2012 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer | First Ride

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2012 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer

At the V7 launch in Mandello del Lario, home to Moto Guzzi, the first model I laid my hands on was the spectacular V7 Racer.

The V7 Racer was launched as a “show special” at INTERMOT 2010, but it was just too stunning to remain merely a show special. As soon as the public started seeing pictures of the V7 Racer, Moto Guzzi stated it would manufacturer only 150 limited edition machines.

Now, in late March 2012, I rode bike number 1400, and that’s just the beginning. For me, when I first laid my eyes on the V7 Racer in Cologne, it was love at first sight; you can definitely say that I’m biased in my review to a certain degree.

But in Mandello del Lario, I finally had my first ride. Moto Guzzi upgraded the 2012 V7, the performance boosted through a heavily improved 744cc V-Twin, almost so much improved that we could call it new. Improved parts are everywhere – new cylinder heads, high performance and lightweight pistons, new cylinders, new intake manifolds, new gearshift selectors, new airbox and even new spark plugs!

Yeah, it’s pretty much a new engine, with much-better benefits. The V7’s motor now has better low rpm torque response and a smoother top end. Keep the V7 Racer between 2500 – 3000 rpm and it’s as smooth as melting butter.

Bring the revs over 3000 rpm and there are some vibrations, but still smooth acceleration to the 6200 rpm max horsepower indication of 50 horses. Still, the 44 ft. lbs. of torque developed at 2800 rpm is the force that drives the V7 Racer rather than outright horsepower.

The 2012 version gets the new 5.8-gallon metal fuel tank and Moto Guzzi claims a 310-mile range on variable riding conditions. Changes in materials particularly at the wheels has reduced the weight by 11 lbs. to 394 lbs.  without fuel.

Around Lake Como, the V7 Racer is a lovely ride. The steering is slightly slower than the V7 Special and V7 Stone, but that’s to give more cornering stability. This is no surprise, considering the V7 Racer is the top dog in the V7 range with a name to live up to.

My 6-foot frame is actually slightly too tall for all the V7 motorcycles, but it doesn’t bother me one bit. The improved suspension feels plush and is a very good compromise between sport and comfort.

The V7 Racer doesn’t fail in either sport or comfort departments, but naturally it’s not as comfortable as its siblings, the V7 Special and V7 Stone.

In terms of desirability in the Moto Guzzi range only the Griso competes with the V7 in my eyes. The V7s are Moto Guzzi’s Sportsters, and they are great for both beginners and experienced riders for different reasons. I’ll come back in more detail to why in my full review of all V7 motorcycles, which will be featured here at UltimateMotorCycling.com.

Photos by Milagro