Looking at the new Moto Guzzi V7 III (the model tested here is the Special, but there is also a Stone and Anniversario) you would be forgiven for thinking not a lot has changed, but you would be very wrong.
It may have the same retro styling as the outgoing V7 II, but the III features a new chassis and shocks with improved damping characteristics to boost its agility.
The riding position has been tweaked to make it more comfortable, the seat’s design revised and the overall styling altered. But for me the biggest improvements come from the alterations that have happened within the classic transverse V-twin.
Like the V9, which was unveiled last year, the V7 is now Euro4-complaint despite remaining air-cooled. This has been achieved by basically sticking the V9’s design of head with its air channels and extra oil cooling on the V7’s lump.
However far from simply stop there, Guzzi have taken the opportunity to not only gain a 10% increase in power, but also refine and lighten the clutch and gearbox’s action as well as alter its ratios. And what a difference it all makes.
As well as keeping all that lovely Guzzi soul through the transverse twin’s lumpy feeling and twisting torque reaction at low speed, once higher up the rev range the III motor becomes far smoother than before, delivering a lovely relaxed and refined ride.
Not only that, Guzzi have actually built a gearbox that works, and then aligned it to a clutch with an even lighter action than before! And the surprises don’t stop at the motor, the uprated chassis is also a joy.
The bounce and jolt from the poorly damped V7 II’s shocks has been replaced by a well controlled rear and the V7 III now turns with proper agility into bends.
It’s really good fun to ride through 60mph twisties and the ABS and traction control (which has two levels) stay hidden in the background and don’t interfere with this enjoyment. Although a touch more ground clearance would be nice.
I’m not often left surprised by an updated bike, but the V7 III was a real eye opener. It’s not the fasted retro out there, but performance was never its big selling point. The Guzzi V7 range wins fans through their cool looks, iconic name and easy going nature, features that have all been greatly enhanced in this new third generation.
I’m actually struggling to find much to criticise about the V7 III as it both looks and feels bang on what this style of retro should – especially the absolutely stunning Anniversario with its chrome tank. Great job Guzzi.
Some Moto Guzzi V7 III stats
Price - £8002
Top speed - 100mph (est)
Weight - 209kg (wet)
Seat height - 770mm
Fuel capacity - 21 litres
Power - 52bhp @6200rpm
Torque - 44.2ftlb @4900rpm
Tank range - 240 miles (est)
Avergae fuel consumption - 60mph (est)
Keep an eye out in the future for the Stone and Anniversario first rides coming soon too!
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