2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Rough Review

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.

2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Rough test1. 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.

2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Rough price4. 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.

2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Rough weight8. 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-shaped

10. 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 Williams

RIDING STYLE

2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Rough Specs

ENGINE

  • Type: Transversely mounted 90-degree V-twin
  • Displacement: 744cc
  • Bore x stroke: 80 x 74mm
  • Maximum power: 52 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
  • Maximum torque: 44 ft/lbs @ 4900 rpm
  • Valve train: OHV w/ pushrods; 2 vpc
  • Cooling: Air
  • Transmission: 6-speed
  • Final drive: Shaft

CHASSIS

  • Frame: Double cradle tubular ALS steel frame
  • Front suspension; travel: Non-adjustable 40mm fork; 5.1 inches
  • Rear suspension: Spring-preload adjustable shocks; 3.7 inches
  • Front tire: 100/ 90 x 18; Pirelli MT 60 RS
  • Rear tire: 130/80 x 18; Pirelli MT 60
  • Front brake: 320mm floating disc w/ 4-piston Brembo caliper
  • Rear brake: 260mm disc w/ 2-piston floating caliper
  • ABS: Standard

DIMENSIONS and CAPACITIES

  • Wheelbase: 56.9 inches
  • Rake: 26.4 degrees
  • Trail: 4.1 inches
  • Seat height: 30.3 inches
  • Fuel tank capacity: 5.5 gallons
  • Estimated fuel consumption: 43 mpg
  • Wet weight: 470 pounds
  • Color: Grigio Grafite

2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Rough Price:

  • $9190 MSRP

2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Rough Review | Photo Gallery