GRR

The Goodwood Test: Moto Guzzi V7 III Anniversario

24th August 2017
Roland Brown

Each week our team of experienced senior road testers pick out a new model from the world of innovative, premium and performance badges, and put it through its paces.

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Heritage

This new member of Moto Guzzi’s updated V7 family owes much to history. The Anniversario celebrates the 50th anniversary of the original V7 model that began the Italian firm’s famous transverse V-twin line in 1967. That simple, 703cc roadster led to the V7 Special and racy V7 Sport with which Italy’s oldest motorcycle marque spread its wings in the early Seventies.

Guzzi recreated the look and feel of those Seventies stars in 2008 with the V7 Classic, a retro-styled, entry-level roadster powered by a 744cc V-twin engine. By 2015, and the second-generation V7 II, the family had grown to include base-model Stone, more colourful Classic and sporty Racer variants. The chrome-tanked Anniversario replaces the Racer in this year’s further updated V7 III range.

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Design

The V7 format of air-cooled, 744cc V-twin engine and steel-framed, twin-shock chassis is retained, the Anniversario’s most obvious difference from the Racer being a more upright riding position like those of the Stone and Special. Although the V7 III engine keeps its traditional, pushrod-operated layout and shaft final drive, reworking those sticking-out cylinder heads increased power output by roughly ten per cent, to a maximum of 52bhp.

Similarly, the chassis sticks to a steel-framed, twin-shock layout but the frame tubes are stiffer, steering geometry is sportier, and the new Kayaba rear shocks are less steeply angled. The Anniversario’s brown leather seat is lower; the footrests lower and further forward. Along with the chromed tank and pillion grab-rail, shiny details include wire-spoked wheels plus polished aluminium mudguards and fuel cap.

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Performance

Guzzi’s recent V7s have been gentle, entry-level bikes but this latest V-twin gets a useful performance boost. That 52bhp maximum might sound modest but the Mk III unit has plenty of midrange punch and the Anniversario weighs just 213kg with fuel. That results in lively acceleration and effortless 70mph-plus cruising, as well as a pleasantly relaxed V-twin character.

Chassis performance is also notably improved. The steeper geometry gives sweeter steering with no loss of stability; braking power is reliably strong although there’s only a single disc and four-pot Brembo calliper up front. Ground clearance could be better; the centre-stand has a habit of dragging in turns. But that’s partly because the Guzzi’s agility and the grip of its Pirellis encourage enthusiastic cornering.

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Passion

That chromed tank, brown seat combo might be too much for some but the Anniversario is a gorgeous machine that blends old-school Guzzi charm with classy detailing, plus modern features including adjustable traction control. The rider looks across that shiny tank to a pair of chrome-rimmed clocks with digital insert. The Anniversario has exclusivity on its side, too. The UK is getting just 50 of the limited run of 1000 bikes, each with serial number etched into the billet aluminium handlebar mount.

For those who can live without the Anniversario’s glitz, the V7 III Stone and Special provide near-identical performance for less money. Alternatively, further exclusivity and versatility can be added via accessories ranging from a windscreen to leather panniers. Half a century after Guzzi began its famous V-twin line, the Anniversario perfectly captures the essence of what has made them popular for much of that time.

Price of our bike: £9002 (V7 III Stone £8002, Special £8702)

Photography by Jakob Ebrey

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