Isaac Hattem grew up in a family that loves motorcycles and scooters. His father first fell in love with a Vespa in the 1970s and it became his main means of transportation around New York City at the time. Then, in 2009, his dad bought a white V7 Classic. Having watched his father ride motorcycles since a young age while growing up in Westchester, NY, Isaac inherited the same passion as his dad and decided to ride as well. He works in New York City for a digital media valuation company but enjoys anything with a motor such as cars, Vespas, bikes and even chainsaws. During his spare time he can be found playing softball, exploring all Manhattan has to offer with his girlfriend, or cruisin' on his vintage Vespa.
This weekend Isaac took a 2013 Moto Guzzi V7 Stone to upstate New York to “The Rhinebeck Grand National Super Meet,” a motorcycle exhibit and meet-up. We hope you enjoy his story:
After 5 minutes on the V7 Stone, one thing is clear, this is a new bike. I have spent thousands of miles on the family V7 Classic and am very happy with the improvements Moto Guzzi has made. Twist the throttle and you are rewarded with a low rumble, release the clutch and you can see what all the fuss is about. The V7 Stone pulls hard off the line and doesn't let up until you do. People have been talking about the engine upgrades and the praise is well-deserved.
The riding position, like the V7 Classic, is perfect, upright, and eyes ahead. This was especially important during my romps around New York City. When riding around the city, I found the V7 Stone is well-balanced and agile, which comes in handy when dodging taxis and novice bicycle riders on the city’s new Citi Bikes. Another upgrade, which was evident after the first pothole I hit, was the upgraded suspension. The front end handled the rough city streets with ease.
Perhaps the greatest thing the V7 Stone offers is dashing good looks. Like the Classic, the Stone demands a second glace. Multiple times I was stopped at a light and asked, “What kind of bike is that? It looks awesome!” That coupled with the various thumbs ups and I got, reinforced my belief that THIS BIKE IS COOL!
The coolness and good looks factors were tested further this past Saturday with perhaps the most demanding audience--other bikers. On one of the few gorgeous days of a wet NY spring day, I headed out of the City towards Rhinebeck, N.Y., to meet my father, who rides a V7 Classic. We then rode to The Rhinebeck Grand National Super Meet. I shared the road with all kinds of bikes and riders on the historic Taconic Parkway and learned early in the journey that the V7 Stone was well regarded. At one point during the ride, I led a pack of about 20 Harleys, until I exited and they continued on checking out the V7 Stone and commenting with the universal silent sign of approval--a series of head nods. I might add the V7 Stone performed very well on this first open road test, effortless reaching and holding speed and smoothly negotiating the many turns of the Parkway.
We pulled into the Fairgrounds and were taken back about the sheer number of riders. We parked the Guzzis together, but it didn't take long before people started coming up to us to ask questions and talk about bikes. Perhaps the best part of the show was the parking lot. Aisle after aisle of Harleys and other cruisers such as Triumphs, BMWs, Ducatis and other Japanese bikes scattered throughout. The day was perfect and I decided to hit the road again, this time taking a winding two lane road to the Berkshires. I have to say that this is where the V7 Stone performed best and did everything I asked it to do. No surprise here as I have ridden my father's V7 Classic many times on these same roads and have loved every minute.
The main difference with the V7 Stone is that it seemed to do it all … but a little better. The weekend ended in a dash back to NYC as I tried to beat the rain. I am very happy I made it back in time as I did not have rain gear and I am not much of a fan of riding in nasty weather anyway. All in all, the bike was perfect and handled everything I could throw at it. The Moto Guzzi V7 Stone is a fantastic all-around bike and I’d love to get my hands on one for a permanent basis.
Written by Isaac Hattem, follow him @ihattem.
Photos by Isaac Hattem.