Tagged: 981

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

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

 

Some Assembly Required: 1984 Laverda Triple Project Bike

1984 Laverda RGA R Frame

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…

1984 Laverda RGA Engine

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!

1984 Laverda RGA Tank

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.

1984 Laverda RGA Carbs

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.

1984 Laverda RGA Bodywork

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!

-tad

1984 Laverda RGA Fairing

 

 

 

Tangerine Dream:1982 Laverda Jota for Sale

1982 Laverda Jota R Side

It’s been positively raining Laverdas this past couple weeks. I normally try to mix things up, but Laverdas, especially ones like this Jota don’t come around all that often, so it’s a case of “making hay while the sun shines”…

The original Jota was created, not by the Laverda factory in Breganze, Italy, but by Slater Laverda, a dealer and shop in England. Introduced in 1976, it was basically a high-performance version of the company’s 3CL 1000 with a much more evocative name.

1982 Laverda Jota L Side Engine

Upgrades generally included high-compression pistons, camshafts, and a free-flowing exhaust although Jotas were, in the typical Italian style, subject to different specifications, depending on when and for what market they were built. It wasn’t a true factory model, so details varied from country to country and year to year, although US models are generally understood to be of lower-spec than the original British bikes.

1982 Laverda Jota Dash

Changes to the 981cc three-cylinder engine were good for 90hp and 146mph. Early bikes featured a 180° camshaft that had the outside pistons rising and falling together. Supposedly better for power, and certainly good for noise: the Italian triple was raw and raucous, and sounded like a four with a miss… In 1982, Laverda switched to a smoother 120° camshaft, although having heard those a few times in person, they’re far from tame.

1982 Laverda Jota Front

Jotas are brutal bikes: tall, with heavy controls, although the famous adjustable bars at least make finding a comfortable riding position a bit easier. The flip side is that they’re also ruggedly overbuilt and while, like all older machines, they do require more tinkering than a modern motorcycle, the hard parts are extremely robust and the bikes can cover huge miles before needing significant work.

From the original eBay listing: 1982 Laverda Jota for Sale

This is a 1982 Laverda Jota 180 which has just finished a restoration after being in long term climate controlled storage. It is number 8118 making it one of the last ones built.

Everything that needed to be replaced was replaced – details of the items are below.

This is as close to an original bike as can be found in North America.

The bike is ready to ride – I’ve put just a few hundred miles on it since restoration, to test all systems and performance, and is ready to go to someone who will love and use her.

Restoration did not include any engine work; seals etc but there are no leaks.

This bike has ~9500 miles on it, with more being added. This bike had never been taken apart, it had damage to the fairing during storage, caused by falling wood, which was repaired and the entire bike was repainted by a professional painter. The tail piece was broken and replaced with a carbon fiber unit. The stripes on the tail piece reveal the carbon fiber. A new dark windscreen was installed.

When adjusting valves the internals looked brand new!

This is a US Spec bike, all in fantastic original condition. Please look at the photos, original finish on engine and frame, was in great condition when I acquired the bike. I went through and rebuilt all the hydraulics and carbs with new parts. I replaced the original Ignition and pickups with an Ignitech controller and electronic sensor board as the original pickup wires had deteriorated. I repaired the original pickup wiring and they will be included.

The listing also includes additional work that has recently been done to the bike. Although this one is listed as a 1982, the seller mentions it has the earlier 180° so it’s technically a leftover 1981 model, making it far more desirable than the later versions. Interestingly, these make peak power at 7,500 rpm, north of the indicated redline on the suspiciously Honda-looking tach, making the red band actually more of a “power band”.

1982 Laverda Jota Clocks

Bidding is very active, as you’d expect, although at just north of $11,000 the reserve hasn’t been met yet. That’s no real surprise: this looks to be a great example of the last of the fire-breathing Jotas, and should go for a good bit more than that.

While I’m not the biggest fan of the huge fairings often found on these, my fantasy garage absolutely includes a three-cylinder Laverda. In bright, Laverda orange.

-tad

1982 Laverda Jota L Side

1984 Laverda RGS for Sale

1984 Laverda RGS L Side

Well this is pretty cool: just earlier this week, I found a Laverda RGA. Today, it’s the higher-spec RGS. The RGS was pretty much the end of the line for Laverda’s fire-breathing triple, and really the end of Laverda, until their rebirth in the 90’s with a brand new line of parallel-twin engines.

Unable to compete with the might of the Japanese in terms of pure performance and refinement, Laverda traded on their Italian “Lamborghini of motorcycles” cachet to re-imagine their hairy-chested triple as a GT for well-heeled, discriminating buyers bored with the “characterless” fours from Japan. And this transformation makes a certain kind of sense: Laverda made their name in endurance racing, and their bikes are famously durable.

1984 Laverda RGS Dash

The 981cc RGS featured available hard bags and a full fairing, with an interesting filler door set into the side of that fairing, instead of in the top of the tank, as well as complete instrumentation.

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Laverda RGS for Sale

For Sale is a single owner Laverda RGS. The condition is very good – always kept in heated storage, ridden regularly and I would not  hesitate to ride it to Wolfgang’s this summer…as I have many summers before. This bike has never been apart for anything except normal maintenance; valve adjust, clutch. brakes etc. It is not as fresh as the day it rolled out of TT Motors – it needs  to get  “freshened” up but does not need any major components The bike has always been well maintained and sprockets,all  chains, and associated rubber bits are “recent” <3-5 years with less than 5000 miles.

Mileage is currently under 33,000, odyssey battery, usable tires, paint is good for 30 years old, a few spares including original exhaust, original tools, DMC ignition, Koni shocks (Ikon maybe…). Missing front indicator will be reinstalled.

1984 Laverda RGS R Engine

While I’m not as big a fan of the 80’s styling [although it is growing on me], there is generally something to be gained by buying the final incarnations of a car or bike. Namely: most of the bugs have been worked out of the design. And if there’s been some performance loss over the years, often earlier cams and other parts can be installed to restore whatever’s gone missing.

This particular example doesn’t include too much in the way of details, but it sounds like a sympathetically maintained, one-owner machine. Certainly a big plus with a machine like this. The reserve hasn’t been met yet, but with bidding below $6,000 that’s no surprise. Depending on the seller’s expectations, this very usable classic could be a great opportunity to get into Laverda ownership.

-tad

1984 Laverda RGS R Side