The bike that kicked off Moto Guzzi’s evolving line of retro classics, the V7 Classic is slowly becoming, well, something of a classic. Essentially unchanged since its 2007 introduction, the Moto Guzzi V7 Classic continues to offer the kind of stripped-down, no frills motorcycling experience we thought the major manufacturers had abandoned literally decades ago.
That’s a good thing, because there’s a place in this world for bikes like the Classic. Its 744cc “small block” engine platform has been around since 1979, and over the intervening years it’s been honed to high levels of durability and reliability. The rest of the mechanicals are tried and true off-the-shelf items, including Brembo brakes and Marzocchi forks, and the V7 Sport-inspired styling is clean and subdued, perfect for the owner who’s more interested in enjoying the ride than making a visual statement, even if they do anyhow.
We think Guzzi’s smart for leaving the Classic alone, and a ride aboard a 2012 model reminded us just how fun a standard bike can be. Endowed with more than enough power for the kind of riding most of us do bopping around town or back and forth to work, the Classic blends simple and honest mechanicals with classic good looks.
Wider bars give a bit more leverage and improve low-speed handling over the Racer, and a flat seat and forward-mounted footpegs give a traditional sit-up-and-beg riding stance. The seat is too soft for our tastes and gets uncomfortable after riding for more than half an hour, but otherwise the Moto Guzzi V7 Classic is the same basic machine as the Racer except in one important department: At $8,990, it’s $1,000 cheaper.
See how the Moto Guzzi V7 Classic compares with the Racer in The Moto Guzzi V7 Racer.