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Clymer Manuals Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Cafe Racer Walk Around Video

Clymer Manuals got a close up look at Monty Drake’s 1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport. This classic Italian factory cafe racer was on display 2013 HoAME Vintage Motorcycle Show.

Clymer on the lift didn't have to go far to attend the 2013 Heart of America Motorcycle Enthusiasts club 22nd Annual Vintage Motorcycle Show. Classic vintage antique motorcycles motorcycle bikes British, German, Japanese, Italian, European, American motorbikes were all on display. Manufacturers included Honda, Yamaha, Suzuki, Yamaha, BMW, Harley Davidson, Vincent, Triumph, BSA, Norton, Brough Superior, Indian, Cushman, Vespa, Laverda, Puch, Lambretta, MV Augusta, Ducati, Matchless, Zundapp, Moto Guzzi, AJS and more. There were 100% perfect restorations, bike ridden in, a few trailer queens, full-on customs, cafe racers, choppers, bobbers, trials bikes, dirt bikes, road racers...any type or style motorcycle you could imagine.

The V7 Sport was introduced in 1971, after Guzzi engineer Lino Tonti had produced a new frame to house a new 90-degree transverse V-twin motor developed from that of the less racy V7 Special. Guzzi's trademark engine had originally been designed in the late Fifties to power the 3x3, a tractor-like device produced for the Italian ministry of defense. Guzzi, looking for a replacement for its ageing Falcone flat-single, had then upgraded the shaft-drive V-twin to power police bikes and the 703cc V7 tourer of 1967.

For V7 Sport use, the touring motor was made more powerful and compact. Bore and stroke dimensions of 82.5 x 70 mm gave capacity of 748cc, reduced from the 757cc of earlier models (including the V7 Special), allowing entry in 750cc races. Valve gear and conrods were lightened, and twin coils and points fitted along with bigger, 30 mm Dell'Orto carbs. The result was a peak output of 52 BHP at 6400 RPM, well up on the touring engine's 40 BHP.

There were plenty of changes in the bottom end, too, although the new motor retained old-style features such as the simple gauze strainer, instead of a proper oil filter. A new, heavily ribbed crankcase and five-speed gearbox were added, and a more compact Bosch alternator situated on the front of the crank replaced the previous motor's large car-type dynamo between the cylinders.

Tonti's frame was lower than its predecessors due to its top rails (which were strengthened by a diagonal spine) running between the cylinders, where the dynamo had previously been. Its front forks contained sealed damper units. Wheels were 18-inchers, the front holding a big 220 mm (8.7 in) double-sided twin-leading-shoe front drum brake.

Guzzi certainly knew how to build an eye-catching motorbike in those days. As well as the lime-green paintwork, the first 150 examples of the V7 had bright red frames. Numerous neat details included the "swan-neck" clip-on handlebars that could be slid up the forks to give an upright riding position. Under the seat was a small inspection light that automatically illuminated when the seat was lifted.

This immaculate Sport dates from 1973, being one of the of fewer than 4000 that were produced before production ended toward the end of that year. It certainly felt exotic, stn even, as I climbed aboard and fired up the engine—which ca done either with the starter button or, in car style, by turninc ignition ke»,'—to feel that trademark lurch to the right of the gitudinal crankshaft.

This bike's bars were set in the normal, lowest position so the riding position was stretched forward and sporty. As I pulled away I was conscious of the way the engine's low-rev shaking smoothed as the revs rose, noise increasing with a blend of hollow sucking from the Dell'Ortos and muffled bark from the stylish but rather too efficient (at least for my liking) Silentium pipes.

Guzzi V-twins have a reputation for low-rewing torque, but the V7's 750cc motor really came alive only at about 4500 RPM, and pulled strongly from there to the red-line at 7250 RPM. At lower revs it ran perfectly well, but it didn't generate much in the way of forward motion when I wound open the Tomaselli twistgrip.
Provided the motor was kept spinning, though, life was much more interesting. The Guzzi showed a healthy turn of acceleration, even from speeds of 70 mph (113 km/h) and above, and cruised at 90 mph (145 km/h) plus with an effortless feel. If I slid back on the seat and tucked my knees in as the designer intended, the Sport loped along at an indicated 100 mph (160 km/h), with plenty of speed in hand to its 125 mph (200 km/h) top speed.

Stability was always a Guzzi strength, and the V7 stayed solid both in a straight line and in fast curves, thanks in no small part to the rigidity of its frame, which used the big V-twin engine as a stressed member. Suspension was good, too, although the front forks were rather soft and underdamped, and their sealed hydraulic damper units meant that this could not easily be cured by using thicker oil in the normal fashion.
Despite weighing 225 kg (495 lb) the Sport could be flicked around quite easily, and its handling did not suffer too much from the shaft-drive rear end. This bike's Bridgestone tires gave reassuringly modern levels of grip, too. Apart from an occasional squeal at low speed, there was not much wrong with the big double twin-leading-shoe drum brake, which gave plenty of bite even at high speed. My only chassis-related concern was that the gearlever grounded, with potentially disastrous consequences, when well cranked over to the right.

That didn't prevent the lime-green machine from being a pretty quick bike, as the driver of that much younger Alfa discovered. The V7 Sport was too expensive to sell in big numbers but it established Guzzi as a manufacturer of high-class sporting super-bikes. No wonder the Mandello firm honored it by releasing the similarly styled V11 Sport in 1999. The V7 Sport is where the legend of big, fast Moto Guzzi V-twins began.

Moto Guzzi is an Italian motorcycle manufacturer and the oldest European manufacturer in continuous motorcycle production. Established in 1921 in Mandello del Lario, Italy, the company is noted for its historic role in Italy's motorcycling manufacture, its prominence worldwide in motorcycle racing, and industry innovations—including the first motorcycle center stand, wind tunnel and eight-cylinder engine.

Moto Guzzi was conceived by two aircraft pilots and their mechanic serving in the Corpo Aeronautico Militare (the Italian Air Corp, CAM) during World War I: Carlo Guzzi, Giovanni Ravelli and Giorgio Parodi. Assigned to the same Miraglia Squadron based outside Venice, the three became close, despite coming from different socio-economic backgrounds. The trio envisioned creating a motorcycle company after the war. Guzzi would engineer the motor bikes, Parodi (the son of wealthy Genovese ship-owners) would finance the venture, and Ravelli (already a famous pilot and motorcycle racer) would promote the bikes with his racing prowess. Guzzi and Parodi (along with Parodi's brother) formed Moto Guzzi in 1921. Ravelli, ironically, had died just days after the war's end in an aircraft crash and is commemorated by the eagle's wings that form the Moto Guzzi logo.

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