1984 Laverda RGA1000 Sprint for Sale

1984 Laverda RGA L Front

As you may have gathered from previous posts, Laverda is at the top of my list of companies I’d like to see resurrected, although I’m not sure where they’d fit into the current motorcycle market. The Laverda family started out making agricultural machinery, and their first foray into motorcycles seemed more like a hobby than a serious business endeavor. But the bike that resulted showed promise and reflected the quality and durability you’d expect from a company that made farming equipment. In the 1950’s, they made their name racing in the smaller-displacement classes and did surprisingly well.

1984 Laverda RGA L Rear

They eventually moved into deeper waters with their rugged 750 twin and howling 1000 triple, wisely choosing the very best outside components to suspend and wire their machines: Ceriani suspension, Bosch ignition components, and a Japanese Nippon-Denso starter were all chosen for their quality and reliability. As a result, Laverdas gained fame for their longevity and competed successfully in endurance racing.

1984 Laverda RGA Dash

Introduced in 1973, Laverda’s three-cylinder displaced 981cc’s, made about 80hp and a spine-tingling noise.  The first bikes used a 180 degree crank, with pistons oriented “one up, two down”, which was great for performance, but not so good for retaining blood-flow to the extremities: vibration was a bit of an issue.  In 1982, the motor was given a revised, 120-degree crank, which smoothed out the bike’s character but also made it a bit too “civilized” in the eyes of die-hard fans.

1984 Laverda RGA R Front

By the 1980’s, Laverda could no longer compete against the Japanese in terms of outright performance, so they recast their sportbikes in a more tour-y vein with the RGS sport-touring model that featured a full-fairing and integrated luggage. The RGA was a slightly downmarket machine, with a simplified “bikini” fairing and reduced bodywork

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Laverda RGA Sprint for sale

Here we have a 1984 Laverda RGA w/Sprint fairing. Bike has 12k plus miles and runs strong with no weird noises or any smoke. Has new Michelin tires front and back and a new battery.  The fairing is very rare and worth around $1000.  The bike fell over on the right side while I was taking pictures and the only damage was to the right front turn signal housing plus my ego. Buyer arranges shipping.

1984 Laverda RGA Rider View

While not perhaps the most classic Laverda design, this RGA is certainly unusual and very striking. And really, pretty much all Laverdas are collectable at this point. They were always well-built machines, with good components, solid handling, and rarity. In their waning years, they focused on this type of quality, hairy-chested gentleman’s express machine designed to appeal to cognoscenti, since they simply were no longer able to compete with lighter, cheaper, often quicker hardware flooding in from Japan. But they had plenty of character, stable handling, and a dead-hard reputation for building serious sports machines.

This particular example has been modified with a Sprint fairing, and the result is very flattering, as the original had a bit of a cobbled-together look that wasn’t entirely successful. It has a great dual-headlamp style that has a better retro feel than the later, single square lamp in the RGS. While I definitely prefer the earlier naked bikes, this is a very cool machine you could use to chew up a whole lot of miles in style.

-tad

1984 Laverda RGA R Side

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1 Response

  1. Jeff says:

    Hey, maybe it’s just me, but I think the speedo reads in kilometers, not miles.
    Therefore, wouldn’t the actual mileage be something less than that claimed?
    Just sayin’ . . .