Some Assembly Required: 1984 Laverda Triple Project Bike
I wouldn’t normally include someone’s unfinished project like this Laverda Jota RGA here on CSBFS: too many questions, too little information, usually not enough photos to even get a good idea what you’re getting. And what you’re getting is usually in pretty sad shape: boxes of rusty, seized parts, battered bodywork, and grungy, hacked-up wiring. Claims that the project is “85% complete,” with those missing 15% comprised of completely unobtainable bits…
Plus, you’re all coming here to drool over the coolest old bikes on the internet, and it’s sometimes hard to get excited by an unfinished project. It’s like looking at a countertop covered with flour, eggs, and blocks of baker’s chocolate, trying to get excited about the cake that could be made from those ingredients…
But when the ingredients are as nice as this, it’s hard not to imagine that the finished article would be spectacular, so use a bit of imagination and join me in fantasizing about what could be!
From the original eBay listing: 1984 Laverda Jota RGA Project for Sale
At auction is a 1984 Laverda Jota RGA, Orange,120 degree triple, project bike, disassembled into major components and sub-assemblies, in 15 boxes. Includes new Sprint full lower fairing, unpainted. I have owned this bike for about 10 years, bought fully assembled and in extremely original but tired condition. After acquiring, an orderly disassembly proceeded, frame was powdercoated, along with bracketry, handlebars, all aluminum (sideplates, Etc.) polished and boxed, many special stainless fittings and fasteners from Motalia included. Carbs disassembled and vapor cleaned, includes all new parts. Rebuild kits for Brembo brakes included, Speigler lines included. Tires are new Dunlop tt100’s and tubes mounted on newly powdercoated wheels. New stainless exhaust system included, fully polished. New Witt electronic ignition included. All new spares included with the bike, generally sourced from Wolfgang Haerter in Canada or Motalia in England. Everything has been stored in heated/ air-conditioned storage, no sunlight. All seat parts and upholstery are unmarked, no cuts or tears.
Laverda’s Jota was basically a hot-rod version of their 981cc 3CL. Powered by an overhead-cam triple, the bike was very fast right out of the box. But UK tuners at Slater Laverda saw that there was even more potential in the engine, and developed the Jota using high-compression pistons, wilder cams, and lots of very orange paint…
Jotas do vary in specification, depending on where they were sold, with US versions notable tamer than the original UK bikes. And after 1982, the triple featured a revised crankshaft that smoothed power but also tamed the beast slightly, making the earlier bikes more desirable. Although this is not the original, 180° “true” Jota, all the variations of Laverda’s three-cylinder motor are packed with character and performance.
The RGS that followed was an attempt to recast the big Laverda in a more civilized light and the RGA was a slightly less expensive version of the bike that featured a slightly awkward bikini fairing, instead of the fully-enclosed bodywork. I’d probably leave that bit off if this were my project… Although painted up, the included Sprint lower fairing could make for a very cool look as well: it features a classic, dual-round-headlight look that is much more stylish than the standard RGS square unit. When finished, it could look something like this bike we featured a while back: Laverda RGA Sprint for sale.
This basically looks complete, with all the hard work done. It’s a shame the seller never got the chance to complete this project, but this looks like a very good project for a handy individual to build a snorting Italian sport-touring motorcycle from the ground-up!