2016 Moto Guzzi V7 II Stone

Editor Score: 76.25%
Engine 16.0/20
Suspension/Handling 10.5/15
Transmission/Clutch 6.5/10
Brakes 7.25/10
Instruments/Controls3.75/5
Ergonomics/Comfort 7.75/10
Appearance/Quality 9.0/10
Desirability 8.0/10
Value 7.5/10
Overall Score76.25/100

Moto Guzzi is a brand unlike any other. Now in its 95th year of uninterrupted production, Guzzi remains entirely authentic in its retro appeal. Some other manufacturers resort to conjuring up a pseudo historical style and attempt to breed in some characteristics of yesteryear.

But Moto Guzzi does not. And not Harley-Davidson, either, which has truckloads of its own history. And this brings me to a not entirely original analogy: Moto Guzzi is the Italian version of Harley. Long heritage of charming air-cooled V-Twins with pushrods: check. Fervent devotion to a historic brand: check. Ardent respect for nationalist design: check. Huge success all over the globe: Well, let’s just say the Italian eagle doesn’t soar as high as the American one in terms of sales.

2016 Moto Guzzi V9 Bobber And V9 Roamer First Ride Review

But having the opportunity to ride the latest update to the V7 platform reinforced our impressions of this uniquely appealing machine. It’s still the only 90-degree V-Twin mounted with its crankshaft inline with its wheels, and it retains its shaft-drive arrangement that is fairly unusual for bikes not in the touring or cruiser realms.

The V7 II massages the V7 platform, with the biggest changes being the rotation of the engine 4 degrees forward in the chassis and the addition of a sixth gear to the transmission. Traction control is now standard equipment, as is an ABS system from Continental.

Moto Guzzi V7 II Stone

The Stone boasts a handsome profile that remains timeless, appealing to old farts and young hipsters. It’s also available with a red or a black tank color. The V7 line accounts for about 60% of Guzzi’s global sales.

The reoriented engine – now tuned to be able to meet stringent Euro 4 standards – yields more than an inch of extra space for knees and shins, plus the footpegs are an inch lower, which comes in handy considering the seat height has been shaved by 15mm to 31.1 inches. The cardan shaft output was lowered by 2 inches, and Guzzi says decreasing the angle of pull “enhances the effect of the rear suspension ensuring a better grip on the ground,” a claim impossible to verify from the saddle.

The drivetrain modifications include a new clutch lever and inner clutch components intended to deliver a “softer action and a more even release,” according to Guzzi, and its primary-drive gearing is shorter, going from 16.2 to 18.2:1. A steeper first gear allows easier getaways, while the addition of a sixth gear enabled closer spacing between gears 3, 4 and 5, plus the promise of lower fuel consumption at highway speeds. Transmission oil changes have been radically extended from 6,000 miles to 30,000 miles.

As usual, the Guzzi’s V-Twin plays a key role in the riding experience, with its pair of cylinders jutting out from both sides of the fuel tank and the whole bike rocking to the right when its throttle is blipped. The 90-degree vee architecture (like Ducatis) ensures a smooth engine that sounds wonderful to gearheads. A rev limiter halts the party at a relatively low 7200 rpm, but it wasn’t unusual for me to find myself cruising all the way up at 5000 rpm because the mill is so creamy other than intermittent tingles through the pegs and bars.

Moto Guzzi V7 II Stone

This isn’t an especially powerful engine, but it’s certainly one of the prettiest. Air-cooling helps the V7 II look incredibly clean and uncluttered.

The engine feels a bit more eager than previous thanks to the gearing changes, and the V7 II proves to be easier to get off the line. This is a great benefit considering the single-plate dry clutch has a rather narrow engagement point and can get overwhelmed during high-rpm slipping; keeping the heavy flywheel’s revs low and feeling the clutch bite before adding throttle is the V7’s preferred launch method. Gearshifts are very smooth if unhurrried, and the new top gear keeps highway cruising fairly serene.

The peak horsepower number when measured at the rear wheel, 41.8 hp, is almost comically low for a 744cc motor, but the lovely little mill always feels and sounds more powerful than it actually is. Ample grunt is always on tap throughout the rev range despite the modest peak numbers, including 40 lb-ft of torque at just 3000 rpm, and it’s seldom when a rider is asking for more.

Moto Guzzi V7 II Stone

The V7 II’s riding position is about perfect for this style of bike, with a moderately sporty forward lean to the bars without placing any pressure on wrists. Legroom is quite sufficient, and the footpegs slightly rear-set are reasonably comfortable. The flat design of the rider’s seat harkens back to earlier times and reminds us that it’s better than being stuck in a confining pocket, even if the modest padding here has a rider squirming after an hour or so. The V7 is remarkably slim between the knees considering its large, 5.8-gallon capacity; that’s an easy 250 miles or more between fuel stops.

The Stone handles better than its name implies, steering deliberately like a traditional Italian bike from the 1970s rather than a modern scalpel. Scaling in at 454 lbs full of about 35 lbs of fuel, the V7 is quite light, especially considering its shaft-drive layout is significantly heavier than a chain. Brakes are by Brembo, but they’re lacking power and feel compared to what we’ve become spoiled by from the famous Italian brake brand.

HepCat TooCool Millennial Shootout

Classy dual gauges with chrome bezels look authentically retro while having modern displays for time and ambient temperature. Traction control, which has a fairly low level before intervention, can be switched off by holding down the starter button.

Moto Guzzi V7 II Stone

Narrow Pirelli Sport Demon tires help aid the V7’s transitional responses and have more than enough grip to drag pegs when heeled over.

“While certainly capable of getting up and going in a relative hurry,” Evans Brasfield comments, “the V7’s stateliness carries through in its deliberate handling and engine character. The new V7 II is a modernized version of a classic design, and for better or worse, it won’t let you forget it.”

2016 Moto Guzzi V7 II Stone
+ Highs

  • Authentic Italian appeal
  • Improved ergonomics
  • A classic with a warranty!
– Sighs

  • A few ponies short of a full corral
  • Retro clutch
  • Retro handling

The V7 II Stone reminds us that motorcycles needn’t have 150 horsepower and electronic suspension to entertain street and urban riders. It’s an elemental motorbike that is versatile and able to handle most any street task asked by both grizzled veterans and skinny-jeans-wearing youngsters.

Priced at $8,990, including a two-year warranty, it’s the cheapest streetbike built in Italy. In fact, it might even be the cheapest motorcycle built in Europe — Ducati’s popular Scrambler and Triumph’s new Bonneville lineup are produced in Thailand. The V7 is built at the same historic Guzzi factory in Mandello del Lario as the first ones back in 1921. Even the best PR firms can’t manufacture authenticity that real.

2016 Moto Guzzi V7 II Stone
MSRP as tested $8,990.00
Engine Capacity 744 cc
Engine Type 90° V-Twin, air-cooled
Bore x Stroke 80.0 x 74.0 mm
Compression Ratio NA
Fuel System Weber-Marelli electronic fuel injection
Transmission 6-speed
Final Drive Shaft
Front Suspension 40mm telescopic fork, 5.1 in. travel
Rear Suspension Die cast light alloy swing arm with 2 shock absorbers with adjustable spring preload,4.4 in.travel
Front Brakes 320 mm stainless steel floating discs, Brembo callipers with 4 differently sized opposed pistons,ABS
Rear Brakes 260 mm, stainless steel disc, floating calliper with 2 pistons,ABS
Front Tire 100/90-18
Rear Tire 130/80-17
Seat Height 31.1 in.
Wheelbase 57.0 in.
Rake/Trail 27°50ʼ/4.6 in.
Measured Weight 454 lbs.
Fuel Capacity 5.8 gal.

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  • JMDonald

    I like the V7 but it is lacking a bit too much. A few improvements would go a long way.

    • Ian Parkes

      Yes, a lot of people look at the meagre horsepower number especially and decide it’s not enough and yet people who ride them don’t complain about that and are charmed by other things. If it was such a fatal flaw – if it meant it didn’t work as a motorcycle – surely reviewers would say so.Guzzi might take a leaf out of the other v-twin cruiser brand’s book and stop quoting horsepower figures. Harley’s 103cu inch engine has nearly a litre more capacity at 1690cc but produces around 76hp. That’s significantly worse. If you wanted a relaxed ride and an authentic classic motorcycle but don’t want to wrestle with a barge, a Guzzi looks like a great option.

      • JMDonald

        I’m not sure what it would take to improve the handling but maybe a suspension upgrade would be enough. It’s nice and light including shaft drive. A clutch upgrade sounds like it’s in order. For Brembos I would have expected the brakes to perform a little better. I like the V7 but compared to the Street Twin it falls short. I stIll like it. After all it is a Moto Guzzi.

        • Old MOron

          Oooh, we need a V7-Street Twin shootout!

          • Kevin Duke

            Ooh, can we toss in a Street 750 with the Street Twin?! Stay tuned, not long.

          • Old MOron

            Ha ha, how do I up-vote with an exclamation point?

          • Doug Erickson

            double up on the guzzis and add a v9!

  • Old MOron

    I really like the ergos and the retro look. What a pity the suspension and handling aren’t up to snuff. That means that even with the V9 engine, it still wouldn’t suffice.
    http://motorcycle.com.vsassets.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/032916-Moto-Guzzi-V7-II-Stone-00-633×388.jpg

    • Kevin Duke

      I wouldn’t say the V7’s suspension isn’t up to snuff; it’s just not excellent. Also, the V9 has a different frame with a steeper rake, so its handling responses are a bit sharper despite the cruiser front tires.

      • Old MOron

        Hmm, I was looking at the “Suspension/Handling” score that you assigned the V7: 10.5/15. How do I get some sense of what that score means? Well…

        Yamaha’s FZ-09 is widely lamented for its crappy suspension. And Trizzle scored it a 10/15: http://www.motorcycle.com/manufacturer/yamaha/2014-yamaha-fz-09-review.html So I figured the V7’s suspension must be lamentable, too.

        Additionally, a whole team of MOrons scored the FZ-09’s suspension as 73.3% (11/15) here, http://www.motorcycle.com/shoot-outs/less-shootout-four-cylinders-7999-three-cylinders-8190-two-cylinders-8699-video and declared that the FZ “came out on top but only by the skin of its under-suspended teeth. It’s saving grace being its weight-to-power ratio”.

        As for the V9, what a mystery: sharper handling, but poorer ground clearance. Perché, Guzzi? Perché?

        • Kevin Duke

          First, Suspension/Handling isn’t quite the same as the simpler Handling score in our shootout scorecard. Second, the FZ’s suspension is quite adequate if you’re not heavy and not super aggressive.

          • Old MOron

            Thanks. Good point: for the shootouts suspension and handling are scored separately.

        • mugwump

          So really all that’s necessary is an optional suspension package.

  • Starmag

    At this power level I’d rather be Scrambled than Stoned

    • steve5656546346

      I would rather be Stoned. Don’t buy a bike that operates faster than your mind: for me, that means the V7, and NOT a Scrambled brain. Your results may vary. :-)

      • Starmag

        That comment was in reference to a Triumph Scrambler and a Ducati Scrambler vs a Moto Guzzi V7 Stone. Nothing about brains.

  • Goose

    Guzzi, please put the V9 engine (with maybe a slightly higher state of tune than the cruisers) in this bike, put on a better fork (I can easily replace the shocks) and try to keep it under $10K.

    I’m a former Guzzi owner who still misses my V11 Sport. Hell, where do you think my screen name came from?

    • Ser Samsquamsh

      Wouldn’t it then be the V9? I had a V7 and 90 hp in that frame would not have been fun!

      • Goose

        Guzzi will have to figure out the best way to make the bike: Put the V7 tank, styling, peg position, bars, etc. on the V9 chassis then pull in the rake to give it more V7 like handling or cram the V9 motor into the V7 chassis and stiffen as needed. I just want a Guzzi with a fairly standard riding position, non-cruiser styling and that pretty, 5.8 gallon gas tank.

        90HP? In my (and Guzzi’s) dreams. 60 RWHP is probably asking too much from the V9. Guzzi horses tend to be big, Clydesdale sized things but you never get very many. 😉

        • Ser Samsquamsh

          I won’t hold my breath but I hope they do make that! My GOOSE plate is collecting dust. I really liked the V7 but it’s tiny and doesn’t have ABS (the roads here are terrible) I nearly traded for a California but that bike is humongous! The V9 is pretty, especially the motor, but the tank crease looks like it would slice your knees up.

          • steve5656546346

            They now have ABS.

  • HARVEY MOYER

    SHODDY Workmanship – NO Quality Control – NO Customer Care

    Don’t be fooled by all the shiny bits; Moto Guzzi is just putting
    lipstick on an old pig. My new V7 Special came with both factory defects and dealer
    screw-ups; and the most troubling part is Moto Guzzi doesn’t give a shit about
    the North American market. I emailed them, but got NO reply. I called them, but
    got NO reply. I wrote them, and got NO reply. And of course I contacted the
    dealer, and got blah, blah, blah. So, I would recommend looking elsewhere for a
    new motorcycle, unless you’re in the market for an old pig with lipstick (she
    does look good).

    • Ok Campers

      Harvey, don’t feel so neglected and ignored as a Guzzi owner, they don’t do too much for their dealers, either. I guess when the Italian government is willing to bail out Moto Guzzi, as it has done so often before, the company is not reliant on customer base for survival and that translates into the indifference you’ve experienced.

    • steve5656546346

      You again. I’m sorry you had such a problem, most of us have had much better experiences–and enjoy the 2 year warranty which is better than virtually any other company.

  • blueson2wheels

    Kevin, since you’re just off the V9, any additional thoughts you have comparing the two would be appreciated.

    The V7 is a very underappreciated machine. Experienced riders who frequent the online mags and forums will poo poo it, but they aren’t the target market. The V7 is a great everyday bike for everyday people. Extremely practical, very reliable, and easy on the wallet in the long term, since anyone can do valve adjustments.

    • Kevin Duke

      I much prefer the V9’s engine, which has more power everywhere and has potential for extracting more power. Steering geometry is also a little sharper. It just needs a 17- or 18-inch front wheel and footpegs a little more rear-set to be a bigger version of a V7.

  • TheMarvelous1310

    I’ve been looking for something… Worthwhile to put a turbo on. So has my brother. His favorite number is seven. Mine is nine… I think it’s meant to be, guys.

  • Bug Spattered Jacket

    I like the article. However, having owned a Nevada (with the same engine) and now a V7, I am not sure why anyone thinks that this bike is missing a few ponies short of a corral, so to speak?! Its a real world motorcycle for real world driving applications. It can easily do 100 miles an hour if need be which in most states/provinces will get your license suspended and your bike impounded. If anything, compared to any other motorcycle in its class, it ticks all the practical stuff and then some. How many bikes in this segment come with a 5.8 gallon (22 litre) tank, shaft drive (though some may prefer chain or belt), and now, TC and ABS (though some may prefer without). It’s a torquey motorcycle that allows for the most inept of motorcyclists to pull off the line in practically any gear.

    With regards to reliability, I haven’t read anything about this bike that I have not seen on other forums as well. I have also owned several different brands of bikes. Every marquee has its issues. The only downside to the MG is dealership networks and support. So if you are not inclined to learn how to adjust your own valves then no, I wouldn’t suggest this particular brand. However, the motorcycle itself has proven to be for many people a long lasting love affair. To each their own.

    • Ok Campers

      Your last paragraph really nailed it. I bought my 1999 V11EV in 2001 as a leftover and, as a result of
      factory indifference and lack of available dealer support, soon learned
      the truth of the saying I heard back then “Moto Guzzi: Making
      mechanics out of riders for 75 years……”

      As for the “long lasting love affair”, I can attest to that, too: I still have that bike, having recently awoken it from an 8 year coma during which it languished unridden in my Florida carport. Yes, I did all the work myself out of necessity… still lacking dealer and factory support….. but can’t bring myself to part with it even tho my V Star 1300 Tourer gets my riding time these days.

    • ColoradoS14

      Yea but the real world Triumph Street Twin has 20 more ponies and double the torque…

      • Bug Spattered Jacket

        If that is your priority as a rider than more power to you! There are folks touring the United States and going right up to Alaska on bikes like the Yamaha TW200, Honda Groms, etc. At the end of the day the bike really chooses you and not the other way around. 😉

        • ColoradoS14

          It’s not my priority, I ride a 95hp Aprilia Shiver because it fits me, looks great and does everything I want it to. But at the end of the day, the Triumph does everything this bike does but adds that little extra juice.

          • Ser Samsquamsh

            Lovely as it is the Triumph is much worse at being Italian and having a delightfully strange personality. I had a V7 and 90 hp in that frame would not have been fun.

          • ColoradoS14

            This probably true, I have never ridden the Guzzi but have ridden a modern Bonneville. While it was a fine bike and I see why it makes such a great canvas for modders there is just something about una moto Italiana!

  • Sentinel

    I would buy a Guzzi if they made a bike like this one that had some actual power.

    • steve5656546346

      I don’t get it. I remember when the Honda 450 seemed just impossibly powerful. Objectively the Guzzi gets down the road faster than almost any car, so I really don’t see how you can claim that it is devoid of power.

      • Sentinel

        Stop being a silly little kunt. I’ve got decades of serious riding under my belt, and my desire for more power than what’s being offered there comes from that experience, and knowing that more power than what they have is very “usable” and can be very needed indeed. I’d love to own one of those bikes if and when they offer more in this regard. You don’t like that? It “offends” you somehow sweetie?

  • major tom

    I use to own a Monza which had basically the same frame, swing arm shaft drive, and engine cases. 60k miles, a few issues which of course have been resolved years ago. I’m old fashion and the 17″ rear wheel looks awkward. Is it for “style”? The Monza’s forks were 36mm, LOL. 41mm on this would be more up to date. Does this have the Heron heads? I appreciate it’s still around. A few changes and I’d consider it.

  • ColoradoS14

    I own an Aprilia so this bike is “family” so to speak. I want to love it, and do love the styling but yea this thing needs more juice.

    • Kevin Duke

      More like 10 hp and 40% more torque, but we get your point.

      • ColoradoS14

        Haha, yea duh, this moron looked at the torque on the new 1200. The Street twin is obviously less than that…

  • Montana dave

    Totally agree with Goose. For the American market,add a higher tuned V9 with little weight gain and better suspension to this “retro.”. Sold.

    • You want working on boy.

      Yes, more power for the American market seems to be the order of the day. They are frightfully heavy chaps over the pond.

      • Montana dave

        From what I’ve read and seen the Brits are catching up to Americans in that category.

        • You want working on boy.

          That is also true Dave.

  • Randy Talburt

    I hate to say more power but I don’t think 40+ horses is gonna do it for me. Don’t think I’m just a magazine/brochure rider please. I’ve got a stable and some of my favorites are under 100 horses (Duc 900 SS&Monster, 1100 Hyper,BMW R100CS). 900ccs and 75+hp would make me consider it. Big gas tank and aircooled twin are what I like most in a bike. Never owned a Guzzi but this is soooo close. Sorry they thought it needed traction control.

    • steve5656546346

      Those that own them love them. Those that don’t don’t.

  • johnbutnotforgotten

    Loved my 2012 V7 (H-B hard bags, luggage rack, Ikon shocks, Breva 750 flyscreen) when it was running . Unfortunately it spent more time in the shop than on the road (more than 6 months in the shop in 2 years and 20,000km. intermitent starting problems then the clutch). And absolutely no support from Piaggio NA or my local dealer.
    I fear the 950 will take the block and especially the clutch beyond its limits (my V7 ate it’s clutch with less than 20,000km on it. seized actuator piston) All my other guzzi’s (2 850T’s, V50 Monza, 1000SP, which i still have with 170,000km, V65SP, 750 Breva, California Special Sport) were more reliable.
    And that’s damning with faint praise because truth be told, only the Monza was problem free (of course it only had 12,000km on it when i traded it for the V65)
    The T’s had electrical problems and scored bores, the SP had leaky seals and electrical issues, the V65 had seized valves, the Breva had electrical problems and the Cal lost its fuel injection on the left side and the odometer and the fuel warning light went south at the same time (leaving me with the dipstick fuel gauge method).
    I’ve done over 250,000 miles on 8 guzzis and i could have done the same on one Goldwing with fewer problems (but it would still be a goldwing)
    Guzzis. Love em, but can no longer live with them.

    • steve5656546346

      The dealer network is getting much stronger, and MG has gotten an infusion of case, so things seem to be getting better.

      After all, even Honda only has a one year guarantee: MG has two years.

  • You want working on boy.

    Beautiful machine, well done MG. A Special, in blue please.