Moto Guzzi V7 Classic — 3600 miles and the season is ending

December 2 was the last day I rode.  I went out to the patio on December 6th, and, after 3600mi, I think the season is close to over.

Time to make room in the garage after 4 months and 3600 miles

What can I say? It’s been awesome. I checked the oil, and not a drop has been used. Cold starts? Pretty much history after the last ECU Mapping upgrade in October. Made 4 500 mile days. One weekend was over 1000 mi. The bike just hums.

Dealer support from Rose Farm Classics is better than I could have imagined. I not only found a great dealer, I made a friend. My expectations as I drove into Chicago exactly a year ago couldn’t have been exceeded more than they are. Jim Barron is a Class act, and Rose Farm is a wonderful place where I’ve made many friends and become part of a super two wheeled family (Yo Fitz! Get better!).  I need to get a clear day so I can ride up and take advantage of their super storage deal.

The seat and controls are super-comfortable. Never had a problem where my butt was sore after long hours in the saddle. Gas Mileage has been consistent in the 40’s, but I haven’t achieved the 50mpg reported by some of my cohorts. Maybe it’s because I’m having trouble keeping the throttle lightly twisted. I ride this bike HARD.

I was able to “drag a peg” a couple of times on some tight, first gear turns in the city. I didn’t actually drag a peg, and didn’t touch a muffler, so I don’t quite know what touched. Still, the bike takes a serious lean, loves “lean off” turns and carries its speed through corners beautifully. I’m excited to start riding as soon as possible in the spring, and I’ve bought a nice three-season Fieldsheer suit to start as soon as I can. I’m glad to have ridden in December. Now I have to get a few more miles in this month and make sure that I go somewhere in January, and I’ll be a 12-month rider my first year in Chicago!

The Hepco-Becker 40L bags have been super, and they really don’t make my butt look too big. I can stick my full-face in it, my laptop, and other goodies. The runs to Binny’s before a party are a breeze and I can just about put anything from the weekend “errand runs” in them as I make my way between taverns across Oak Park on the nice days.

Here’s to a great year. I managed to log about 14,000 miles despite losing my first new bike to an inattentive driver on July 19. Expect posts as I start to customize my ’72 Eldorado into something that my fellow Chicago riders might respect. The V7 Classic will be getting the Cafe seat as this is posted — $170 is a BARGAIN for the seat, and it’s a no-modification fit for the V7 — giving it that nice “fastback” hump.

I want to thank everyone I rode with this year for a great season, and I look forward to more miles next year as I get used to the weather, gear up for it and begin the next season as soon as possible. I hope to visit friends in Ohio, Los Angeles, Seattle and maybe even Isle of Man next year! Let’s meet up and ride!

Advertisements

30 thoughts on “Moto Guzzi V7 Classic — 3600 miles and the season is ending

  1. Man, I hate to see you shut er down, but winter is a tough adversary up where you are. I’ve been riding my V7C every day to work if there’s no ice on the road. Just turned 900 miles since Nov. 19th. Love the bike, thanks for posting all of your reports. This blog is the primary reason I decided to get a V7 Classic. Anyway, stay warm.

  2. Great pic of the V7C in the snow! Hope you can get more miles in. As we all know the Guzzi 750 engine is a dream and my Little Breva has been and is as exciting as ever. Improves with every mile and not one single problem. Rode today in 42 degrees in our neck of the woods. Awesome. Keep up this nice blog. Congratulations.

  3. Hey, I have the motorcycle itch and I am completely in love with the The Guzzi V7 Classic. I was wondering Danilo, how tall you are and if you are long legged so I could get a good impression on how I would fit on the bike. I am 6’1” long legged, short torso. 32″ to 34″ inseam depending on the pants. I haven’t gotten the chance to see the bike in person. I live in Georgia and there are not that many Guzzi dealerships here, yet alone people actually riding one. But when I get the chance to sit on it I don’t want to get my hopes all up and then be devastated if I find out I would be too cramped on it. Thanks and Merry Christmas

  4. I’m 6′ 1″ and have a 32″ inseam. I’m not cramped at all on the bike, as a matter of fact I’ve sat on it for hours on end and found it to be quite comfortable.

    If you see the picture of my bikes parked together in an earlier review (see the “reviews tab” at the top of the page), you’ll notice that it’s just as big as my old Big-Block Eldorado. The bike’s dimensions are not much different from Tonti Frame bikes, but somewhat smaller than the 1200 Sport or other Spine Frame Guzzis (new ones). It’s the same size as just about any “standard” bike from the 70’s for reference.

    I also weigh in at about 250 (I’m working on it!). I don’t have a problem for lack of power, either.

    I used to get down to Georgia quite a bit when I was with EarthLink. I miss my friends down there and such good Barbecue. My understanding is that Atlanta has a top notch dealer, and while you’re there you can pick up some Fat Matt’s, or Daddy D’s to take home, or eat there, or both…

  5. Thanks Dano! I just finished reading your articles on the V7. I’m still drooling! You have one the best bike blogs going. Keep it up. Dream Guzzi!

  6. Pingback: Moto Guzzi V7 Classic — 3600 miles and the season is ending « As the Dude Abides… « Tiny Goose

  7. Enjoyed reading your blogs. Looking forward to the next one.
    I’m considering the V7 or Triumph Bonneville. Noticed in the V7 manual that valve clearances, gearbox oil change, and fork oil change required at 7500KM. How difficult is it to do these service items oneself? Thanks.

  8. I haven’t looked into changing the fork oil on the Cal Vin, but it’s a Marzocchi fork so it should be pretty straightforward. Gearbox oil is exactly like that of a car, and like a car, just don’t overfill it. Valve clearances couldn’t be any easier — you just pop the tops of the rockers off, and it’s regular tools like you’d use on any American Small-block V8 (metric of course!). I do my Eldorado (1800 mi for it) in about 20 minutes on both sides, cold. Oil changes require a full oil pan drop when you change the filter, but that’s not so bad because you can clean everything out.

  9. I don’t recall having to change fork oil at 7500 on the B750. Is that required for the V7C?

  10. Hi Danilo,

    A guy was asking me what kind of hard bags did you mount on the V7C? Can you explain. Thanks.

  11. I got Hepco Becker 40L bags from MG Cycle. They bolt right up, although one of my brackets needed a spacer or two to get them to hang evenly. Other than that, they fit right in.

    I used the 40L units so I’d have a place to stash my helmet. If you don’t have that requirement, I think the 30L bags look a little cleaner.

  12. Hi Danilo, I’m the (Italian) guy asking for yours bags. Finally i bought side and rear bags from hepco & becker.
    30L side bags and 40L rear bags.
    I bought v7c less than a mont ago.
    Next week I will have the test for the “patente” (I don’t know english very well…).
    Bye.
    Nico

  13. Hey Danilo. Love this blog. Great stuff. Gearing up in the Northeast to grab a v7 as my city ride. Interested in these side bags and/or top box option…?…I know I’ll need luggage for the “Honey-Do” lists! Danilo, how do the racks look when you take the side cases off? Feel ok about the visual? Also, Nico, are you saying you got a top box that fits on a rear rack? Would love to see photos of that. Does it fit on the Guzzi rear rack? Curious. Could end up much cleaner/slimmer (Dano, the side cases look good!) when removed and provide the Mrs with something behind her as she prefers with the other bike. Thanks!

  14. The back rack is wonderful Check out the WildGuzzi forum for “v7 Classic Pictures” to see bikes with the rear bag.

  15. Danilo – Really enjoy your site, keep it up! I did have a comment for D’Mond. I am about 6’2, and got my v7c in May of ’09. I too am about a 34 inseam and I did have some issues being cramped. What was causing it was the little bump out in the seat. I was fine if sitting back more, but ended up right on the bump, so wasn’t very comfortable. What I did was i took the seat to a local auto upholster, and they shaved out the bump slightly allowing me to sit a little further back. They actually added/blended what they shaved off the back into the front, which in effect added a half inch towards the front of the seat (which is nice because it felt a tad low). The seat still has a nice look to it (been 1000 miles and still has the original seat cover of course), and it is not flat, just the cut-out is no longer obvious – more a sloped look. Anyway perfect fix, looks great still, and was only around $100. Just thought I’d throw that out there. Love the bike and have had no issues, gets better every day. Thanks!

  16. We are the Guzzi Dealer in Northern CO, but are not listed as a dealer on your site. How can we fix that?

  17. Hey!

    Send me your information, url and if you have a little extra to say add it in and I’ll post it! Thanks for reaching out!

  18. Great web site, thanks for your insight.

    Speaking of insight, I have been thinking of getting a V7c or a old 72 -74 Ambo. I can’t decide. I’ve ridden the V7c twice and I like it a lot and I am looking for something that will cruise and be easy to take care of. I know you had a 72 Ambo and may have sold it. Old school verses new school?

    Why did you keep the V7c over the 72? What are your thoughts about the difference in the quality of the ride between the two? I would like to get one or the other in the next couple of months. I would think the Ambo would hold its value better but the V7c would be more nimble and reliable? Thoughts? Thanks much!

  19. You will spend money maintaining an Ambo. I bought it for $3900, then spent about $4500 keeping it up over the two-plus years and $20K miles that I rode it. Doing the math, that’s 20 cents a mile before gas, tires and insurance. I’ve had my V7Classic now for 4500 miles and after the $400 I spent on the 600mi check, I’m good. I always had something “interesting” happen to me on long trips, necessitating a hasty fix creating great stories. I’ve been 1500 miles on a weekend with the V7, and the only interesting story is the comments I get.

    The V7 is dead-nuts reliable when purchased from a dealer that knows how to set them up. There’s a few things that need to be done to ensure that it just runs and runs, and a good dealer will know what it is and your initial set-up will reflect it. If they consider set-up opening up the box, airing up the tires and checking for loose nuts, walk away and get it from a dealer that explains what it is. A few bux spent up front will be forgotten after you rack up your thousandth mile. The little small block is THAT good.

  20. Danilo,
    Hope they are paying you to sell the V7, you have me sold!
    I had a real bad dirt riding crash and have to give that up, and want a smaller light comfortable street bike for back roads.
    Power is not an issue.
    I was riding a 1969 Triumph Daytona for 5 years, street and dirt, put about 45,000 miles on it, a lot of maintanance as I beat the crap out of it big time. Great fun bike but it had issues at the end, and was a bit of a handfull keeping it trouble free for that many miles. Still, only towed home once with oil pump problems, not bad.
    I got a 1200 Sportster (heavy, uncomfortable) and a dr650 dual sport (great bike), but the crash on the dr has me wanting something light and comfortable to ride.
    Since I love old bikes (had lots of old Triumphs) the V7 classic turns me on. I had a new Bonneville and did not like it over much.(also heavy)

    Two issues with the V7, the dealer is about 50 miles away, great for a ride there to get stuff, not great if the bike is broke and I need a part.
    I know your bike has been good, but some people have had problems, bad transmissions at low miles, oil leaks, shaft drive leaks, fuel injection problems…

    Living so far from the dealers and having a lot of problems would not be nice….

    Do you have a feel for how other V7 owners are finding the reliability?
    Minor problems are no big deal (after the old Triumph), but major stuff would suck.

    Thanks for posting all the good info here!

    Brett

  21. It’s all about proper set up. If the dealer is good and sets the bike up correctly, then you’re not going to have any problems. Go back for your maintenance, as these guys all talk and know about any issues that come up with the bike, and have the latest factory mappings for the electronics suite. The guys that have had the problems are the same people that do everything on the cheap and will spend dime on their own maintenance and “fixes” and do a dollar’s worth of damage in the process.

    My dealer is exactly 63 miles from my house. I consider it a day well spent riding out for a visit. They make for good friendships.

  22. Thanks for the info.
    I think I will have to find a way to get one in the spring, as long as I fit on the bike, and from what you say, I should.

    I have been looking for the right bike for a while now, and had a 1979 Triumph Bonneville (a rust bucket), the 69 Daytona (under powered, trouble prone), the new Bonneville (overweight, uncomfortable, not great looking), the sportster (overweight, uncomfortable, bad suspension).

    Time to make a run to Princeton and sit on one!

  23. Well, I drove up to Princeton today to check out the Guzzi’s.
    The dealer is a car dealer, and they had one V7 cafe, that was the only Guzzi there.
    It seems like most dealers in my area are car dealers, not motorcycle stores…

    I don’t like the cafe, but I like the basic package very much.
    Very nice looking components.
    Even the cafe seat seemed comfortable, the peg layout seemed good, love the locking seat removal, and there is room under there for a pair of gloves.
    The suspension seemed fine, a bit soft in the forks, but ok, except the forks seemed to be leaking a lot of oil…

    I know I would be very pleased with a nice black and gold V7c, and plan on getting one in the spring.
    Its a nice size for me, I did not think it was small, seems very light and it had all the fluids in it including gas.
    I do all my own bike work, so don’t need the dealer for anything, I suppose I can order maint stuff on line.
    I was really impressed with the bike, even though it was the cafe model. What a sharp looking bike!

    Brett

  24. Remember that these aren’t old carbureted bikes like the good old days. You can change the oil, fluids and stuff, but you should absolutely take it in to the dealer for mapping changes (they update the fuel injection mappings at least once or twice a year) and also to see if it has thrown any internal codes that signify something is wrong with the bike that isn’t readily apparent. Spark plugs don’t get changed hardly at all, and other than that it’s just the fuel injection. It may seem like it is working right, but after you get out of a good dealer’s shop and he has tuned it with the computer from Guzzi, it will run like a scalded ape. So much so that I have never added any aftermarket crap and have no plans to. 108 top end is fine for me with the stock setup.

    Given that you only change the oil ever 6K miles on these bikes (especially if you have the GuzziTech Sump), and you have to go to the dealer anyway, it really pays to go in and ensure that everything is working. We’re talking about $250 every 6 thousand miles.

  25. Well, I have NEVER taken anything I own (car or bike) to any shop for any reason.
    I am comfortable with fuel injection.
    Loads of cars and bikes over the last 30 some years without going to the dealers, I don’t even go back for warranty repairs.
    I am not sure why the mapping would change.
    Normally, they map it to get it to pass emissions, and only change it for changes to the intake or exhaust.
    My Harley is like that, lean, and if you change anything, they can re map it (its still lean).
    You can buy tuners to do your own, even ones with wideband O2 sensors that will auto tune, but there should be no need to change the maps unless you make changes to the bike.
    Some places might tell people otherwise to get them to come in…
    Most bikes have the ability to display codes (DTC’s) on the speedometer, does the V7 not have that?

    There is no way I am going make an exception for the V7 and take it to a place that had one bike in the showroom and 500 cars on the lot.

    Brett

  26. I probably wouldn’t buy it from them then because these bikes need more setup than most, since they only build about 1000 total V7s a year, the Dealer is the last link in the Quality Control Chain.

    Once it’s set up, it’s a “light the fires and kick the tires”. But if you don’t set it up right with a lot of the “known things to look for”, then you can get in trouble.

    The connectors to the Guzzi are proprietary and cost $1200 or so, and you have to be a dealer to even GET one. They won’t throw codes in the speedo.

    The mapping changes because they discover tweaks to make it work a little better. The last tweak really made the mid range run better and the starting a lot nicer.

    I would run away from Power Commanders and the like, they just screw things up and make you think that things are better. I suppose that you can run the thing without dealer intervention, but it I have an awesome dealer and I prefer to keep my wrenches clean for my Parilla. I put about 15-18K on the V7 a year, so I just want to go over to my dealer, hang out and BS with him, cut him a check for $250 and ride off knowing that it is at factory spec.

    Your mileage may vary.

  27. Well, looking at the list of dealers in my area, both the close ones (50 to 60 miles) are car dealers.
    I would have to go 100 miles I think to a place that that is a real motorcycle shop.

    I am not worried though, as long as I get the bike home and can go over it, it should be ok.
    I can ask for the latest map when I pick the bike up.

    Brett

  28. Danilo, hello again from soggy Sydney Australia. How’s the weather up there, no riding I’m guessing? Anyhow, I’m looking forward to an update from you. Your V7 should have fifty thousand faultless miles by now.. Any major issues? Would you do anything different?

    Robert

  29. Actually, I’ve been “learning” to ride while the temps run from 20-30F!

    No Snow until two days ago to speak of, so I had a good three days’ run last week, temps got up into the 50s. I was pulling my bikes out of the garage to work on this Aermacchi I have, and I looked up at the sun, clouds and beautiful day, grabbed my helmet and I was GONE!

    Even made a commute on Monday before the weather closed in, 31 degrees when I left for the office. Didn’t care.

    I’ve been able to get about 200 miles in this month so far, rode a little bit in December and January too — even New Years’ Day.

    I’m at 20,100+ on the Guzzi this morning. I need to replace a leaky rocker gasket on the right side, and I’m deciding how far I want to go with some paint, “M” bars and some other goodies == Thinking about going for some kind of a early 50’s GP seat setup a la the Gambalunga.

    We’ll see. Need to finish up an Aermacchi first and get the rearsets on my Parilla.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s