Like Ducati, Laverda struggled against the might of the Japanese Big Four once they hit their stride and figured out how to make stuff handle. Strapped for cash, they tended to keep models in production for far longer than was competitive, and had a habit of slapping some fresh bodywork and a new name onto old frames and engines to make bikes like this SFC1000. But when that engine is Laverda’s storming 981cc three-cylinder, at least you know you’re growing obsolete in style!
The SFC1000 was a bit like Ducati’s MHR bikes, a reach back to past glories to help stimulate sales. The original SFC was named for it’s massive front drum brake and stood for “Super Freni Competizione.” Literally: “Super Brakes Racing.” And while the SFC1000 undoubtedly stopped pretty well, it was a far-cry from the barely streetable, twin-cylinder, homologation SFC. Early triples used a firing order that made great power but vibrated severely. By the time the SFC1000 rolled around, Laverda had switched to a much smoother design that made for a more civilized bike, but one that had fans grumbling about “character.”
So the SFC1000 really was a big, burly GT machine, capable of covering miles in serious style. And there’s nothing at all wrong with that. For the record, this is the kind of white-faced tach I love: Veglia in particular makes such a classy-looking gauge, and it looks especially slick in that bare-aluminum dash.
This bike is rare and beautiful, but there’s a “but” here. I’ll let the seller tell you about it. From the original eBay listing: 1985 Laverda SFC1000 for Sale
I’ve owned the bike for about 8 years. Originally purchased at Slater’s by a former Laverda shop in Calif and brought in to the U.S. under the radar around 1987. Bike sat in the shop for close to 20 years. I jumped through a lot of hoops to purchase it, having owned two much lesser condition SFC1000’s that I bought in England, prior, but never shipped back the US. I put a ton of time and dough into recommissioning this bike to ride and run perfectly. It hauls ass like a pack of scalded cats. This bike won second place at the Laverda National Meet at Mid-Ohio in 2008, as judged by Piero Laverda. She only has original 2398 original kilometers (1490 miles) on the clock – not even broken in. Does not leak even a drop of oil – ever.
So, sounds great so far, right? Beautiful bike. But then the seller dumped it in his wet driveway, causing some cosmetic damage:
I was sick over this for months. Here I am exactly a year later, and I have come to terms with reality, that I have neither the time nor energy to tend to making this bike right again. That’s where you come in.
What does she need? New mirrors, a right turn signal, repair fairing (easy for someone with fiberglass skills). Fix dings in fuel tank from the clip-on bar hitting the tank. New right muffler. The ‘SFC1000’ right side foot peg mount is tweaked and may be able to be straightened, else replaced. Right side engine cover. Front Brake lever and perhaps master cyl assembly. Right side foot peg and brake pedal rubber – all detailed in the photos. The bike will need to be painted, I guess. Anyhow, the issues are all cosmetic. Mechanically, this bike is as new, perhaps better.
Parts are all readily available from Wolfgang at Columbia Car and Cycle in British Columbia, Canada and at Laverda Paradies in Germany, including the fairing, alternator cover, muffler, and SFC1000 footpeg mount.
To get ‘er runnin’ you’ll need to drain the carb bowls and clean the pilot jets most likely, as the fuel has been in there for a year. Top off the AGM sealed battery charge. The tires are good, but about 9 years old, so replacing is a good idea. Bleed the brake and clutch systems.
At this point, I want this girl go to a great Laverda home, where she’ll get the attention and care she deserves. You must agree to send me photos as you put the bike back in order, and when it’s all done.
Head on over to the original eBay listing for the seller’s account of exactly what happened and some other updates to the bike. Minor cosmetic damage aside, this is a really nice bike and very rare here in the states. A bit of time spent on eBay and a few weekends of the usual work to get a bike that’s been sitting for a year or so ready for the road. The dings in the tank will take a bit more work, but I’d just snap this one up and ride it with the battle scars until I could afford to have it fixed correctly. If you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty, this could make a great bargain, depending on where the reserve is set.