Moto Guzzi might not have the same kind of recognition with nonmotorcyclists as, say, Triumph or Ducati, but it definitely should. The Italian company is celebrating its centennial anniversary in 2021, and the centerpiece of that is the launch of the new V7, which the company announced on Wednesday.
The 2021 V7 is a comprehensive redo of the previous V7 III, which means that its oddball transverse V-twin engine gets bigger and more powerful. The drivetrain is more robust and the instrumentation is more modern. It’s still a bike for people, but now, more than ever, different doesn’t mean less.
Moto Guzzi doesn’t make wildly powerful motorcycles, but its engines always offer plenty of character and style, and the new 850 version of the V7’s engine is no different. The air-cooled motor gets a size bump of 100cc and a corresponding power increase from 52 horsepower to 65 hp. It’s still not going to scare off any superbikes, but a little more power is always appreciated.
Another thing that Guzzi is known for is shaft drive. The V7 gets a bigger driveshaft, a larger swingarm and a wider rear tire for 2021, all of which should help make the bike feel a bit more rigid and increase its traction in the face of all that extra power. I definitely said that with a straight face, by the way. A bigger, more powerful engine also means more vibrations — a long-standing issue with these bikes — but in a concession to rider comfort, the 2021 V7 gets rubber-isolated footpegs.
Also new is an upgraded suspension with increased shock travel, thanks to new Kayaba dampers. Brakes still come from Brembo, and as with the previous version, there is a single front rotor that should be totally adequate. The V7 also gets antilock brakes as standard along with traction control, the latter of which is user-defeatable. Neither of these is lean-sensitive.
Now, here’s the thing: People don’t buy Guzzis because they’re fast. Instead, they buy them because they’re both beautifully styled and constructed, and the V7 certainly seems to have both of those going for it. The 2021 model gets a new, more sleek exhaust and a new dual-level seat, but thankfully keeps its iconic (and gigantic) fuel tank. That tank has a capacity of 5.5 gallons, which means that the V7 should have a positively epic cruising range.
The new V7 also benefits from new, digital instrumentation, which gives riders almost all the information they could need. This includes a speedometer, a tach, gear position indicator, trip computers, traction control level indicator and a clock. Unfortunately, there’s no gas gauge, so riders will have to rely on the gas light to know when to refill. This would be a big issue in a bike with a smaller tank, but I’ll let it slide in this case.
In total, there will be three versions of the new V7 available. The base model V7 Stone will retail for $8,990 and be available at the end of Q1 2021. The incredibly handsome 100th Anniversary model with its two-tone paint job will go for $9,190 and hit dealers at the end of March. Finally, the Special model will go for $9,490 and also arrives at dealers at the end of March.