Low and Lean: 1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport
To me, old Moto Guzzis like this V7 Sport are just about the perfect vintage bikes: they’re rare, but parts are available to keep them running. The styling is classic, but they’re relatively reliable, and dead-simple to work on. Construction is rugged and durable, but the bikes are still sporty and agile compared to their contemporaries. They’re sportbikes, yet can actually rack up miles, since they’re not highly-strung or fragile. And the innovative frame design by Lino Tonti that allowed the engine to be set low for handling and cornering clearance, also just happens to make for the lowest, meanest-looking bike of the period.
Although some very odd folks have occasionally been known to race the earlier “loop-framed” Guzzis, they were primarily sport-touring machines, and Guzzi wanted a piece of that “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” pie, so they needed something with a bit more handling. They knew the powertrain would do the job, but the frame of the V700 was just too tall to be competitive in racing.
So Lino Tonti designed a very low frame with detachable bottom rails to improve handling, the engine was punched out from 703cc’s to 748 to slip in under the 750cc limit for racing, and a 5-speed gearbox was fitted. The generator was moved from the top of the engine to the front and replaced with a compact Bosch alternator, freeing up room for the frame top rails. A huge front drum was fitted and adjustable “swan-neck” clip on bars allowed the ergonomics to be tailored to suit the rider’s mood.
From the original eBay listing: 1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport for Sale
Mostly Original Great Vintage Motorcycle 24592 miles!
This is a very close to original bike, although recently repainted. Has been stored indoors, as a collector on display, for many years. If you want this one to run, it would need to be gone through, battery, etc. But otherwise you can leave dry and add to your collection.
Due to the misplacement of a single box during the painting, the gas cap box locks and pet cock are not included. If/when that box is found, those items will be included. Please see the photos and let us know if you need any more.
The original run of Telaio Rosso [“red frame”] bikes were basically hand-built, with details not found on later bikes, including sand-cast engine cases. And while those few bikes represent the Holy Grail for Guzzi fans, the production V7 Sport was made in enough numbers to make them a realistic goal. Prices have more than doubled in the past ten years, but they’re still relatively affordable and very usable bikes, with plenty of replacement parts.
As always, it’s especially important to do your research before plunking down cash on a V7 Sport: the Tonti frame was in production for more than 30 years, and tanks, fenders, bars, and exhausts are all available, so many replicas exist.