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A Brief History of the Moto Guzzi V7

Today I’m going to be picking up a buddy’s Moto Guzzi V7 that I’m going to be riding while he’s out of town, but before I go get it I wanted to share a very brief history of the Moto Guzzi V7.

This will be the first episode in a three part series. In Part 2 I’ll share my Moto Guzzi V7 first ride report with you, and in Part 3 I’ll give you my review of the V7 after riding it this summer. Subscribe to YouMotorcycle on YouTube to see the next episodes.

Getting right into it, I’m pretty excited. I’ve never owned a Moto Guzzi, but it’s a motorcycle that I’ve always admired and even tried to buy once in the past. So now being able to extended-borrow one for free is pretty sweet!

watch this video

Watch this video!

For those who aren’t familiar with Moto Guzzi, Moto Guzzi is an Italian company, and they are Europe’s longest continuous motorcycle manufacturer. The company was founded in 1921, meaning this year Moto Guzzi is celebrating its 100th anniversary! Here in North America, most people just know Moto Guzzi as the company that does the sideways 90-degree v-twin motorcycles.

Moto Guzzi was first conceived by two pilots who were part of the Miraglia Squadron in Venice Italy. Coincidentally, Miraglia is my mom’s maiden name. So basically, my mom invented Moto Guzzi. Don’t fact-check me, just go with it.

Original Moto Guzzi (at the time Moto Parodi) concept motorcycle

Original Moto Guzzi (at the time Moto Parodi) concept motorcycle

Here’s a fun and slightly more accurate fact: The air force uniforms at the time bore the badge of an eagle, which is the same eagle that would go on the Moto Guzzi logo. The company produced only 17 motorcycles in their first year, but they were considered outstanding motorcycles for their time.

By 1933 Moto Guzzi was the first motorcycle manufacturer to reach 100 bhp per liter.

Moto Guzzi wind tunnel testing 1930s

Moto Guzzi V7 engineMoving forward, the year is 1966, my mother is 9 years old. The Moto Guzzi boys take what was basically a Fiat 500 engine, make it bigger, turn it sideways, and cram it into a motorcycle frame, and just like that, the Moto Guzzi V7 was born.

The V7 was originally 703.3ccs, made 40 HP, and weighed 507 pounds. It was the result of a request for proposal from Italy’s highway police. They had a big contract to award to the manufacturer that could make a motorcycle that met their strict standards, including being able to cover 100,000 km with the lowest possible repair costs. The V7 did this very well.

The V7 was so reliable in fact, so good at meeting the police standards of it’s time, and beating out it’s foreign competition, that before long, police forces from all over the world, including the LAPD, were reaching out to Moto Guzzi to make them V7 police motorcycles.

1960s police moto guzzi v7

A couple years later, Moto Guzzi would introduce more variations of the V7, like the V7 Special and the V7 Sport, increasing the engine to around 750cc, making about 52 horsepower, and the rest is history.

In 2004, Italian manufacturer Piaggio acquired Aprilia and Moto Guzzi, and by 2008, the V7 came back to life after decades of being discontinued.

In 2015 they updated the V7 to the new V7 II platform which included changes to the motor and a welcomed 6th gear in the transmission. Traction Control also became standard and ABS became available as well. Other improvements to gearing, clutch lever release, and emissions were also a part of the upgrades.

moto guzzi v7 present day

In 2017 Moto Guzzi launched the V7 III which included a new engine, more power, a redesigned chassis with new steering geometry, three way traction control, two channel ABS, and even a smartphone app option.

I love that Moto Guzzi seems committed to keeping the nostalgic look and lines of the V7, while at the same time keeping it current, even going so far as to update it to an 855cc engine for 2021.

So, that’s all I wanted to cover in this video. A little history about the bike and how it came to be. Stay tuned for next week’s video where I’ll ride the V7 for the first time and let you know what I think, and for the video after that where I’ll give you my final thoughts on the Guzzi, including how it compares to it’s rival: the Triumph Bonneville.

If you have any questions you’d like me to cover in my Moto Guzzi V7 I review video, please leave them in the comments down below. If you found this video helpful please hit the like button, and subscribe if you want more motorcycle content. Ride safe, peace.

About YouMotorcycle

YouMotorcycle is a lifestyle motorcycle blog to be appreciated by those who see motorcycling as a lifestyle and not simply a hobby, sport, or method of transportation. Most of the posts on the site are written by past and present motorcycle industry staff. We remain fiercely independent, innovative, and unconventional. Our goal is to encourage more people to enjoy the world's greatest outdoor sport by helping new riders get started and inspiring current riders to get out more. We motorcycle, do You?

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