First Look: Moto Guzzi v7 Racer
Sep 14, 2010
Italian style and superb craftsmanship in a motorcycle created for collectors in search of vintage appeal.
The Moto Guzzi V7 Racer pays homage to the extraordinary racing career of the V7 Sport, an icon in the glorious history of the marque from Mandello del Lario.
Among its many merits, the legendary V7 Sport - with its technical excellence and outstanding performance - was also the most desirable bike of all in the modified production class. This class, reserved for gentleman riders, enjoyed an avid following spurred on by the passionate rivalry between supporters of Japanese bikes, which were extraordinarily powerful but difficult to ride, and fans of Italian sports bikes which, while disadvantaged in terms of pure horsepower, boasted better engineered chasses and superior braking performance than their multi-cylinder adversaries.
Away from the circuit, this rivalry between the two factions continued in heated discussions around café tables, and if you happened to have a Moto Guzzi V7 Sport parked in front, with its single-seater saddle in suede, its racing exhaust and its unmistakable top fairing, it was proof that you belonged to an elite group of expert motorcyclists for whom riding is a true art.
Moto Guzzi has captured the essence of that magical moment in time from over three decades ago, and reinterpreted it with the marque's hallmark passion and skill to create a genuine production special: the new V7 Racer. Produced in a numbered edition, as demonstrated by the commemorative plaque on the steering yoke, the V7 Racer celebrates the classic styling cues of the Moto Guzzi brand in a perfectly balanced blend of craftsmanship and technology evident in every aspect of this stunning motorcycle.
The first thing to catch your eye is the chromed tank - created using innovative metal particle deposition technology - embellished with an 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 first 150 examples of the V7 Sport with CrMo frames, has been given a special treatment - as have the hubs and swingarm - which accentuates the gloss finish and emphasises the aesthetic purity of the double cradle structure. 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 Plexiglas 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 bespoke components in 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 premium components include the aft-mounted footpegs machined from solid billets, the lightened 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.
Any gentleman rider in the mood for a track day simply needs to don a single colour helmet and an understated leather riding suit, find the perfect setup for the fully adjustable pair of Bitubo gas shock absorbers and aim the 18 inch front wheel as close as possible to the apex. Riding enthusiasts who want to take it a step further can also choose the Arrow exhaust system (not homologated for street use), which is in perfect keeping with the visual balance of the bike and produces a spine-tingling sound as well as a significant increase in performance.
Technically, the V7 Racer retains the same winning formula used for the V7 Café in terms of both frame architecture - with a double cradle layout and detachable bolted lower elements - and geometry, with a steering rake of 27°50’. Doing duty together with the fully adjustable Bitubo rear shock absorbers is a 40 mm Marzocchi front fork, with a wheel travel of 130 mm and fitted with dust gaiters.
The brake system uses the finest components that the market has to offer, with a 320 mm floating front disc gripped by a fixed 4-piston Brembo 30/34 calliper, and a 260 mm rear disc with a 32 mm Brembo calliper. Measuring 2.50 x 18 at the front and 3.50 x 17 at the rear, the wire wheels, with silver spokes and nipples mounted on a matte black rim, are the same size as on the V7 Café, but are shod with higher performance and more visually impressive Pirelli Demon Sport tyres.