Moto Guzzi V-7 Sport


Make Model

Moto Guzzi V-7 750 Sport


1971 - 72


Four stroke, 90° V twin, longitudinally mounted, OHV, 2 valve per cylinder

Capacity 748.4 cc / 45.6 cu-in
Bore x Stroke 83 x 70 mm
Cooling System Air cooled
Compression Ratio 9.8:1


2x 30mm Dell'Orto VHB 30CD carburetors


Battery with double contact breaker with automatic advance
Starting Electric

Max Power

70 hp / 32 kW @ 6300 rpm 

Max Torque



5 Speed
Final Drive Shaft

Front Suspension

Telehydraulic forks

Rear Suspension

Swinging arm with hydraulic dampers preload adjustable

Front Brakes

2x 220mm drum, Double-sided with twin leading shoes per side drum.

Rear Brakes

220mm drum

Front Tyre


Rear Tyre

Dimensions Length 2200 mm / 85 in
Width 710 mm / 28 in
Wheelbase 1500 mm / 58 in
Seat Height 760 mm / 30 in
Dry Weight 206 kg / 454 lbS

Wet Weight

227 kg / 500 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

17 Litres  / 4.4 US gal

The V7 Sport would prove to be one of the most important motorcycles in the history of the storied Italian motorcycle marque – so much so that in 2007 they introduced an all new version of the V7 which remains in production to this day.

Moto Guzzi was founded in Mandello del Lario, Italy in 1921. The company enjoyed remarkable success with a slew of best selling models and no shortage of on track successes – winning the Targa Florio in 1921 and going on to win 14 World Grand Prix Championships and 11 Isle Of Man TTs before the company withdrew from motorsport at the end of 1957.

In the early 1960s Moto Guzzi engineers were hard at work on a new engine design – a V-twin that was to be mounted longitudinally in the frame with the heads out in the clean airflow. This new air-cooled engine sent power back to the rear wheel via a low-maintenance shaft drive.

This engine was intended for use in a new, large motorcycle designed for police use. Once the American Motor Guzzi dealers got wind of the project they strongly encouraged the company to develop a production version for the American market to challenge Harley-Davidson.

These requests resulted in the Moto Guzzi Ambassador, targeted directly at the V-twins from Milwaukee. It proved popular with American buyers, and it wasn’t long before they began to wonder what other motorcycles they could build with the engine that would sell well.

In 1970 Lino Tonti took over as head of design and engineering at Moto Guzzi from Giulio Cesare Carcano. Tonti brought a wealth of experience to the role, he had previously worked at Benelli, Aermacchi, FB Mondial, and Bianchi.

Tonti saw the potential for a performance motorcycle powered by the Moto Guzzi V-twin, an idea that may have sounded strange at the time as the engine was so closely associated with the 560+ lb highway cruising Ambassador.

He set to work on a new frame, it would be retroactively dubbed the “Tonti Frame”, it would form a duplex cradle around the engine rather than under it, using the engine itself as a stressed member.

This new frame was both stiffer and lighter than the frame used on the Ambassador, and as a result it offered much better handling. A modified version of the engine was created, and the heads were reworked to give an additional 7 bhp.

Tonti and his engineering team gave the model cafe racer styling with sleek lines and what is now regarded by some as one of the most beautiful motorcycle fuel tanks ever created.

The new motorcycle would be officially called the Moto Guzzi V7 Sport, it would prove a strong seller for Moto Guzzi despite its relatively high price tag, and it gave the Honda CB750 a run for its money.

Period reviewers remarked that the bike had excellent handling, good brakes, and beautiful styling – some went so far as to call it the “Perfect Motorcycle.”

The success of the V7 Sport would lead to a slew of other similarly styled Guzzis including the very successful Le Mans models, and it would form the stylistic foundation of the V7 models in production today – over 50 years later.

Source silodrome.com


Road Test

This is getting hectic. Ahead of me is the bright red shape of an Alfa Romeo saloon car being driven rapidly down a winding country road. Behind it, I am gunning the Guzzi's V-twin engine for all it's worth, then squeezing :he brake lever hard and hurling the bike through the bends in an attempt to keep up. And on every straight I'm lifting my left hand Dff the bars to prevent my loose-fitting goggles from slipping off altogether.

My increasingly desperate attempts to keep up with the Alfa are not designed just to prove that two-wheeled Italian vehicles are faster than four-wheeled ones, even when ridden one-handed and watery-eyed. Quite simply, the driver is myphotographer, he knows where he's going and I don't—so I'm very keen not to lose him. Besides, sometimes it's nice to have an incentive to ride hard, especially when you are riding a bike like this immaculately restored Guzzi V7 Sport, without doubt one of the best early-Seventies machines that I could have chosen for the chase. The Sport fully deserved its name, as this breakthrough model for Guzzi was the first truly sporting machine to be built using the Mandello del Lario firm's transverse V-twin engine.

The V7 Sport was introduced in 1971, after Guzzi engineer Lino Tonti had produced a new frame to house a new 90-degree transverse V-twin motor developed from that of the less racy V7 Special. Guzzi's trademark engine had originally been designed in the late Fifties to power the 3x3, a tractor-like device produced for the Italian ministry of defense. Guzzi, looking for a replacement for its ageing Falcone flat-single, had then upgraded the shaft-drive V-twin to power police bikes and the 703cc V7 tourer of 1967.

For V7 Sport use, the touring motor was made more powerful and compact. Bore and stroke dimensions of 82.5 x 70 mm gave capacity of 748cc, reduced from the 757cc of earlier models (including the V7 Special), allowing entry in 750cc races. Valve gear and conrods were lightened, and twin coils and points fitted along with bigger, 30 mm Dell'Orto carbs. The result was a peak output of 52 BHP at 6400 RPM, well up on the touring engine's 40 BHP.

There were plenty of changes in the bottom end, too, although the new motor retained old-style features such as the simple gauze strainer, instead of a proper oil filter. A new, heavily ribbed crankcase and five-speed gearbox were added, and a more compact Bosch alternator situated on the front of the crank replaced the previous motor's large car-type dynamo between the cylinders.

Tonti's frame was lower than its predecessors due to its top rails (which were strengthened by a diagonal spine) running between the cylinders, where the dynamo had previously been. Its front forks contained sealed damper units. Wheels were 18-inchers, the front holding a big 220 mm (8.7 in) double-sided twin-leading-shoe front drum brake.

Guzzi certainly knew how to build an eye-catching motorbike in those days. As well as the lime-green paintwork, the first 150 examples of the V7 had bright red frames. Numerous neat details included the "swan-neck" clip-on handlebars that could be slid up the forks to give an upright riding position. Under the seat was a small inspection light that automatically illuminated

when the seat was lifted.

This immaculate Sport dates from 1973, being one of the of fewer than 4000 that were produced before production ended toward the end of that year. It certainly felt exotic, stn even, as I climbed aboard and fired up the engine—which ca done either with the starter button or, in car style, by turninc ignition ke»,'—to feel that trademark lurch to the right of the gitudinal crankshaft.

This bike's bars were set in the normal, lowest position so the riding position was stretched forward and sporty. As I pulled away I was conscious of the way the engine's low-rev shaking smoothed as the revs rose, noise increasing with a blend of hollow sucking from the Dell'Ortos and muffled bark from the stylish but rather too efficient (at least for my liking) Silentium pipes.

Guzzi V-twins have a reputation for low-rewing torque, but the V7's 750cc motor really came alive only at about 4500 RPM, and pulled strongly from there to the red-line at 7250 RPM. At lower revs it ran perfectly well, but it didn't generate much in the way of forward motion when I wound open the Tomaselli twistgrip.

Provided the motor was kept spinning, though, life was much more interesting. The Guzzi showed a healthy turn of acceleration, even from speeds of 70 mph (113 km/h) and above, and cruised at 90 mph (145 km/h) plus with an effortless feel. If I slid back on the seat and tucked my knees in as the designer intended, the Sport loped along at an indicated 100 mph (160 km/h), with plenty of speed in hand to its 125 mph (200 km/h) top speed.

Stability was always a Guzzi strength, and the V7 stayed solid both in a straight line and in fast curves, thanks in no small part to the rigidity of its frame, which used the big V-twin engine as a stressed member. Suspension was good, too, although the front forks were rather soft and underdamped, and their sealed hydraulic damper units meant that this could not easily be cured by using thicker oil in the normal fashion.

Despite weighing 225 kg (495 lb) the Sport could be flicked around quite easily, and its handling did not suffer too much from the shaft-drive rear end. This bike's Bridgestone tires gave reassuringly modern levels of grip, too. Apart from an occasional squeal at low speed, there was not much wrong with the big double twin-leading-shoe drum brake, which gave plenty of bite even at high speed. My only chassis-related concern was that the gearlever grounded, with potentially disastrous consequences, when well cranked over to the right.

That didn't prevent the lime-green machine from being a pretty quick bike, as the driver of that much younger Alfa discovered. The V7 Sport was too expensive to sell in big numbers but it established Guzzi as a manufacturer of high-class sporting super-bikes. No wonder the Mandello firm honored it by releasing the similarly styled V11 Sport in 1999. The V7 Sport is where the legend of big, fast Moto Guzzi V-twins began.

From Motorcyclist, dec. 1972

"When riding the V7 Sport you can feel the immediate and complete security of a machine which follows the pilot in each movement even when pushing it at high speed on curvy roads.

All this enthusiasm for a motorcycle derives from a fundamental fact which you can feel while riding it. It has exceptionally good handling and stability because it is so compact and has such a low layout.

Although the V7 Sport has sporting features it can be used for touring and long trips without tiring the rider. This is due not only to the aforementioned characteristics but to some less noticeable features such as an engine that does not wobble, plus sturdy suspension. The V7 Sport is really a motorcycle which means something in today's motorcycle world, and even if the price is a little high it will surely be accepted by two-wheeled enthusiasts everywhere."