Tagged: Laverda

A Rose by Any Other Name: 1969 Laverda 750GT for Sale

1975 Laverda 750GT R Side Front

Like Lamborghini, Laverda began building something other than fast, race-ready exotics. In fact, both manufactured agricultural machinery prior to branching out into supercars and superbikes, respectively. In Laverda’s case, that experience building durable, rugged farm equipment translated directly into motorcycles like this 1969 750GT, and the Laverda parallel-twins were famous for being over-engineered, with five main bearings in the engine, and for using electrical components sourced from Bosch and Nippon Denso. Reliability and build-quality were considered to be excellent when the bikes were new.

1975 Laverda 750GT L Engine2

Very early bikes had a 650cc displacement, but this grew to 744cc very quickly, owing to the expectation that the bigger engine would drive US sales. The bike weighed a little over 500lbs with fuel, and power was a very respectable 60hp for the 750cc version of the twin, with a top speed of over 100mph. The first Laverdas came to the US labeled as “American Eagles” instead of Laverdas, although many have been rebadged at this point. An American company that imported various bikes under a more patriotic brand, American Eagle had folded by 1970 and Laverdas were badged as Laverdas thereafter.

1975 Laverda 750GT Dash

It wasn’t that long ago that Laverda 750s were going for less than $5,000. They weren’t easy to find of course, but their collectability was in a bit of limbo and you could pick them up for a relative song. These days, even the earlier, “American Eagle” branded bikes are commanding nearly double that amount. The later 750SF or “Super Freni” has a distinctive, hairy-chested 70s vibe, with blocky styling and some vivid colors. But the earlier bikes like this one look much more like an Italian Commando, with that mini tank rack and the set of Smiths-looking gauges instead of the later, green-faced Honda-looking items… If you’re tastes run to the classic, the earlier Laverda twins offer power and reliability, with a dash of British class.

1975 Laverda 750GT Front Wheel

From the original eBay listing: 1969 Laverda 750GT for Sale

This is a very early Laverda 750cc GT. Frame and (matching) engine number: 1392. The ownership lists this bike as a 1969 model, but according to Tim Parker’s definitive Laverda reference (the ‘green book’) the serial number makes it a 1968 machine. One way or another, Laverda started the serial numbers for their twins at 1000, and they made a handful of 650s before upping the displacement to 750 – so this is one of the first 350 to 400 Laverda twins made.

I’ve owned this bike for almost 30 years. The speedo shows about 8,000 kilometers, but it was a new rebuilt instrument when I restored the bike about 8 years ago and doesn’t correspond especially well with the speedo drive gear, so that has very little to do with how far the bike has actually been ridden. It probably hasn’t seen an awful lot of use, however. It had been a basket job for about 10 years when I bought it back in the late 80s. I finally got around to starting a frame-up rebuild on it about 10 years ago.

The engine was completely stripped down and rebuilt – new pistons and cams, clutch plates, as well as any bearings, gaskets and seals that needed replacement. As you can see, it’s pretty pristine on the outside, and it’s just as clean inside, too. Since the rebuild it’s averaged about 1,000 kms (indicated) per summer, with oil changes every fall before going back into heated indoor storage for the winter.

It starts on the first turn of the crank, idles very steadily and pulls crisply to 6,500 rpm all 5 gears without any fuss or bother. Message me and I’ll send you a link to see a short video on YouTube showing this bike being started from cold as well as a bit of running footage.

10:1 ‘SFC’-type pistons were installed when I did the rebuild, as the original 7.7:1 compression ratio was a bit too laid back for modern roads, in my opinion. In combination with the 30mm square-slide carbs and medium-profile cams, this gives very torquey low-end and mid range response. Unlike some of the hairier (for their day) later Laverda twins, this set-up revs up from idle very smoothly and progressively — and makes for easily manageable around town riding. But it’s happiest loping down secondary roads at about 3,000 rpm – with the ‘cutback’ style Laverda pipes producing a nicely rorty, but not overly antisocial exhaust note. If you take a look at my YouTube video, you’ll get the idea.

This bike is very clean, but it’s not a museum piece. Over the years, I’ve gone over it from front to rear, inside and out, and I’ve sorted out a number of the Achilles’ heels that years of experience has taught me to look out for on Laverda twins in general and on this model in particular.

1975 Laverda 750GT L Engine

The seller’s description is much more detailed than shown above, but well worth a read: he obviously knows the bike inside and out, and is happy to share details of the restoration and the bike’s history, something that always inspires confidence. He even offers up post-sale “technical assistance” which has to be a first! Basically, if you’ve ever wanted an early Laverda twin, this might be worth a serious look. Bidding is very active on this bike, with very little time left on the auction. But the Reserve has not been met at $7,900 so it’s obvious that the seller is well aware of the bike’s increasing value. With under 8,000 miles on the clock, there’s plenty of life left in this Laverda: some parts can be scarce, but most of what you need to keep them running should be available, and the basic construction is extremely durable.

-tad

1975 Laverda 750GT R Side

Road and Track: 1974 Laverda SFC 750 for Sale

1974 Laverda SFC R Side Front

It’s been a little while since I’ve seen a Laverda SFC for sale. They are some of the most desirable sportbikes of the 1970s, homologation specials that were quite literally race bikes with some road equipment tacked on. Basically: cut a hole in the fairing for an off-the-shelf headlight, bolt on a speedometer, and stick an awkwardly-angled taillight on the solo-tail section, complete with curved lower edge to accommodate a number-plate…

Voilà: instant road bike!

Of course, many never saw the road at all, and lights, signals, and other equipment were quickly boxed up to prep the bikes for race-duty. Or display.

1974 Laverda SFC L Side

Sold in limited numbers between 1971 and 1976, the Laverda SFC took its name from the enormous front drum brake seen on earlier models. SFC literally stands for Super Freni Competizione or basically, “super-braking race bike.” Later bikes like this one did feature dual discs, and I’m sure those stop very nicely but, like the Moto Guzzi V7 Sport, there’s something about those huge aluminum drums found on early 70s Italian sport bikes… But from the seller’s listing, it looks like much more than just the brakes were updated on the later bikes…

1974 Laverda SFC L Clocks

The basic Laverda parallel twin made for a pretty good foundation for racing. It wasn’t particularly light, but the bike was stiff and very stable, ideal for endurance events. And the engine featured five main bearings for exemplary durability, as the bike in stock form was fairly under-stressed. Stuffed full of factory high-performance goodness, the SFC made 80hp while retaining the standard bike’s rock-solid handling.

1974 Laverda SFC L Side Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1974 Laverda 750 SFC for Sale

The example offered here is an excellent example of the US series 1974 Laverda 750 SFC and comes with a known and documented history. Although it has been slightly modified from original, with a smaller European taillight, Verlicchi twin cable throttle, and no turn signals and reflectors, the sporting soul remains intact.

The late 1950s and early 1960s was not a great time for Italian motorcycle manufacturers. As Italian industry was heavily protected and imports restricted, motorcycle manufacturers survived in a false world where most of their products were consumed by the domestic market. When domestic demand collapsed so did much of the Italian motorcycle industry. Laverda struggled during this period but Massimo Laverda saw a way out, and that was targeting the huge American market.

Massimo was a motorcycle enthusiast, already aware of the move to towards motorcycling as a means of fun and enjoyment instead of basic transportation and was convinced the future lay in large capacity, more sporting machines. Knowing he didn’t have the resources to develop an engine from the ground up, and not wanting to emulate obsolete British designs, Massimo looked at what Honda was doing. Honda released their 305cc CB77 parallel twin “Super Hawk” for 1961 and as this overhead camshaft unit construction engine with horizontally-split crankcases was already proving considerably reliable, Laverda essentially enlarged and strengthened the Honda engine, initially creating a 650, before releasing the 750 in 1969. In long distance endurance racing during 1969 and 1970 the 750 S and SF established Laverda’s reputation for robustness and exceptional all round performance and for 1971 Laverda created the 750 SFC (C for Competizione). The bright orange color scheme of the factory racers became an SFC trademark. Although it was always a limited edition model, even after 1973 when the factory stopped racing the 750 twin, the SFC continued, incorporating many of the developments learnt from three successful years of racing. The 750 SFC was thus a true racing machine, built to the highest standards, that could be ridden on the street and a limited edition replica of a successful factory racer. Few components were shared between the SFC and regular SF, and only in 1974 did production exceed 200 a year.

For 1974 Laverda released an updated 750 SFC, primarily for Italian 750cc production-based racing, one of the leading domestic racing categories. Success in 750 racing was seen as very important publicity and the updated 750 SFC differed considerably in design and concept to the earlier drum brake versions. It was now substantially different to the 750 SF and designed with 750 class production racing in mind rather than endurance racing. Incorporating many developments of the 1973 factory bikes, the 1974 750 SFC was one of the outstanding sporting machines of the era. With its low frame and sculptured looks the 1974 750 SFC was also a styling triumph. There was also a specific US version this year but while these North American examples were slightly different in equipment the engine and chassis specifications were the same as the European model.

1974 Laverda SFC Rearset

Just 549 of these were made over the short production run, making them very desirable. This example looks to be in excellent condition and is being offered up by a seller who’s featured regularly on these pages, as he often seems to have very rare and very interesting motorcycles available. There is still some time left on the auction and bidding is up north of $37,000 although the reserve has not been met which is no surprise, given the condition and rarity of this SFC.

-tad

1974 Laverda SFC 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

Orange Bang: 1978 Laverda 1200 America for Sale

1978 Laverda 1200 L Side

While I certainly appreciate an original or perfectly-restored motorcycle, I’m also okay with what have come to be known as “resto-mods” where the original spirit of the machine is kept intact, but electrical, suspension, braking, and sometimes wheels and tires are upgraded to more modern specification. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes the results look stunning, sometimes jarring. In the case of this Laverda 1200 America, I think it works really well.

At the time, a 1200cc motorcycle was considered pretty huge, and the fact that it was in a sports motorcycle that loved to rev and corner made it the Panigale of its day. Capable of 12 second quarter-miles and nearly 140mph, this was a very fast bike back when it was new and is deserving of respect even now. The 518lb wet weight sounds heavy in today’s world of 450lb literbikes, but it was comparable to the big Japanese four cylinders of the time.

1978 Laverda 1200 L Side Rear

What wasn’t comparable was the bike’s brutal, uncompromising nature: Laverdas were high-effort machines, with extremely heavy controls and very stiff suspension. But the payoff was a distinctive three-cylinder howl, excellent handling, and famously rugged construction: the 24,000 miles on this example should be no big deal, provided it’s been maintained as described. Big Laverdas aren’t all-day comfortable, they’re bikes for tearing up back roads, then collapsing in an exhausted heap when you arrive home, tingling with the aftershocks of adrenaline.

As with seemingly all Laverdas, the redline on the tach is deceiving: peak power actually occurs at the very top of the red band [7,500rpm], and the bike should obviously be safe for another 1,000rpm beyond that.

1978 Laverda 1200 Gauges

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Laverda 1200 America for Sale

Rare clean triple in very good condition. Build date 1977. Nothing major hidden, starts right away and runs strong. Clear Tennessee title, note the bike is located in NY, Long Island.

I bought the bike from a collector for my Italian collection, due to change of plans I do downsize a bit. It comes with very special upgrades, better brakes, adjustable handlebar and pedals, see pictures. The front end and brakes suggest it may be a Lance Weil prepared bike, it has also the very lightweight exhaust no baffles, likely the original exhaust from England, light as a feather. The previous owner stated cold compression is within 2 lbs of 157psi. Rare 4C stamped cams and likely but not confirmed special pistons. He said this was the fastest of all Laverdas he owned.

Very presentable rider, not a showbike but has the potential to be one. Not many more around and rarely seen for sale, great collectors bike.

1978 Laverda 1200 Front Brakes

The seller refers to this as an “Americana” but as far as I know, it was just the “America.” If this were a genuine Jota, perhaps the mechanical and cosmetic changes would be sacrilege, but the 1200 America was a bit of a compromise anyway, a bike designed to meet new American emissions laws with lower compression offset by bigger pistons to restore lost power compared to the 1000. I’d appreciate a few more photos with some better lighting, but all-in-all, this bike pushes the right buttons for me.

-tad

1978 Laverda 1200 Tank

Damaged Goods: 1985 Laverda SFC1000 for Sale

1985 Laverda SFC1000 L Side

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!

1985 Laverda SFC1000 R Side Engine

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.”

1985 Laverda SFC1000 L Side Fairing

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.

1985 Laverda SFC1000 Clocks

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.

1985 Laverda SFC1000 R Side Engine Ouch

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.

-tad

1985 Laverda SFC1000 R Side Fairing Damage

Orange Twin: Low-Mileage 1973 Laverda 750 SF1 for Sale

1973 Laverda SF1 R Side Front

The biggest challenge for Laverda lovers isn’t finding a nice bike, it’s finding any bike. Basket case and project Triumphs are all over eBay, hiding out on Craigslist and in garages and basements all over the place. But Laverda was never really a big name here, and bikes as nice as this drum-braked SF1 are hard to come by. And that’s a shame because Laverdas are fundamentally very solid machines. Overbuilt and rugged, with quality parts sourced from the very best period sources.

Honestly, it’s probably much easier to import one from the UK, although registration might prove difficult, depending on where you live.

1973 Laverda SF1 L Side Front

You might think of Laverda as “The Lamborghini of Motorcycles”: both companies got their start manufacturing heavy machinery and branched out into performance machinery. Although, unlike Lamborghini, Laverda didn’t jump in with both feet to start making high-powered exotica. Their first bikes were designed to capitalize on the postwar mobilization of the workforce, and were smaller-displacement machines. But they had their sights set on the likes of Triumph, and they knew they needed something bigger.

1973 Laverda SF1 Dash

That “something” was their 650 parallel-twin that quickly grew into the 750 seen here that was stable, fast, and extremely well-built. The “SF” in the name stood for “Super Freni” or “super braking” and referred to that huge front drum brake. Later bikes switched to a twin-disc front set up that offered improved performance, but the look of the early drum-braked bikes is hard to beat.

1973 Laverda SF1 R Side Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1973 Laverda 750 SF1 for Sale

Here we have a low mileage original paint 1973 750 SF1 euro market in extremely nice condition. Matching numbers VIN #13120. This bike was owned by the late Wes Cooley Sr. since 1980 and it only has 1243 Kilometers which is around 770 miles. I believe the miles to be original considering the condition the bike is in.  The 73′ SF1 is the 750 most sought after by collectors and enthusiast and is quite different than the SF2, for starters it has a chrome CEV headlight bucket and Lucas switches.  The SF1 also have bigger PHF 36mm Dellorto carbs instead of the 30mm found on the SF2 or SF3 and a bigger cylinder head as well,  This one still has the original expansion chamber between the headers and Conti mufflers.  This expansion chamber also known as the banana and the Conti mufflers are only found on the 73 SF1 as well. This bike is a true collectors piece and a beautiful time capsule and it will make a great addition to your collection  The tank and sidecovers still have the original orange paint from 1973 and it’s never been repainted.  Frame is also the original black from factory. 

When I took possession of the bike I gave it a good cleaning and removed the half inch layer of dust that covered most of the bike.  The tank and carbs had been properly drained many years ago and they didn’t take much to rebuild.  I was relieved to see how clean the inside of the carbs were.  They received new seals and O-rings by the way.  The seat is the original cover and it starting to come apart at the seams.  Also added a new battery and replaced the rubber intake boots they were cracked. It also received an oil change and new air filter from Wolfgang Too my knowledge I don’t believe the handlebars are original factory bars, however they are period correct and probably dealer installed when new. 

This bike runs very strong and idles like a clock.  I can provide a video of it running if seriously interested.  I also have more pictures that I was not able to include in the listing.  As far as the chrome goes it’s in very good condition.  Mufflers do not have any dings or dents.  I think there is a small ding or two under the “banana” pipe which is common since it’s the closest part to the ground.  Please keep in mind this is a euro market bike with right side shift and left side brake.  Just to recap on the good and bad. Bad; Seat cover needs attention. a ding or two on bottom side of expansion chamber (banana).  A small ding on left side of tank. The good,  ONLY HAS 1243 ORIGINAL KILOMETERS.

1973 Laverda SF1 Engine

I assume that by “expansion chamber” the seller means “crossover pipe.” I remember when I first discovered these selling, if you could find one, for $4,500. Now they’re double or even triple that. This example features the traditional Laverda orange paint and is claimed to be original. The bike generally looks to be in very good condition, other than the split seat seam, something that could be easily fixed if the new owner wants.

It’s not perfect, but is a pretty darn nice example of a more than forty year old motorcycle, and I’d love to have this in my garage.

-tad

1973 Laverda SF1 R Side

Orange Bruiser: 1972 Laverda SFC for Sale

1972 Laverda SFC R Side

Laverda’s fierce homologation SFC was powered by a tuned version of their nearly bulletproof parallel-twin and was available in any color you wanted, as long as it was orange. You know, as good-looking as Ducatis are in red, and as classic as old British bikes are in black or silver, there’s something undeniably cool about a company choosing a “factory” color so incredibly in-your-face, so polarizing. Kawasaki’s green isn’t the prettiest color, and it isn’t always flattering, but you damn well know which manufacturer made that lime-green plastic rocket, sitting across the street.

1972 Laverda SFC R Side Fairing

The SFC’s engine was based on the rugged SF1, which was introduced in 1968 as a 650cc model, although displacement was soon bumped to 750. The bikes were a bit heavy, but this was the result of their being overbuilt, and reliability benefited: the parallel-twin had five main bearings. Parts not made in house by Laverda were chosen, regardless of their country of origin, for quality and the component list reads like a “best of” of 1970’s motorcycling performance: Ceriani, Bosch, Nippon-Denso…

1972 Laverda SFC R Side Tank

Relatively unstressed in roadgoing form, the twin was capable of much more power, and the SFC was tuned to make almost 80hp. Given its rugged nature it’s no surprise that the bike performed well in endurance racing: many SFC’s come with their headlights lights and turn signals boxed up and unused.

1972 Laverda SFC R Side Engine

I love that the dash on this bike contains exactly one instrument: a tachometer. No oil temp gauge, certainly no speedo. No idiot lights, not even a dash panel. Just that one Smiths gauge hanging there behind the headlight bucket.

1972 Laverda SFC Cockpit

From the original eBay listing: 1972 Laverda SFC for Sale

Laverda SFC 750 mk1

model year 1972 VIN/Engine 10784

Bike in top conditions, mechanically rebuilt by main specialist Riccardo Oro (documented), present on the Laverda SFC register with extra certification by Massimo Borghesi, last owner since 1997. Italian documents.

Ride and collect! Bulletproof investment.

1972 Laverda SFC Badge

The listing doesn’t mention it, but the bike also appears to include a crudely-welded, but probably period-correct 2-into-1 exhaust: because that’s just how racebikes roll. The seller Gianluca has listed a number of very tasty motorcycles for sale in the past and mentions that the bike is currently in the UK, but he’s happy to ship anywhere in the world.

Bidding is up to almost $20,000 with plenty of time left on the auction and I’ve no doubt it will go much higher: with under 600 ever made, these are some of the most desirable motorcycles of the era with rarity, pedigree, and that exotic, sadly defunct “Laverda” nameplate.

-tad

1972 Laverda SFC R Side Tail

Road-Legal Racer: 1972 Laverda SFC 750 for Sale

1972 Laverda SFC R Side

Laverda’s SFC is quite literally a race-bike for the road, from the end of the era when this was realistically possible. “Super Freni Competizione” translates basically to “Super Braking Competition” and refers to the enormous front drum brake and the SFC’s race-oriented construction.

1972 Laverda SFC L Side Engine

It was based on Laverda’s famously rugged 750cc twin and featured the highest-quality parts: everything not designed and manufactured in-house was chosen for its performance, with Ceriani providing suspension, Bosch the ignition components, and Nippon-Denso the electrics. With fewer than 600 made, these are homologation specials, stuffed full of race-ready parts that saw as much as 80hp from the 750cc parallel-twin. Although the SFC was technically a roadbike, the race-tuned motor and uncompromising ergonomics made street use largely hypothetical.

1972 Laverda SFC Dash

Road-oriented parts are clearly an afterthought: take a look at that taillight that looks like it’s attached to the tail section with double-sided tape, pointed skyward and the instrumentation devoid of anything but a single Smiths tachometer. Often, when these come up for sale, the few road-legal parts that were originally fitted have already been removed from the bike and boxed up.

1972 Laverda SFC R Side Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1972 Laverda SFC 750 Mk1 for Sale

Model year 1972

VIN/Engine 10784

Bike in top condition, mechanically rebuilt by main specialist Riccardo Oro, present on the Laverda SFC register with extra certification by Massimo Borghesi. Italian documents.

Ride and collect! Bulletproof investment.

Bike is currently located in Stowmarket, England but I can get them delivered all around the World at cost, no problem.

1972 Laverda SFC Display

Bidding is up north of $36,000 as I write this, with active bidding and plenty of time left on the auction. As is the case with many cars and motorcycles, these were refined throughout the production, adding disc brakes and electronic ignition, so later models were probably better in practice. However, from a collector’s standpoint, early models tend to command higher prices, and although we’ve featured a number of SFC’s over the past few years, I can’t remember seeing one this early.

-tad

1972 Laverda SFC L 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

 

Bruiser from Down Under: 1981 Laverda Formula Mirage for Sale

1981 Laverda Formula Mirage R Front

While currently located in New Zealand, this Laverda Formula Mirage has a very American sensibility. In spite of their accents and the fact that they drive on the wrong side of the road, enthusiasts in New Zealand and Australia have more in common with gearheads here in the US than they do with European riders. The wide-open spaces found Down Under lend themselves to the same afflictions that plague us here: big, stupid horsepower and straight-line speed.

1981 Laverda Formula Mirage Controls

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…

1981 Laverda Formula Mirage Dash

From the original, very brief, eBay listing: 1981 Laverda Formula Mirage for Sale

Laverda Formula Mirage, 1 of 14 built by Slaters. Astralites, Goldlines, rebuilt motor . In excellent condition.

Although the seller mentions he believes only 14 were built, I did see mention in a Laverda forum by someone who claimed to have original Slater paperwork that stated 17 were actually created. Either way, it’s a very rare machine, and the parts are all there, even if the sum performs at a somewhat less-than-expected level.

1981 Laverda Formula Mirage Rear Wheel

Overall, in spite of character clearly in line with Laverda’s big, burly image, the bike met with decidedly mixed reviews, likely because the market had moved on, and riders had begun to expect both brawn and brains in their bikes: the “bigger, louder, faster, harder” mentality was just too primitive to appeal.

For collectors looking for a classic Laverda that captures the look and feel of the big, manly motorcycles from Breganze, this could be just the ticket.

-tad

1981 Laverda Formula Mirage L Rear