled directly in the experience department
on via E.V. Parodi, No. 57. The bike made its début
in 1971 and in June of the same year it participated
in the "500 kilometres of Monza" race taking
third place with Raimondo Riva. And this was the beginning
of a series of flattering results obtained in endurance
races such as the 24 Hour Le Mans and Liegi races
which would contribute, together with very popular
riders such as Vittorio Brambilla, to making it the
most famous Italian sport bike of the 1970s.
7. FROM THE V7 TO THE 850 GENERATION.
Over a couple of seasons the technological evolution
which was achieved with the V7 Sport Moto Guzzi was
also transferred to the rest of the range. The new
frame, the four pad front brake and the five speed
transmission introduced on the V7 Sport represented,
together with the increased engine size, the primary
innovations of the V850 GT, a model which would mark
the retirement of the lucky V7 Special in 1973. The
Sport would also lose the famous alphanumeric name,
replaced in 1974 by the Moto Guzzi 750S. The last
model to give up the glorious alphanumeric name was
the V7 850 California, which would not pass the baton
to the new 850 T California until 1976.