What is it about the Moto Guzzi V7 vehicle range that interested you most for this project
James Hammarhead (JH): When I began thinking about a Hammarhead bike that could take on the urban commute and break free for fast and light travel, the modern take on the Moto Guzzi V7 seemed ideal with its simple air-cooled V-twin, updated with modern electronic fuel injection, and niceties such as electric start. The engine has ample power around town and really shines when paired with the sweet handling chassis and a twisty back road. The trouble-free shaft drive sealed the deal. The bike is long, low and smooth, with a history beyond reproach.
What inspired you to start this project?
JH: The challenge was to create a minimal motorcycle at home on the long road. We wanted to create a bike that confronted what features a functional transport in an urban setting would require, such as the ability to store a laptop, for example. At the same time we wanted the bike to be able to break free for fast and light travel and ultimately enhance the rider’s experience.
Can you explain the process from start to finish?
JH: We began the V7 Wayward project by stripping away layers of the bike to reveal the Moto Guzzi V7 Café Classic’s essential form. The bodywork was simplified and as a result, the chassis could be freed from excess brackets and mounting tabs. This reduced overall weight and visually lightened the motorcycle. To further reduce the bike, the large stock fenders were replaced with simple alloy units and ancillary components were cleanly repackaged. The engine was not internally modified but performance benefited from high flow K&N air filters, a free breathing custom exhaust and remapped fuel injection. Performance fork springs and rear shocks were fitted and the bike rolls on Avon tires.
Further changes were made to simplify and improve the riding experience. Up front the stock headlight and instrument cluster were replaced with a classic 7-inch teardrop shell that also houses a small speedometer. To achieve a relaxed yet aggressive riding position, mid-rise bars and wide foot pegs were fitted. The rear sub-frame was modified to accept a compact seat. These changes give the rider a comfortable, uncluttered view of the road. In an urban setting a heads up riding position aids navigating through traffic. On the open road, the ergonomics are roomy and allow the rider to shift forward to meet the wind. Low profile, but highly visible LED turn signals, were used and our preferred two-inch round brake light. Finally, inspired by the canvas bags of the 1950s, we created a pair of wax cotton panniers. The compact panniers feature an internal aluminum frame and are capable of swallowing a laptop and rain suit during the weekday hustle, or the bare travel essentials required for a 3-day, 3-week or 3-month ride.
The V7 Wayward offers the convenience, performance and reliability of a modern motorcycle and the vital character of the Moto Guzzi V-twin engine, apparent at the first twist of the throttle. The compact size of the bike and panniers challenge the rider to travel light. The spare and lean nature of the Wayward allows the rider to pursue the road unobstructed. Add a map and tomorrow’s destination, and legends can and will be written.