1972 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport

Highlights

• Paint believed to be original and in excellent condition
• With a private collector for the past 20 years
• Only 300 km completed since comprehensive mechanical overhaul
• Invoices for over £20,000 in present ownership

The Background

Having built its first motorcycles in 1921 (November 2021 actually marks its exact centenary), Moto Guzzi had accumulated 50 years of experience in manufacturing and racing motorcycles, usually with great success, when the V7 Sport was launched in 1971. Derived from the V7 of 1967, it was Moto Guzzi’s first attempt to crack the market for café racers, which had been popular since the late 1950s. The design was the work of the famed Lino Tonti, whose brief had been to create a bike weighing no more than 200 kg and capable of at least 200 km/h.
It was a successful effort, too. Tonti fulfilled his brief and, in keeping with the café racer idiom, the V7 Sport had a low and rakish profile, with clip-on handlebars, racing seat and a sweeping flash of exhaust pipe. A large transverse-mounted V-twin of 750cc bulged out of the lightweight frame, enhancing the powerful, muscular look of the bike. As was fashionable in the early ’70s, the V7 Sport was given further appeal by the range of eye-catching metallics in which it was offered, set off with timeless stainless mudguards.
Charles Deane, testing the V7 Sport for Motorcycle Mechanics in 1972, concluded that it was like ‘a BMW with a little bit extra’ in the sense of acceleration, top speed and braking. For a second opinion, look no further than Mike Hailwood, who declared it ‘the best street bike he has ever ridden’. However, it was also the most expensive superbike then on sale in Britain, making it a covetable machine then and even more so today. With its short production run ending in 1974, it is also extremely rare.

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The History

This bike is a highly original example dating from very early in production – April 1972, to be precise – and is being offered for sale from a substantial private collection. It was built at a convenient point in production shortly before the introduction of the ‘Red Frame’ V7, meaning retains the general look of the early V7s but benefits from some of the improvements seen on the Red Frames.
The V7 offered here was originally sold new to the Netherlands and the vendor purchased it from Yesterdays, a well-known Dutch motorcycle dealer. For several years, he kept it in Germany and enjoyed riding it over there, along the beautiful passes near the Black Forest. A few years ago, the V7 started to show a few signs of age mechanically, with the pistons getting a bit rattly, so the vendor entrusted it to the care of Michael Nitzsche, a well-respected classic Italian motorcycle specialist, with instructions to preserve the originality but to recondition it mechanically, which ultimately cost over £20,000.
Owing to complexities arising from the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union and, latterly, coronavirus measures, the vendor decided to ship the bike to the U.K. to join the rest of his collection. As he is expanding his collection and also owns another V7 Sport, he has decided to part with this one.

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The Paperwork

This V7 is registered in the United Kingdom and has an up-to-date V5. It only came with a few receipts and registration documents when the vendor bought it, but during his ownership it has amassed a most impressive file containing invoices totalling over £20,000, including over £10,000 spent on the engine and gearbox.

The Condition

As far as we can tell, this bike is an outstanding example in an exceptional state of preservation. The metallic paint is believed to be all original and it still looks vibrant and sparkles in the light, although the decals have all been renewed. The vendor describes it as having an ‘unsurpassed patina’, with a few small chips and scratches on the tank and frame which all serve to enhance its character.
Everything that should be there is there, and correct to the original, factory specification, such as the original Borrani wire wheels and the light under the seat. It has both a centre stand and a side stand, as is correct for the early Sports (later ones had only the side stand). There are no aftermarket parts. The Borranis, as with the all the rest of the chromed parts, are almost flawless and the seat is also excellent, in addition to being all original.
Contrary to what some ‘experts’ have pointed out to the vendor, this V7 is not supposed to have indicators – they were not introduced until 1973 and would be incorrect on any earlier V7.

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The Mechanics

As one would expect with a bike which has obviously been so well cared-for, all the mechanical systems appear to be in the very best order. They certainly ought to be, as it has only covered 300 km since being subjected to over £10,000 worth of work on the engine and transmission by a renowned specialist.
The engine and gearbox received a bottom-up rebuild, and both brakes have been replaced and bedded in. We are assured that the engine does not consume or leak a drop of oil. It has also received new wheel bearings and the forks have been rebuilt with new seals. All the electrics are in working order, including the steering lock and the turn-key ignition (V7s could also be started by a button on the handlebar).
Bidders will note that, as an early bike, it has gear-driven timing gear rather than the chain-drive of later ones.
The vendor tells us, “The engine runs like a Swiss clock, the drum brakes stop better than discs, the driveshaft is as quiet as a mouse – everything works like it should.”

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The Appeal

The popularity of café racers has never really faltered since the late ’50s, and today they have a large and diverse enthusiast following, in which early British café racers rub shoulders alongside Continental offerings from Ducati, Moto Guzzi, BMW et al. Suffice it to say, Italian makes are significantly rarer in this country, although by the 1970s they were arguably building the more stylish bikes, so a Moto Guzzi V7 Sport is bound to stand out at any gathering.
Apart from being a good way to attract admiring crowds, this V7 Sport is also bound to be an appreciating asset. Having established its reputation as one of the best sporting bikes when it was new, enthusiasts recognise its value today and one like this, which combines well-preserved originality with like-new mechanicals, represents one of the best money can buy.

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

Please see our FAQ's here and our Terms & Conditions here

Please see our FAQs here and our Terms & Conditions here

Auction FAQs
Auction Details
  • Year 1972
  • Make Moto Guzzi
  • Model V7 Sport
  • Colour Green
  • Mileage 37,146 Kilometres
  • Engine size 748
  • Seller Type Private
  • County Bedfordshire
  • Country United Kingdom
  • Auction ends
Bidding history
17 Bids
  • stevew2•••• £16,000 09/01/22
  • dave.wa•••• £15,750 09/01/22
  • stevew2•••• £15,500 09/01/22
  • chantel•••• £14,900 09/01/22
  • rogers.•••• £14,500 08/01/22
  • chantel•••• £14,000 08/01/22
  • rogers.•••• £13,500 08/01/22
  • chantel•••• £13,000 08/01/22
  • connor.•••• £11,750 07/01/22
  • chantel•••• £11,500 06/01/22

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