Reader’s Ride: Very Original 1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport for Sale
Look, you can mock old Guzzi’s all you want for their “truck-like” qualities. Deride their descended-from-a-tractor heritage. Laugh as they lurch to the side when you blip the throttle. But “truck-like” is apt in more ways than one: trucks are built to do stuff, and go places. Not sit in a garage being tinkered with like some exotic sports car. I know a guy who’s a pretty accomplished motorcycle mechanic. He got that way because he owns old Triumphs and got tired of constantly paying mechanics to work on them.
Old Moto Guzzi’s are built to go places. And the V7 was built to go places quickly: you really can’t argue with the sheer, mile-munching charisma of a nice Moto Guzzi.
The V7 Sport was Guzzi’s first v-twin sportbike, an attempt to move away from the touring character of the earlier “loop-framed” V700’s. The new frame, designed by Lino Tonti, allowed the low, lean stance that characterizes their sporting motorcycles and was so effective it was used, in one form or another, for the next forty years.
This, early drum-braked example looks to be extremely original and needs very little to be done. The original eBay listing has a pretty comprehensive overview of the bike’s condition: 1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport for Sale
Overall, the bike is in very good condition and runs and rides well. The engine has a little over 140psi compression in both cylinders tested cold, doesn’t smoke or burn oil as best I can tell, and doesn’t leak anywhere. The transmission shifts nicely (for a Guzzi!) and is a five speed, with the old right hand shift, one up, four down shift pattern. Original levers, switches, controls, etc. all appear to be in good condition and operate as they should. The only two exceptions are the neutral light which works, but goes on and off in just about any gear depending on the day of the month and where the moon is in the sky (pretty sure it needs a new neutral indicator switch although it may just be that it’s Italian!) and the starter button on the handlebars. The starter button doesn’t work, but the key switch starter position works fine. I’m not sure what the issue is there, and honestly haven’t tried to troubleshoot it. All the other electrics work fine including, lights, horn, turn signals, brake lights, etc.
Wheels are all original and correct Borrani rims and stainless spokes (that’s what they came with new) in excellent condition with a new set of Dunlop D404’s on them. I checked the brake shoes when I replaced the tires and all looked good.
I have done little to the bike since I’ve owned it other than put a new set of tires on it, change all the oil (engine, transmission and rear end), checked and set the timing and valve clearances, washed and waxed it and ridden it. It starts almost instantly, and is a blast to ride. If you’ve always wanted a V7 Sport, this is a very nice relatively low mileage example that runs well.
Nice old collectible Guzzis always present a bit of a conundrum: do you cherish them for their handsome looks, quality engineering, and important place in motorcycling history? Or do you strap a pack and bedroll to the seat and head out to the middle of nowhere on a road trip?
The choice is yours.