On the move the Moto Guzzi V7 Café Classic is mostly sweetness and class. The steering’s sharp, the balance neutral, the single disc and fairly basic suspension up to the job and the overall ride both comfortable and easy-going, yet also sufficiently inspiring and engaging to take for a good old fashioned thrape.
As with the V7 Classic, the engine is the weakest link on the Guzzi Café Classic, although it’s only lacking when compared directly to more modern units. The 744cc transverse V-twin dates back to the 70s, and it shows in terms of outright performance. But its authenticity is also part of the Guzzi’s appeal and, day to day, is effective and flexible enough, pulls happily from as low as 3000rpm, and, as a bonus, sounds great when wound out to the top (7500rpm) of its usable power.
What sets the Moto Guzzi V7 Café Classic apart from more workmanlike novice machines is its sheer style and class. On board you’re presented with a birds-eye view of that long and slim, retro, V7-style tank swathed immaculately in curiously matt-finished golden green. Up front, equally tactile chrome clip-ons and mirrors, switchgear and evocative, Veglia style twin dials. In fact, everywhere you look there are pleasing touches, from the chromed brake pedal and pillion grab handles, to the retro-style horn covers to the wire-meshed side panels. This is a bike you can gaze at endlessly over a garage cuppa.
The V7 Café Classic is not exactly cheap, but then, it’s not what you’d call expensive, either, especially when you remember a Ducati Sport Classic were initially sold for around a grand more when new. Considering the detailing, finish, style and quality of build and components, we reckon the Moto Guzzi is good value.
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With its lower, faithfully-replicated, caff racer-style clip-ons, upswept exhausts, racy single seat and hugely evocative lime green paint (‘Legnano’, they call it, apparently), the Moto Guzzi V7 Café Classic not only immediately hits the mark visually, it’s also mouth-wateringly beautiful in its own right and gives the V7 an aggressive and purposeful demeanor lacking a little on the preceding Classic.