Posts by Category: Laverda

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
Laverda October 4, 2015 posted by

Throw Back Sunday: 1984 Laverda RGS 1000 for Sale

1984 Laverda RGS1000 L Side

A bit of a hulking dinosaur, even when new, this Laverda RGS 1000 lives at the transition point between the old and the new, as the European manufacturers were being eclipsed by the Japanese when it came to sports motorcycles. For a long time, they'd hung on by being able to out-handle the upstarts from Japan, but bikes like the GSX-R750 brought power, handling, and contemporary racing style to the table at a bargain price.

1984 Laverda RGS1000 Dash

Look at the RGS compared to something like Honda's NSR400R, a bike that was more sophisticated in just about every single way, but with the same cylinder count: two-stroke, six-speed gearbox, fancy anti-dive forks, and significantly lighter weight and some of the best handling of the period. How could Laverda hope to compete with that? Well they did, for a time, recasting their big, bruiser of a triple as a classic GT, a "gentleman's express" with hand-built quality, character, and a timeless design.

1984 Laverda RGS1000 Dash

Powered by a revised version of their 981cc three-cylinder with a revised, 120° crankshaft to smooth out the famously raucous engine, the RGS featured a full fairing, comprehensive, if sometimes fickle instrumentation, and reasonably comfortable passenger accommodations. Fitted luggage was even available.

But the original three cylinder bikes were big, butch sportbikes and saw plenty of time on racetracks, so the RGS is no old-man touring bike. While it's no lightweight at 550lbs full of fluids and ready to run, it's pretty par for the course when compared to other big sportbikes of the period and offers up big speed and stable handling for mile-crushing sport-touring.

1984 Laverda RGS1000 Front Wheel Detail

I almost passed on posting this bike, as the photography is less-than-stellar. But Laverda RGS is very rare here in the US, with just 250 imported, and this looks like a very nice example. Those upgraded ISR six-piston calipers should provide serious stopping power, although the stock parts work very well.

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Laverda RGS 1000 for Sale

This is an opportunity to own a very rare piece of motorcycling history.  This is a 1984 Laverda RGS 1000.  It is in excellent cosmetic condition and is complete.  The plastics are not broken or cracked.  It is currently on display so I can only take pictures of the one side, but the other side is in the same condition as the pictured side.  I have owned the Laverda for 30 years, but it has been in storage for the last 25 years.  It will need to have the carbs gone through, new tires, new brake and fork fluids, and battery at the minimum to have it in running condition.  

The Laverda has the following modifications:

  • Corsa high compression pistons
  • Port and polished head
  • Carbs bored to 34mm
  • Moto Witt ignition
  • Astro Lite wheels
  • Slater 3 into 1 exhaust
  • 38mm M1R Marzocchi front forks
  • Werks rear shocks
  • ISR 6 piston front calipers
  • 320 full floating front discs

I have the following stock parts that will go with the Laverda:

  • exhaust
  • front rim
  • forks

Mileage isn't listed, but shouldn't be of much concern, assuming it's been properly cared for: these are seriously overbuilt bikes, with top-shelf electrical components. But, like everything else Italian, it's the maintenance that can get you: there's no oil filter, so regular changes are a must, and shim-under-bucket valve adjustment means a major headache when the time comes for that.

Cherished by owners, these rarely come up for sale and at the $11,500 Buy It Now price seems very fair, although I'd recommend the photographer spend some time making sure his or her pictures are in-focus if the bike doesn't sell this time around...

-tad

1984 Laverda RGS1000 Engine

Throw Back Sunday: 1984 Laverda RGS 1000 for Sale
Laverda August 4, 2015 posted by

The Unknown Italian – 1999 Laverda 750S

1999 Laverda 750S on eBay

lav_rightside

The Laverda 750S was just like everything else the other manufacturers were making in the 90s... yet completely different at the same time.  When you look at it, there are hints of Kawasaki's ZX-7, Honda's CBR900RR, Ducati's 851/888 and even Suzuki's RF series.  It's a mashup of styles that somehow manages to work when it's all together.  Like the other Italian manufacturers at the time the suspension, brakes and wheels were supplied by top notch companies like Paoli, Brembo and Marzocchi and/or Marchesini.  Unfortunately, they also suffered from the same reliability problems as the other Italian manufacturers back then.  The electronics were particularly troublesome and they developed a reputation for leaving their owners stranded.  Most Laverda owners learned very quickly that a hint of rain often meant it was best to leave the old girl in the garage for the day.  The reliability problems ultimately led to Laverda closing their doors in 2000.

lav_front

Also fairly unique about the Lav 750S was the powerplant.  While the Japanese were running strong with the inline four cylinders and Ducati was cornering the v-twin market, Laverda went in another direction with a parallel twin.  It was a bit of a thrasher that shined best the more you revved it.  It produced almost 100hp which was pretty good for a 750cc twin and, naturally, it sounded fantastic.  In addition to a pretty good engine, the beautiful aluminum beam frame and the high quality suspension parts meant that it handled even better than it went.

lav_tail

While the cynics will surely have a jab about the low mileage being due to the lack of reliability

1999 LAVERDA 750S CARANETO SPORT BIKE - ABSOLUTELY STUNNING.

LOW LOW MILES. COLLECTIBLE.

PHOTOS SHOW CONDITION, BUT THIS IS A PRE-OWNED BIKE SO PLEASE EXPECT SOME WEAR AND TEAR.  DUE TO THE NATURE OF PRE-OWNED USED MOTORCYCLES, THIS IS SOLD AS IS WITH NO WARRANTY.  INSPECTIONS WELCOME BY APPOINTMENT.

SERIOUS BUYERS ONLY PLEASE.

NATIONWIDE AND WORLDWIDE TRANSPORT & DELIVERY AVAILABLE AT ADDITIONAL COST.

The Unknown Italian – 1999 Laverda 750S
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