Moto Guzzi V7 III Special — Third time’s a charm
Moto Guzzi wasn’t always known for its 90-degree transverse V-twin engine. From 1921–1967 it was their flat, single-cylinder engines, recognised for its smooth running and reliability that was the hallmark of the brand, and fitted in their top-of-the-line motorcycle, the Falcone, favoured by the Italian Police and Military.
That was until in 1963 the Italian Police put out a tender for a “faster and more powerful machine than the Falcone, with a powerful electrical system and a service life of 100,000 kilometres.”
It was because of this that Moto Guzzi created the V7.
Well, Moto Guzzi has now released their third iteration of the modern V7, and it’s worthy of similar acknowledgement.
The 2018 V7 III Special is visually arresting, well-crafted and unerring to the DNA of the original.
Let’s start with the styling, they’ve cleaned up and modernised the instrument cluster by encasing the warning lights and the two, in my opinion, afterthought placement, of the ABS and TC lights into the chrome bevelled tacho along with a more informative digital screen.
The paintwork and pinstriping on the tank are what you’d expect from a premium brand such as Moto Guzzi, they have gone as far as to clean up the welding on the frame — adding to the well-formed fit and finish of the motorcycle.
Pillion ergonomics have been transformed by moving the footrests forward and lower for more leg room. The seat height has been reduced to 770mm, ten millimetres lower than the V7II.
For improved handling, the front section has been stiffened, and the rear outfitted with new twin Kayaba shocks with adjustable preload. A refreshing change for anyone who’s taken a pillion or travelled along some of our cragged back roads.
A noticeable revision is the gearing, the Moto Guzzi has a new primary transmission with a taller first and sixth gear, allowing you to stay in first gear longer and producing a lower RPM in sixth gear for when cruising.
As for oomph, the small block engine has been overhauled, using components from the beefier V9. While it retains the same 744cc capacity, the transverse donk manages to squeeze out an extra 4hp (from 48hp to 52hp).
The torque from the V-twin peaks early in the rev-range at 4900rpm, making the bike feel faster than what it is, and you don’t have to wind it out to get the most out of the engine.
For me, the best thing about this motorcycle is the ease in which you can ride it. Sure, it’s not the fastest bike of its kind, but for this style of motorcycle and riding mindset, the laid-back pace is precisely in tune with its characteristics.
Fire it up and revere in the engines snappy salute as it rocks to life (be mindful of leaving anything on the seat you don’t want to be jilted to the ground).
The pleasure continues on the road with the Moto Guzzi, whether it be your everyday runabout or weekend mostrare you’ll enjoy life on the V7 III as you charm your way through traffic.
There is also the added benefit of ABS and for 2018 two levels of switchable traction control and MGTC tyre calibration.
Should you buy the updated V7 III Special? If you’re looking for a motorcycle steeped in heritage with 70’s charm, one that’s both visually and audibly arresting, but also fun and easy to ride that will provide you with years of trouble-free transport, the V7 III Special could be just what you’ve been looking for.