1980 Laverda Jota Series 1 for Sale
The Laverda Jota is arguably the most desirable and collectable road-going Laverda ever made. It’s certainly a better streetbike than the SFC, which is really a racing machine that came with some lights you could stick on if you felt like shaking your fillings loose. At the time of its creation, the Jota was the fastest production bike available, a hairy-chested 140mph hot-rod with high-compression pistons, wild cams, and silencers so antisocial they could more accurately have been called “loudeners.”
Named after the “jota”, a Spanish dance in triple time, the 981cc triple made a hellacious racket. This clip is not the bike being offered, but you really should hear one:
Based out of Breganze, Italy, the Laverda family started out making agricultural machinery, and this tradition of durable, overbuilt engineering found its way into their motorcycle design. Laverda began producing motorcycles in the early 50’s and became famous for their reliable, small-displacement race bikes that competed successfully against more established competition from Ducati, Moto Guzzi, and the like.
The Laverda 3C was the three cylinder successor to the famous 750 SF twins. Introduced in 1973, the bike displaced 981cc’s, made about 80hp and ran to 130mph. The original bikes used a 180 degree crank, with pistons oriented “one up, two down”. This was great for performance, but these motors were almost as famous for their vibration as they were for the power they made. In 1982, the motor was given a 120 degree crank and the bike had a much smoother character as a result, but lost some of its hard edge.
The Jota was basically a hot-rod version of the 3C developed in by Slater Laverda in England and introduced in 1976. It was very fast and very orange, but it ran poorly under 3000rpm and didn’t really start to sing until 4000rpm.
Reviews then and now reference the bike’s heavy controls and handling, describing the bike as a brutal machine, requiring real physical effort to muscle the Jota through corners.
It was loud, heavy, and demanding so obviously it was at the top of every youth’s dream bike list, and this has kept prices very high as riders who couldn’t afford them new now look to purchase them. This bike is available for sale in the UK, but the seller is willing to ship the bike overseas if the interest is there, and genuine Jotas are nearly impossible to find outside Great Britain.
The original ad can be found here: 1980 Laverda Jota for Sale
The text of the ad contains extensive details of the bike’s history and it appears to have been serviced regularly at Slater Laverda, the shop originally responsible for the Jota’s creation. It’s been lovingly maintained and thoughtfully modified:
It had only covered about 11,000 miles when I bought it and to date that has only increased to around 17,650 miles. During my ownership I have made some changes to it to make it more useable. These include conversion to a hydraulic clutch to take the edge of the heavy cable operated one. As I recall I got the last new clutch slave cylinder panel from Motalia for the princely sum of £185. By the time I had sourced a master cylinder and handlebar lever the conversion ended up close to £500 but it was well worthwhile. It also has a period genuine Laverda rack on it in place of the grab rail which is very useful indeed! There is a genuine Thomaselli quick throttle twist grip with matching nearside grip also fitted
Interesting note, if you’re looking at the tach in the photo and reading my notes about powerband: the tach is the same one fitted to the twins, and you’d obviously be deep into the red band if you’re taking advantage of the power available: the stock 3C had its power peak at 7500 rpm, the tail end of the indicated red zone, and the Jota made 90hp at 8000!
Also note the famous adjustable bars.
If it’s not clear from my enthusiasm: the Laverda triples are on my short-list of lust-object classic bikes. This one is outside my reach financially and geographically, but I can dream.