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.
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.
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.
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.
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.