A few months back I was given the opportunity to rip a 2012 V7 Racer. Needless to say, it was a very fun ride. So when I saw pics of the new 2013 V7 with the Record Kit, I was drooling! However, when that call came to have a rip on the stunning machine with new engine upgrades, I couldn’t as I had just smashed and broken my thumb the day before. After a couple of weeks of ice and mending, my clipped wing was finally healed enough to go shred. Believe me it was a long three weeks of waiting my turn again on the V7 Racer.
I went to pick up the V7 the day before Thanksgiving. The plan was to give “Thanks” on the Guzzi for the weekend. Upon my arrival to pick up the V7 Racer, I was pleasantly surprised by how good the new V7 with Record Kit looks. She really is pleasant to look at. The new Chrome tank with leather strap, featherweight style fairing and new seat really make this moto look like a retro weapon to be reckoned with. I loaded her into the truck and we were off to my house near the mountains. I could not wait to get the racer on the road!
A few friends that live close by had been trying to organize a ride up Ortega for a few weeks leading up to Thanksgiving. I hadn’t ridden with this crew before, so I was a little apprehensive. I usually prefer to ride by myself, but thought it might to be fun to have a mellow rip up the hill with a few friends on the Holiday. With calls and plans made, we met just before sunrise, fueled up and ready to rock the mountain. Since I had already ridden the V7, I was already familiar with the bike, thus I felt comfortable straight away. I have to say though… that the improvements made to the 2013 V7 are substantial. Most of the engine has been reworked. It has a redesigned cylinder head, pistons, new ECU, intake system, and a single throttle body, giving the 2013 V7 increased ponies and better ride. She’s got other improvements as well, like a new gear box and new lighter aluminum wheels. But what really makes the new V7 pop is the new optional “Record Kit” which includes a featherweight style half fairing and new designed rear seat section inspired by the 1969 V7 Record prototype. Having the featherweight faring up front and removing the headlight and instrument cluster off the forks really improved the handling considerably.
OK… back to ride…
As we approached the bottom of the mountain, and as I hadn’t ridden with this crew before… I took off. I dropped down a gear and proceeded to blast my way up the hill. Ortega is my local, so I know every nook and cranny of the highway. After the 2nd turn into the mountain, my friends were nowhere to be found. And honestly, I don’t wait. I come from the school of “keep up” or “ride alone”. I had nothing but open mountain in front of me and the V7 effortlessly made it’s way through the twisty’s. I pulled into the “The Lookout Roadhouse” at the top of the mountain overlooking Lake Elsinore. It was all smiles after just having just railed the V7 up the mountain to my favorite Breakie spot on such a beautiful day. I shot a few quick pics of the lake and went inside to have a cup of coffee and wait for my boys to arrive. Well… After two cups of Joe and chatting with Barbara (owner of the Lookout), I’m starting to wonder where my friends are?
Just as that thought comes into my head, I get a text saying that one of the boys has gone down. These are the kinds of text’s that you never want to get. I get my helmet on and make my way to where he went down. My friend had indeed gone down but was ok, with a slightly fractured collar bone. Needless to say, we packed it in for the day so we could get down the mountain, stop at the hospital and get him home to eat turkey with his family.
On Sunday I was back on the moto and took another rip up Ortega to show off the V7 to the weekend “Lookout” moto crew. Honestly, everywhere I drove the V7, people would stop, look, and ask questions. I think people genuinely like the way the bike looks, especially with the new Record Kit (optional accessory) and chrome tank, it really gives it that nostalgic Italian Café Racer look. I spent the rest of the day cruising the local mountains putting the V7 through its paces. On the way home, I decided to stop at “Cooks Corner”. It’s the local Harley hangout and I wanted to see what the Hog guys thought of the Italian retro racer. Well, to my surprise, I had like 20+ guys coming up and asking me a million questions and giving the V7 props. I didn’t really think the Hog crowd was gonna dig, but I was proven wrong. Honestly, it’s not the fastest bike. Your not gonna win any races on this bad boy, but you will have a smile on your face the whole time your on it as it’s just such a fun and easy bike to ride. And not mention, it looks like a million bucks!
Monday it rained so I gave the V7 a rest. I’m not much of the all-weather moto guy, plus I don’t like cleaning a bike after you put miles on it in the rain.
Tuesday the rain let up a little in the afternoon, so I went for a cruise through the Santiago Canyon out to Irvine Lake. It’s a pretty nice open road that makes you feel like your way out in the country even though civilization is just over the hill. On the way home, I made a pit stop to see a friend at the Oakley HQ in Foothill Ranch. Once again, it was one of those situations where as soon as I parked, people started crowding around the V7, asking questions and admiring its stylish lines. Moto Guzzi really did something right with the styling of this moto. People just can’t seem to get enough…
On Wednesday, I still had one photo that I wanted to shoot with the moto. I wanted to “olly” over the V7 on my skateboard. I’d been driving around previously for a few days looking for the right spot. And after a few miles on the tach, I thought I’d found the perfect spot. So I called my photographer friend to help me shoot the pic. I woke him up early and we drove to the spot I had picked out. Well, unfortunately, I didn’t do my homework completely, because when we actually got to the spot where I wanted to shoot the photo, the landing was gravel, which made it impossible to shot the pic there. I never actually got off the moto to walk all the way to check the spot up close. Oops…. Even though we didn’t get to shoot the pic, I was still feeling like I wanted to have a roll on the skate. So we moto’d our way to Lake Forest for a quick session at Etnies Skate Park. It’s my local and really fun spot. We got a cool pic, but not the skate pic I wanted with the V7. I’ll shoot that pic “ollying” the V7 on my skateboard as soon as I can get my hands on the moto again!