Sunday, May 15, 2016

Riding Pillion on a Moto Guzzi V7 Racer By Jennifer (aka 'Kitten') Corbin

Jennifer (aka The Old Lady) Corbin
It is easy to get into the saddle, with no protruding parts to clamber over, no saddlebags or awkward pipes to negotiate. When you first pull away, the bike moves pretty aggressively, but then I have the core strength of a noodle and it’s probably why I noticed that. Equally, with braking you need to be able to brace yourself quite well, there is no sense of being “wedged into” the bike as in most other bikes I have been a passenger on. The seat was quite comfortable, and the fact that it was quite broad and allows you to sit close to the driver lends a sense of security. Ironically, having less space to sit on is more comfortable to me than on larger bikes such as the Intruder or the Drifter where I have felt nervous that I was sliding back or slipping off every time the bike accelerated. This kind of riding set up would probably not suit someone who likes to lean back on a sissy bar backrest or even hold on to grab bars rather than the driver. For me I like to hold on tightly around the waist of the driver and be able to feel what they are doing rather than be tied on like a piece of luggage on the back, so a café racer style is more my cup of …café?

GT-Rx V7 Racer CNC Passenger Pegs
Mario was concerned that the pegs would transmit a lot of vibration through the passenger’s feet, as they (the pegs, not the passenger’s feet) are not rubberized in any way. However, I only noticed the vibration at very low speeds, leaving stop signs or moving forward on a green light, or going slowly through town. Once you are on the open road, I felt like I did not notice vibration much at all. Mind you, I was wearing normal Doc Marten boots and perhaps with more reinforced boots, less vibration would be noticeable. In any case, I don’t think it was a problem, and I don’t think it should put someone off buying those pegs.

Moto Guzzi V7 Classic Seat
The seating position was fine for me too. My legs did get quite stiff, but it was my first ride in years and we actually went for 100kms, so I think that is a tolerance that could be built up quite easily. However, my feet reach the pegs very well, and in fact, the position would suit a short rider who might sometimes feel they are “reaching” for the pegs even a little. Here, my feet were planted firmly the whole time. The best and worst of the riding set up is the one and the same. I love being able to sit behind Mario and not bang helmets together at every abrupt stop, which is always what happens on a cruiser style bike when I sit a little higher than him. I can shelter directly behind him, and so I did not get cold or windblown in any way, as he bore the brunt of the oncoming wind. I can look at the passing scenery and enjoy what’s happening rather than being buffeted in the face by a strong breeze at all times.

Perfect For Those Who Like It up Close & Personal!
This also means it’s more difficult to see what is coming up ahead as I have to peer around or over his shoulders to see the road ahead. I also used to be able to glance in his mirrors to see what was behind and I can’t do that anymore. Hence the worst part. However, I think this was more of a problem when we first started the ride as  I was feeling nervous and was not sure of the balance of the bike. Once we had got about half way through I decided to put my hands on the top of Mario’s legs (ooh naughty) so my arms were against his ribs and I could feel when he was going to turn rather than having to guess or worry that I couldn’t see bends coming up. This allowed me to relax and stop worrying that I was going to tilt over the wrong way at an inopportune moment. This also allowed me to balance better when he braked, and in fact even realizing when he was going to change gear (by feeling his feet moving) allowed me to be more trusting even though I couldn’t see well what was up ahead. So by the end, I actually found this more relaxing than being in a state of anticipation of what was to come (what can I say, I am a nervous driver) and just enjoy trusting in my driving companion and looking at the beautiful scenery that was passing on either side.

100Km On A Moto Guzzi With A Beautiful Redhead...
What More Can I Ask For?!
Overall, I found this to be the most enjoyable bike ride I think I have ever had. The seating position felt very secure, and the bike runs like a clock when on the open road. It is very quiet when going at a high speed, yet pleasantly rumbles in a very characteristic voice when going slowly through a town. There are no snatchy, rough, explosive exhaust sounds which I really don’t like, even though I know many do. I have sensitive ears and extended periods of loud noise start to really get on my nerves. Wow, what a biker. But this bike is not anemic, it just sounds good to my ears.

La Dolce Vita
My favourite part was being with my wonderful husband. When we were first dating, we went everywhere together on a bike, and this made me think of those times. Sitting close with him, hearing nothing but the wind, the bike and birdsong while the most amazing spring scenes flew past was a real balm to the soul after an extended time of “people full” work during the semester. That’s why I think this bike suits us so well, and I am so happy he chose this one. I would recommend it to anyone, but with some caveats. I am only 5’3, and I think a much taller person would not be so comfortable on the back since the pegs are quite high and there is not an excess of space. I can also imagine that it’s not the bike you would take a work acquaintance or someone you didn’t like on (who would do that anyway!!?), as you are quite squished together. Now, the being squished bit is part of the romance of the bike to me but I know many pillion passengers don’t like being too close to the driver. Maybe it should be try before you buy in that case, but I love it and think it is just right for our motorcycling adventures to come.

Jennifer Corbin


  1. Mario...I think Jen likes you ��


  2. nice report, thanks Jen ;) (Percy, lol)

    Rolly Rider
    (aka Big Bear)

  3. That's why we love to pillion on the V7. And we take turns on who goes in front:) as we both ride.

    Jan Zee

  4. So sweet

    Sabya Sachi Ghosh

  5. Nice share, thanks for the post.

  6. Wonderful!!!!

    Lawrence Banks

  7. Just followed your link and read your wonderful wife's experience of the V7R!

    Tell her thank you & I must say you are the lucky one to have a girl who "get's it" when it comes to two wheels.

    I was scratching my head at the wall paper you have on your site, it was so familiar & then it I got it: Worlds Fastest Indian.