Sex Appeal: 1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport

Motorcycles have a certain sex appeal, and the Moto Guzzi V7 Sport is about as sexy as they come.

| May/June 2014

  • 1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport
    Photo by Jeff Barger
  • 1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport
    Photo by Jeff Barger
  • 1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport
    Photo by Jeff Barger
  • 1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport
    Photo by Jeff Barger
  • The 748cc V-twin produces 70 horsepower, giving the V7 Sport a top speed of 125mph.
    Photo by Jeff Barger
  • 1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport
    Photo by Jeff Barger
  • Don managed to find a set of correct Lafranconi mufflers on eBay, two of the best looking and most expensive pieces on the bike.
    Photo by Jeff Barger
  • Don managed to find a set of correct Lafranconi mufflers on eBay, two of the best looking and most expensive pieces on the bike.
    Photo by Jeff Barger
  • Don has added some 3,000 miles to his V7 Sport since finishing the restoration.
    Photo by Jeff Barger

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport
Claimed power: 70hp @ 7,000rpm
Top speed: 125mph (period test)
Engine: 748cc air-cooled OHV 90-degree V-twin, 82.5mm x 70mm bore and stroke
Weight (dry): 453lb (206kg)
Fuel capacity/MPG: 5.25gal (20ltr)/35-50mpg
Price then/now: $2,500 (approx.)/$8,000-$15,000

Motorcycles have a certain sex appeal, some more so than others, and the Moto Guzzi V7 Sport is about as sexy as they come. Steven Frazier says this very V7 Sport won him the girl — and he’s still married to her.

Built in November 1972 at Moto Guzzi’s fabled factory in Mandello del Lario on the shores of Lake Como, Italy, this V7 Sport was imported to the U.S. by Premier Motor Corporation in New Jersey. From there it was shipped to Cycle Craft, a Yamaha and Moto Guzzi dealer in Cleveland, Ohio. There, a young man purchased the V7, but he didn’t ride it very long before having an accident. Spooked, he returned to Cycle Craft and traded it off. Enter Steven Frazier.

Steven was a mechanic at the Cleveland shop, and when the V7 was traded back in he bought it. Steven says he used the V7’s undeniable sex appeal to court his future wife, Becky. After getting married, the couple moved to a small farm in New York’s Finger Lakes. Life moved on, and in the late 1980s the Guzzi was relegated to a leaky shed. Twenty years later, Steven decided to tear down the shed, and he listed the bike for sale on Craigslist. Tom Pirie spied the advert, and alerted friend and Italian motorcycle enthusiast Don Smith of its availability. Regular readers might remember Don’s 1969 Ducati 350 Mark 3 Desmo, featured in the May/June 2013 issue of Motorcycle Classics. Don has a penchant for rescuing corroded motorcycles, and the V7 Sport was ideal. Don called, and sight unseen agreed on a price that included Steven loading and delivering the Sport. It landed at Don’s shop in the fall of 2010.



V7: The back story

For Moto Guzzi, the V7 Sport represented a return of sorts to its racing roots. Established in 1921, Moto Guzzi immediately went racing, and until 1957 the marque was a formidable force on racetracks, with multiple Grand Prix World Championships and Isle of Man TT wins to their credit. Yet motorcycle sales had been failing, and when the Italian government banned racing on public roads in 1957, Moto Guzzi decided it could no longer justify the expense of racing.

Moto Guzzi struggled through the late 1950s and early 1960s, building a line of single-cylinder machines. During this period, Moto Guzzi engineer Giulo Cesare Carcano, who had designed Guzzi’s famous 500cc V8 GP racer, developed first a 500cc and then a 650cc 90-degree V-twin to power a Fiat 500 car. However, nothing further came of his V-twin design until the Italian police requested a replacement for the aging 500cc single-cylinder Moto Guzzi Falcone.

rhip
9/3/2014 10:28:09 PM

I was lucky enough to have one of these from 1979 -85. Horribly unreliable electrics, but it was the best bike I ever owned, and I wish I still had it. This is a lucky guy.




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