The 2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Rough is an exercise in understated sophistication. Providing everything you need and nothing you don’t, the middleweight Italian roadster does just what we need a standard bike to do—perform well in a mix of environments.From the canyons to the crowded urban streets, plus even a dirt road or two, the stripped-down Guzzi aims to keep you covered.
We put our V7 Rough test unit through its paces, and it became a bike that I grew quite fond of. It is for those looking for a pure, classic motorcycling experience that couples two-wheels with a great engine, the V7 Rough is a commendable steed to take on that journey.1. Since the demise of the Falcone line in 1976, nothing says Moto Guzzi like the air-cooled transverse 90-degree V-twin motor with a longitudinal crankshaft. The V7 III’s 744cc V-twin captures that legendary Italian cruiser spirit perfectly, with its 52 horsepower at 6200 rpm and 44 ft/lbs of torque peaking 1300 rpm earlier. At idle, the V7 III Rough thrums along, burbling and belching a masculine tune out of its dual exhaust, letting you know that you are riding something that is alive. As you crack the throttle and set off, the twin-engine becomes buttery smooth, easily shifting through its six-speed gearbox while offering controllable power perfect for the busy streets or quiet canyons.2. The V7 III Rough, like all current Guzzis, features a shaft final Some distinct benefits come with a shaft drive, mainly in the maintenance department. Of course, shaft drives do come with their quirks. Driveline lash can be felt in the chassis when shifting aggressively, but thanks to the light clutch-pull and wide friction zone, you can minimize that.3. Light handling is part of the fun factor aboard the 2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Rough. One of the central characteristics that middleweight roadsters need is a user-friendly handling personality. The V7 delivers on that point. When turning, it likes a slight suggestion and then it quickly banks into the corner gracefully, most likely due to the extended rake and 18-inch wire-spoke front wheel. In any case, the Rough is quite agile when maneuvering in traffic, or when you’ve decided to sow your wild oats on some clean asphalt.4. The Pirelli MT 60 tires provide plenty of grip on the street and should a dirt road cross your path; you’ll be able to handle that, too. Sure, the V7 III Rough was never meant to travel where the Stelvio 1200 is capable of reaching, but it is equipped with ADV-aimed Pirelli rubber that will let you take on some gravel or dirt.5. Along with the blacked out motif, the knobby tires and wire-spoked wheels are a big part of why Moto Guzzi named this V7 III variant Rough. Moto Guzzi describes the Rough as having an “urban country look.” We’ll accept that.6. The basic suspension is up to the task. Fitting with the classic look of the V7, Moto Guzzi went with a non-adjustable 40mm fork up front and dual shocks with spring-preload adjustment in the rear. The fork is sprung and damped on the softer side, quickly soaking up much what you may bound over on your daily ride. The rear, with shorter travel, is sprung and damped much stiffer, which will transfer some of those harder hits into the rider. In all, the suspension does keep the V7 on the straight-and-narrow, save for when you hit bumps mid-corner, which will give the chassis a slight jostle that settles up quickly.7. When it comes to stopping power, the 2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Rough relies on single-rotor setups. Upfront a single 320mm floating-rotor with a Brembo 4-piston caliper help slow the V7 beast, while a 270mm rotor and a dual-piston caliper further the cause in the rear. Feel at the front lever is on the stiffer side, while the brake had adequate stopping power. The rear brake can be modulated quite well and when working in conjunction with the front, will get you stopped lickety-split.8. Adjustable traction control and ABS are standard items. Moto Guzzi has 20th-century charm, but they’re not going to forgo safety in the name of looks. Traction control has two levels of intervention and can be disabled if you want to get loose. ABS is standard on all V7 III models.9. Neutral ergonomics are a high-point on the V7 III Rough. The low 30.3-inch seat height worked perfectly for me. The riser parts and mid-controls both meet your extremities without causing you to stoop or experience excessive knee-bend. For someone of my height, 5’ 10’’, I was more than happy with taking the saddle of the Rough. Though the seat is on the firmer side, extended rides didn’t cause discomfort. The mirrors vibrate a bit, but things are still visible. However, having owned several Italian motorcycles, this seems to be a common trait for bikes hailing from the boot-shaped10. If a no-frills, wind-in-your-hair experience is what you want out of a bike, the 2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Rough is what you’re looking for. The V7 Rough isn’t a perfect machine, yet it’s a bike that I was sorely sad to see return to the Moto Guzzi HQ. It genuinely did everything I wanted a good standard bike to do—a run to the gym, hit the commute with some groceries tied to the bench seat, make quick work of rips through the canyons- everything that your average motorcyclist can ask. It has a charm that immediately connects with what the pure joy of motorcycling is about—flipping the ignition, twisting the grip and dicing it up on some roads.Photography by Don WilliamsRIDING STYLE
Hello everyone and welcome once again to Ultimate Motorcycling’s weekly Podcast—Motos and Friends.
My name is Arthur Coldwells.
This week’s Podcast is brought to you by Yamaha motorcycles. Discover how the YZF-R7 provides the perfect balance of rider comfort and true supersport performance by checking it out at YamahaMotorsports.com, or see it for yourself at your local dealer.
This week’s episode features Senior Editor Nic de Sena’s impressions of the beautiful new Harley-Davidson Low Rider ST that is loosely based around the original FXRT Sport Glide from the 1980s. Hailing from The Golden State, these cult-status performance machines became known as West Coast style, with sportier suspension, increased horsepower, and niceties including creature comforts such as a tidy fairing and sporty luggage.
In past episodes you might have heard us mention my best friend, Daniel Schoenewald, and in the second segment I chat with him about some of the really special machines in his 170 or so—and growing—motorcycle collection. He’s always said to me that he doesn’t consider himself the owner, merely the curator of the motorcycles for the next generation.
Yet Daniel is not just a collector, but I can attest a really skilled rider. His bikes are not trailer queens, they’re ridden, and they’re ridden pretty hard. Actually, we have had many, many memorable rides on pretty much all of the machines in the collection at one time or another.
From all of us here at Ultimate Motorcycling, we hope you enjoy this episode!