Tagged: Black

Reader’s Ride: Very Original 1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport for Sale

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Black L Side

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.

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Black Dash

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.  

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Black R Engine

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.

-tad

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Black R Rear

1936 Velocette KSS MKII

A popular term  used during the 1990’s to define race bikes dressed up for the road was Homologation. These limited numbered production road going racers were a requirement by race governing bodies for “production” race series. Even before this term became common, Manufactures offered road going bikes which were thinly disguised Grand Prix race bikes. The Velocette KSS offered from 1928 until 1948 was one such bike, and if you strip off the lights and extra weight here and there, you were a little tunning away from being a works KTT Grand Prix entry. If you are in England you have the option to bid on this1936 MKII KSS now.

This is the KTT, remove the lights from the KSS and you are half way there

From the seller

This motorcycle was bought as a basket case after having been totally dismantled for at least 25 years. It was rebuilt, with any missing parts replaced either new or from auto jumbles

The wheel rims were beyond recovery, so both wheels were rebuilt with flanged alloy rims, 21” front and 19” rear (should be 20” rear, but tubes/tyres were not easy to find). New tyres and tubes were fitted. The wheel bearings were in perfect condition, so were cleaned and repacked with grease. The front brake shoes were fine; the rear ones relined

Both transmission chains were renewed.

The gearbox works as it should – no jumping out of gear. The clutch is also good. I have fitted a VOC roller thrust bearing instead of the original ball type.

The motorcycle was rewired using a VOC loom as the basis. An electronic regulator has been fitted, inside the original housing so it is out of sight. The magneto (BTH) was not touched and has proved to be OK.

The girder forks were fitted with new spindles and bushes.

The petrol tank hasn’t been lined as it was rust and leak free. A new 276 Amal was fitted.

The one problem with taking this bike out to its potential is that there is no rear suspension. Though the Webb girder forks up front are the De Luxe model, I can’t see more then 2 inches of travel smoothing out anything but the flattest roads. Between the wars motorcycle frames did not make many advancements, its really the engine that drove the bikes to the winning circle.

The seller tells us like it is

The engine is a bit noisy on first start up, but quietens down once the oil pressure rises and the engine warms up. I think there needs to be a little more clearance in the bottom bevels.

That aside, the bike is quite lively, runs superbly on the road, and generally starts first or second kick. It doesn’t burn oil.

For the engine this includes new big end and main bearings, valves, springs and guides, and new oil control springs. The piston and barrel were in very good condition and on standard bore, so were left alone.

 

The 348cc Over Head Cam engine on the KSS generated 28bhp and was good enough to push the sub 300lb bike and rider over 80mph.  This KTT appears to have a latter enclosed cylinder head as prior to 1938 the valves and butterfly valve springs were exposed. If you are looking for a bike which was the pinnacle of road racers between the wars, and still want to be able to get home after dark, this KSS is waiting for you. BB