The big money-spinner for Moto Guzzi these days is the ‘new’ V7 range. But although the V7 has put the Mandello Del Lario factory on a secure footing, the heart of the bike is nothing new. The iconic 750cc ‘small block’ engine design can be traced back to the mid-seventies.
The V7’s appeal largely comes from its retro styling, which has elevated it above two close cousins: the somewhat anodyne Breva and the cruiser-ish Nevada. Both are competent bikes, but have hardly set the motorcycling world alight. Which makes me wonder: has Moto Guzzi missed a trick by not building a scrambler variant?
When this delightful custom scrambler landed in my inbox, my suspicions were confirmed. Until recently, it was the personal ride of Officine Rossopuro founder Filippo Barbacane. It’s based on the Nevada platform, and it’s powered by the same small block engine you’ll find in a V7.
Massaging a Nevada into the scrambler style is tricky, but not beyond the capabilities of a competent builder like Barbacane. The rear end of the frame is new, as is the beguiling all-aluminum bodywork. The electrical system is now hidden in the tank, and the overall theme is one of simplification, from the controls on the new bars to the compact lighting.
There’s a custom two-into-one single air intake, with the filter projecting out of the side panel. The custom exhaust is also two-into-one, and despite running under the engine, suits the style of the bike perfectly. Barbacane designed the bike to be effective off-road, so he also upgraded the shocks to Bitubo items for better control.
Best of all, he’s cut the weight down to a mere 150 kg or so. Not quite motocross levels, but light enough to provide an entertaining ride. Especially when you factor in the renowned tractability of the Moto Guzzi small block V-twin.
I’m sold on the concept, and could see this machine parked next to the V7 in my own garage. Perhaps it’s time Moto Guzzi built an official V7 scrambler, to compete with Triumph’s popular offering?