The V7, the Moto Guzzi block that FIAT did not want

Back in black. This ex-police Guzzi was once blue
ER Classics Desktop 2022

The story of the V twin, developed by Carcano on its own initiative and reserved by management and dusted to develop a new police engine, is well known. But when the Italians noticed that the American public was getting more and more interested in heavy European motorcycles, they decided to build a civilian version, the 700 cc Moto Guzzi V7. The development started in 1964 and the first tests were done by test drivers from Moto Guzzi and the Polizia Stradale. At the end of 1965 the V7 was shown to the public. But then the factory ran into financial problems again and the story came to a halt until the estate was taken over by the SEIMM (Società Esercizio Idustrie Moto Meccaniche).

They became officials

The first Moto Guzzi V7s went into government service. This is how they found their place on the American market. They were faster and more reliable than the usual Harley-Davidsons. The Turkish army bought V7s as sidecar combinations. Only in 1967 the V twins became available to the European civilian market. They had become lighter and faster by removing all kinds of police attributes. The addition of a buddy instead of a solo saddle did not make the difference. The power source that was built to run the full 100.000 km without any problems did this largely without any problems. The chassis was not yet the phenomenal Tonti frame, but a classic steel double cradle frame whose dimensions were clearly designed for stability. The 'running frames' (English: pronounce: 'magnifying glass', a loop) were the biggest obstacle to using the V7s in a sporty way. Despite the fact that it was done anyway.

Moto Guzzi V7 Ambassador and V7 Special

The V7 Ambassador was commissioned by the American importer Berliner Motor Co. specially built for the American market with the 757 cc engine. The importance and influence of American importers was then that they simply gave 'their' factories orders. The production ran from 1969 to 1970 and there were some versions with minor differences: some had side covers that also included the air filter housing, others didn't. Moreover, different colors were available. The engine delivered around 45 hp. The Ambassador had a large "American" brake pedal on the right.

The V7 Special was intended for the European market. He received the white / black / red color scheme that was adopted from 1970 on most Moto Guzzi models. This machine also got the 757 cc engine and was closed in the heart by big tourists. Tonti had improved the gearbox for both models. The frame was mainly reinforced around the steering head, which also ensured that these engines became even better sidecar pullers.

You will not find such an early V twin just like that anymore. And the prices of the machines went pretty well with those of other wanted classics. The supply of parts is good through a number of globally operating specialists. And a couple of them are just in our own country.

The perfect classic?

A good V7 is now a classic with an unbelievably high usability level. The machines are stylishly dated, maintenance-friendly, reliable and comfortable. The only thing a proud Motor Guzzi V7 owner should be aware of is that motorcycles from the XNUMXs brake so badly compared to modern motorcycles. How beautiful such a double TLS brake is.


In 2012, the factory fell back on this illustrious period. Another line of V7 Classics was offered. But whether they were a tribute to the past or just a marketing trick?

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Now in store

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The August issue, containing:

  • Fiat 127 from 1972
  • Heemskerk V-twin, the best motorcycle BSA has never built
  • Restoration Mini Traveler 1963
  • Peugeot 104, a party
  • Volkswagen Golf Country was too far ahead of its genre
  • Driving with a Yamaha R5 (1971-1972)
  • Report Wemeldinge Classic Races
  • Duplicate type designations - Part XVI
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The perfect reading material for an evening or more of undisturbed dreaming. It is now in stores. A subscription is of course better, because then you will no longer miss a number and you are also € 27 cheaper. Not bad in these expensive times.


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