Moto Guzzi is on a roll. Under the guidance of Aprilia (itself under the umbrella of Piaggio) one of the oldest names in Italian motorcycling is once again producing modern, practical and desirable bikes. So, hot on the heels of the updated Stelvio adventure bike MCN tested last month comes this, the limited edition V7 Racer - a modern take on its classic racing machine from yesteryear.
However, the Racer has already proved so successful it's no longer a limited edition model. Worldwide demand saw the original run of 300 upped to 500 and, now - as indicated by our test bike bearing the number 532 - Guzzi has decided to keep building them until the demand is satiated. Clearly the historic Mandello firm is onto something with the V7 Racer - but is it really good enough to compete against the class king, Triumph's classic sports-styled Thruxton?
Up close the Racer looks far better than in any picture and it takes a good five minutes to take in the beauty of detailed, ornate parts and finishing touches like the old school tank-mounting strap.
In fact, overall the Racer's aesthetics and detailing shame even the pretty Thruxton - I'm almost embarassed to say the Guzzi makes the Triumph look ordinary. Ordinarily you might expect the Triumph to draw the crowds. Today the umbrella-toting passers-by only have eyes for the V7 Racer.
Read the full test in this week's issue of MCN (July 13), on sale now. Get MCN from only £1 an issue when you subscribe today.