As I have said, I bought my V7Sport in 1978. This was in Ipswich where I grew up. At the time, I had actually only ever seen a Moto Guzzi once before. That had been a V7Sport in Revetts bike dealers in Norwich Road and I had been very impressed. I found out what I could about Guzzis in magazines and, although they seemed very expensive, decided I would have to try one. Up till then, like most of my friends, I had been riding Japanese 2-strokes. I’d had a Yamaha RD250 and owned an RD400 at the time.
I saw the bike advertised in the “Evening Star”, the local paper, and it seemed like too good an opportunity to miss. I went to view the bike and the owner took me for a ride as pillion out toward Tattingstone. I shouted over his shoulder something like “how fast can it go?”, “120” he said and proceeded to prove the point. He then let me have a go on my own. So I set off leaving him at the side of the road. The bike felt very different to what I had been used to but I loved the way it went. In the end I needed to stop to turn round and nearly crashed the thing! In all the excitement I’d forgotten his warning that the brakes and gears were on the “wrong sides” and shot through an open gate! I didn’t tell the seller. I was too busy preparing myself for the pillion ride back to town. I’m not keen on riding pillion and Glenn, who was selling the bike, was very um, enthusiastic.
I didn’t buy the bike that day. I told the seller that it was too much for me. I was also mindful that I had been told by my parents not to come home with any bigger bikes. However, after a couple of days I had borrowed the necessary funds from the bank and went back to see the bike again and buy it. The owner said “I knew you’d be back” as I handed him the £750. There was trouble when I got home!
Sadly, I don’t have any photos of the bike as it was then. I’m not sure I even owned a camera. The bike was the lime green colour most sports were and had a blackframe. It had the later style seat as fitted to the 750S and S3 models plus a very noisy two-into-one exhaust system. Although it had crash bars fitted there were signs on the rocker covers that it had been dropped. It had been UK registered in March 1976 as NNH694P (it no longer wears that number) and it seems that Glenn, who I got it from, bought it 2 days later. I have the import documents which show the bike as having been privately imported by someone at RAF Wattisham.
This is the earliest photo I have, probably taken in late ’78 or early ’79 and, although poor quality shows the bike missing its tool boxes after getting a coat of metalflake red paint on the tank.