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.


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Resources

www.motointernational.com

www.mgcycle.com

www.guzzitalia.com


Sources

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

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

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

Total: $1536.98

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