I admired the design for years. As a teen my older brother got some motorcycle mags, I never had any money so I read his. One of the big magazines put out a guide that had all the motorcycles one could buy at the time, this was late 60's. I remember the Honda 750 being very big news, and the Goldwing, but I also remember the magazine testers always giving good reviews to Guzzi's. I liked the cylinders in the wind,as in my mind air cooled is the pure way to go. I was a gear head from the time I was old enough to tear down a Briggs and Stratton on the lawn mower, 9 or 10 years old I suppose.
I always liked air cooled engines,we had Wisconsin V-4's on swathers and corn shellers,I liked those, still do. Compact,self contained, just add gas, and go.
Back to motorcycles, my first real Motorcycle a 175 Honda scrambler,bought from the local Chevy dealer for $200.I was 14, and actually got my motorcycle license before a car license.
a nice example of the bike I had, not mine,but Identical in color etc.
A few years later,I bought my first new bike, a Honda 360,1974, I fell in love with the looks of this bike, reviews were not great,but I had ridden a few 350 Honda's so I figured it would be a good bike.
I rode that bike on the longest trip in my life ,a little over 3500 miles, through the Rockies, Yellowstone,Glacier and yes, Sturgis 1975. It handled poorly and vibrated or at least buzzed quite a bit, lacked power for the mountains, but it got me there. That 360 still sits in the hog barn (really) I have to admit,I never really thought those Honda engines were good looking,too much head,fins did not "flow" and the valve adjustment access plugs were just plain ugly!
IN the next 36 years I owned a few bikes, all bought used, one of my favorites was a Honda 900 Custom, but all of them handled poorly. Eventually I got into old Goldwings,which are a great bike, comfortable,reliable,cheap.
But something was still missing, I wanted a bike with a good looking motor,air cooled, well balanced, and handled. I admired a lot of bikes over the years, talked myself out of several, for different reasons. Some on the list : Honda 1100 Shadow Sabre, Honda Valkyrie, Kawasaki Nomad, Suzuki GS500, MotoGuzzi V11 sport, MotoGuzzi Bassa, Motoguzzi Jackal,MotoGuzzi California Stone, HD Deuce (beautiful bike) and the 1800 Wing.
Finally MotoGuzzi made a bike for me,the V7 Cafe Classic. I read a road test in Rider magazine,and just could not get it out of my mind. This bike had it all, looks, great engine,simple elegant design,and it's a Guzzi, it should handle. So I ordered one. Took about 2 weeks to get it shipped from Italy, no talking myself out of this one.
This is me leaving the Unplugged rally,10 days after I took delivery of the bike. It has 150 miles on it, by the end of the day I had a little over 600 miles,and a lot of smiles.
A year has passed, and I have no regrets, this is the first motorcycle I have ever financed, and made payments on, also the most money I have ever spent on a bike just for me. As far as I am concerned this engine is very good looking,compact and flows well. It has plenty of power for my escapades, and is just plain fun to ride!
Obviously you can see some similarities between the 360 and the V7, twin, up swept pipes, simple design.
What is it about Guzzi? I am still finding out, but so far so good!