Moto Guzzi V7 Sport and Cafe Classic

March 13th, 20100 Comments »

V7 Cafe Classic at ShowThe Moto Guzzi V7 Sport really made the world take note of this Italian motorcycle manufacturer.

The V7 engine was introduced in 1967, a time when 700cc was considered big for a motorcycle.  In fact, the V7 began life as a touring bike.

Things changed for Moto Guzzi in 1971 when the V7 Sport Telaio Rosso was introduced in limited production.

The Telaio Rosso, Italian for “Red Frame”, indeed had a red painted frame that made the motorcycle look fast even when it was just sitting still.  This red frame was much more than just flashy, it was a breakthrough in motorcycle design due to the improved handling it provided.

Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Telaio RossoThe V7 Sport Telaio Rosso was a real superbike in 1971.  The time was right for Moto Guzzi to get involved again in racing, as well as to promote a more modern, sport-bike image.

The mid-1960’s had not been good to Moto Guzzi financially.  Boosting the reliable V7 engine to near 750cc and putting it in the Ambassador proved to be a wise move for sales in the US.  But this was just a start.  Putting this new, more powerful V7 series engine into a new sport bike was really the key.

The 1971 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport is truly a rare bird, with only 104 produced according to several sources.  Some more were produced in 1972, but not many at all.  These combined to set the stage for the regular production V7 Sport.

One of the more important and impressive accomplishments of the Moto Guzzi V7 Sport is that became the world’s first mass-produced motorcycle to exceed 200 kph (over 124 mph).

The original v7 Sport developed excellent power, around 70 bhp.  The engine used timing gears and was tuned for performance.  As Moto Guzzi was forced to reduce manufacturing costs, the V7 Sport became the 750S  during 1974 through 1975 .  The 750S had features  including a timing chain instead of timing gears, dual Brembo front discs instead of a front drum, a new seat and black exhaust instead of chromed.  The 1975 Guzzi 750S was badged as a V7 Sport for sales in USA.

Furthering the reduction in cost, this motorcycle evolved 750S3 for 1975 and 1976.  S3 features included Guzzi V7 cafenon-adjustable clip-on handle bars, a chromed engine guard, and a square tail light.  The famous Guzzi linked disc brake system was also included.

Overall, the 750S3 used a lot of the 850T3 design, including the mild camshaft.  While it isn’t immediately obvious to the eye, the 750S3 was not like the 750S or the V7 Sport in many ways, even though they looked fairly similar.  In the end, the Moto Guzzi 750S3 was replaced by 850 LeMans.  Also, the 750S3 was made obsolete by the Japanese motorcycles of that time period.

As a tribute to the fantastic styling and passion of the V7 Sport, Moto Guzzi launched the modernized version of the V7 Sport for 2009.  Now also available is the V7 Cafe Classic.  When something is done right, it becomes timeless, as the Moto Guzzi V7 Sport continues to be.

About John Clay

John Clay is the author of MotoGuzziGuide.Com. He and his family reside in North Carolina in the United States. A graduate of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Experienced Rider Course, he enjoys riding and maintaining his Moto Guzzi California Vintage. John participates in local charity rides and also serves as a volunteer motorcycle marshal for one of the largest annual bicycle charity event in the Carolinas.

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