Cheetham strikes up an enduring Guzzi affair

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On 15 March 1921, the company "Società Anonima Moto Guzzi" was constituted in the offices of the notary, Paolo Cassanello in Corso Aurelio Saffi, Genoa, for "the fabrication and sale of motorcycles and all other activities pertinent or correlated to the metalworking and mechanical engineering industries".

Partners in the Company were the renowned Genoese ship owner Emanuele Vittorio Parodi, his son Giorgio and his friend Carlo Guzzi. Carlo was a former comrade of Parodi’s in the Italian Air Corps, as was another friend Giovanni Ravelli an aviator – like Parodi – who died on 11 August 1919 during a test flight. It was in memory of this friend that the spread-winged eagle motif in the Moto Guzzi badge was chosen.

I was invited by PS Importers to a launch, a lunch and a test ride review of the latest new model V7 III in the Moto Guzzi range. Following a previous Sydney launch some time ago of the new, good looking California models Audace & Eldorado, I was keen to sample another machine from this manufacturer.

Moto Guzzi V7 III Special pic 1-w670-h600

The authenticity and charisma of these machines is like no other and their engine is designed based on the V9 models by this Italian manufacturer.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

This V7  is the brand’s best seller since 2009 and is available in three well known and popular versions - Special, Racer and Stone - plus this year to celebrate 50 years in the making, a special Anniversario edition.

The authenticity and charisma of these machines is like no other and their engine is designed based on the V9 models by this Italian manufacturer.

It was one of the most windy days ever on a Friday afternoon in Brookvale, NSW at the home of Surfside Motorcycle Garage. The "garage" is a retro business and with a personal tour from staffer Rob I got to see many various old and a few newer bikes being serviced, repaired, restored and replicated. It’s also a great cafe with a variety of food and beverages, they have different bike shows every few months which are a must for enthusiasts.

The Guzzi launch began with a presentation from marketing go-to man Paul McCann then Piaggio Manager (Italian historian) Nicolo and the tech guy John Hanson. It was most interesting to see and hear how Moto Guzzi has evolved very successfully since 1921, still from the same factory, and has won 14 GP championship races, in addition to its bikes being ridden by American police and Marlon Brando.

Moto Guzzi V7III Anniversario pic 2-w670-h600

Overall a great few hours of test ride in trying conditions, around the ocean front and through bushland where all the V7s performed faultlessly

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We headed off on our test ride and I was aboard the V7III Special which felt light weight, comfortable and smooth. Through the traffic at slow speed the gear changes were so quiet and so effortless, not a clunk was felt or heard. It really did not matter which gear you were in, the Guzzi would accelerate with ease. Braking took a little to get used to and occasionally I found the rear brake more effective than the front, but early days yet. We had action photos taken through the built up area around the ocean and had to zig zag much tree debris as a result of the gale force winds about.

I swapped to the V7 III  Stone model variant and moving on toward West Head (NSW), there was a fantastic sweeper road so best give the Guzzi a gutful and see what it can do. It appeared not so comfortable on the bumps as the Special but certainly had sufficient power performance and lean factor to satisfy. The Racer model variant also certainly lived up to its name in appearance and performance with the professional rider (not me) on board.

Overall a great few hours of test ride in trying conditions, around the ocean front and through bushland where all the V7s performed faultlessly. These machines did not have a piece of plastic on them or around them so were really naked and whilst cables, wires, nuts and bolts were visible they looked like they belong on these retro machines.  Let's face it plastic fairings etc add to the heat, the cleaning and the frustration when service & repair time comes.

The V7 III even has something for the tech head motorcyclist ....  the rich catalogue of dedicated accessories includes the Moto Guzzi multimedia platform (MG-MP) with a new interface module and dedicated smart phone mount. The MG-MP is accessible via smart phone by downloading the free MGMP app for iPhone & Android and delivers greater connectivity between the motorcycle and the rider through access to an exceptional quantity of useful travel information that would otherwise not be viewable.

Moto Guzzi V7III pic 3-w670-h600

Traction control, revised six speed ratio gearbox and shaft drive are some of the specifications. Others include:-

Fuel tank capacity 21 litres
Kerb weight 209 kg (Stone)

213 kg (Special/Anniversario)

Price (+ORC)   $12,990 (Stone)  $14,490 (Special)  $16,790 (Racer)

$16,990 (Anniversario limited edition looker - with the chrome shiny tank).

The guys from PS Importers (Melbourne) were certainly helpful, positive and professional. It is fantastic the support this company has for our Ulysses Club, especially each year with a truckload of bikes (Moto Guzzi, Triumph & Aprillia) to test ride at our AGMs.

In summary the V7 III is an impressive mid size/weight day tourer, its mildly retro look setting it apart, and its performance filling in all the spaces.

Paul Cheetham    #46164


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