2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer Accessorized Motorcycle Test
Without any doubt, Moto Guzzi has gotten quite a bit of mileage out of its V7 platform. There have been various versions of the standard upright model, with a variety of paint jobs defining the differences. The 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer is different, however, as it has functional difference – primarily rearset pegs, piggyback shocks, and clip-ons.
Record, an aftermarket company, has a Fairing Kit ($2000) for the V7 Racer, which puts it right over the top in terms of 1960s appearance. The long swept-back fairing is supplemented by a Record solo seat with number plate cowling for a truly racy Racer. To make the fairing fit, the clip-ons are lowered on the fork tubes, putting the rider in a more aggressive position. Moto Guzzi offers a set of Arrow Stainless Steel Slip-Ons ($950) to add some pizzazz.
I am a big fan of the upright V7s – this year the Stone and the Special. They are simple air-cooled bikes that have enough power to keep your fun mostly legal, and tons of torque. Handling is good, within reasonable boundaries, and they are truly enjoyable bikes to ride. The Moto Guzzi V7 Racer moves the pegs up and back, and lowers the bars.
Fortunately, the result is not uncomfortable, and the rider gets to look quite a bit more sporting than on the fully upright V7 machines. In the leaned over position, you do feel like pushing the bike a bit harder, but you will remember that the tires are narrow, the Bitubo shocks aren’t state of the art, and there’s only a single disc up front with no radial magic. Again, for casual sporting riding, everything works fine, so it prefers to be ridden accordingly.
The Record Fairing Kit ups the ante a bit more than I think the V7 Racer has in the bank. The just-right clip-on position becomes the café racer position – you only want to ride about 10 miles between café stops. That’s a shame on a bike that carries almost six gallons of fuel. This would be forgivable if you could ride the V7 Racer hard in this position, but the rest of the bike doesn’t oblige. Sure, the 90-degree V-twin is torquey, but we’re still talking only 42.7 ft/lbs at 5000 rpm in stock condition. Fifty horses come on tap at 6200 rpm, and then it signs off after a few more revs.
You might think the Arrow exhausts would make a significant difference. Oddly, they’re very quiet and my seat-of-the-pants experience tells me that they don’t put out significantly more power. I like the quiet, but the lack of punch, not so much. Regardless, they look fantastic and really improve the V7 Racer’s appearance, with or without the Record Fairing Kit. As a bonus, they don’t require any EFI work, which suggests they don’t flow much more air than the stock pipes. At over 400 pounds accessorized, the V7 Racer is not a heavy 744cc bike.
However, it’s also not a powerful one – especially for sport riding. So, what was a fun, casual sporting bike becomes a less-comfortable, somewhat frustrating retro-sport bike. Riding hard is just not that rewarding. On almost any road, any 600cc sport bike will leave you in the dust with a similarly skilled rider aboard. Yes, if you’re on the tightest of the tightest routes, you might have a chance, but that’s it.
So, when it comes to the Record Fairing Kit, you have a choice. You can build a bike that looks like a barely street legal vintage racer and enjoy the accolades of friends, family and fellow riders, or you can keep it stock and add the Arrow exhaust and have a 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer that still looks cool, and is a lot more fun to ride.
Photography by Kelly Callan
- Helmet: HJC FG-Jet Eyewear: Serengeti Sport Assisi
- Jacket: River Road Roadster Vintage
- Gloves: Racer Summer Fit
- Jeans: Drayko Drift
- Boots: River Road Guardian Tall
2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Racer Specs
- Type: 90° V-twin 4-stroke
- Capacity: 744 cc
- Maximum power: 50 hp at 6,200 rpm
- Maximum torque: 42.7 ft lbs. at 5,000 rpm
- Fuel system: Weber-Marelli electronic fuel injection.
- Exhaust system: Three-way catalytic converter with double lambda probe
- Gearbox: 5-speed
- Lubrication: Forced circulation with lobe pump – circuit capacity: 1.78 Kg
- Final drive: CA.R.C. Compact Reactive Shaft Drive
- Clutch: Dry single plate with flexible couplings
CHASSIS / SUSPENSION / BRAKES
- Frame: Double cradle tubular frame in ALS steel with detachable rear subframe
- Front suspension: Telescopic hydraulic fork with 40 mm stanchions
- Rear suspension: Light alloy swing arm with 2 fully adjustable Bitubo shock absorbers
- Brake system: Brembo
- Front brake: 320mm stainless steel disc, Brembo caliper with 4 floating pistons
- Rear brake: 260mm stainless steel disc, Brembo double piston floating caliper
- Wheels: Aluminum spoked black anodized rims
- Front wheel: 18 x 100/90
- Rear wheel: 17 x 130/80
- Length: 86 inches
- Max width: 31.5 inches
- Height: 43.8 inches
- Saddle height: 31.6 in.
- Curb weight: 395 pounds – 179 kg (non-accessorized Racer)
- Fuel tank capacity: 5.8 gallons – 22 liters
- Reserve: 1 gallon – 4 liters
- Stock: $9,990
- As Tested: $12,940