Homologation Special: 1974 Laverda 750 SFC
So I generally hate branding on t-shirts: I’m not a big fan of paying for the privilege of advertising someone’s company. But I make an exception for vintage car and bike logo shirts, especially when they’re defunct manufacturers. My Laverda shirt starts conversations seemingly every time I wear it: random folks just walk up and ask me about it. Once, I was having lunch with my mother at a nice outdoor restaurant. The owner was making the rounds, stopping by to make sure everyone was enjoying themselves. When he got to our table, his face lit up, “Ah! My brother and I imported Laverdas back in the 70’s!”
He sat down and talked bikes for a good twenty minutes, which left my mom completely dumbfounded. “Does this kind of thing happen to you a lot?” Yes, yes it does: unlike Triumph or Ducati branded gear, which can be seen on both riders and non-riders from here to the moon, a Laverda shirt apparently says, “Yes, this person has good taste in motorcycles.”
Now this particular Laverda is especially special, a true race bike for the road from an era when such things actually existed. You could literally take your SFC to a race track, pull off the lights and indicators, and expect to be competitive. It was an homologation special stuffed full of race-spec internals and produced in just enough numbers to make those parts eligible for racing. Developed from Laverda’s famously durable 750 parallel twin, it made between 70-80hp, depending on the year. Only 549 were ever produced, although replicas based on the lower-spec SF are fairly common.
From the original eBay listing: 1974 Laverda SFC for Sale
Up for auction is a genuine 1974 Laverda SFC. This is not a replica, but rather a well-restored genuine article, made to ride rather than show. It is listed on the Marnix SFC registery. The frame was re-galvanized rather than powder coated. The fiberglass tank has been professionally treated with an aircraft tank coating to deal with ethanol in modern fuels. The point ignition has been replaced with with a Sachse electronic ignition. A extended clutch activator arm has been installed. The engine and frame numbers match (17188). The bike has the original PHB dual carbs, and retains the original Borrani rims and magnesium hubs, re-laced with stainless spokes. The original Ceriani front fork has been rebuilt, as have the rear original Ceriani shocks. The original fairing mirror electronic ignition and bellmouths are included. See photos of original 2 owner’s titles and SFC stamp on engine block
While the SFC might technically be legal for road use, it’s not exactly happy there. It’s barely tamed, raucous and loud, with heavy controls and a stiff suspension, a burly, chest-thumping motorcycle. But snarling around on something this exciting and gloriously orange would be worth the pain you’d feel the next day…
Many of these I’ve seen for sale come with the road equipment in a box, but with over 6,000 miles on the clock, this one’s seen some use and appears to have been set up to see more: that “extended clutch activator arm” the seller mentions is a popular way to avoid having your left hand fall off. That makes me smile: as rare and cool as these are, they were meant to be ridden on street or track.
With four days left on the auction and the Reserve Not Met at $40,000 this is well below what I’ve seen these sell for in the past. My only quibble is the somewhat bland original instruments. Put those things carefully in a box, fab up a simple dash to house a white Veglia tach, and go!