This Is A Real Retro From A Company That Knows Retro

’Guzzi expands its almost-new V7 III footprint here in its sophomore year with a trio of new models that double the number of units in the range with the Milano as a sort of classic-custom tribute. The Milano bears some of the same seventies-tastic touches as the V7 III Special, but in a more understated way that clearly has no qualms about adopting modern tech, as evidenced by the cast rims instead of laced. Twin clocks and a faux tuck-and-roll saddle help the Milano visually hit the target era, but the ABS and traction control feature makes the bike perform like a modern ride. Of course, the 744 cc, 52-horsepower engine certainly helps on that front as well, and today I’m going to dig in and see what sets the Milano apart from its brethren.

Continue reading for my review of the Moto Guzzi V7 III Milano.

  • 2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Milano
  • Year:
    2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V-Twin
  • Displacement:
    744 cc
  • Price:
    9390
  • Price:

2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Milano Design

2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Milano
- image 781627
If you think you're going to be able to rely on the shallow saddle scoop to keep you from being unhorsed when you grab a fistful o' throttle, you're in for a surprise.

The Milano takes on a mix-and-match panache right off the bat with a chrome fender that is contrasted by blackout fork sliders and rim. Custom-style blackout treatment continues up the front end to encompass the tripletree, headlight can and dual round instrument housings, and it all ties in nicely with the darkness of the engine area. Bits of chrome stand out at the housing bezels, mirrors, exhaust, rear fender and passenger grabrail with a classic tank badge on the fuel-tank bumpout. Too bad that’s the only bright spots in the look; the tank itself bears the only non-blackout paint, and it comes in a very subdued “Grey Gloss” that looks like a dreary winter sky to me, but I suppose one could also call it serene, sedate or maybe even modest. Not words that inspire confidence to be sure, but custom painter’s kids need to eat, too.

Typical of the marque, the V-twin engine peeks out both sides of the bike, so the fuel tank bumps serve to visually fair out the protruding heads while also giving the tank a set of knee pockets and the appearance of a waist. The pilot seat has the shallowest of scoops to segregate it from the pillion, and if you think you’re going to be able to rely on that to keep you from being unhorsed when you grab a fistful o’ throttle, you’re in for a surprise. You’d better be ready to hang on with all other points of contact. A blackout tail/tag unit takes care of the rearward gear over a chrome rear fender to finish out the subframe, and the chromed mufflers are kicked up at a sporty angle to keep a little fun in the overall visage.

2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Milano Chassis

2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Milano
- image 781631
It's going to feel a bit more stable than your typical standard model, though it's still eager enough in the corners, not the least bit wooden at all.

Tubular ALS-steel members make up the detachable double-cradle frame that holds the whole thing together, but the factory opted for a lightweight cast-alloy swingarm to articulate the rear wheel and finish off the framework. The steering-head layout gives the Milano a 26.4-degree fork angle with 4.17 inches of trail on a 56.89-inch wheelbase, and that’s going to feel a bit more stable than your typical standard model though it’s still eager enough in the corners, not the least bit wooden at all.

Rwu, 40 mm forks float the front end on 5.11 inches of travel at the axle with dual, coil-over rear shocks that turn in 3.66 inches of travel at the axle and only the basic spring-preload adjustment. Pretty plain stuff, but at least the brakes are top shelf. A 320 mm disc and four-pot Brembo caliper slow the front wheel while a twin-piston caliper grabs the 260 mm rear disc, all under the vigilant watch of the standard ABS feature.

Seat height is reasonable at only 30.32 inches off the ground so even though the wet weight-plus-rider will add up to just over a quarter-ton, the center-of-gravity is nice and low and the mid-height seat makes for a good platform for footwork around the parking lot.

Frame: double cradle tubular frame in ALS steel with detachable elements.
Trail: 4.17 in (106 mm)
Headstock angle: 26.4°
Front suspension/ Travel: Ø 40 mm hydraulic telescopic fork/ 130 mm
Rear suspension/ Travel: Die cast light alloy swingarm with 2 shock absorbers with adjustable spring preload/ 93 mm (80 mm shock absorber stroke)
Front Brake: Ø 320 mm stainless steel floating discs, Brembo calipers with 4 differently sized opposed pistons
Rear brake: Ø 260 mm, stainless steel disc, floating caliper with 2 pistons
Front wheel: 18" in lightweight alloy 100/90 (110/80 R18 as alternative)
Rear wheel: 17" in lightweight alloy 130/80

2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Milano Drivetrain

2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Milano
- image 781635
The real electronic marvel here is the traction control feature that prevents loss of traction due to an overenthusiastic throttle hand; power delivery is friendly and predictable for another check in the noobie-friendly column.

’Guzzi’s characteristic V-twin is plainly visible where it sticks proud of the machine. As much as it worries my nerves because of the vulnerability of that exposed position, I have to admit that it certainly gets plenty of fresh air to carry the waste heat away from the headers and cooling fins. An 80 mm bore and 74 mm stroke gives the plant its 744 cc displacement, but its the firing order that gives it its lope at idle and great torque output, to the tune of 44 pounds o’ grunt at 4,900 rpm backed up by 52 horsepower at 6,200 rpm.

Pushrods and rockers actuate the two-valve heads to keep the rocker-box as slim as possible, and that’s a solid move given how far the rocker boxes already stick out. Marelli provides the induction control, but the real electronic marvel here is the traction control feature that prevents loss of traction due to an overenthusiastic throttle hand to turn the Milano into a contender as an entry-level ride. MG missed an opportunity for another layer of protection when it opted for a single dry disc instead of a slipper clutch to couple engine power to the six-speed transmixxer. Power delivery is friendly and predictable for another check in the noobie-friendly column.

Displacement: 744 cc
Bore x Stroke: 80 mm x 74 mm
Distribution: 2 valves with light alloy pushrods and rockers
Max Power: 52 hp (38 kW) at 6,200 rpm
Maximum torque at crankshaft: 44 lb-ft (60 Nm) at 4,900 rpm
Exhaust system: 3-way catalytic converter with double lambda probe
Cooling: Air

2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Milano Price

2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Milano
- image 781630
MSRP isn't bad when you look at what the bike gives you in return.

The 2018 Milano rolls for $9,390 in Grey Gloss as the only color choice. That’s on par with other bikes in its class, but wouldn’t it be nice to have a few color choices?

Color: Grey Gloss
Price: $9,390

2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Milano Competitors

2016 - 2018 Harley-Davidson Iron 883
- image 735907
2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Milano
- image 781637
In the long run, the Milano is really more bike for the buck.

When I think about small-bore V-twins that are good around town, the Sportster invariably floats to the top in short order so I’m going to go with Harley-Davidson’s Iron 883 for my head-to-head today. Similar to the Milano, the Iron 883 rocks some blackout treatment along with a few other custom touches such as the drilled-and-lightened front fender struts and bobbed rear fender. As far as the classic connection is concerned, I’d say the iconic peanut tank and scooped solo seat takes care of business and the faux tuck-and-roll finish just puts it over the top. Am I biased, well sure, but I think even a neutral eye would have to admit that the Sporty is the better looking of the two.

Handling is definitely better on the Milano; the 30-degree rake and 4.6-inch trail makes the Sporty nice and stable on the straights, but leaves a little to be desired in the corners. Laden seat height, however, measures at only 25.7 inches off the ground, and that will certainly suit some pretty short inseams. Unsurprisingly, the Sporty is the chubby one with a 564-pound wet weight — almost 100 pounds heavier than the Milano — so that’s not to be forgotten when we go over the power figures.

Harley packs in a few extra cubes with a total of 883 cc against the 744 cc ’Guzzi, and that shows up in the torque numbers with a claimed 53.8 pound-feet of torque at a low 3,750 rpm versus 44/4,900 from the Milano. A few extra pounds of grunt is always nice, but so is traction control, and ’Guzzi alone brings that to the table to make the Milano infinitely safer to ride, especially for an inexperienced rider. Score one for ’Guzzi in the entry-level department.

Pricing is a mixed bag; the Vivid Black Sporty rolls for $8,999, but the Hard Candy Custom jumps up to $9,449. ABS tacks on another $795 as well, so in the long run, the Milano is really more bike for the buck.

He Said

“I’m digging the Milano, I just wish the color palette wasn’t such a snore. I mean, I guess I should be impressed that someone managed to capture the color of shiny winter depression, but perhaps Suspicious Cold Sore Red or Court-Ordered Urine Sample Yellow might have brightened things up a bit. Just sayin’...”

She Said

My wife and fellow motorcycle writer, Allyn Hinton, says, “This family had a nice upgrade in 2016 that included a boost in engine power. For 2018, we have three additions to the V7 III stable in the Milano, the Carbon , and the Rough. The Milano certainly is a fun bike. Not overly powerful, but it has nice high, wide bars and a comfortable seat. The rider triangle works even for tall riders, or so I’ve been told since I’m quite height challenged, myself. You can get faster bikes and bikes with better suspension, but this is a real retro from a company that knows retro.”

2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Milano Specifications

Engine & Drivetrain:
Displacement: 744 cc
Bore x Stroke: 80 mm x 74 mm
Distribution: 2 valves with light alloy pushrods and rockers
Max Power: 52 hp (38 kW) at 6,200 rpm
Maximum torque at crankshaft: 44 lb-ft (60 Nm) at 4,900 rpm
Exhaust system: 3-way catalytic converter with double lambda probe
Cooling: Air
Chassis:
Frame: double cradle tubular frame in ALS steel with detachable elements.
Trail: 4.17 in (106 mm)
Headstock angle: 26.4°
Front suspension/ Travel: Ø 40 mm hydraulic telescopic fork/ 130 mm
Rear suspension/ Travel: Die cast light alloy swingarm with 2 shock absorbers with adjustable spring preload/ 93 mm (80 mm shock absorber stroke)
Front Brake: Ø 320 mm stainless steel floating discs, Brembo calipers with 4 differently sized opposed pistons
Rear brake: Ø 260 mm, stainless steel disc, floating caliper with 2 pistons
Front wheel: 18" in lightweight alloy 100/90 (110/80 R18 as alternative)
Rear wheel: 17" in lightweight alloy 130/80
Dimensions & Capacities:
Wheelbase: 56.89 in (1,445 mm)
Saddle height: 30.32 in (770 mm)
Length: 86 in (2,185 mm)
Height: 43.4 in (1,100 mm)
Minimum ground clearance: 5.9 in (150 mm)
Fuel tank capacity: 5.6 gal (including 1 gal reserve)
Dry weight: 425.5 lb (193 kg)
Curb weight: 469.6 lb (213 kg)
Consumption (WMTC cycle): 15 gal/62.1 mi (5.5 l/100 km)
Details:
Color: Grey Gloss
Price: $9,390

References

Harley-Davidson Iron 883

2016 - 2018 Harley-Davidson Iron 883
- image 735636

See our review of the Harley-Davidson Iron 883.

Moto Guzzi V7 II Special

2017 - 2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Special
- image 781654

See our review of the Moto Guzzi V7 III Special.

Moto Guzzi V7 III Carbon

2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Carbon Dark
- image 773163

See our review of the Moto Guzzi V7 III Carbon.

Moto Guzzi V7 III Rough

2018 Moto Guzzi V7 III Rough
- image 778285

See our review of the Moto Guzzi V7 III Rough.

All images featured on this website are copyrighted to their respective rightful owners. No infringement is intended. Image Source: motoguzzi-us.com, harley-davidson.com

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