Presented to the international press at the historic Mandello factory, the new V7 Stone, V7 Classic and V7 Racer were taken through their paces on the same roads around Lake Como that set the stage for epic motorcycling races of the past.
Mandello del Lario, 29 March 2012 – A new chapter has been added to the story of the most loved and best known of all Moto Guzzi bikes by the new V7 Stone, V7 Classic and V7 Racer. These three models constitute the second generation of the Moto Guzzi V7 750cc – itself a revival of the legendary V7 of 1966 – over which over 7,000 examples were sold worldwide between 2008 and 2011.
The V7 was one of Moto Guzzi's best-selling models in 2011: over 5,800 were bought worldwide, an increase of 30% over sales for 2010 in a market scenario which saw overall motorcycle sales drop by 7.3% in Europe. As part of its strategic plan, the Piaggio Group allocated investments of over 42 million Euros for the development of the new Moto Guzzi models. This is over and above the investments made to refurbish the Mandello del Lario plant (in the province of Lecco), where the world-famous Italian bikes with the Eagle have been built uninterruptedly since 1921.
Founded 91 years ago in the very same factory that drew over 20,000 Guzzisti from all over the world to attend the “World Guzzi Days” in celebration of the marque's 90th anniversary, Moto Guzzi is not just one of the world's most famous motorcycle brands - with 14 world circuit championships and 11 Tourist Trophies to its name - but also an essential part of motorcycling history, having given the world legendary bikes such as the extraordinary Otto Cilindri and the V7 Special, California and Le Mans, with the hallmark 90° V-twin engine and cardan shaft transmission distinguishing every Moto Guzzi produced today.
Within the celebrated Moto Guzzi factory in Via Parodi, Mandello del Lario, the new V7 Stone, Classic and Racer were presented to the international press, with over 130 journalists representing 15 countries taking turns to test ride the three V-twins, which now boast completely revised engines, trim and features. The journalists put the new bikes through their paces on the roads around Lake Como, following the route of the historic “Circuito del Lario”, which set the stage in 1939 for a road race concluding in Nello Pagani's legendary win in the saddle of a Moto Guzzi Condor.
The snaking roads of the Ghisallo and Colma di Sormano passes highlighted the increased power and torque of the new Moto Guzzi V7 engine, which have gained 12% over the previous unit through the complete redesign of over 70% of the components - from the cylinder blocks, heads and pistons to the single throttle body induction system. The air box is also new, as is the gearbox pre-selector, while state of the art engine management electronics have significantly reduced emissions and average fuel consumption, which is now just 4.4 l/100Km.
The entry level model in the new range is the V7 Stone. With new alloy wheels with a 6 split spoke design and minimalist graphics, this bike targets a broader demographic than the other versions, which - in character and colour scheme - are clearly inspired by legendary Moto Guzzis of the past.
The V7 Special not only bears the same name as the first V7 created by Lino Tonti, but also shares exactly the same riding philosophy as a touring bike with premium details and exclusive technical content. Like its progenitor, the Special flaunts a two-tone colour scheme and exclusive wire wheels with an aluminium rim.
V7 Racer is the model that has benefited the most from the significant changes made to the 2012 range: with the new single throttle body engine delivering even sportier performance and the metal fuel tank further enhanced with a chrome finish. Produced in a numbered limited edition, as proven by the commemorative plaque on the upper steering yoke, the V7 Racer stands out for its refined build quality and sophisticated details such as the elegant leather strap. This is a clear reference to legendary bikes of the past, as are the red metal accents in the Moto Guzzi badge, which echo the colour of the frame.
The new V7 models are already on sale in Italy at €7,890 for the V7 Stone, €8,390 for the V7 Special and €9,350 for the V7 Racer (all prices exclusive of road tax and registration and inclusive of VAT).
The legend of the Moto Guzzi V7
The history of the V7 begins in the 1960s with an Italian government competition for the supply of motorcycles to the police force; the winner would be whoever could travel 100,000 km with the lowest maintenance cost. This was a perfect opportunity to install the V-twin engine designed by the engineer Carcano for automobile applications, in a motorcycle.
The result was the Moto Guzzi V7, an innovative design that set such high new standards for reliability and easy maintenance that it also attracted the attention of police forces in other countries - most famously the Los Angeles Police Department. The first tests of the V7 began in 1964. The motorcycle had a 703.3 cc engine producing 40 hp, and weighed 230 Kg. The production of units for police applications and export began in 1966, while the V7 went on sale in Italy the following year at a competitive price of 725,000 Lire, making it much more affordable than German and British rivals. Developed under the guidance of Lino Tonti, the motorcycle reached its true potential in 1969 with the launch of the Special version which, two years layer, was joined by the legendary V7 Sport, the first Italian production bike to beat the 200 Km/h barrier.
This marked the beginning of a sports career that would bring a long succession of illustrious victories in endurance races such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans and Liegi which, together with the exploits of highly popular riders like Vittorio Brambilla, to make it the most famous Italian sports bike of the 1970s.
Over a couple of seasons the technological evolution which was achieved with the V7 Sport Moto Guzzi was also transferred to the rest of the range. The last model to give up the glorious alphanumeric name was the V7 850 California, which would not pass the baton to the new 850 T California until 1976.