Road Test Review
The trio of V7s in Moto Guzzi’s 2013 lineup starts with the low-priced Stone, a gutsy name choice meant to convey the bike’s utter simplicity and strength, as in Stone Simple and Rock Solid. No argument there. Although its analog speedo and tach each have LCD readouts for the odometer, tripmeters, time and temp, the digital displays are the only bow to the computer age evident to the rider. Blacked-out cast wheels and a monotone Matte Black or Pure White paint job distinguish the Stone from the two-tone V7 Special and café V7 Racer, both of which get fancier spoked wheels. Personally, I’d rather have tubeless tires like the Stone’s so I can plug a puncture, even if its Pirelli Speed Demons aren’t radials.
Changes to the V7 line for 2013 give the air-cooled, fuel-injected, 90-degree 744cc V-twin a claimed 12 percent more power at lower rpm, an improvement you can feel in the throttle grip and see on the Jett Tuning rear-wheel dyno, where the Stone cranked out 43.3 horsepower at 6,300 rpm (redline is at 7,200) and 42.4 lb-ft of torque way down at 3,200. Interestingly that spread makes the engine as much fun to rev out as it is to short shift, and it gets up to speed quickly with a throaty bark from the dual mufflers. The bike is uncommonly smooth for a V-twin, except at idle where it rumbles like a cammy hot rod. Shifting is the powertrain’s only real weakness, as the shifter throw is long and the dry clutch has a vague feel, making it easy to miss shifts. Skip using the clutch for fast upshifts from 2nd gear on up and everything just starts to work.
Single disc brakes at each end with a strong four-piston caliper in front stop the lightweight V7 Stone quickly, and the Sachs dual rear shocks do a fine job of controlling the back, even if they only offer ring-and-locknut preload adjustment. The fork could use some slightly heavier oil, and maybe some progressive springs, to provide adequate performance for this rider’s 200-pound bulk. Seating is upright and straightforward, with a wide tubular bar that provides lots of leverage, mid-mount footpegs and a hard, flattish seat that is just 31.6 inches high as sold. For $219.95, your dealer will add a gel seat that is 0.9 inch lower. The Stone’s light weight helps it handle like anything but a rock, with good cornering clearance and light steering. Combined with its lovely traditional style and a 5.8-gallon fuel tank, you’re looking good for 250 miles.