Tagged: 1977

Lost in Translation: 1977 Benelli Sei 750 for Sale

1977 Benelli Sei L Side

Everything sounds beautiful and exotic when spoken in French or Italian, especially if you don’t understand the language. I mean, couldn’t Bidet be a luxury water-fountain manufacturer? And don’t Quattroporte and Benelli Sei just roll off the tongue? What’s that you say? Quattroporte just means “four doors” and Sei is just Italian for “six”? Well that’s disappointing… So basically, today’s Benelli Sei 750 is the epitome of “truth in advertising”: a motorcycle from Benelli that displaces 750cc and has six cylinders.

It sounds way less sexy when you put it that way.

1977 Benelli Sei Engine

Of course, when you’ve just produced an exotic, inline-six motorcycle, giving it a fancy name probably isn’t necessary: the bike speaks for itself. And that’s exactly what Alejandro De Tomaso intended: when the bike was introduced, it was meant as a statement to the Japanese “big four” that the Italian brands could compete with them on every level. Not completely true, of course, but at least in terms of engineering extravagance it was accurate.

1977 Benelli Sei Tank

The early 750cc bikes were superseded by a 900cc version in 1978 that looked basically identical, only with more displacement. Styling is relatively conservative, although that fat engine sitting across the frame shouts the bike’s intentions loudly enough, with a wall of exhaust headers that helps create one of the most exotic noises in motorcycling. You might be tricked into thinking the cylinder count would give it a car-like exhaust note. The reality is a ripping noise that’s impossibly smooth and electric, head-turning in a way that the styling is not.

1977 Benelli Sei Clocks

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Benelli Sei 750 for Sale

A Six cylinder Italian work of art, one of the three or four of the best sounding motorcycles in the world and one of the most coveted collector motorcycles available today. This example has been with the same owner/mechanic since 1979.It was loved, taken care of, and ridden until 1995 when it was professionally and meticulously restored by him from the ground up,mechanically and visually,work including a complete engine overhaul with all new parts as well as a full restoration of chassis and all ancillaries. As noted in photos, the motorcycle will come with a complete new 6 into 6 exhaust system, as well as a new seat cover and stock turn indicators. Documentation and photos accompany it. The bike has since been ridden sparingly by the same owner from 1996 till 2016 and shows 16000 miles on the clock (800 miles a year),which was zeroed after the restoration in 1995. It still looks and drives like new and will be a great addition to any collectors or enthusiasts garage. These motorcycles have been climbing in value right through the last few years and show now signs of slowing down. They rarely come up for sale and are almost impossible to find with this kind of record and history since new. I purchased it only a short time ago with the intention of keeping it indefinitely in my collection but as life and timing inevitably goes,a one owner Vincent Black Shadow that I have been trying to buy for ten years has eventually been offered to me by its original owner and in order to buy it,I sadly have to sell the Benelli and two other motorcycles in my collection. This motorcycle is not and will never be for the bargain hunter or time waster out there so please don’t waste your time or mine. If I don’t get the price that it is worth or very close to it, I will just have to pick another one of my motorcycles to sell in its place. This is a genuine opportunity for an intelligent and savvy collector or afficionado who is looking to buy a Perfect Benelli 750 SEI,don’t miss it and hate your decision later,both financially and emotionally. Thank you for looking. Like a boss.

1977 Benelli Sei Side Detail

Yes, the seller actually included “like a boss” at the end of the listing.

Introduced in 1972, years before the similarly-spec’d Honda CBX, the Sei was never really produced in great numbers, although they do show up on eBay from time-to-time, often in slightly-abandoned condition, which is interesting because very nice CBXs show up for sale all the time. No big surprise though, since the Sei is a pretty expensive bike to maintain and source parts for. Many probably needed maintenance and were just left to rot when owners found out what service and parts were going to cost. I think they’re a bit like 80s Alfa Romeos used to be: interesting and exotic, but expensive, difficult to maintain, and not really worth all that much. They languished in obscurity for a long time, although prices seem to be on the rise now.

This particular example appears to be in very good shape both mechanically and cosmetically, although that cracked tachometer face would really annoy me, and the seller mentions a complete cosmetic and mechanical restoration. That’s very reassuring, although that Buy It Now price of $17,000 seems pretty ambitious, even for a bike this nice.

-tad

1977 Benelli Sei R Side

Mark One: 1977 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans for Sale

1977 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans L Side

Moto Guzzi’s follow up to their successful V7 Sport was this, the 850 Le Mans, often known these days as the “Mark I Le Mans.” It used a hot-rod version of their earlier longitudinally-mounted v-twin engine, with bigger, high-compression pistons, bigger valves, high performance carburetors, cast-aluminum wheels, and a more modern, very chunky look that would set the tone for Guzzis through the 1980s. The style is really hard to pin down to a particular era, with the jutting cylinders and minimal style looking like something very 60s or 70s while the angular bodywork has more of a 1980s style.

1977 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans L Side Front

The hot-rod engine put out 71hp at the rear wheel and made for a genuine 130mph, which wasn’t top-of-the-class but very competitive during the period. But unlike the equally fast but fiddly-to-maintain Ducati 900SS or the wobbly-handling and under-braked Kawasaki Z900, the Le Mans offered up Guzzi’s classic recipe of durable shaft-drive, stable handling, and midrange grunt. And Guzzi was forward-thinking in terms of safety as well: the Le Mans featured their simple but effective linked braking system that was used up until the 1990s. The front brake lever operated one front caliper, while the foot pedal used a proportioning valve to distribute power between the second front and the rear caliper. The Le Mans is definitely an acquired taste, with the noticeable shaft-drive effect, but is a very rewarding bike to own.

1977 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans for Sale

I have had the pleasure of owning this bike for the past 15 years.
Upgrades:
  • Lafranconi competizione mufflers
  • Koni rear shocks
  • Progressive front springs
  • Gaman seat
  • Torozzi rear sets
  • Harpers outsider kit with deep sump
  • Braided brake lines
  • gaskets, bushings and rubber
  • K&N filters
  • Frame up paint in 2003 – held up well
  • documentation of work done
This bike runs and looks great! It handles likes it on rails, brakes with the best of them and has tremendous acceleration and power. Time for someone new to enjoy this fine machine.

1977 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans L Side Engine

Bidding is up to $10,000 which, frankly, seems to be on the low side for these. I can remember when, just a few years ago, they were selling for about half that… Happily, the bike even features the European-style bikini fairing with the flush-mount headlamp. American units had an ugly, jutting unit that projected out beyond the curve of the fairing, looking more like a train headlight than something that belongs on a sleek sportbike. If you’ve never noticed how ugly the American version is, I apologize in advance: its’ one of things that, once seen, can never be unseen… This may not be the original part, however, since most I’ve seen feature a bright orange vertical “safety stripe” for improved visibility. Not sure how effective it is, but it does look cool. The stepped seat is also a non-standard item, which is no surprise since the closed-cell foam originals rarely survive.

-tad

1977 Moto Guzzi 850 LeMans R Side

 

Brains Versus Brawn: 1977 Moto Morini 3½ for Sale

1977 Moto Morini 350 L Side

Today’s Moto Morini 3½ offers up classic Italian style from a forgotten brand. Or they would be forgotten, if it’s possible to forget something you never knew in the first place, and I’d expect that very few Americans have any idea the brand ever existed. A relaunch was tried a few years back, with the usual range of sporty nakeds and adventure-touring bikes. But they were never available in the US and while those bikes were throbbing and dangerous, they didn’t offer up anything new to buyers, except a nameplate with dubious cachet. Those bikes also seemed to lack the traditional Morini virtues as well, as the brand typically stressed handling over brute power.

1977 Moto Morini 350 R Side Detail

Motorcycling history is filled with bikes specifically built for the American market. They were often powered by newer, larger versions of existing engines and these updated powerplants were apparently intended to help us conquer the wide-open spaces of the West. There’s a reason Harley has the big bike market cornered here, and it stems from the kind of riding we do and the kind of roads we have, since many people have to drive quite a ways to find a twisty section of asphalt to enjoy. But either through hubris or simple economic necessity, Moto Morini never developed a bike bigger than the 500cc version of their 72º v-twin: the oddly-named “3½” was basically a 350 and would have been classed as a “middleweight” at the time.

1977 Moto Morini 350 Dash

Instead, they focused on handling, and Moto Morini twins are famously enjoyable to hustle through the canyons, with a surprisingly sophisticated rubber belt-driven camshaft, Heron-heads, and a six-speed transmission. In 1977, many bikes made do with just four gears, and that six-speed would have been a very exotic selling point.

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Moto Morini 3½ for Sale

For sale is a red and black 1977 Moto Morini 3 1/2 has 8,499 miles that has been well-maintained. This Italian sports bike in a great original bike in good condition with matching numbers. This bike is all factory stock down to the twin factory pipes, paint and all of the informational stickers applied by Moto Morini. This bike has a V-Twin engine, 344cc motor and a 6 speed transmission. Carburetors were recently rebuilt.  It is a low maintenance bike.

The exterior is red and black paint with hand pin striping.  The paint is in excellent condition with just one minor ding in the right hand side of the gas tank by the seat.  The black leather seat is comfortable and in excellent condition with no rips or tears.

This is a great bike to commute on, or blast around on a curvy road, or as a sport tourer. It is a great original bike in good shape.

1977 Moto Morini 350 R Side Engine

With less than 10,000 miles on the odometer, this is a pretty clean little motorcycle. Bidding is up to $3,750.00 and is very active, with the reserve met. Values on Morinis have seen a rise in the past year or two, but they’re still incredible bargains, compared to basically any Ducati and most Guzzis. This 3½ is stylish, sophisticated, easy to maintain, and a great choice if you’re looking to buy a classic Italian motorcycle and want something just a little bit different.

-tad

1977 Moto Morini 350 R Side

Green Machine: 1977 Laverda Jarama for Sale

1977 Laverda Jarama R Front

Built by Slater Laverda in the UK, masterminds behind the original Jota, the Formula Mirage was powered by Laverda’s famously charismatic and durable three-cylinder engine. It featured a distinctive, one-piece fiberglass tank and seat unit that looked sleek, but significantly limited fuel capacity, which in turn reduced the range of the already thirsty triple. Several folks online also commented on the steeply-sloped seat unit that sees passengers steadily sliding forward into the rider. A bonus on a hot date, not so great if you’re give your buddy a lift to pick up his bike from the mechanic…

1977 Laverda Jarama L Rear

I generally prefer my Laverdas to be bright orange but, if I were in the market for one right now, I’d still have to give serious consideration to this very green Jarama. I always thought the Jarama was a European-only model, what with it being named after a Spanish race circuit that 99% of Americans have probably never heard of. But it turns out this was, in typical Laverda style, a US-only version of their 3CL. Certainly “Jarama” is a far sexier name than “3CL” but it’d probably help to have chosen “Sebring” or “Daytona” or even “Laguna” for an American model…

1977 Laverda Jarama Clocks

Powered by Laverda’s classic inline triple that displaced 981cc and featured the earlier, burlier 180° crank that had the outside pistons rising and falling together, the three-cylinder Laverdas are pretty imposing beasts. This unusual engine apparently produced more power than a traditional 120° crankshaft configuration, although it also produced far more vibration.

1977 Laverda Jarama Carb

The resulting sound and feel of the “four with a miss” engine are considered by fans to be superior to the later versions although, having heard both bikes in person, the 120° crank bikes are still pretty far from your average Speed Triple…

1977 Laverda Jarama R Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Laverda Jarama for Sale

This is an all original 1977 Laverda Jarama 1000 with only 8105 miles in original factory green. The bike recently received a restoration. The frame was sandblasted and painted gloss black. The chainguard was sent to the chromer for replating along with the headlight brackets, exhaust downpipes (headers), Brevetato Jota bars, Ciriani rear shock springs, foot peg brackets and other misc parts, nut and bolts.  My plater refused to do the mufflers but they are in great shape anyways. They have some small rust spots here and there but no dents or road rash.  The carbs were completely rebuilt and received vapor blasting and an ultrasonic bath. Carbs also got new seals and misc parts were replaced. As you can see in the pictures all the aluminum covers were polished. Front forks were rebuilt and got new seals.  The brake calipers and disc carriers were re-anodized in black.  Calipers then received new pistons and seals and so did the front and rear master cylinders.  All the nuts, bolts and washers were also cad and zinc plated plated. The bike runs amazingly well and is a blast to ride. and looks beautiful too. Not many Jarama’s in the US.  

Now the not so bad: I wanted to preserve the original paint so I left it as is. There are two small dents on the tank. One is on the right side and the other is on the left top edge. The left side cover is also cracked and so is the rear tail piece.  
1977 Laverda Jarama R Rear
Unlike most Laverdas of the period, the Jarama featured a left side gearshift and other minor changes to appeal to buyers in the American market, although it ultimately didn’t help sales much and the bike is very rare. In many ways, it’s like a Jota “appearance package” except that the base 3CL is still a pretty high-performance motorcycle and probably a better ride for most people than the high-compression, highly-strung Jota.

Bidding is active with plenty of time left on the auction. In very sharp condition and with such low miles, this looks like a great opportunity for someone who wants a classic Laverda, but can’t quite stretch to a Jota.

-tad

1977 Laverda Jarama L Front

Raw Elegance: 1977 MV Agusta 750S America for Sale

1977 MV Agusta 750S America L Side Front

It really doesn’t matter if Honda’s new RC213V will be beaten by a bone-stock ZX-10 in every quantifiable measure of performance. It also really doesn’t matter how much it will cost: you probably couldn’t afford one and they’re all spoken for, anyway. And that’s the point: much like today’s MV Agusta 750S America, the RCV has a direct link to Honda’s MotoGP hardware and represents a blue-chip investment, and a one-of-a-kind experience for the most well-heeled enthusiasts, regardless of performance.

1977 MV Agusta 750S America R Side

Certainly, the 750S wasn’t the lightest or the most powerful bike available at the time. Saddled with a heavy, power-sapping shaft-drive system that helped the America weigh in at a Rubenesque 560lbs wet and dragged around by a mere 75hp, performance was certainly brisk, but nothing particularly impressive. But people plumping for this bike likely weren’t concerned about the ultimate performance: they wanted looks, sound, and feel, and they got that in spades. Comparing it to other bikes of the period, you can see that it has presence, and if you’ve been weaned on modern four-cylinder motorcycles, nothing can prepare you for the rough metallic shriek these machines make.

1977 MV Agusta 750S America Gauges

Originally displacing a shade under 750 at 743cc’s, the America featured, as you would expect, a bigger, bored-out 788cc engine for moar powar… It also moved the gearshift to the left to suit a less European clientele. But the engine was otherwise unchanged: the sand-cast four was sophisticated and smooth, with a cam-driven geartrain and an overall width less than a Honda CB400.

1977 MV Agusta 750S America R Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1977 MV Agusta 750S America for Sale

Frame# 221017
Engine# 221017
2,770 miles
NYS Title

Original, un-restored and in beautiful condition. Not only one of the lowest mileage Americas in existence, but probably the best one in original condition. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better one on this planet. The bike is absolutely stunning. and drives as beautifully as it looks. When the bike is idling it purrs like a cat, and when you hit the throttle it roars like a lion. It’s one of my favorite bikes of all time to ride. The 4-cylinders are so smooth and capable with or without passenger.

This bike will not disappoint.

Stored in climate-controlled space. The bike is located in downtown Manhattan. I don’t have any videos of the bike running but it sounds amazing.

1977 MV Agusta 750S America L Side Rear

While I appreciate Instagram as much as the next guy and this bike does look cool in the pics, I’d appreciate a less… saturated set of images. But the bike does look to be in very nice shape, excepting what appears to be some oil or fuel on the outside of the engine. Or is that just some Instagram-y filter effect?

1977 MV Agusta 750S America Engine

Obviously, this is a serious amount of money for a motorcycle: bidding is currently north of $55,000 and there’s still plenty of time left on the auction. That money could buy you a whole collection of cool motorcycles, and that’s exactly what I’d do with that lump of cash. But for those who want the most sophisticated machine the 1970’s had to offer from one of the most exotic brands of all time, there’s really not much to compare.

-tad

1977 MV Agusta 750S America L Side

Zero-Mile Display Piece: 1977 Harley-Davidson XLCR for Sale

1977 Harley XLCR L Side

A bike that was a bit ahead of it’s time, at least by Harley-Davidson standards, the stylish, any-color-you-want-as-long-as-it’s-black, cafe racer-styled Harley XLCR didn’t convince the ever-conservative faithful when it was introduced. The bike didn’t sell particularly well, which is a shame, because the XLCR is a bike that actually looked forward, instead of backwards for its inspiration.

1977 Harley XLCR Clocks

But although the look of the bike was meant to compete with Europe and Japan’s best, the bones and meat were pretty conventional: a 998cc pushrod Sportster engine with 9:1 compression and 38mm Keihin carbs put 61bhp through a drive chain to the four-speed gearbox. The frame was a parts-bin-special as well, with a Sportster front section matched with rear tubes and a swingarm from the XR750 race bike. Cast wheels added to the modern styling and triple disc brakes gave something approaching modern stopping power.

1977 Harley XLCR Tank

So it’s basically a mildly hopped-up Sportster in a black leather jacket and dark, mirrored sunglasses. Which is no bad thing, and possibly the coolest bike to come out of Harley’s AMF-era, a period of time where you bought a Harley because that’s the only brand you’d ever consider buying anyway…

1977 Harley XLCR Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Harley Davidson XLCR for Sale

This legend is truth and it’s come back on the market. This XLCR was bought brand new in 1977 as a decoration in a livingroom.  It never goes on the street and stay completely original.  Even the Harley-Davidson test sticker stays on the headlight and the speedometer. I bought this motorcycle five years ago and it stays in my private collection in a a/c and smoke free place. As this motorcycle came from USA there is no duty to bring it back. I will help to any carrier for shipping. Still with a US title .  Buyer is responsible to make his own verification. Engine VIN: 7F01507H7.

1977 Harley XLCR Wheel

With zero miles on the clock, the seller is asking some serious money, and this time-capsule machine will obviously require some work if you want to put it back on the road, but that shouldn’t be too difficult, if you’re so inclined. But unfortunately, I expect that this bike will remain what it is right now: a very menacing display piece.

-tad

1977 Harley XLCR R Side

Nearly New: 1977 Benelli 500 Quattro for Sale

1977 Benelli Quattro L Side

1970’s Benellis like this 500 Quattro fill an interesting niche in the vintage biking scene. Produced during the controversial DeTomaso era, when the Argentinian seemed to own just about every struggling exotic nameplate out there, from cars to bikes. Rumored to be based heavily on Honda’s CB four cylinder, the Benelli is a very solid machine, but offers up nothing really exceptional, aside from that exotic nameplate.

1977 Benelli Quattro Tank

Which is a shame, as Benelli is a company with a storied racing history. Founded in 1911 as a repair shop, they were producing bikes by 1919 and winning championships in the late 1920’s. They had a great deal of success during the 1960’s, especially in the 250cc class.

Being the Italian equivalent of a Honda CB isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s just unfortunate that such a famous, high-performance brand couldn’t offer up something just a little bit more…

1977 Benelli Quattro L Side Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Benelli 500 Quattro for Sale

This was one of the leftover bikes I had when I was a dealer for Benelli in Westchester County, NY. Great condition always stored indoors. I used a dealer plate when I demoed the bike or take it to shows. Never registered. I have the original MSO that goes with the bike and will provide a bill of sale. Some chrome is missing in places. Exhaust pipes are in excellent condition. Gas tank has been cleaned, sealed and re sprayed. Carbs cleaned. New battery installed. Just rode down the street and transmission shifted fine. Clutch works as it should. Brakes work great. Lights all work. Speedometer is in kilometers. Tool kit and owners manual included. Tires are original. 

1977 Benelli Quattro Dash

The starting bid for this original little gem is $10,000 with no takers so far and little time left on the auction. This is a hard bike to price, considering DeTomaso-era Benellis are about as rare as hen’s teeth in the US these days. In general, we see the more exotic six-cylinder Sei: the four cylinder bikes are virtually unknown here, making them exceedingly rare, but of interest only to Benelli fans.

1977 Benelli Quattro Front Wheel

And if you are a Benelli fan, you’re most likely looking for something more vintage. But for riders who want a bike that’s just a bit different than a run-of-the-mill Japanese four, this might fit the bill. You certainly aren’t likely to find one as nice or with such low mileage ever again.

-tad

1977 Benelli Quattro R Side

Low-Mileage Italian: 1977 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans for Sale

1977 Moto Guzzi LeMans R Front Fairing

Designed as a follow up to Moto Guzzi’s V7 Sport, the 850 Le Mans was much more evolutionary than a brand-new machine. It still used the famous Lino Tonti frame, as would many Guzzis up into the modern era. The engine too used simple changes to net more performance, including bigger slugs with higher compression, larger valves, and a set of 36mm Dell’Orto carbs. These changes gave 71hp at the wheel and a top speed of 130.

1977 Moto Guzzi LeMans R Side Engine

Interestingly, comparison tests pitting the Ducati 900SS against the Le Mans suggest that the Guzzi actually had the revvier engine of the two, in spite of the pushrod architecture and generally low-tech design.

To slow things down, the bike used triple disc brakes that included Guzzi’s linked braking system: the foot lever operated the rear and one of the front brake calipers, with a proportioning valve to prevent premature lock up of one or the other, and the bar lever operated the other front disc. The system was simple, but worked surprisingly well, although many Guzzi owners have removed the system and replaced it with a more conventional set up.

1977 Moto Guzzi LeMans Dash

Today’s bike is a very original, low-mileage example of the first-generation Le Mans. These early bikes are often referred to as “Mark I” bikes, but this is a later edition to the name since, at the time, Guzzi obviously didn’t know they’d be making a Mark II version!

1977 Moto Guzzi LeMans L Rear Suspension

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans for Sale

This is a completely original and unmolested 1977 Moto Guzzi Lemans 1. This bike has only 10,206 miles on the clock. There have been no modifications to this bike and all parts on this bike are as it was delivered to the dealer in 1977. Every part and piece is as delivered from Italy, right down to the footpeg rubbers.

The turn signals have been removed and are still with the bike and will be provided to the new owner. This bike was owned by an ex Guzzi dealer who rode the bike for a few years and then stored it early in its life as he moved on to other bikes throughout his time as a Guzzi / Ducati dealer in Texas. He was very active in the Moto Guzzi club and treated and maintained all his bikes very well.

This is a rare chance to own an original, unmolested Lemans 1 with such low miles. I would doubt there are but a small handful of Lemans 1’s with 10k miles out there as most of these bikes accumulated serious mileage on them as they were and are a very robust motor.

This bike will make a fine rider as is, or a great bike for a full restoration. Paint is in decent shape for its age.

1977 Moto Guzzi LeMans R Side Rear

The original listing indicates that the bike, while in excellent running condition, hasn’t been used much and will require basic maintenance to the brakes to make sure they’re up to snuff. The seller also mentions that the clutch does drag a bit, and a new clutch will be included, along with a set of stainless brake lines.

The seat foam, a notoriously short-lived material, is original and in decent, although not perfect condition. What you see on these bikes is not a vinyl cover over padding, but a molded material meant to simplify production. Unfortunately, the foam quickly developed splits and very few bikes survive with their original seats intact…

1977 Moto Guzzi LeMans Front Wheel

Overall, this a solid, unrestored example of the classic Le Mans and has the lowest mileage I can remember seeing on a bike that wasn’t a display piece. These bikes were extremely durable, long-legged sportbikes and many have accumulated the mileage you’d expect from such a useable machine, so this is a rare opportunity, if low-mileage is your thing. Bidding is up north of $10,000 with the reserve not met and several days left on the auction.

-tad

1977 Moto Guzzi LeMans R Side

A Deeper Shade of Orange: 1977 Laverda Jota for Sale

1977 Laverda Jota R Side

I’m not generally a purist when it comes to colors: I actually prefer my Ferraris in subtle hues like greys and earthy metallics. I’m not a huge fan of British Racing Green. And silver is a great color for daily-driver Mercedes, it’s a bit bland if you’re spending over $100,000 on a car or bike. But when it comes to Laverda, there’s only one color for me: orange. That’s not to say bikes like this Laverda Jota don’t look amazing in red, or silver, or green. It’s just that, if you have a good excuse to own a bike slathered in screaming tangerine paint, it seems like you should fully take advantage.

1977 Laverda Jota L Side Detail

The original Jota is a bit of a hot-rod, built up by Slater Laverda, a dealer and tuning shop based out of the UK. Laverda’s 981cc triple in the 3CL was clearly understressed, and Slater saw the performance potential just waiting to be unleashed. They took the basic, rugged package and upgraded it with high-compression pistons, higher-lift camshafts, and a free-flowing exhaust.

1977 Laverda Jota R Tank

The modifications resulted in 90hp and a top speed of 146mph. For a time, it was the fastest bike in the land. And even after it was superseded by faster machines, it was still the manliest bike in the land: early machines used a 180° camshaft that had the outside pistons rising and falling at the same time, which made for wild power and a raw feel that has been likened to an inline four with a miss… Controls were heavy, seat height tall, and they were generally unruly, but characterful beasts.

1977 Laverda Jota Clocks

From the original eBay listing: 1977 Laverda Jota for Sale

This Laverda Jota was built in July 1977. This particular bike was originally sold in Southern California. I bought it a couple years ago and thought I would ride it here it Texas however things have changed and I am now offering it for sale. I have owned three previous Laverda’s: a 1976 3cl with Jota cams etc., and a 1978 3cl, and a coveted 1974 SFC (the last new one on the planet in 1978). However this Jota is special and has super low miles.

This bike was set up to race at Riverside in the 80’s but never got the chance (AMA changed the requirements) so I am told by the previous owner. The bike was completely disassembled and modified slightly. If you look closely on the pictures you will notice the frame was reinforced in the air filter area.  If you look close at the exhaust down tubes you will see another reinforced cross tube installed. These frame modifications stabilize the bike at higher speeds.  There are custom made foot levers for the gear shifting and the brake assemblies.  You can see that the rear disc brake was also modified in an upside down configuration. One off parts to accommodate the mounting. All the modifications are done with forethought and implementation. The powder coating on the frame, wheels, and fork sliders is very thick and shiny.

This bike sounds incredible, idles perfectly, and runs like a Jota should. Handles beautifully. It is robust and throaty. The paint is excellent. One imperfection on the back tail piece is a hairline crack near the mounting screw. Probably overtightened at one point. Tires are in good shape.

I located new Vox bell horns and they will be included along with a mirror, purchased from Wolfgang. I forgot to take a picture of under the seat area and battery. It is as nice as the rest of the bike. Any questions shoot me an email.

1977 Laverda Jota R Rear Detail

So while I’d prefer my Laverdas to be orange, this looks to be a really great, although not completely original example. But really, the Jota wasn’t a factory model anyway, and varied from region to region in terms of specification, so what are a few more performance updates between friends? The work looks to be a very high standard and, color aside, this is one of the nicest Laverdas I’ve seen in a while.

-tad

1977 Laverda Jota L Side

 

Affordable Exotic: 1977 MV Agusta 350 Ipotesi for Sale

1977 MV Agusta Ipotesi L Side

Although vintage MV Agustas like the 750S command hefty sums when they trade, it’s easy to forget that they also made a range of other bikes, generally of much smaller displacements. These bikes are also extremely rare, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they command commensurately high prices. Several of these Iptotesis have graced our pages and, considering how rare they are, can be had for surprisingly modest amounts.

1977 MV Agusta Ipotesi R Side Detail

The Ipotesi, or “Hypothesis” was first shown in 1973 and produced between 1975 and 1977. It was powered by an air-cooled, parallel twin with overhead valves. It was styled by Giugiaro, whose automotive designs were generally better-received than his two-wheeled creations. This particular bike though features a clean, elegant design that is pretty successful.

1977 MV Agusta Ipotesi L Side Front

Unusual among bikes of the era, the Ipotesi featured MV’s electronic ignition instead of points and was available with or without the fairing shown here, so don’t let the minor damage put you off, since you could certainly show or ride the bike without it.

From the original eBay listing: 1977 MV Agusta 350 Ipotesi for Sale

Fast little bike. This bike was imported from Belgium 3 years ago. It fires right up and is happy to rev and shift, stop and steer like only an Italian thoroughbred can. Quite a surprise to ride, seems diminutive but a credit to the race engineering legend of MV Agusta. It has some minor cosmetic issues from shipping on left fairing and muffler. Priced to sell, bid only as much as you are prepared to pay, will send second chance offer if not sold at auction to highest bidder. The title reads as a 1975 model year, if this is a problem for you, do not bid.

1977 MV Agusta Ipotesi L Side Detail

The title issue he mentions seems to be pretty common among older bikes, likely the result of examples sitting in showrooms for several years before being titled. The last one we posted came with an asking price of $10,500 so it looks like the seller means it when they say “priced to sell.” The Buy It Now price is $8,950 with bidding currently up to $6,100 with just over 24 hours left on the auction. These are very rare, and although certain parts might be tricky to source, this Ipotesi looks like it will provide lots of entertainment for a relatively small outlay of cash.

-tad

1977 MV Agusta Ipotesi R Side