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V7 850 my first impressions

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    Posted: 23 Feb 2022 at 17:29
First impressions are a very personal thing so take from this what you will. I’m writing this for the benefit of anyone thinking about getting one rather than owners because it might help. I’ve been through a lot of bikes over the years and I’ve ended up here with Guzzi’s because I got a bit fed up of motorcycling TBH. I started out years ago (maybe 1986 ish) on a fairly crappy 100cc scrambler type field bike thing (think it was a Yamaha but can’t remember now) and I thought it was terrific. Being sat on top of an engine with wheels. Best feeling ever. I’ve chased that euphoria ever since really but got farther and farther way a from it, so much so that even slick high powered stuff just wasn’t doing it.

As a last roll of the dice I took a punt at the new V7 because I like the heritage, the simplicity, the looks and could not care less about hp ratings. I knew enough to know an torquey 850 air cooled twin would be plenty.

So, back to today. Just come in from a ride out. Really really enjoyed it. I cannot get over how comfortable and roomy it is and the stock suspension (to me) is up there amongst the best I have ever ridden (at normal road speeds I must add not knee down whatever’s).

It’s a terrific package with everything feeling like it’s in harmony. Light but stable, corners on rails, balanced like a cat with a lovely free revving engine and smooth gearbox/final drive. It’s fairly quiet on the move (I wear earplugs anyway) but TBH I prefer a quiet bike nowadays anyway I find it more relaxing. 

I’ve seen loads of YouTube reviews and overwhelmingly they are very positive and I can see why now.

Just wiped it down in the garage. It’s a lovely thing. Even my wife says it’s the best looking bike I have had.

I think it might have just re-kindled something I thought was lost forever…….


Edited by Bee - 23 Feb 2022 at 18:17
2021 V7 Stone
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Andy M View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Andy M Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 Feb 2022 at 18:47
Good to hear you like it Thumbs Up

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Feb 2022 at 18:58
Yep I'd agree with all of that, really glad I bought mine, the handling I think is almost idiot proof or at least exceeds my abilities!

I like reading / watching reviews from riders that are coming from 'different directions' so to speak.


"Chicken nuggets don't dance on a Tuesday."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BrianR2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 Feb 2022 at 19:07
I could not agree more.   I love my v7 850 - a wonderful combination of form and function.  Definitely the best bike I’ve had in 40 years of riding.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Samurai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 Jun 2022 at 18:53
I'd fully agree with your sentiments. I've had a few bikes over the years and like you the feeling over the last decade has started to wane, especially after COVID hit. Love my Ducatis but now in my mid 50s, the 900ss carby is a bit too uncomfortable for more than a quick blast down to the coast and back. My first love, a 600 Monster although much more comfortable, economical (important these days!) and better handling in the twisties, it's a bit cramped for my knackered knees for longer distances.

However, our new V7 850 has more than enough real world power, more leg room, far better suspension and seating and the handling is totally neutral and planted in bends. Still early days, but this could be one of the best all-round bikes I've ever had!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Andy M Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2022 at 18:32
Some random comments from 9 months in.

  • I bought the right bike. Power, riding position etc. are all spot on.
  • The bike as sold isn't finished. They still need running in. At 3500 miles it's a very different machine. I was torn about the OE tyres. They aren't lethal like the Brazilian Dunaplops Honda supply OE but having got the front down to 2mm I wish I'd fitted the Michelins 1500 miles sooner. A mate test rode one and declared it awful, bought a Bonneville. The demo bike had 50 miles on it and the dealer was clueless, in other words not run in and probably hadn't had the clutch set up properly yet. 
  • The dealer, Via Moto in Sheffield are a disaster. Wrong gearbox oil, wrong bevel box oil level, damaged threads. I should have waited for Teasdales to have a bike or binned off the warranty on day 2.
  • The paint finish is crap. The exhaust will need painting or replacing before the MOT. The wheels have already had stone chips touched up. 
  • The basic service items are straightforward if you have the skill to know when a cheese-toffee head is about to strip. Getting a 150 section rear tyre out of a swing arm designed for a 120 is not something to rush or attempt with the bike balanced on a trolley jack. The second time round it will be easy. 
  • These then remain bikes that are not for the feint hearted on a budget. You either need to be prepared to find and travel to a good dealer or use skills probably learnt on less fickle constructions. For cash and ride get an Enfield 650 or Bonneville.
  • The headlight on the Stone is awful. If you ride at night get the Classic. The best solution would be Stone wheels fitted to a Classic, just like you have to fix the spec on Triumphs with combinations they won't make. If I rode regular at night I'd fit spotlights. 
  • The pillion seat is good for 50 miles tops. I'm not sure there is a solution it's probably too short. 
I'm happy I made the right choice but wouldn't want anyone to go this route based on starry-eyed notions of riding round Lake Garda at sunset on empty roads with a Gucci attired tart on the back or whatever other fantasy the advertising department comes up with.

Andy 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote BrianR2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 Jun 2022 at 19:12
I’ve had my “special”  for 15 months and 7,600 miles.  My thoughts:
1.  I absolutely love it.  Usable real-world power, very good handling, good mpg (60-65) and 250 mile tank range, comfortable and sensible seat height for those like me who are shorter in the leg.
2.  It is much, much better than the v7 iii I had before.
3. I got mine from Teasdales, who have been excellent.  This is my third bike from them and they have always treated me very well.
4.  Had new tyres fitted at 7,500 miles. There was tread left but the rear had squared off. I am happy with the OEM Dunlops.
5.  Paint and chrome are fine.   I ride all year round, mainly on A and B roads in a rural area.   I am a bit OCD about keeping the bike clean and it is garaged.
6.  I have fitted: adjustable levers (I have small hands as well as short legs), a Dart screen, Hepco and Becker C-bow panniers, crash bars and a centre stand.  All suit me very well.
7.   This bike is a keeper.

Brian 


Edited by BrianR2 - 14 Jun 2022 at 07:14
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Jun 2022 at 21:45

"Chicken nuggets don't dance on a Tuesday."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote houltmac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2022 at 12:44
Hi all

I was going to do an intro but since I found this thread it felt like a better place to start.

I had a test ride at Frasers in Gloucester this weekend kind of out of interest and mostly to see what it was like as a friend was interested. Wow. I'm buying one. Didn't think I would care.

I've been riding for nearly 15 years. I've had all sorts. Mostly top tech sport bikes but some enduro's, triples, nakeds, sport tourers etc. thrown in too. I love all kinds of bikes but hadn't touched an MG before and what a mistake that was.

A third of the power of the bike I turned up on but fantastic. It's on rails, it feels amazing. I love the engine, the feel... I have so many thoughts and tried to explain to my friend but it was basically just "you have to feel it". It's an experience.

I prefer the headlight, wheels, clocks and paint on the Special so I'd go that route I think. I'm not a fan of chrome but for the other bits I'd go with that. Nothing I didn't like about it otherwise.

If anyone is in the south west then I'd recommend Frasers. I do all work myself (have for years now) but I've been friends with the guys (how I've ridden practically everything out there) for years and they will look after you.

I'd love to come back later with some bullet points if anyones interested, but right now I can't put into words how much I loved it. I'm just beaming. Best test ride in a decade.
[matt]
Now ‘16 Kawasaki ZX-6R Anniversary Edition, ‘13 ZX-6R wife’s
Prev: ‘12 Husqvarna TE 310, ‘07 Triumph Sprint ST, ‘04 Honda CB919, ‘05 Honda VFR 800, ’10 ZX-6R x2, ‘07 Kawasaki ER-6F
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2022 at 16:19
Originally posted by houltmac houltmac wrote:

I had a test ride at Frasers in Gloucester this weekend kind of out of interest and mostly to see what it was like as a friend was interested. Wow. I'm buying one. Didn't think I would care.


Quote
I'd love to come back later with some bullet points if anyones interested,

Yes please. Big smile

Still loving mine. Now over 4,000 miles.


"Chicken nuggets don't dance on a Tuesday."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote houltmac Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Aug 2022 at 18:14
So I was taking my wife's 2013 Ninja ZX-6R in for MOT. I was chatting with Neal (the owner), and he mentioned they now had Royal Enfield and Moto Guzzi's on demo. I had a friend who couldn't find a test ride for either and was stuck between them so I jumped on the RE right away.

TLDR for the Enfield: Underwhelming. Nothing much wrong with it. Nothing good. Just meh. Couldn't get my foot under the engine case for the rear break. Head wobble when changing gear at any speed/revs. Was asking a lot of it to sit at 80mph. Otherwise it was... fine. Cheap feeling.

I swapped for the Guzzi (V7 Stone).

• On start it wobbled, scared me it would fall off the side stand it seemed so abrupt. Smiled.
• Side stand the kind I don't like, huge. Glad of it though after the startup.
• Felt comfortable immediately (not a riding position I've experienced in a while, so expected not to feel right straight away).
• Fell in love with the rocking before I got out the carpark.
• Brakes better than expected, can't remember riding single front disk since the wife's 125. Not bad.
• Doesn't feel like the gut wrenching, adrenaline pumping acceleration off the line a sport bike does, but look in the mirror and where is everyone? I wasn't even trying!
• So comfy. The seat, the bars, the pegs. Everything is fantastic.
• 80mph is nothing. Lots left to give. Acceleration is definitely levelling off, but it's not revving to an inch of its life. It's not begging you to stop. Comfy, happy.
• Odd at this speed it's totally smooth, but you can feel the rocking still. Only vibes are the pegs. Numb feet expected after a few hours of this but otherwise I could ride to China right now.
• Feels weirdly heavy all the time, in a good way. Not heavy. So different. Not just planted and well built, but like it really sucks itself to the ground. Beyond on rails. Odd feeling, confidence inspiring even on ribber I don't entirely trust. • Reminds me of the CB919 - cheap commuter (as in suspension, brakes etc. compared to track bikes and crazy electronic messes) but those "cheap" bits together just nailed it. Feels fantastic. Likely still upgrade suspension etc. over time, but no rush.
• First slow speed manoeuvre: literally at a stand-still for 5+ seconds, feet up, no wobble. Feels like I could get off and kick it and it wouldn't fall over, it's just so balanced (SEC should use these things!).
• Tiny, tight roundabout, 10mph, planted, peg down. Feels great. This is so easy!
• Lack of power not apparent - just fun and smiles for days. I love giving it 500rpm for the sound and the grunty feel.
• Filtering doesn't feel tight. Sportbikes are better (keeping in the same gap and not changing lanes of course) because they're so narrow, but compared to any other style of bike it's not wide. My Honda 919 was PITA with the Renthal bars and bar end mirrors compared to this.
• At the lights. I can flatfoot a GS, but it's apparent with one foot on the brake that it's slightly on an angle (not because it had to be, just was) because I couldn't stop blipping the throttle 100rpm to make it stand up and sit back down on the left side again. Entertainment for days. Don't know why but I loved that.
• Sounds great. Lovely stock pipes. Nice mix of engine and pipe at all speeds and rpm. Not obnoxious like many of my bikes, but like a deep, bearded gentleman.
• So damn comfy! I can't get over it. I love this engine.
• Eats up the bumps unlike my usual lap record set suspension, or tourers for that matter. I'd enjoy some comfort in the middle of the Cotswolds when I'm just heading to bike night or the pub. Hrm... I wonder if I could get away with not selling one of the bikes for it...
• At another set of lights. 2 lanes to turn right and I've filled in front of 2 boy racers. Sat with my knees between their headlights I'm thinking "this was a mistake, they're gonna crush me, I won't get away". Lights take ages. I forget, too busy smiling. I pull away. 100yrds later I remember and look in the mirror and I've left them behind. I was pulling away like it was my diesel car. Can't get over it. Feels slow and refined, but still made a 15 car length gap.
• Glad no one can hear me. I am making all kinds of overly happy noises usually reserved for... well.
• Wouldn't have to change anything, even the pipes right away. Would, but not imperative like many of the bikes I've owned.
• Haven't owned a shaft drive before. I like to tinker, but pointless oil changes and fettling sounds better than boring chain cleaning.
• Smashes the Enfield out of the water. Haven't tried the Bonneville (which was my plan) but can't imagine bothering for now after trying this engine. It's got so much life and personality.
• Didn't want to give the keys back. Text the wife. "It's that time again".

A few downsides/other thoughts:
• Didn't enjoy the ride home. Had to put on music to entertain myself, instead of the bike doing it for me. Realised I was pushing losing my licence just to be slightly unsatisfied. Wanted to be back on the V7.
• Don't like the digital clocks. Not my thing. Gear indicator maddeningly slow and wrong and I don't need it. Flashing wings are just a setting but would need to be set to redline. Why is there so much info but no ETA to empty?
• Not a huge fan of the headlight, but do like it more than most of its kind. Wasn't dark so just for visibility.
• Not a fan of the wheels.
• Gear shifting pretty tough. Read about it here and sure with proper maintenance and time it would be fine. Not a deal breaker by a long way, even if it didn't get better.
• Wasn't sure on fuel but sounds great from what I've read compared to the 60-70 mile range of a spirited ride on the Ninja. Haven't had that kind of range since my 23L Sprint ST.
• Tyres felt OK for an hour on someone else's 200 mile bike. Would want my Michelins or something showy (read: a bad idea) ASAP.
• Love the look of it, the heritage, the styling. Don't think I really looked at it before, not properly. Just went "yeah, it's not ugly" and moved on without really looking. The more I study, the more I love it.
• Worried about the chrome on the Special I'd prefer (for all the changes other than the chrome) but likely no worse than the powder coating on the Stone.
• I've read about complaints for the pillion seat. Looks OK to me. It's bigger than the ninja and the wife did 500 miles after work one evening to Edinburgh on it no worries. Mostly used to strap bits to when going to the shop. Also pretty sure the Kriega will strap easily to the subframe (and that's super easy to remove/hide so no faffing).
• Feels like I could have loads of fun without worrying about my licence.
• Love the grey one. The chrome kind of disappears. Love the blue too, but chrome stands out more on it. Undecided but leaning Special grey.
• Told my mate (the reason for all this) to buy one, but do it quick or I'll get one first (wife on board).

I’d usually be one to talk about fuelling and real mechanical details but honesty this was just the first bike in years that surprised me and just made me smile. So this is just a random train of thought remembering the ride. Apologies for going on and on.


Edited by houltmac - 15 Aug 2022 at 18:40
[matt]
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Prev: ‘12 Husqvarna TE 310, ‘07 Triumph Sprint ST, ‘04 Honda CB919, ‘05 Honda VFR 800, ’10 ZX-6R x2, ‘07 Kawasaki ER-6F
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike H Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Aug 2022 at 17:37
Thumbs Up

Special has better instruments IMO (separate speedo & tacho), and the headlight is different too. More 'normal'. Uses a bog standard H4 bulb. I agree about the grey. Wanted the blue originally but so glad I got the grey instead. The stock tyres are perfectly fine as far as I can tell. The brakes can be upgraded with EBC semi-sintered pads. Warning – remove the rear caliper pad retaining pins ASAP and refit with grease before they rust up solid and can't be moved! (They are screw in type with sunken Allen key heads, and at the factory are locked with some special kind of thread lock, and it ain't Loctite.)

Big smile








Edited by Mike H - 26 Aug 2022 at 17:44
"Chicken nuggets don't dance on a Tuesday."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Andy M Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Aug 2022 at 17:31
Thumbs Up Yep, I suspect the local "family" has connections with the thread lock supplier. Giuseppe blathers everything in it and it's some special sort that's designed to stop concrete boots working loose at the bottom of the lake. Every bolt you might ever need to undo for service work needs removing, de-gunking and refitting with coppaslip before the heads get toffeefied by winter. I had to re-tap and fit new bolt for the luggage rack, the thread lock was stronger than the thread form itself.

With the Stone LED headlight, it's poor because the beam is too thin and flat as are nearly all LED's . If however you side the brackets up the fork legs (ideally such laser like light wants to be under your chin) and reset the aim for your weight and suspension, you can make the best of a bad job. Guzzi's light is at least better than Honda's.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brian UK Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Aug 2022 at 20:47
Originally posted by Andy M Andy M wrote:

Thumbs Up Yep, I suspect the local "family" has connections with the thread lock supplier. Giuseppe blathers everything in it and it's some special sort that's designed to stop concrete boots working loose at the bottom of the lake. Every bolt you might ever need to undo for service work needs removing, de-gunking and refitting with coppaslip before the heads get toffeefied by winter. I had to re-tap and fit new bolt for the luggage rack, the thread lock was stronger than the thread form itself.
A certain Baldrick always did this on every pre delivery inspection.


Originally posted by Andy M Andy M wrote:

With the Stone LED headlight, it's poor because the beam is too thin and flat as are nearly all LED's .
The LED headlights on my car are excellent. No reason why those on a bike should be any worse - provided they are designed as LED headlights.
Brian.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote red leader one Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Aug 2022 at 10:03
What news of Baldrick
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