Spirit's Guzzi V7
By Anthony van Someren - 24 Jun 13
The modern Moto Guzzi V7 has been with us for a few years now, delivered by one of the only manufacturers who are championing the cafe racer scene with a bike you can actually buy in a dealer - apart from Enfield. The light weight and looks have been broadly welcomed by the pundits and by newer riders, but what this bike didn't deliver was a sporty ride in the true spirit of the cafe racer. Time for Tim & Kev from Spirit of the Seventies to step-in and work their magic on this lone factory-built champion of the cafe scene, but as the bike was supplied with an engine that would be hard to tune without a huge amount of engine work, they set about doing what cafe racers did "back in the day"; they started to strip off all the heavy stuff, leaving it lighter - and therefore faster, as well as much prettier - and therefore more desirable too. The bike was commissioned by London-based Harley owner, Barry, who went to Spirit looking for the ideal cafe racer, but he wasn't sold on which model to work from, leaving it to Tim & Kev to choose. We'd all wanted to see what could be done to the modern V7 and Barry's brief seemed to fit the Guzzi being a donor so the guys sourced a V7 Stone and the work began. The bike was stripped clean of its heavy, chrome-plated metalwork while the subframe was trimmed at the rear and a bespoke Spirit fibreglass seat added with a seat pad from master of foam & vinyl, Glenn Moger. The chunky plastic side panels were removed and replaced with bespoke slim-line aluminium panels, powder coated black, with gauze-covered louvres and the ignition barrel was relocated between one panel and the right cylinder head. The rear shocks are pretty baggy as standard so they were swapped out for some shiny new Hagon Nitros, which were made an inch longer to jack up the rear end a little, while the forks were firmed up to match. As well as giving a better-looking stance, a setup like this should improve turn-in significantly and make the bike feel a lot more focused in the twisties. To further improve cornering the bars and risers were replaced with LSL clip-ons with a comfy-side-of-sporty ride height. At the front a smaller, matte black Spirit headlight with LSL brackets and Oberon LED indicators were chosen to replace the huge original setup, but the pretty standard clocks were retained. The wheels and shaft drive housing were rubbed back to reveal a groovy, retro pattern on their spokes and castings. Racefit produced a bespoke 2-into-2 titanium exhaust system with lobster-back welding and stubby megaphones. To finish off, the bike was painted by Dennis at D-Luck's Custom Paint in Brighton, in charcoal and maroon metal flake. The bike now looks much more purposeful than the original machine, especially framed by the Kent countryside's hedgerows, but these new looks are matched by a ride with more urgency and better road holding, with a seriously improved classic Moto Guzzi soundtrack. It certainly looks like they've bought the V7 up to speed for Barry's brief of building the "ideal cafe racer" with a clean, simple bike perfect for trouble-free, modern-retro scratching or cruising. UPDATE - We hear this bike is now for sale. Contact SotS for more info.