Moto Guzzi V7 850 Centenario : Contributors review

Intro

Hello, it’s been a while since the last post and quite a bit has happened since then. Still, all is looking good and the outlook is remarkably positive. Although, if milk goes up to £7 / pint in the next few months, I reserve the right to re-edit this blog post accordingly. As for the price of gas, let’s move on swiftly otherwise I’ll need to provide a link to the Samaritans.

So, let’s move on to far more interesting matters, such as motorcycles and Moto Guzzi’s in particular. Now I’ve owned my V7 850 Centenario since October 2021 however, rather embarrassingly I’ve only completed 837 miles on the bike, which is just 300 miles since my previous video. I have had the first service completed by the rather fabulous bunch at Motech Motorcycles over in Newcastle and as result have sampled a little more of the extra power the bike has over the 750 and I have to say it’s very welcome.

V7 850 with punctured balloon.

With so little riding it would be rather inappropriate of me to prattle on about the bike, therefore, through my YouTube channel, I’ve reached out to fellow V7 and Guzzi riders and put out a request for their opinions and thoughts about the Guzzi’s and V7’s in particular. And the response has been fabulous!

Now the original idea was to produce a video review of the mighty V7 and to read out the comments as the accompanying narrative, however, I got such a brilliant response that A) The video would been three hours long and B) I can’t talk that long without feeling peculiar, needing a beer and/or sneezing loudly. Instead:

The video is therefore a summary of the comments I’ve received, together with some nice footage of my bike and a quick update of my own opinions of the bike to date. Oh and of course, a beer review. Towards the end a jammy dodger also makes an appearance. Yeah I know, saving the best until last 🙂

This blog entry though, features ALL the comments I’ve received about the bike – unfiltered and unexpurgated! These are real owners of Guzzi’s and they know their stuff! Plus the blog features some nice hi-res photos of the V7. Hopefully that is of some interest and if you stumble across this blog, by accident or design, fingers crossed it is mildly entertaining. If it annoys you, let me know.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed and thanks to everyone who has provided messages of support in respect of my accident and ongoing rehabilitation. It honestly has been brilliant. A special thanks to Mr Finding Neutral over in Florida who doesn’t have a Guzzi but secretly wants one, Hugh, Ben, Wilhelm, Brian and er, everyone! Right, enough of that, here are the contributions and gallery.

Have a good day, actually, NO! Have a brilliant cheers, Phil.

Gallery

Contributor reviews

Graham wall

Like you, I’ve been into motorcycles all my life, from my first fizzy chicken almost 40 years ago. They are my absolute passion, and keep me going through all the other tripe life throws your way. In my case, I’m almost ashamed to say I’ve been through over 150 bikes during my time, from the sublime Ducati 851 Superbike SP3 to the utterly ridiculous Honda VT 1100 Fury Chopper of 2010!

Until very recently, I was a very proud owner of a brand new Honda CB1000R Black Edition. Freshly delivered late September 2021, it sat in the garage until finer weather arrived in April this year. Under 50 miles later, and at age 54, I realised that it was just going to be too potent, and too eager to want to be ridden hard, so I bit the bullet and chucked it in a few weeks ago. I am now the very proud owner of an identical 2021 (November) Moto Guzzi V7 Centenario to the one you have. I’ve been desperately trying to get the miles in ready for it’s first service at Motech tomorrow. Still around 150 short, such is the unpredictability of the good old British weather, especially in the North East where we live.

Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that the Guzzi is the tonic I have been looking for. It’s so charming and charismatic. It feels special. Like a vintage bike, but with more modern power, reliability and performance. It feels like a good old fashioned blokes bike, and I love that about it.

One of the things that made me realise I was changing what I wanted from my motorcycling more recently, was my rekindled love affair with scooters. I also bought a new Honda SH300i last year and noticed that I often preferred riding that to my Africa Twin 1100. Just so simple, easy, and enjoyable with time to enjoy the countryside and environment.

Well, that’s been chucked-in too, and I’m awaiting delivery of a new Yamaha Xmax 300 Tech Max in Dark Petrol, with gold wheels… bling bling!

Benjamin Felix Berger

Without advertising for my underused instagram account, this way at least i can easily share a direct comparison of the exhaust SOUND via my highlighted instagram stories 

I believe the V7 to have a very nice two cylinder V-twin sound and rhythm, idling at a pleasant 1100-ish rpm, which is somewhat lost under Euro5 stock, as showcased in one of the story posts. I believe the Mistral Conical exhaust capture best, what was once the glorious romantic sound I recognize as the older V7s from around 1970, especially during acceleration and deceleration or engine braking, as their idle was much different in sound. 

I by nature have both terrible eye-sight, fine with glasses, and am often told no sense for aestheticism in the colloquial understanding of the term. So I took to sound like a fly to sugar water and got stuck, equally. I believe it does have some credit behind it, if I say, the V7 850, once “freed” from its stock exhaust and liberated by Mistral, has a refined semi-arrhythmic almost bubbly, underlined by a bass tone rivaling those of the 1600-ish ccm Harley Davidsons of the last great generation (2007, 96 cubic inch Twin Cam), yet modest and elegant exhaust note, which with DB-Killers installed, works in great dynamic together with the sound of the air intake and the engine’s inner working, the valves being the percussion element needed to stabilize the otherwise rather jazzy flair, as any good piece of Jazz Music between 1961 and 1969 did need a stabilizing factor, yet contained blank spaces, mute tones and virtuosi doing their own thing. 

I do not think the stock exhaust HAS to be changed, but the sound of the three components, engine, exhaust and air intake, turns into a duet of engine and air intake at 30-50km/h due to wind-noise and exhaust location, which saddens me greatly. To me, subjectively, changing the exhausts made me like the bike 30% more. I am an audiophile I suppose, but unlike with other machines in my past, I have yet to find a neighbour, pedestrian or anyone complaining about the noise the V7 makes. 

I would also like to add, that despite me saying “look at that gorgeous motorcycle” everytime I walk past my own bike, whichever bike that was at the time, my better half only ever agreed when I said it about the V7, which to me, solidifies the claim of the V7 being a universally gorgeous motorcycle, a claim which I have yet to find someone to dispute. 

Gwen Pettigrew

In June last year went from a V7III Nightpack to a V7 850 Stone. Glad I did. The handling is way better on the 850 (but not perfect I do find that its a bit rough on the front over some road surfaces). The extra power is useful. I know some disagree about the extra weight and seat height but to be honest I dont notice it (5″6′ with 29′ inside leg).

My gear box was clunky at first but now it only seems to be clunky in very cold weather (we are talking 3C and lower) and once warm no issue. Recently I came back from Argyllshire in Scotland I rode back to home in S Wales in under 11 hours (525 miles)so distance not a prob for this bike.

As of the beginning of this month Ive done over 13000 miles on the bike, with no problems. Changed the rear tyre at 8000 and the front (a little early) at about 10500. Depending on riding I get from low 70MPG to mid 80MPG. Headlight on the Stone is awesome. Probably the first bike I dont feel worried about riding at night on.

My bike has been ridden all year and in all weathers with some applications of ACF/XCP products to the more corrosion vulnerable area and the occasional washdown when too salt encrusted. Its seems to have survived the ravages of winter very well.

Dont regret going from the V7III to the 850

Guzziman

 I ride the 2017 Guzzi V7 III Stone, yellow color, original, no upgrades, just as it was made in Italy, the soul of this bike can not be replicated in my opinion by the 850, I test rode one, I do not feel the same human to machine connection if that makes any sense? I understand Moto Guzzi as company needs to move on with the times, and I understand the difference is not huge, still has 90% of the Guzzi feeling, but there is something that can not be explained when you ride them back to back, come to a stop, or slow down and feel and hear that Guzzi rumble, it is the difference between sex and porn, if that makes any sense ?

I also have Tenere 700 I bought for longer trips etc… and it was total waste, I learned that the best bike is the one that gives you this smile that comes from deep within you, that unsolicited smile, not the best bike one for the job, I know nothing I say makes an sense but that is how I feel:):)

Wilhelm

My Moto Guzzi 750cc 90 years anniversario from 2011 with my personal modifications is still with me.

Before I had a Harley Dyna 1450cc, which had a perfect sounding engine with torque at low rpm and the engine was shaking smoothly in rubber supports.

When I got older the HD felt too heavy for me, so I was looking for a new classic looking bike that had a bit of this feeling as well, but should be much lighter. The new bike should have an air cooling, so a simple design, no ugly cooler, no rubber hoses….

I wanted to clearly see the cylinders with air fins, so no plastic covers, no water cooling design, and I wanted a single round headlight. The cockpit had to have two round analog clocks for speed and rpm, no digital light show.

A very important attribute is the shaking of the engine, which you should feel as if it is alive. But not a nervous vibration, more like a beating heart. My Guzzi from 2011 still has got a manual adjustment for the idle speed and I can turn it down to 800 rpm ! That feels great and sounds great ! I very much like the side kick when opening the throttle.

I as well like the very classsic and basic look of all parts, so two shock absorders at the back, which look better than a modern center one. And I like the maintenance free cardan shaft !. What I did not like was the big gap between rear wheel an rear fender. So I covered this with two saddel bags, soft bags made of textile, (never ever plastic or aluminium)

I as well removed plastic covers from the sides, so the technical parts can be seen. So it looks more like an old style piece of engine, and not an aerodynamic racing bike. That look fits to my slow cruising style of riding, enjoying the countryside and bends of small road. I never go fast and nearly never ride on motorways.

Generally I would prefer an even lower rpm in some kind of very long cruising gear, longer than the 6th gear of the new 850 model and a more comfortable rear suspension.

Hugh S

Why do I ride a Moto Guzzi? Why did I buy a 1200 Griso SE  after owning a Breva 1100 a few years ago? ‘Cos its beauty knocked me dead when I saw it, ‘cos it’s just different, ‘cos you never see another on the road, ‘cos right from my first ever bike, a Gilera Enduro moped at 16, I’ve been hooked on the soul, charisma and style that Italian bikes have. I know they’re sometimes unreliable, often frustrating and the dealer backup can be found wanting, but, when the sun is shining and your torque monster is purring away beneath you, that’s when you think “I’m so glad I didn’t buy yet another UJM

Chris Sunde

I remember being a kid 45 or so years ago and walking down the street with my brothers and coming upon a Moto Guzzi Le Mans. Wow this Bike was the most beautiful piece of machinery that we had ever seen. 40 years later never seeing any Moto Guzzis here in Maine I still remembered it. Began considering riding again, googled Moto Guzzi to see if they were still in business and came across your initial review of the v7iii.,.. wow again. 

Found the nearest dealership, 375 miles away, a couple of days later they drove up from New Hampshire with the same green colored bike as you featured. I put 15,000 miles on it over the next couple of years and went to trade it for a Ducati Monster, but ended up with a v85tt. The Guzzis just feel special, and with the possible exception of the v85tt they’re drop dead beautiful. Knowing where they come from, how they’re built, pride and heritage all go towards making them meaningful objects of desire.

Kildareman051

Past 7,000km on my Centenario now. The engine continues to free up to about 3 or 4k. It’s an absolute peach that loves to rev. Doesn’t like to be laboured at all. 

Issues – just the one. Floppy light switch. Took it apart and found a little green solid plastic tube floating around the switch casing. Hmm. Perfect fit for the indexing spring. No more floppy switch. I had a dreadful hiccup/stutter when I collected mine – felt like fuel starvation. Disconnecting the Evap canister solved that one. It runs perfectly now. Doesn’t seem to effect all bikes which is strange but there you go. 

Removed some weight & added some weight. 4Kg removed by replacing the silencers with Mistral Short exhausts, about 1.5Kg replacing the rear mudguard/lights (Baak mudguard, Motone Eldorado light & MotoGadget indicators), another Kg or so by fitting Sato Racing rear sets. Added some weight with Unit Garage rear rack and pannier racks. The racks are very unobtrusive and suit the bike. MG centre stand, Screen and “sports” flat handlebar.

It’s a hoot to ride. Longest day so far 547km around central/northern counties of Ireland in one day with no discomfort – other than starting day in -1 degree C

Best upgrades though were replacing the rear shocks with EMC units with variable rebound adjustment. Feels a lot more planted at the rear now. Pyramid front fender extender. Oh and the tyres.  Fitted Bridgestone T32, replacing the 100/90 front with 110/80 for a matched radial set. Changing direction now is a joy as the Bridgestone front doesn’t drop but rolls into corners. The oem front was a strange experience to say the least. The Bridgestones as a set inspire confidence.

Robert Cole

I ride the wife’s Guzzi Breva 750, and it’s a bike with plenty of character, very enjoyable ride, no big problems with it, almost 36k on the clock 2007 model.

tocatchasnark

My v7iii carbon is just the best , it’s not fast but it’s so easy to ride . I can cruise if I want or push it a bit in the twisties for a bit more fun. But best of all when I open my garage door , the bike just brings me joy . 😍 No other bike has done that.

Rumbling_Cynth_Rampo

I’ve got a V7 850 (and a 96 Nevada and a 83 Spada). Done just over 13K on the V7 850 since I got it in June 2021 it hasnt missed a beat. I just love Guzzis the V7 850 is my 10th (or 9th if you dont count a crashed V50 Monza that I bought to rebuild but never finished)

Marcel

Love the V85tt, the perfect bike, it has everything for short and long rides. But as pointed out to you earlier, I miss the V7 very much. In some crazy way you are so much more one with the road with this. Also much more humble to the other traffic.

 The V7 is a sense of old tech the steam engine as you call it and it feels so good.

johnnyd5005

My V7iii gearbox  was very sludgy when cold until i did the first service. The original fluid was way down and probably full of grease or something. New fluid and it was right as rain

Dreddi

I’ve covered 5000 miles since May ‘21 on my V7 Centenario. Mature in years but a newbie full licence holder, limited teenage bike experience and a year on a 125, so not a great deal to compare to I’m afraid. Ok, I absolutely love it. Yes, a big part is emotional, I still enjoy just looking at it and taking pics. I also love that other people seem to like it, or at least it peaks their interest. Touring recently with a friend who couldn’t stop trumping me with the superiority of his BMW F900, he finally understood when I seemed to be meeting and getting into conversations with other bikers and the public.

Brian Robson

I’ve had several Guzzis over the years and I currently own a 2016 Stelvio and a 2015 Griso, both bought from new and with 70,000 kms on both. You have to like to fiddle with them, as most if not all of the parts have required some replacement and different levels of care, but the engines run great and provide a very emotive experience. I’ve leaned heavily on the expertise of Todd at Guzzitech with solutions for leaky exhausts and how much oil to put in (don’t believe Guzzi and keep the level between the hi/Lo unless you want an airbox filled with oil.

They are relatively easy to work on, and provide such a lovely riding experience, especially this 1200cc 4v engine as it really flies above 8000 rpm. I do love working on them and most of the stuff is logical. I don’t know why I love them, I just do.

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