When we first laid eyes on the Moto Guzzi V7 Café Classic’s hunched silhouette and satin Legnano-green finish, we knew we were in for a treat. And while this $8,990 single seater won’t set any speed records, its ancestor actually did at Monza in 1969, including an average velocity of 205.932 km/h over a distance of 1,000 kilometers.
This ride on the V7 was a bit less frenzied, allowing us to observe and enjoy the bike’s curious characteristics such as its 750cc, 90-degree twin-cylinder engine’s tendency to shift the motorcycle slightly to the right with throttle—a phenomenon known as torque reaction. The Guzzi’s exhaust note has an intriguing muted growl, and the clip-on-style handlebars attracted attention from L.A.’s hipster set.
Though the V7’s street credibility could benefit from café racer-style bar-end mirrors, its retro combination of spoked wheels, insect-like paint, and attractive chrome bits make it a charismatic runabout for urban riding. The fact that Moto Guzzi’s fabled Italian nameplate is steeped in history doesn’t hurt either. (www.motoguzzi-us.com)