Tagged: SF1

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.


1973 Laverda SF1 R Side

1974 Laverda SF1 for Sale

1974 Laverda SF1 R

The SF1 is one of my favorite classics: Laverda’s answer to the sportbike question posed by bikes like Guzzi’s V7 Sport, Ducati’s 750GT, and Norton’s Commando. The Italian manufacturers of the period seem to have been drawn to v-twins, but Laverda’s parallel-twin configuration offered compact packaging, elegant looks, and famous durability.

1974 Laverda SF1 L Front

Interestingly, Laverdas in general have a reputation for bucking the stereotype that European machines are unreliable and temperamental. They may have been expensive, but they were built using the best available components: if a part was made in-house, it was made to a very high standard, and parts from outside manufacturers were chosen based on quality and performance, including Bosch ignition components and a Nippon-Denso starter for reliability.

1974 Laverda SF1 Gauge

Laverda’s overbuilt twin may have been on the heavy side, but was famed for its stability and reliability and racing versions did very well in endurance events. Early bikes like this one featured Laverda’s huge 9” drum front brake that was very powerful for the time and led to the bike’s name: “SF” stands for “Super Freni” or “Super Braking”.

1974 Laverda SF1 L Side Rear

Unfortunately, this is yet another in the growing trend of very spare eBay listings: 1974 Laverda SF1 for Sale

Very nice Laverda SF1.  Has been sitting in a museum, but ridden three years ago.  Ran well when parked.  Will need a new battery and maybe the carbs cleaned.  This motorcycle is in nice shape except for the seat.

At least we know the seller is an Italiophile: if you are sharp-eyed, you might notice what looks like a grey and black Laverda Jota in the background has been featured before on this site, along with what appear to be the back ends of a Fiat Spider and a Lancia Scorpion there as well. Hopefully that’s some indication that the owner knows what he’s doing when it comes to older Latin machinery.

1974 Laverda SF1 Engine

These bikes have a different sound than v-twin Moto Guzzi or Ducati of the period, but are unmistakably distinct from parallel twins from the UK. For collectors, the earlier, drum-braked models are very desirable. Obviously, the move to double front disc brakes on later SF’s was a welcome step forward in terms of performance, but the huge drum on the front of earlier bikes represented the pinnacle of the drum-braking technology and does provide plenty of stopping power when properly set up.

1974 Laverda SF1 Seat Rip

The $8,500 asking price is on the high side for an SF, but not outrageous: the bike appears to be in excellent shape, barring the easily repaired tears in the seat and the fact that it isn’t orange. Back when I was bike shopping, Laverdas like this ran about $5,000 when you could find them, and I often wish I’d waited for one to show up before I plunked down my cash.


1974 Laverda SF1 L Side