Exploring the Unknown

Exploring the Unknown
Representing the 99%!

Monday, June 26, 2017

A Review of My Purchased Accessories For Bella - My Moto Guzzi V7 Racer!

A Jaunt With Bella: Testing Her NRP Exhaust With DB Killers!

It's been just over a year since I welcomed Bella into my life. Within the first two hours of ownership I had stripped many of the stock parts off of her and replaced them with aftermarket goodies that I had been collecting over the winter. Though not all potential accessories for my Moto Guzzi V7 Racer made it on the bike. It's part of the fun of owning a bike, any bike, don't you think? 😜 Whilst it is true, you can customize any vehicle to make it your own, there is just something rather special about customizing a motorcycle. Whether you are trying to gain more horsepower or you're simply looking to add a gremlin bell, the motorcycle itself is an extension of your personality. Having only recently completed my 6000 kilometer (3728 Mile) review, I celebrated my ownership of Bella with an array of new (to me) accessories courtesy of a lovely lad from the United Kingdom. The purpose of this post is to go over all of the accessories that I have purchased over the last year and give a brief overview of each accessory and whether the purchase was worth it or not. It may (or may not) help you in making your decision about how to accessorise your very own Moto Guzzi V7 Racer.


"Strive for continuous improvement, instead of perfection!"
- Kim Collins
An accessory can either add to or detract from the enjoyment of your machine. Not every purchase was a winner whilst others just make owning the V7 all that much better. Others still were never used because of fitment issues or because I simply changed my mind. Thus, whilst I am always on the look out for goodies for Bella, I have learned to temper my purchases. If you see something you like below, simply click on the link associated with the product for pricing and shipping information. Without further ado and in no particular order here are the items that I have picked up over the course of the last year or so.

Headlight Guard


Eye Catching, Don'tcha Think? 😉
AF1 Racing sells this nifty Mistral Headlight Guard For Moto Guzzi V7's. Believe it or not, it's actually protected my headlight from a suicidal stone or two over the last year. The backroads here in the Eastern Townships are riddled with dirt roads and trucks. Trucks in particular can't help themselves and regularly fling stones at Bella and I. Easy to install and stainless steel to boot, once on, you can enjoy this functional and stylish headlight guard whilst taking comfort in knowing your headlight is safe from stones. Final Verdict: Not only practical but it looks good too! Worth Every Penny! 😉

Moto Guzzi V7 Classic Seat


Moto Guzzi V7 Classic Seat!
I purchased this seat last year so that I could take my wife and son on short rides. It's an OEM seat that comes as standard with the Moto Guzzi V7 Classic. I purchased it from Haywards Girton Garage Ltd on eBay. Like any stock seat, expect monkey butt after a while. I had just spent a small fortune on a Corbin Seat (see below) and didn't want to fork out another large amount on the Moto Guzzi Gel Seat (see below). It does the job just fine for about an hour or so but after a while the discomfort levels start to kick in. Final Verdict: Great for quick jaunts in and around the twisties with a loved one. But prolonged usage may result in monkey butt.  Save your money and buy the Moto Guzzi Gel Seat instead. 😜

Corbin Gunfighter Saddle


Comfy But Low
Corbin Seats do make a good seat but their customer service out of California leaves something to be desired. Though this was technically the second time that I purchased a Corbin seat, it was in fact the third time that I had been in touch with them. The first time was when I was living in Ireland and wanted to buy a saddle but Corbin flat out refused to sell me one. 😕 At the time they claimed that they didn't take international credit cards, bank wire transfers or PayPal. They also refused to accept cash from someone on my behalf or mail me the seat in Ireland or to a family member in Canada. Suffice it to say I was far from impressed and normally that would be enough to turn me off ever trying to buy one again. However, I read enough good things about the quality of their seats that upon my return to Canada in 2010 I tried to purchase one again. I bought a Corbin Dual Saddle for my then Suzuki Intruder 1400 (aka Serenity). Ironically, they accepted a Canadian credit card which technically, was an international credit card. I digress. That particular seat convinced me that it would be worth purchasing yet another Corbin seat, this time, for Bella. However, not unlike the time in Ireland, I found the customer service representative in California to be somewhat impatient and rude with me. In the end, I went through Dynamic Cycle Parts, specifically, through a lovely Canadian fella named Chris who set me up with the seat you see in the picture above. 😋

Can you Spot The Blemish?
The bottom of the Corbin Seat rubs against the top of the rear fender!
The Corbin Seat Scuffed The Plastic Tip Seen Above!
(Top Fender Under Seat) 


Unfortunately, unlike the Corbin Dual Saddle that I owned with Serenity, Corbin's Cafe Racer Saddle has damaged Bella, albeit superficially. As you can see by the pictures above, the bottom of the Corbin seat (pan) scratched/scuffed the very top of the plastic fender that is located under the seat. Whilst not a big deal, it's still annoying. I am very particular about my Bella and know every nook and cranny. So I was less than pleased when I saw this. Regardless, however, the seat is very comfortable, though not as comfortable as the dual saddle was on Serenity! It's a catch twenty two really. On the one hand, the lowered seat is great for shorter riders but at 6 (182.88 cm) feet tall, it just barely fits me comfortably (i.e. my knees). The Corbin seat does make your sitting position more upright though which is good if you're not inclined towards clip-ons. Finally, when I received the seat there was a small blemish on the rear hump of the seat and most recently, I noticed that the leather on the rear hump (again) has a vein like feel on the right side. Both are not really that noticeable unless you know where to look. In the end, I can't help but feel that Corbin sacrificed comfort for style with this seat. Don't get me wrong, its very comfortable and I have put 5800 (3603 Miles) on the seat since purchasing it. The break in period was ok too. But I don't really understand why Corbin had to lower the seat. They could have kept it at the same height as the OEM seat which would have added extra padding. Final Verdict: Corbin should really thank Chris from Dynamic Cycle Parts. His professionalism and excellent customer service is why I ended up buying the seat at the end of the day. Corbin seats are good but be aware that not all Corbin seats are equal and that their customer service isn't consistently professional.

Moto Guzzi V7 Gel Seat


V7 Gel Seat Recovered By Down & Out Cafe Racers!
The Rear Cowl Will Fit The Gel Seat
But There Will Be A Gap Between the Top of The Cowl and the Seat.
This was the seat that I was contemplating over the Corbin Seat last year. The Moto Guzzi Gel Seat is a direct from factory accessory and is sold (usually) with rear footpegs and grab rails. I didn't want the grab rails and as for the foot pegs, I plan on selling them. 😉 The lovely British fellow that I purchased this seat off of had it recovered by Down & Out Cafe Racers in a dark brown, rich, creamy leather (cue Barry White... 😜 ). I even managed to install the V7 Racer rear fairing onto the seat, albeit it's a tight fit and leaves a gap between the seat and the top of the fairing. Whilst I don't plan on keeping the rear fairing on permanently, it's nice to know I can throw it on if I want too. As for the comfort level of the seat? It's a like a LA-Z Boy in comparison to any other seat I own for this bike, including the Corbin Seat. Whether that is a good thing or not has yet to be seen. However, so far I am delighted with it and have already put on quite a bit of comfortable miles with it installed. Final Verdict: The seat is a good purchase but unfortunately, if you want it to look as good as the one above you're going to have to have it recovered for an additional cost. Alternatively, you can get lucky and find a gently used one with all the fixings like I did or sell the footpegs and grab rails to offset the cost of having it recovered. 😊

The Original Alicante Suede V7 Racer Seat!
Nota Bene: In case you're wondering, no, I don't have a fetish for seats. The Moto Guzzi V7 Racer comes with a Alicante Suede seat! As an all weather biker I thought it best not to ruin it by using it in the rain. Instead, I keep it on display in my office. Also, being an OEM seat, comfort levels are similar to their less luxurious counterparts like the Moto Guzzi Classic Seat (see above). As it stands, I don't think I have ever owned so many seats for one motorcycle before and some will be going up for sale eventually! 😊

V7 Racer Passenger Pegs


Stylish and Keeping With the Racer's Aesthetics!
I purchased a set of Limited Production Custom-Machined GT-Rx® V7 Racer Passenger Pegs from GuzziTech. They are not only stylish but keep in touch with the essence of the Racer's overall aesthetics. Whilst some people may not like the fact that they do not fold backwards, it's never bothered me. On the contrary, I use them as tie downs when travelling with my Kriega Drypack. Both my wife and son have ridden with me and say that they do not feel any vibrations or discomfort. But don't take my word for it, my wife wrote a review about riding pillion! Installation is straightforward (use blue locktite) and in the end you have a matching pair of footpegs (well, almost). Todd at GuzziTech is also a gem to deal with! Final Verdict: For $99.00 USD and great customer service it's a no brainer!


Engine Guards


Sexy and Practical! 
I came across 70 Tre's cylinder head crash bars made ​​of steel and instantly fell in love. They bolt right into the jugs. They are stylish yet practical and do not detract from Moto Guzzi's Transverse V-Twin. They offer protection should the bike ever be dropped or worse. Unfortunately 70 Tre doesn't seem to be taking orders at present as I would have otherwise ordered their Tank Rack for the Moto Guzzi as well. There isn't much to say about these as thankfully I have not been in an accident. Suffice it to say I hope I never have to test these out but if I do, I am confident that these will hold up. However, with 70 Tre's possible demise it'll break my heart to lose them! Final Verdict: Worth every penny but you're plum out of luck! They don't even respond to emails and you can't make direct purchases anymore! 😞

Corsa Italiana Bar End Mirrors


Bar End Mirrors - Stylish But Sadly, Not So Functional! 😔
Given the importance of rear view mirrors, let alone the legalities of having to have them installed, one would think that manufacturers would provide a stylish and functional product that would essentially not require replacing. The stock mirrors on my Guzzi, like every other marque that I have owned with stock mirrors, were barely functional at best. Don't get me wrong, I can easily use them for blind spots, but for actually using them for what's behind you, they're pointless. So I purchased these lovely set of bar end mirrors from Corsa Italiana. These are probably the one purchase that both made Bella look the job but at the same time proved to be a headache from the very first day I installed them. I'll make a long story short by stating that the mirrors themselves are, unfortunately, shite! 😒

The screws came undone!
I nearly lost this one on my way home from a ride!
Within the first few hundred kilometers/miles one of the mirrors had a fatal flaw. The screws holding one of the mirror to their mount came loose. Whilst I may not have been impressed with the mirrors, the same cannot be said for Corsa Italiana as a company. Simon, at Corsa Italiana was very helpful and professional. He went so far as to send me an entire new set at no cost and without asking me to return the old set, which frankly surprised me. Unfortunately, the new set of mirrors were not brilliant either. This time, however, the ball/bearing connected to the bar end mount was defective so I have spent the last year adjusting my left mirror in particular as anything, from a breeze to a pothole would unintentionally move the mirror out of place. This happened with more than one mirror (remember, I have two sets now). I have no doubt that I could have contacted Simon again and that he would have undoubtedly refunded me or given me store credit but I just didn't have the heart to disappoint him by telling him that there was still an issue with the mirrors. Final Verdict: Despite the disappointment with this particular set of mirrors, Simon was very professional and their customer service was amazing. Sadly, I could not recommend these mirrors. What is even more heartbreaking is that, like 70 Tre, Corsa Italiana doesn't seem to be taking orders anymore and may be in liquidation. Otherwise I would have done business with Corsa Italiana again!  ðŸ˜”

Mirrors & Levers


Pic © Andrew Melia
Pic © Andrew Melia
These two items came from the lovely British chap I mentioned above. The mirrors replaced the bar end mirrors from Corsa Italiana whilst the levers replaced the stock levers from Moto Guzzi. The only thing I kept from Corsa Italiana was the bar ends themselves as they are stainless steel and I may find a use for them with future mirrors. As for the above mirrors from Mr. Melia of the United Kingdom, They certainly are sturdier and better quality than the set from Corsa Italiana. However, they inevitably provide the same problem I have with the stock mirrors from Moto Guzzi. I use them presently for blind spots as my elbows are in the way from my being able to see anything behind me. The levers are the real treat here. They are adjustable and work very well. Given how cheap they are on eBay, it begs the question why Moto Guzzi didn't just fit their bikes with them or something similar in the first place. Final Verdict: I couldn't tell you the brand name of the mirrors, only that they are sturdy and well made and low compared to the OEM that the bike comes with. Also, they fit right in without any fuss and have a lovely blue tint to them to help prevent blinding from the sun from behind (or so I assume). The levers are M2S (or something like that) and are really the perfect accent for the V7 Racer. They complement her aesthetics perfectly whilst providing a more aggressive stance. A cheap and fun way to make your V7 stand out from the rest of the crowd, n'est pas?! 😎

Engine Sump Guard Protection


Stylish But Is It Functional? 😏
Pic © BAAK Motorcycles
I bought this engine sump guard protection for Bella from BAAK Motorcycles. It's actually a well made piece that should offer some protection, though, how much I couldn't tell you. It certainly doesn't look like it would hold up to the kind of mischief that Jenny Morgan and Piglet get up too. But it sure is pretty. BAAK has a way of making gum on the bottom of your shoe look sexy. Inevitably, BAAK Motorcycles was really one of the only companies that made anything like this for the Moto Guzzi V7. Remember, the Stornello hadn't been released yet either so there wasn't a large demand for this kind of stuff. I jumped on this without much thought. It wasn't until I went to install this little gem that I came across a problem.

See That Little Canister next to the Kick Stand?
Yea, that little fucker is the problem! 😈
In my effort to create the world's most aesthetically pleasing touring machine I didn't do my homework. It never occurred to me that the North American V7's have a round canister next to the sump. I had the BAAK engine/sump guard protector all but installed until I realized that the brackets were impeded by this devilish contraption designed for North America's stricter emission laws. I feel like blaming California for this one but can't be certain. 😒 The brackets aren't long enough now. It's an easy fix, and I may try to fix the issue this summer. Only, last summer, I couldn't have been bothered. I had just gotten Bella and it was all that I could do not to eat, sleep and live on the bike. In any case, I will let you know how it works out. Some have suggested that I simply remove the canister in the past but I am still under warranty for another year. So yeah... *sigh. Final Verdict: Though BAAK Motorcycles is doing very well and making some pretty good looking shit worthy of a wet dream, they decided to discontinue this particular piece! I may be tempted to part with it for the right price. Mine is brand new and never used. Though, it's a hard call, I do love it and planned on installing it this summer by extending the brackets. Anyways, time will tell. 😉

NRP Exhaust of Lincoln



Moto Guzzi V7 Racer - NRP Exhaust of Lincoln, United Kingdom
WITHOUT DB KILLERS
Video © Andrew Melia

If you enjoyed A Jaunt With Bella: Testing Her NRP Exhaust With DB Killers! (see video at the beginning of this post) than you will love them WITHOUT the DB Killers! Andrew was rather sly in sending me a short clip of his very own V7 Racer with these exhausts on without the db killers. Truthfully, I had absolutely no intention of buying a set of pipes for Bella, new or used. In Quebec, the constabulary stop motorcyclists regularly to test their pipes with a decibel meter. If you are over the legal limit, they fine you on the spot for the princely sum of in and around $342.00. But then, the Stornello came out and I saw that it came standard with an Arrow Exhaust system. So it got me thinking about buying a set for Bella. Only, Rock Moto Sport quoted me a price of $2500.00 for a set, including all the fixings (but not the taxes - Oy Vay! 😖 ). So I gave up on the idea until I came across Andrew's NRP Exhaust set for sale. It gives Bella a proper, healthy rumble. Having the DB Killers IN prevent the Quebec PoPo from getting on my case whilst also giving me just enough to listen too when out for a ride on the twisties! There are deals out there folks, you just have to look hard enough! Final Verdict: Worth Every Penny! NRP Exhaust of Lincoln will make any exhaust to whatever design you want, specialising in classic race bikes! Andrew also had the foresight to add a Yorkshire Rose (White Rose of York) to the exhausts. He says that they were actually made for the headstock of a local pedal bike manufacturer! They add a certain je ne sais quoi, don't you think? 😍

Barracuda Number Plate Kit


I know what you're thinking, my bike isn't Ratted!
But I love redheads so I decided people could mind their fucking business. 😜
I purchased the Number Plate Kit from Barracuda. I bought these because I removed the rear V7 Racer cowling with the Alicante seat in favor of the Corbin seat but wanted to keep that style, even if in spirit. It wasn't until this past Saturday that I actually removed them, if only because I know a guy in Italy making me a special rear rack. Otherwise, I would have kept them on and may actually try to fit them again or use them on Bambi. The build quality (i.e. bracket, etc...) has held up perfectly over the last 6000 kilometers (3278 miles) and honestly, they are cheap enough that there isn't much to complain about either way. If I reinstall them I'll be painting them black. They did come with white stickers but alas, I wasn't feeling the white to be honest. Whilst not a necessity, it adds a bit of neoteny to an already fun and exciting motorcycle. They are also perfect for advertising in case you own a motorcycle related shop! You can get a lovely vinyl sticker made up and placed around it or in the centre of it. Something I may do in a year or so when I try to get my own part time business off the ground in earnest. Final Verdict: Do you need it? No. But it's a fun piece of kit for when you want to set yourself apart from the rest! ðŸ˜œ

David Morales Ruiz Front Fairing


Mito Guzzi V7 and Griso Parts
Pic © David Morales Ruiz
David Morales Ruiz is a master fabricator of all things Guzzi. Situated out of Europe, Mito Guzzi V7 and Griso Parts designed and fabricated this very attractive Moto Guzzi V7 Aluminum Front Fairing and brackets and painted it matt black. I had every intention of replacing the stock V7 Racer Fairing when I purchased the bike, if only to preserve it for posterity's sake. However, when I finally collected Bella last spring, I just loved the V7 Racer fairing as it was. So this piece from David, though beautifully made, has sat collecting dust over the past year! It's actually rather criminal of me not to use it, it is that nice. As it sits on the bike, it's much closer to the clocks and gives the bike a more aggressive stance. Perfect for anyone who owns a Moto Guzzi Stone or Classic or maybe for the discerning V7 Racer wanting to change things up a bit. Final Verdict: Excellent service and quality! I wouldn't hesitate to buy something from David in the future. He is a stand up fellow who makes beautiful work of art for your Moto Guzzi! I don't want to sell this fairing but at the same time, I doubt I will ever use it. So if you're interested, let me know. 😉

Sitting Pretty - Bella Has It All! 😎
Though I have purchased other little bits and bobs from GuzziTech, AF1 Racing and Andrew himself, I have yet to install them. So long as Bella is under warranty I won't be playing around with her mapping either, at least, not until the warranty expires officially next year. Thus, if you're disappointed with the list of accessories above, by all means share with all of us what you have or wish to purchase, including any performance upgrades. I am always looking for suggestions and ideas on how to get the most out of my Moto Guzzi V7 Racer - though, not at the expense of losing Bella's character. Whilst I also plan on doing a complete review of my riding gear in future, I can't deny that there is something so much more satisfying about purchasing accessories for Bella. Whilst I understand that she is just a mechanical machine void of any real feelings and or thoughts, sometimes I can't help but wonder if there isn't in fact something going on inside of her. That uncanny sensation that seems to take place when installing a new accessory and sensing a difference, however improbable, when taking her out afterwards and feeling something more; something contented deep within her cylinders. Perhaps I am overly anthropomorphising Bella or maybe, just maybe, Bella is letting me know that she appreciates everything that I do for her? Whatever the case may be the one certainty that should always be prevalent is that bikers should do right by their bikes and show them the due respect that they deserve. After all, if you do right by your bike she (or he) will do right by you! What more could a biker ask for?

About This Review


This review was completed by yours truly without compensation. Nor was I approached by any of the aforementioned merchants to write said review. Furthermore, I have made no money from writing this review. I simply have a genuine love affair with my Moto Guzzi V7 Racer and think spoiling her makes for a perfect way to spend my time (especially during the winter months). If you have any questions and or comments, feel free to leave them below.

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8 comments:

  1. Nice bike Mario, we should do a ride this season.

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  2. Make a new one, the background music muffles the *real music*

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  3. I had the same issues with my bar end mirrors from Corsa. As you said, very helpful, they sent me a brand new set. But alas the same happened again Contacted them again and they never got back to me. I guess it was when they were up against it.

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  4. Great read. I do like that Front Fairing!

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  5. Thanks for the awesome write-ups. I'm in the process of making my racer my own..

    ReplyDelete