Many of the bikes I post up here on the site are ones I admire, or recognize as being beautiful, or significant, or well-built, or just interesting. Some represent the bikes I’d actually like to have in my own garage. Even fewer are ones I actually intend to own.
This Laverda 3C is one of those.
I may have written ad nauseam about Laverda’s three-cylinder motorcycles, but they do seem to be cropping up pretty often lately. I just hope that when the time comes that I have both the cash and the space to buy one of these. Laverda just encapsulates so much of what I love about motorcycles and design: they’re fast, sexy, loud, brash, sophisticated, and very rare. This one even has clear green fuel lines!
And it isn’t just me: my battered black Laverda t-shirt has started more random conversations than any other piece of moto-gear I’ve ever owned, like the restaurant owner excited to share the story of how he and his brother were Laverda importers in the 1970’s. Random people have stopped me in the grocery store, in IKEA, on the street, just to ask me about it. It seems like just about every time I leave the house wearing it, I come home with a new story.
But as much as I love bikes like the SFC, I can’t really see myself owning one. Even if I could afford one, I’m not likely to have one just to display it and they’re historically significant enough that I’d feel really guilty about wrecking one on track. And the SF’s are really classy, but parallel-twins are sort of everywhere, and they’re so workmanlike. Triples are just more inherently exotic, I think. A little bit ragged, a little bit uneven.
From the original eBay listing: 1975 Laverda 3C for Sale
Very correct and original: recently completed restoration by long-time Laverda enthusiast. Matching numbers: 1000*2713.
Odometer shows just over 8500 miles – probably not correct, but whole machine has been fully rebuilt as outlined below, so the actual mileage is pretty much academic.
Less than 100 miles on rebuilt motor. Stripped down to cases and carefully inspected: everything was in very good condition and nothing seriously required replacement, but cylinders were deglazed, and new ‘Jota’ pistons were fitted. New stock A12 cams were installed as well as a new cam chain, new valves and valve guides. Witt ignition and higher-output alternator coils were also installed.
The slightly higher compression together with original cam timing and more progressive ignition timing provided by the Witt ignition make for a very sporty but also very streetable combination —altogether a marked improvement in both rideability and reliability over the original set-up with Bosch ignition.
Anything else on the bike that wasn’t 100% was replaced and/or upgraded.
All replacement parts came from Wolfgang Haerter (except tires and horns). Thanks again, Wolfgang!
New and/or updated items include:
New Brembo calipers, brake pads, with braided stainless steel brake lines.
New Bridgestone Battlax tires front and rear (Wolfgang’s recommendation).
All new stainless spokes, front and rear – original Borrani rims fully cleaned up and polished.
New wheel bearings all round.
Telefix front fork brace.
New headers – German repro – better chrome than the originals.
New 180 mm headlight rim.
New switchgear and upgraded wiring with Bosch relays for lights, horns,
New CEV tailight and turn signals all round.
Fiamm twin-tone horns – very loud!
Frame was fully stripped and powder coated.
Tank and side covers professionally repainted in Laverda orange.
New single seat. Original dual seat (fully reconditioned) is also included.
This looks like a very nicely turned out bike. I’m not slavishly devoted to originality, although I certainly respect that school of thought. Honestly, the whole “resto-mod” philosophy suits me best: old vehicles with thoughtful, tasteful improvements to style, performance, reliability, and handling that still maintain the feel of the originals. While Laverda was famous for having reliable electrical components, a lot has changed since the 1970’s and the updated ignition components included in this build should seriously improve rideability.
It’s also confidence-inspiring to see the Aston Martin in the background: it suggests that the seller is familiar with taking care of exotic machinery!
The modern day equivalent to this bike would be something like Triumph’s Speed Triple, a bike with a big, meaty motor, stable handling, and simple good looks. A rugged, do-it-all sporting machine in brilliant tangerine paint.