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2010 Moto Guzzi V7 Café Classic Review


by Pascal Bastien ,

With the 2008 introduction of the V7 Classic, Moto Guzzi continued its journey through time, as the cute little Italian number took up the lines and trends of the classic Café Racer style created in London (England that is, not Ontario) in the 60s: half handlebars, single-seat, set back foot rests, slim tank, naked styling, retro colours and minimalist instrumentation.

The V7 Classic looks small and certainly feels light and compact, a great virtue for urban and fun highway use. (Photo: Philippe Champoux/

The V7’s transverse V-Twin and shaft final drive set the bike clearly outside the “normal” category, used as we are to Triumph’s or other Brit manufacturer’s vertical twins. Endearing and compact, this V7 is a blast from the past, offering 60s flair and feel – without the unremitting reliability issues of those grand old days.

Nostalgic twin
Ever loveable, the little 744cc twin churns out 48 hp at 6,800 rpm and 40 ft-lb of torque at 3,600 rpm. Smooth and hard-working, it promises some great times on your favourite winding roads, running on torque and an almost melodious exhaust note emanating from the twin pipes. In those circumstances, it does give the impression that there are more than 48 ponies in the stable.

Though it’s not up to par with modern engines, the V7 Café Classic seduces buyers by playing on nostalgic heartstrings, and successfully so despite the dampening effects of modern environmental standards on older machinery. Despite this set of circumstances, the Classic does preserve enough character to continue to please, still reminiscent of the original model. The current engine has gained electronic fuel injection and ignition, enabling smoother startups and more forceful throttle response, two welcome additions to the unique sensations provided by its unusual anatomy. What’s more, this little charmer is not afraid of running at 2,000 rpm in 5th gear and gently pulling its way up from there.

The gearbox isn’t as delightful as the engine though, in part because of the too-long gear selector travel and the capricious clutch operation, a combination that makes for vague and slow shifting. Some things are better left in the past. That being said, you do get used to it thanks to gear ratios that make the most of engine’s torque and power.

The sideways V-Twin has been the key to the Moto Guzzi brand image for decades: Simple, solid and attractive in its own way. (Photo: Philippe Champoux/
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