The ‘new’ V7 is Moto Guzzi’s biggest sales hit of recent years, getting the nod from riders and road testers alike. It’s stylish, lightweight and well finished—the perfect retro roadster. (Editorial disclosure: I have one in my own garage.)
If there’s a recurring criticism of the bike, it’s a lack of power. The venerable 750cc V-twin motor is reliable, tractable and easy to live with, but a few more horses wouldn’t go amiss. The stock output is 50 hp, and it’s difficult to raise that without extensive and expensive engine mods.
There’s now a solution. It’s drastic and no doubt expensive, but it marries the immaculate looks of the V7 with a double shot of power: 110 hp, to be precise.
The Moto Guzzi V12 is the work of Stefan Bronold, who runs the German workshop Radical Guzzi. When creating a bike, his first question is always “How can the performance be improved?”
When a customer asked for a Moto Guzzi V7 custom with more grunt, Bronold proposed a combination of modern and traditional elements. He decided to transplant a Griso 4-valve engine into a Tonti frame, while retaining the aesthetics of the modern V7.
“Reproducing the look of the V7 was the simpler part of the task,” says Bronold. “Getting the engine to fit into the classic frame and sending 110 hp to the rear wheel took the better part of two years.”
That meant developing, creating and testing parts. The V12 uses an older Guzzi gearbox, because the Griso transmission does not fit into a Tonti frame. Bronold also wanted carburetors instead of fuel injection, which meant matching the oval intakes of the cylinders to the circular outlets of the carburetors.
As you can image, the list of alterations is rather long. They include Kineo wheels, wave-style disc brakes with Brembo calibers, an upside down fork, a smattering of Öhlins components and lots of bespoke Radical Guzzi parts—right down to the exhaust system, foot pegs, and wiring loom.
The V12 now reaches Autobahn-cruising speeds effortlessly. “On country roads the bike eagerly swings into curves, and accelerates out of them with a sporty touch. The whole appeal of the V12 is that of a sporty cruiser—a naked tourer if you wish,” says Bronold. “It’s comfortable to ride, but with plenty of character.”
The craftsmanship is worthy of a bike rolling off the Mandello Del Lario production line. All the indications point to Moto Guzzi working on their own uprated version of the V7, so when that machine appears, it will be fascinating to compare it to Radical Guzzi’s effort.
On a personal level, I’m sold. If you are too, contact Bronold via the Radical Guzzi website.