Moto Guzzi V7 Classic | Streetbike Surgery

The Littlest Goose Learns to Fly

By Ed Milich, Photography by Rebecca Hinden

Some nice stainless-steel Arrow performance mufflers came with the bike. They looked restrictive, though. A dyno run confirmed this, so I cut the baffles with my Sawzall until I could see daylight.

After a few more changes and further dyno runs, the V7 managed 44.60 bhp at 6500 rpm. Peak power before the mods was 37.98 hp, so my work was good for a 17 percent gain, including a 10-bhp bump at 7000 rpm. Broadband torque is more important for a streetbike, and usable powerband is up from near-idle to almost redline. The best part of this project is all the engine modifications are in the top end. No need to remove the engine or split the cases; it’s outpatient surgery!

The stock V7 only carries 2 quarts of oil, and this well-known design issue leaves little margin for error. I’ve seen these bikes burn a full quart during hard, high-speed break-in runs, which leads to rising oil temperatures and catastrophic bearing failures. Overfilling to maximize oil capacity leaves a big puddle underneath the engine as that extra oil sneaks out the breather. My fix? Make a 3-quart sump extender to provide cheap insurance.

After all this work, I’ve been riding the V7 around San Francisco for the past few months. It’s a great grocery-getter and errand-runner, and in the canyons is stable and stealthy. Those barely legal exhausts make the diminutive V-twin sound like a Gatling gun in the city; short-shifting calms the commotion to a low moan.

Moto Guzzi’s small-block V-twin usually plays the pesky kid brother to the company’s big-block motors, but the V7 series has potential. After our little outpatient procedure, this one makes almost enough power to keep up with its looks.

Up Close



Arrow Exhaust USA
118 Corporate Park Dr. #111, Henderson, NV 89074
Mufflers - $1349

K&N Filters
P.O. Box 1329 1455 Citrus St., Riverside, CA 92502
Air filters - $67.98

Kibblewhite Precision Machining
580 Crespi Dr. #H, Pacifica, C 94044
Valves - $120

Total: $1536.98

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