Posts by Category: Laverda

Laverda March 2, 2016 posted by

Orange Whip: 1984 Laverda RGA Jota for Sale

1984 Laverda RGS R Side

With early Laverdas like the Jota and SFC headed into the stratosphere in terms of prices, and even bikes from the tail-end of triple production starting to command five-digit prices, it's no surprise to see this very clean but not as well-known Laverda RGA Jota sitting north of $12,000...

1984 Laverda RGS L Tank

By the early 1980s, Laverda was in trouble. They lacked the financial depth to compete against modern bikes and, although they had moved on to updated, fully-faired styling with the RGS, they were the same old machines under the skin. Not that that was necessarily a terrible thing: the 981cc, dual overhead cam triple was famous for its power and charisma. Fitted with the smoother 120° crank, Laverda's offerings of the 1980s were certainly not lacking performance, but they were still hard work and not nearly as refined as Japanese offerings. And they were expensive.

1984 Laverda RGS R Fairing

In fact, the RGA was a bike specifically intended to address the pricing issue. The RGS' fully-enclosed bodywork was of very high quality, but added significantly to the bike's cost. The RGA swapped that out for a lantern-jawed bikini fairing, a tank-mounted filler cap, and handlebars to replace the clip-ons.

1984 Laverda RGS Gauges

It's not really clear from the listing whether this is a lower-spec RGA fitted with different bodywork, or an RGS stripped of the full bodywork and fitted with a Sprint half-fairing. Or is it the RGA Jota, that came with clip-on bars, orange paint, and blacked-out mufflers? It's listed as an RGS, so I'd assume that to start, but it might be worth an email to the seller, since it really looks to be an RGA Jota and is claimed to be original. Performance-wise there's no difference and no matter how you slice it, this is a very rare bike.

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Laverda RGA Jota for Sale

1984 Laverda Jota RGS/RGA. Rare bike with low miles. Bike is original and is not restored. Bike was imported from the U.K. into the U.S.A. when new. I believe it came from Slater Bros. in England where they were modified after arriving from Italy.

I have owned the bike for about four years and am the third owner. It starts, runs, and rides great. I only repaired what needed to be done after a long period of storage, so paint and decals are original. It has a Super-Trap exhaust system since new and carbs were jetted to match when new.

Here is what I did to the bike to make it road-worthy when I found it, bear in mind this work was completed a few years ago now:

Rebuilt the brake hydraulics.

Rebuilt the clutch hydraulics.

New clutch, as the old one liked to stick after use.

Rebuilt the carbs, new petcocks, flush tank.

New windscreen, as old one was cracked.

New battery.

New tires.

Real head-turner with a very unique look and sound, only one like this I have every seen...

1984 Laverda RGS R Side Rear

Interestingly, we featured a similar-looking RGA on ClassicSportBikesforSale.com a while back. That bike was very nice vintage blue, but it's hard to argue with an orange Laverda. It may not have the cachet of a Jota, but these are very rare in the US and have all charm of more classic bikes, with improved function compared to earlier Laverda triples.

Like many older machines, these are relatively maintenance-intensive if you're used to modern designs, but they're fundamentally durable and well-built. That dual-headlight half fairing should provide good wind protection and the two-up seat decent passenger accommodation. Find yourself a set of fitted luggage and head out for a long weekend ride!

-tad

1984 Laverda RGS L Side

Orange Whip: 1984 Laverda RGA Jota for Sale
Laverda February 26, 2016 posted by

Italian BMW – 1984 Laverda RGS1000

An old joke about European heaven and hell ( in heaven the French do the cooking, the Italians romance, the British are the police, and Germans run the trains - you know what happens in hell ) came to mind when I read a review of the Laverda RGS1000, owners were so impressed by the build quality they termed it the Italian BMW.  Coming at the beginning of the end for Laverda, the RGS1000 was an inspired sport heavyweight that kept the brand alive and still has a following today.

20160224 1984 laverda rgs1000 right

1984 Laverda RGS1000 for sale on eBay

20160224 1984 laverda rgs1000 left grip

20160224 1984 laverda rgs1000 cluster

Based on the 981cc triple from the 1970's Jota ( itself an evolution of the 750cc twin ) the RGS engine uses a 120-degree crankshaft, inherently smoother than the Jota but subject to a secondary vibration requiring rubber engine mounts.  The triple Dell'Orto carbs help the engine toward 83 hp and 57 ft.-lbs. torque.  Suspension is all Marzocchi, air assisted, and triple Brembo 280mm disc brakes.  A very low 30-inch seat height allow the upper-only fairing to protect the rider at the 137 mph top speed.  Chockablock with neat details, it has a beautiful mono seat fairing, Vitaloni mirrors and a tank ready for a magnetic bag ( fuel filler is on the fairing ).

20160224 1984 laverda rgs1000 right rear

Coming out of Toronto, this RGS1000 looks excellent and shows only 6,600 kms.  Pictures aren't hi-res, but once right side up ( how did that happen ? ) they show a clean un-hacked classic.  Nothing about repairs or maintenance, which is acceptable considering the low mileage.  From the eBay auction:

1984 Laverda RGS 1000.  6600 KMS.  Mint condition.  Comes with factory original mint exhaust as well as the three into one Laverda racing exhaust.  Both exhausts are mint as is this particular RGS 1000.  A true all original unmolested survivor. 6600 KMS from new!  A rare opportunity to purchase a true gem. None finer and not a restoration.

20160224 1984 laverda rgs1000 right engine

Almost a cult at this point, Laverda owners have several clubs and stay in close touch.  Just as well since despite the hand-built craftsmanship, the RGS requires valve clearance checks every 3000 miles, requiring removal of the fairing and fuel tank.  When carefully maintained, the smooth triple can have a long lifetime.  Though the bike is a portly 550 lbs., the fairing lends excellent fuel economy, and the RGS reviewed as a stable, invigorating ride.  Rare by any definition, only 250 or so of the 2500 total production made it to the states.

20160224 1984 laverda rgs1000 left fairing

In the end, the gorgeous heavyweight sport tourer made by a small, family-owned Italian firm could only delay the inevitable, and Laverda shortly entered the throws of bankruptcy before being bought and retired by Aprilia in 2000.  But well-made bikes like the RGS1000 live on.  In Laverda's strange alternate universe, maybe Ducati would be making dual-sports and BMW sportbikes...

-donn

20160224 1984 laverda rgs1000 tank

Italian BMW – 1984 Laverda RGS1000
Laverda February 8, 2016 posted by

Gentleman’s Express: 1983 Laverda RGS1000 for Sale

1983 Laverda RGS1000 R Front

Laverda's big-bruiser RGS1000 comes from an era when the European brands were struggling in the face of the Japanese Big Four's onslaught. To keep pace required serious levels of financial and manufacturing muscle, and most of the European brands just could not compete.

1983 Laverda RGS1000 Tank

Some, like BMW hung on to a niche market, with loyal sport-touring fans continuing to buy up their durable flat-twins, even as the company continued to innovate, building new triples and fours. But companies like Triumph struggled to update already obsolete machines and stave off their inevitable doom.

1983 Laverda RGS1000 Clocks

Laverda, a tiny company compared even to Triumph, took a different path. They started with their powerful and chest-thumpingly manly 981cc three-cylinder engine and five-speed combination, then wrapped the package in modern, fully-faired bodywork, creating something new out of something old, a bike that wasn't really trying to compete.

1983 Laverda RGS1000 Engine

Although it was decidedly old-tech, the new sport-touring mission of the bike meant it wasn't even trying to compete in the rapidly-escalating sportbike wars against the Japanese, and the bike, while not very light at 550lbs, offered Laverda's famous stability, impressive midrange power, and reasonable comfort. Unfortunately, it wasn't enough.

1983 Laverda RGS1000 L Front

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Laverda RGS1000 for Sale

I bought this beautiful Laverda RGS 1000 about five years ago from a Laverda collector in California. He was selling it and other bikes after suffering serious injuries in an accident. He had owned it for a number of years when he decided that he wanted more "oomph" so he wisely sent it to Scott Potter, Laverda engine builder and restorer par excellence for some high-compression pistons. The bike was in good condition and did not need restoration, but since the engine was coming out anyway, why not take advantage?

And well, here is Scott's work order:

RGS 2029 Disassemble the machine down to every last nut and bolt. Send out all chrome components to be replated . Strip frame, center stand and rear fork to bare metal. Fabricate gusset plates to strengthen headstock. Powdercoat frame and rear fork gloss black. Renew headstock bearings and rear fork bearings. Disassemble engine. Clean sand cast engine components. Bead blast as necessary. Follow with hot tank wash and clear out all passages with compressed air. Polish all alloy covers. Replace wearing components as necessary. Lighten clutch basket and pressure plate. Machine true and lighten clutch drum. Send out cyl head for 3 angle Serdi seat cut. Reassemble engine to factory tolerances. Check valve timing to published specs. Disassemble, clean and inspect starter clutch. Reassemble with new springs, plungers, and rollers. Refit to engine. Refit engine to chassis. Disassemble front forks and clean. Check fork tubes for straight and true. Polish fork tubes. Fabricate adapters for cartridge emulators. Modify damping rods for cartridge emulators Reassemble with new seals and oil. Refinish yokes and instrument mount. Refit forks to chassis. Renew rear damper assemblies with custom Works Performance units. Disassemble brake hydraulics. Clean and reassemble with new kits, pads and pistons. Remove rotor surface area of iron oxide. Mount rotors to hubs with new fasteners.Install new black sheathed stainless brake and clutch hoses. Bleed all hydraulics with fresh Castrol GT LMA DOT 4 fluid Fit new sprocket and renew sprocket locking tabs. Refit wheel assemblies to chassis. Fit new drive chain. Polish footrest plates. Clean adjustment discs and assemble with antiseize compound Install new bronze bushings in shift and brake levers and hone to fit. Install new type designation plate Fabricate new mounts to fit Mikuni RS36 carbs to utilize stock airbox connectors Fit carb assembly to engine. Install new push pull throttle quadrant. Clean and repair/modify wiring harness as necessary. Install Witt/DMC ignition unit and Mitsu coil assembly Refit wiring harness and switch gear to chassis.

As you can see it is a comprehensive rebuild, but not a complete restoration as the original durable Laverda paint was in great condition still. The owner was able to put only a few miles on the restored bike before his accident. Since I bought it from him, I have put about 1200 miles on it. I treated it as a new bike and carefully broke it in. I then changed the oil (Mobil 1), re-torqued the head and adjusted the steering bearings. I have changed to the shocks to Ikons from Wolfgang as the Works Performance shocks were a little soft. The only negatives that come to mind are the tire-changing marks on the rims and the older tires that have plenty of tread but should be replaced before any serious cornering takes place. It starts and runs well with plenty of power. The clutch action and shifting are great- better than any of the Lavs I have owned. It is an imposing bike in looks and sound and it makes a decent sport-tourer with the bags attached. I am including some pics of the rebuild and one of me riding it on the Dragon. I forgot to mention that this RGS has the dealer installed Executive package which consists of the hard bags, higher handlebar, and additional wind protection for the hands.

Bidding is up to $8,500 with the Reserve Not Met and a Buy It Now price of $14,500, which seems pretty on-the-money for a nice RGS. Although this uses the later, 120° crankshaft and was pitched towards a more "civilized" audience, these are still pretty raucous if you're used to something like a modern Speed Triple.

1983 Laverda RGS1000 Front Wheel

They're very rare, with just 250 imported to the US and if you want a classic Laverda to ride and enjoy, these are stylish, durable and, with the fitted luggage included with this bike, make great sport-touring mounts. And, in case you're wondering: yes, that little door in the front right fairing does in fact hide the fuel filler cap. Obviously you'd need to find a good mechanic, or be handy with a wrench, considering the age and rarity. But the Laverda community is close-knit, and many owners take great pride in wrenching on their own machines.

-tad

1983 Laverda RGS1000 Ride

Gentleman’s Express: 1983 Laverda RGS1000 for Sale
Laverda November 30, 2015 posted by

Red, Rare, and Italian:
1999 Laverda 750S in Alabama (relisted)

Update 11.29.2015 - This one originally sold back in June of last year in Alabama. Since then it has been listed multiple times on eBay but now the seller has decided to price is right about where it was last year (sold in June 2014 for $3,334.99, current bid is $3,444.00). Only 20 hours left so if this one interests you, move fast! - Marty

The last generation Laverdas aren't commanding prices anywhere near the 70's/Breganze era bikes but that could begin to change pretty quick. Often referred to as Zane era bikes (due to the the factory moving to the town of Zane), the last generation Laverda bikes had a Nico Bakker designed frame, Marchesini wheels, Brembo brakes, Paoli forks and shocks, and a cool letterbox fuel tank system that caused the center of gravity to improve as the fuel level went down. Overall they were well designed and were strong performance competitors to the 750 Ducati of the same era.

1999 Laverda 750S for sale one eBay

1999 Laverda 750S for sale

For 1999-2000, there were 4 different 750cc based models offered; the the 750 Strike (a standard style) in mother of pearl blue or orange, the 750 formula in black, the 750S with half-fairings in silver or black, and the 750s Carenata (which means fairing in Italian) in yellow or red. This example is a 99 750s Carenata model with the red bodywork and has very low mileage.

The seller back in 2014 indicated this was part of a collection, and didn't  include a lot of information.  The pics below are from the previous post while the new seller has provided many more pics from what I can see, the current seller has only replaced the rear tire and possibly done other regular maintenance (such as a battery)...

from the June 2014 seller:

1999 LAVERDA 750 CARENATA in great condition. Never wrecked and clear title! Only two owners and very low mileage! In great condition - only defect is a flat tire (which can easily be replaced for minimal expense). I am an owner selling off my motorcycle collection. I am a motivated seller! Bid now!

This particular bike auction has been listed before on ebay and here on RSBFS with the seller asking for about $6500 usd.  Click here to see that post and related links to the auction but as noted in the post header, the market price for the 750s carenta model seems to be more about $3,500 USD right now.

As regular readers of RSBFS know, I am a big fan of these bikes and I have to admit I personally hope these appreciate in the future.  But given the evidence of this postings history, I don't know if that's likely.   I guess this one will appeal to the rider who wants a late 90's italian sportbike that isn't a Ducati...

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Red, Rare, and Italian:  </BR> 1999 Laverda 750S in Alabama (relisted)
Laverda October 20, 2015 posted by

Zané-Era Bargain: 1998 Laverda Ghost for Sale

1998 Laverda Ghost R Side Rear

Today's Laverda Ghost will certainly have a predictable share of haters, but it offered up a unique, stylish alternative to bikes like Ducati's Monster. Powered by an air/oil-cooled, four-valve per cylinder 668cc parallel-twin with Weber-Marelli fuel injection that put a claimed 70hp through the six-speed gearbox, the bike was down on power a bit when compared to the competition, but made up for that deficit with superlative handling.

1998 Laverda Ghost L Side

The seller mentions that this is the "desired trellis frame model." I'm not sure if he means from a styling or performance standpoint. Laverda claimed the geometry and weight were exactly the same for the Ghost and the Ghost Strike, with looks being the primary difference between the two frames: since they'd already developed the beam frame for the faired Formula, they felt it made sense to offer it as an option for the naked model as well.

Certainly the trellis frame looks better, but the beam frame used in the Ghost Strike and the 750 Formula models was designed by the famous Nico Bakker and, whether you love or hate the looks, those Formulas are famously good-handling machines, easily the equal of anything available at the time.

1998 Laverda Ghost Dash

From the photos, you can see that this Ghost also shares the Formula's high-quality Paoli adjustable front and rear suspension, something that would give it a serious leg up compared to most Ducati Monsters of the period. Unfortunately, although the bike is fitted with top-shelf components, the odd looks are a bit of an acquired taste, and are not helped by the aftermarket fairing fitted to this bike.

If you look closely, you'll also notice that there's no fuel-filler on top of the "gas tank." Interestingly, this was one of the first sportbikes to use a fuel cell to help maximize airbox volume and centralize mass: fuel goes into a filler hidden underneath the passenger seat.

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Laverda Ghost for Sale

This is the desired trellis frame model. Bought new in 1999 from dealer here in Birmingham. Bike has been inside all of its life and is in pristine condition. There are two scuff marks on the front fender which may be buffed out. Tires are new, as is the battery. Bike is stock except for the aftermarket fairing, 2-into-1 Leo Vinci carbon fiber exhaust and Power Commander to tame the original quirky fuel injection system. An expensive dyno tuning was done on the F.I. mapping. Reason for selling is that the bike hasn't been ridden for 3 years and it should go to an owner who will ride it.

1998 Laverda Ghost Exhaust

This example, although poorly photographed, looks to be in very nice shape. And you can see a number of other classic Italian cars and motorcycles in the background, so the bike has certainly been owned by a dedicated enthusiast! Although many scoff at these later Zané-era Laverdas as being "not the real thing," they offer up genuine Italian style, handling, and quirk. With just 6,000 miles on the clock and a Buy It Now price of $3,200 this is a screaming deal for lovers of bargain exotica.

-tad

1998 Laverda Ghost R Side

Zané-Era Bargain: 1998 Laverda Ghost for Sale
Laverda October 5, 2015 posted by

Keep the lav going: 1999 Laverda Formula on ebay uk

Hot on the heels of the RGS posted by Tad D on Sunday, here is a very lovely 1999 Laverda Formula 750s Formula edition for sale on ebay UK.

I will admit to being biased about the bike posted below; its one of my personal favorites.  The Formula editions were the top of the lineup bike of the Zane era, with upgraded camshafts and race-spec ECU chips.  These upgrades were in addition to the 750 series standard kit of a Nico Baker designed frame, marchesini wheels, letterbox gas tank, brembo brakes and carbon fiber goodies.  Plus the black and orange bodywork (which was the original livery/paint scheme offered by the factory) is attractive but not outlandish; not as monocromatic as a Ducati 748 but not as graphically eye bending as a Vance and Hines edition Yamaha FZR.

formula1

1999 Laverda Formula for sale on ebay uk

While reviews declared the parallel twin powered Laverda to be an equal to or better than its competion (such as the Ducati 748), the Formula edition only lasted for two years.  The effort was hampered by a nearly non-existent marketing budget, squabbling ownership and typical small manufacturer production concerns.   On top of this, the the Zane-era laverda's developed a reputation for crank problems due to oiling issues at high mileage.   The entire concern fell apart in late 2000 and entered bankruptcy and while an attempted rescue by Aprilia raised hopes for a bit, Aprilia itself was soon acquired by Piaggio and the marque was shelved in 2003.  The result is that the 1999 and 2000 series Formula are considered to be the last true race spec Laverda's produced.

formula23

Condition of this particular formula looks excellent, with only some small aftermarket parts such as a double bubble screen, footpeg ends and handgrips appearing to be non-standard/OEM.  The only issues I see in the pics (other than the aftermarket pieces) is a bit of paint being off the wheels and the very edge of the lower fairing, both typical items for an italian bike of this era.  Also the speedo is cracked but the seller indicates a replacement is available.

formula4

Regarding maintenance, the seller states that a recommended upgrade to a stainless oil filter and oil upgrade to prevent the aforementioned crank issues has already been done. The seller is also an active poster on the yahoo zanelist forum and appears to have a nice 2000 series formula still tucked away in the garage, so the knowledge of what it takes to maintain the bike would seem to be genuine.

Here is some other things the the seller mentions in their ebay post

  • Battery is fine and charges, lights work and indicators flash, never failed to start.
  • Have previous MOT's, a stamped service book and the original owners manuals, both for the bike and Paioli suspension. I'll put a new MOT on it too.
  • One of the pictures shows a crack on the speedo face. I have another set of clocks that I can throw in with the sale should the price be right.
  • There is also a small amount of flaking to the wheels, an unfortunate side effect of aluminium wheels. These can be re-powder coated for around £80-£100 per set.

formula3

Is this bike worth the 4000 GBP asking price?  Actually I think its worth more, given its condition and rareity.  Prices are definitely starting to creep up on the Formula editions, with the 2000 series really jumping up lately.  1999 versions of the Formula like this one are are essentially the same bike with different bodywork  and this one looks to be in very good condition.

Overall I think this is a great opportunity for a collector or laverda fan in the UK to obtain one of the final "true" laverda bikes.   and perhaps enjoy it a bit or tuck it away in a collection and let prices keep appreciating.  Long term I think this one will definitely be more treat than trick.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

Keep the lav going:  1999 Laverda Formula on ebay uk
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