In the very early hours, driving in a city you know well becomes rather more fun than usual.

The light is special. There’s less traffic.

“When the sky is clear, the sun is shining, the crisp air adds a few BHP to the loins of your steed.”

And the cops are mostly inside grabbing that early-morning coffee and donut.

An early morning in New York City in fall wouldn’t be my first choice to test a motorcycle.

But on the odd day when the sky is clear, the sun is shining and the crisp air adds a few BHP to the loins of your steed, it’s not a bad thing at all. In fact, it’s pretty great.

Guzzi Racing

Especially if you’re astride a shiny chrome Moto Guzzi V7 Racer.

“It’s still a bike you can’t leave on a street corner without people stopping to peruse, ponder and photograph.”

I took a similar machine out last summer, and it was just as I remembered: 50 BHP of retro-chic all put together with tender loving care, care that’s clear in the perfectly machined parts and details.

It’s still a bike you can’t leave on a street corner without people stopping to peruse, ponder and photograph.

People let you out in traffic. Limousines make room for you to wriggle through.

It generally adds a little VIP hustle to your progress.

Guzzi Racing

Ultimately, the Guzzi’s not for racing around against the latest sports machinery, nor is it as agile as a Vespa around town.

But for gliding around before sitting to sip an espresso while pondering life, the universe and an early Manhattan morning, it’s a peach.

-D.Q.