Moto Guzzi V7 Racer

Moto Guzzi V7 Clubman Racer
Everyone assumed that Ducati would be the star of this year’s Italian motorcycle show. Especially when MV Agusta and Aprilia offered little more than facelifts and upgrades. But yesterday, Moto Guzzi comprehensively trumped all its neighbors—stunning journalists and visitors alike. The Mandello company revealed three futuristic concepts co-created by Pierre Terblanche—ironically the designer of the Ducati Hypermotard—and then went even better with the V7 Classic Clubman Racer.

Moto Guzzi V7 Clubman Racer
The Clubman Racer is more our kind of bike than any other launched at EICMA, and it’s a significant bike too: it’s the closest any manufacturer has come to capturing the raw, stripped back and funked-up feel of a true café racer. Best of all, it’s production-ready and it’s going on sale. The detailing looks perfect, with a traditional red frame, fork gaiters, bar-end mirrors and drilled side panels. The heat-wrap on the Arrow exhaust is aesthetically debatable, but what the hell—it roughens up the styling a little.

Moto Guzzi V7 Clubman Racer
The Bitubo shocks with piggyback reservoirs should tame the standard V7’s occasionally choppy rear end. And replacing the regular Metzeler Lasertec tires with Pirelli Demon Sports should improve the handling still further. Power is unchanged, and is unlikely to change given the inherent restrictions of the 750 cc small block cylinder head design. But that’s fine by us: the Moto Guzzi V7 has sublime balance, and thrillseekers have the 900 cc Triumphs (or what’s left of the Ducati SportClassic range) to choose from.

Moto Guzzi V7 Clubman Racer
Guzzi is also saying that many of the Clubman Racer parts will be sold separately as accessories, so they can be retro-fitted to the regular V7 Classic—a sign that the smart accessory marketing practiced by Triumph and BMW has reached Mandello at last. It finally seems that Moto Guzzi is stepping up a gear, looking back at its illustrious heritage and forward to its future.

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  • Greybeard

    Sporting “the look” but none of the performance.
    What would you call that then?
    I could mount a whale tail on my pickup but it wouldn’t make it a Porsche.

  • ed

    dude, that bike is awesome. it doesn’t need to have 140HP.

  • Fred

    “when MV Agusta and Aprilia offered little more than facelifts and upgrades” isn’t the V7 Clubman also a facelist/upgrade? I could understand the criticism if we’re talking about the V12 here but we aren’t are we.

  • Considering cafe racers of the day were stripped down rat bikes, I don’t see the point in whinging about the difference between the “classics” and a modern reinterpretation. Hell, if you want to argue performance, the MG Clubman matches up pretty well to the classic Triton—a little heavier, more displacement, same hp. If you want a good “not a cafe racer” argument, let’s talk about British vs. Italian marquees.

    However, “cafe racer” is a look, and I think MG nailed it. I’m actually a big fan of that heat wrap on that exhaust and the fork gators. Not sure about the perforated stainless on the rear or the tank treatment (why not a vintage Guzzi badge?). I’d also take off the 7’s and that wimpy windscreen. But overall I’m a big fan.

  • mingh

    The designers clearly had a lot of fun doing this one, but I find it a bit overdone. it will definately turn heads in real life.
    for all it’s worth, i’d rather get a lemon 2

  • i like it. i imagine there will be things on this clubman, owners of the v7 classic would love to have on their own bikes. a good way of keeping current owners within the moto guzzi brand and not having them move onto other brands when they get bored.

  • I’ll certainly be looking at the accessories for stuff to add to my bike, if they ever make their way down to Australia at a reasonable price.

    Re the performance gripes, as John says, it matches the cafe racers of yore. And I’ve found 48 bhp in a light, flickable bike to be plenty enough for 90% of my riding. As they say, the best way to increase performance is to ‘add lightness’.

    And unlike the ‘new’ MV Agusta F4, the Clubman Racer is not heavier and less powerful than the model it replaces.

  • James

    As much as the rest of the bike looks awesome, I can’t get past that goofy cartoon pirate hat of a windshield.

  • Phil

    That looks really nice – a ‘proper’, modern cafe racer. All the styling cues rolled into one.

  • Paul

    Ben Part’s Zagato Guzzi- inspired. Suspiciously.

  • Frank

    I am sure that picture came through a few days ago, did they take the styling from that pretty cool CX500?

  • Frank

    I like it by the way!!

  • The only thing I don’t get is why they didn’t do this to a V1200?