Although it appears unchanged, the entire V7 line-up has received a myriad of updates for ’13. Over 70% of the engine components alone are new in an effort to make the Moto Guzzi Stone not only quicker but lighter and more reliable, too.
And it shows as soon as we wheeled the Stone onto the scale. With its 5.8-gallon fuel tank topped off with premium unleaded it weighs 439 pounds—a whopping 67 pounds less than the Thruxton. From the moment you lift it off the side stand the difference is obvious with the Stone maneuvering with far greater ease especially at parking lot speeds.
Surely most of its agility can be attributed to its lower curb weight but the ergonomics and handlebar position also play a factor in how friendly it is to ride. Where the Thruxton’s ergonomics are more demanding and racetrack focused, the Stone offers a relaxed, upright riding position. Another plus is the greater handlebar leverage when steering the bike in and out of tight spaces.
“It’s really comfortable,” says Associate Editor Frankie Garcia. “The bars aren’t low or high—everything is just right and in the standard position. You don’t have to get use to any funky controls. And that makes it easy to just hop on and ride.”
Another plus is the wide, long shape of the saddle that is capable of supporting just about any sized rider. Seat height is just a hair lower than the Thruxton at 31.6 inches which further attributes to its friendly street demeanor.
Despite employing electronic fuel-injection, the Moto Guzzi’s engine requires about 15 to 20 seconds of idling before it can be ridden away cleanly without stalling. Once the engine is warm however it can be ridden immediately. Right off idle the Moto Guzzi’s engine delivers considerable torque. In fact, peak torque of 40.43 lb-ft is achieved at just 3200 rpm. Pair that with the clutch’s wide engagement point, not to mention its easy lever pull, and launching from a stop is simple.
(Top) The Moto Guzzi’s handlebar allows for greater steering leverage than the Triumph’s low clip-ons.
(Bottom) The V7 Stone’s brakes provide adequate stopping power but they don’t offer the same level of performance as compared to the Triumph.
“It has a lot of torque but that’s basically all it has,” says Garcia in regards to the V7’s motor performance. “It goes okay right off the line but the power flattens out as the rpm increase. It’s kind of like driving a turbo diesel truck in the way you have to short shift it to try and ride the torque curve.”
The dyno chart confirms Garcia’s observation. When compared to the Triumph, the V7’s 121cc smaller capacity engine is at a nearly 21-horsepower disadvantage and only offers a maximum of 41.26 horsepower at 6300 rpm.
Based on this information it’s no surprise that it galloped to 60 mph in a time of 5.31 seconds—nearly a second behind that of the Triumph (4.47). Through the quarter mile the Moto Guzzi was again behind its British rival registering a time of 14.88 seconds at a speed of 87.2 mph. Seated at the controls the speed discrepancy isn’t as noticeable as the numbers imply. It’s only when you’re trying to pass a car or motor up a steep incline when the difference becomes readily apparent.
The action of the five-speed transmission didn’t feel quite as refined as the Triumph. When you press down on the shift lever peculiarly there is no firm stop point to tell you that you’re in first gear. So at a stop it’s common to press your foot down on the shift lever a few times in order to confirm that you really are in first gear before taking off. The transmission also had a tendency to jump out of gears and mis-shift if the rider doesn’t firmly press up or down on the shift lever.
While fueling and throttle response when the engine’s warmed up is adequate, the engine puts out a lot of vibration at all rpm. At first it actually feels pleasing and charismatic as it adds to the whole vintage bike riding experience, but after a while it can become just a bit annoying. Another unwelcome effect is the distorted view from the shaky rear view mirrors.
The engine and exhaust note emitted from the dual chrome pipes offers a duller, more industrial pitch as compared to the playful whine of the Triumph Twin. In our sound test the Moto Guzzi registered an identical sound decibel rating of 78 at idle. When revved up at half of maximum rpm (3600 rpm) it emitted 95 dB—one notch lower than the Triumph (96).
(Top) Moto Guzzi Stone V7 vs. Triumph Thruxton Dyno Chart (Bottom) With a 5.8-gallon fuel tank the V7 has plenty of range for all-day riding trips.
On the highway the Stone glides over rough pavement and the suspension components deliver a plush ride that’s just a hair more comfortable than the Triumph. When pushed in the canyons the suspension proves to be a little soft, but it still offers enough sporting ability so put a grin on your face.
Braking performance proved to be adequate on the Moto Guzzi but the brakes didn’t offer quite as much feedback or outright stopping power which was a bit of a surprise considering the weight advantage the Guzzi has over the Triumph. In a simulated panic stop from 60 mph the Moto Guzzi arrived at a dead stop in a distance of 152 feet—four feet farther than the Thruxton.
In terms of fuel economy and distance between fill-ups we recorded an average mpg rating of 44.4 which equates to a range of approximately 257 miles based on its 5.8-gallon tank capacity (1.6-gallons larger than the Triumph).
While we initially enjoyed the unique character and immediate, low-end power of the Guzzi’s horizontally mounted V-Twin engine in addition to its more forgiving controls, it still lacks a level of refinement. Pair that with its average handling and braking capabilities and it is a few steps behind Triumph’s Thruxton. Sure it carries a $409 lower price tag, but considering the quality the Triumph brings to the table we think the extra cost will pay more dividends in terms of fun and ride quality.