Tagged: SF

Working Class SFC: 1974 Laverda 750SF Race Bike for Sale

1974 Laverda 750SF Race Bike R Front

If you’re looking for an involving way to go fast, or to determine the results of your mechanical tinkering in the crucible of racing, vintage race bikes like this Laverda 750SF would allow you to test your mettle against like-minded folks and provide you with access to a fraternity of biking enthusiasts who want to do more with their machines than polish them and argue about who has the most original tires…

1974 Laverda 750SF Race Bike L Rear

Old Ducatis are great, but with even the most common bevel-drive models rapidly appreciating in value, they don’t leave much budget left over for tires, trailer, travel, and other expenses associated with racing. And I don’t think there are any old Tonti-framed Guzzi’s left: they’ve probably all been turned into café racers by Ton-Up Boys wannabes at this point, and genuine V7 Sports and LeMans are too valuable to thrash on a race track.

So where does that leave you, if you’re looking for vintage track action and want something a bit different?

1974 Laverda 750SF Race Bike Dash

When new, Laverda’s 750cc parallel twin made an ideal endurance racing powerplant: with five main bearings and reliable German and Japanese ignition and electrical components, it was very durable, with a broad spread of useable power. Overbuilt in every regard, the complete bike was on the heavy side, but very stable at speed. Eventually superseded by the 1000cc triple, the SF’s have begun to increase in value in the last few years, but can still be had for much less than contemporary Ducatis.

There aren’t many shops that specialize in old Laverdas, but they’re fairly easy to work on and parts to keep them running are available.

1974 Laverda 750SF Race Bike L Engine Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1974 Laverda 750SF Race Bike for Sale

This is a Laverda 750 SF race bike up for auction that’s been in my collection for about two years.   According to the previous owner it was raced around 15 years ago. The fairing and windscreen were damaged when she fell over in the garage last year.  It will need a new battery and some gas to get it back on the road.  The gas in the tank and carbs were drained last year when I put her away.  The surface rust on the front disks is normal due to them being made cast iron. Once you get it on the road it will clean up. Front and back brakes work fine and are not stuck.  The exhaust is a genuine Laverda SFC system. The tank has a dent on the top side and could use some work.  This is a very cool bike that can be easily converted back to street use.  When I rode it last year it sounded very good and pulled very hard without any funky sounds or smoke coming from the engine.  Has Paoili clip-ons, a Telefix fork brace and steering damper.

1974 Laverda 750SF Race Bike L Rear Wheel

This SF is not perfect or completely original, but that’s beside the point here. It would be perfect for someone looking to live out SFC fantasies for one-tenth of the cost and will certainly sound the part, with that SFC two-into-one exhaust. Even if I could afford a real SFC, I’d rather race, and possibly wreck, a bike like this and save the genuine article for well-heeled collectors.

An ideal choice for do-it-yourselfers looking for on-track excitement who want something a bit different than another run-of-the-mill Norton or Triumph twin.

-tad

1974 Laverda 750SF Race Bike R No Fairing

Fast Classic: 1971Laverda SF Race Bike for Sale

1971 Laverda SF Racebike L Rear

Well two Laverdas in one week is cause for celebration, although these are at opposite ends of the spectrum. The previous SFC was a collector’s item, a racebike in road trim that might be too rare and special to use as nature and Laverda intended: by thrashing it to within an inch of its life on a racetrack. This one is a road bike that’s been heavily modified to match the performance of an original SFC.

1971 Laverda SF Racebike L Fairing Detail

Of the two, I personally find bikes like this one much more interesting. Obviously, the collectability is lower as is the price, which is perhaps part of the appeal. But it’s also really fascinating to see how someone’s perfect ideal motorcycle has been achieved, parts added, things removed.

This is a relatively period-correct replica that captures the spirit and performance of the real thing, but without all that “don’t crash an historic race motorcycle” distraction. Although even SF’s are pretty rare, so it’s basically impossible to avoid some heartache if you break this one too badly…

1971 Laverda SF Racebike L Side Detail

If you’re not familiar with the SFC, it was an homologation special built on Laverda’s SF “Super Freni” parallel twin that originally featured their powerful, proprietary drum front brake and later, a pair of discs. The SF was famous for its durability and the bike made an ideal foundation for the roadracing SFC. With only about 550 SFC’s built in several years of production, they are very rare and, although they came with lights, signals, and complete instrumentation, they make pretty uncomfortable road bikes.

1971 Laverda SF Racebike R Side Detail

From the very comprehensive original eBay listing: 1971 Laverda SF Roadracer for Sale

This bike was based on a 750 SF, assembled around eighteen years ago and casually raced at Loudon, NH twice and tested at a track day. Subsequent to this a family situation stopped my ability to campaign the bike and I just parked it to look at over the years. I am now downsizing and must sell my house and let go of items that I can no longer store, including the bike.

The frame was modified by removing all non-essential fittings and brackets. The whole bike weighs around 365 lbs which is amazing considering what it started off at. The headstock was cut and realigned to be perfect. I have a GMD Computrack frame analysis with the paperwork. It is painted in enamel in order to touch it up as needed as opposed to maintenance-poor powder coating.

The front fairing is based on a Ducati 750 SS. There is a crack on the lower right wing caused by an idiot house painter moving things around in my garage. I will be putting some clear 3M tape on this for now. I have a can of the paint used for the body work that I kept for potential repairs. There is also a small crack under the USCRA sticker.

The Laverda  tank is very similar to the production model but has smoother edges and is more attractive. The seat is a SFC replica.

The top end was all new with SFC cam, valves and guides. The work was done by Import Machine in Framingham, MA, about the best place around here for head and machine work. They have decades of experience with vintage and modern motorcycle and auto race work and has been the go to place for Porsche PCA members forever. A new chain and roller were also installed at the time as well as new pistons. The crank was found to be within original spec and was left unaltered except for cutting off the flywheel end. The carbs are 38mm Mikunis.

There’s much more over at the eBay listing. Often, I’m shocked at how little sellers include. I mean, a reprint of the bike’s history is probably pointless, but some notes about how long you’ve owned it, what’s been done to it, what’s been fixed, etc…

1971 Laverda SF Racebike Parts

That’s definitely not the case here: the seller is obviously very knowledgeable and, while this bike will need a bit of work to get it ready to run, you’re starting with something that’s very well-developed, with a ton of time and money invested in getting it right. Basically an entire vintage race bike set up including a ton of spares. Just add trailer.

-tad

1971 Laverda SF Racebike R Side

1972 Laverda SF For Sale

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re looking for a classic twin, but want something a little different and possibly more durable than your usual Norton or Triumph or Ducati, this very pretty 1972 Laverda SF might be just what you’re after.  The SF had traditional Italian bike characteristics: they were fast, stable, and exclusive.  But they also brought something new to the table: reliability.

Laverda began producing motorcycles in the early 50’s, making small-displacement race bikes that competed against Ducati, Moto Guzzi, and other contemporaries.  Early Laverdas were small displacement machines ranging from 75cc’s to 200cc’s, but Laverda knew it needed a big-bore parallel twin to compete with rivals from Harley Davidson, BMW, Moto-Guzzi, and Triumph.

The Laverda 650 twin debuted in 1966 and was imported to America under the “American Eagle” name from 1968 until 1969.  The bikes were expensive, but famously overbuilt and any parts not designed and built by Laverda were chosen for their high-quality: in their quest reliability, Laverda used Japanese electrical components exclusively. Early bikes sported a huge drum front brake that was powerful for the time and led to the name: “SF” stands for “Super Freni” or “Super Braking”.

At 500lb fully fuelled, the twins were a bit too heavy to be particularly nimble, but their overbuilt construction and on-rails stability meant they were at home on the street and in endurance racing.

1972 Laverda 750 SF for Sale

A listing of recent work from the original ad:

  • New Wiring Loom
  • Points and Timing meticulously set
  • Clean and restored original Fuse Box
  • New set of Bridgestone BT45’s
  • Wheels re-laced with chromed spokes – trued and balanced – Original set of spokes included.
  • New Brake Shoes front and back
  • New Cables all around  Brakes front and back, throttle, choke, clutch
  • Gauges cleaned up and serviced by Joel Levine company
  • New Cam chain and Triplex Primary chain.
  • Fork seals replaced, new fluid
  • Valve clearance has been checked and adjusted in the past 800 miles.
  • Brad Penn 20w50 oil is run (Extremely high quality oil made for older air cooled engine) Changed every 1000 miles.

This bike is extremely original, down to the “Laverda” stamped bolts holding it all together.  The original ad has a ton of details about the bike, with extensive photos of the bike in different environments and shots of spare parts that will be included.  It’s clear the current owner of this two-owner bike is meticulous and knowledgeable, always a good sign.  Current bid is at $10,000 and the reserve has not been met, so the owner has high expectations for this machine, but from the photos and the information presented, it looks like this bike is worth the premium price.

-tad