Posts by Category: Laverda

Laverda November 28, 2017 posted by

Collector Alert: 1998 Laverda 750SF/Formula with updates (UK)

Note:  This listing was removed from ebay (sold?) while in the queue for posting here on RSBFS but the post contains some interesting info so we decided to put it up anyway.  If we hear from the seller as to what price it went for, we will update in the comments.

Here is a zane-era Laverda 750 Formula which is probably the most collectible model of the later Laverda models.  Only produced in 1998 and 1999, the Formula was the top shelf bike in the lineup during the brief-rebirth of the Laverda marque.  This one is especially rare due to its having the updated/Type 3 crank installed of which less than 100 were produced.

1998 Laverda 750SF/Formula in the UK

For anyone not familiar with the zane-era of the Laverda marque, its a typically Italian motorcycle manufacturer story.  In the mid-to-late 1980's Lavera was a small motorcycle company that didn't have the financial resources to do continuous development.   Instead, designs were evolutionary, focused on the parallel twins and triple engines the company was known for.  In 1992 a new series of sportbikes were designed and ready to launch when the the company hit yet another financial problem which this time proved un-resolvable with creditors.  The result was Laverda filed for bankruptcy in late 1992 but after a multi-year trip through the courts local businessman Francisco Tognon bought the marque and re-started production.  The purchase included the designs for the "new" bikes but this meant that when the Laverda relaunched in 1994/1995 their bikes designs were already about 3 years old.

Note: The motorcycles produced in this post bankruptcy period are often referred to as zane-era Laverdas.  This is due to the fact that while the prior production was at the old factory in Breganze, the new bikes were built in a new factory located less than 6 miles away in Zane Italy.

The new lineup included a 650cc trellis framed bike known as the Ghost that was very similar to the Ducati Monster.  Another offering was a 650cc sportbike known simply enough as the 650 and a top shelf racer called the 650 formula that came with a new beam frame designed by Nico Baker.   Regardless of the model, the entire lineup came with the same basic engine (although the formula had upgraded cams and ecu mapping).    The reason for this was that Laverda had decided to follow the business model established by John Bloor's reborn Triumph motorcycles; offer a series of model options all based around a common engine architecture.  This business model means that no single model can break the company (cough-Bimota VDue-cough) and the monies from these early bikes could keep the lights on and also go into the development of new designs.   The business model actually worked for a bit with updates to the 650 air cooled engine being implemented in 1996 and capacity bumped slightly to 668cc's.  A new water cooled 750cc parallel twin engine was launched in in late 1997 and the modular philosophy continued with a standard bike known as the 750 Ghost, a street oriented sportbike known as the 750S and finally a "top shelf" 750cc Sportbike known as the Formula or 750SF.  All the new 750cc machines came wrapped up in lots of top shelf goodies including the beam frame design by Nico Baker, Paoli shocks, Marchesini wheels and lots of carbon fiber bits.  The 750SF/Formula edition got some extra bits including hotter cams, revised ECU mapping for better top end performance and termignoni exhausts as an option.

The 750 Laverda Formula was a solid competitor to the Ducati 748 of the era, down on power due to its older engine design but making up for it with better handling due to better suspension, braking and a neat letterbox fuel tank system that lowered the center of gravity of the bike as the fuel tank emptied.   Reviews were positive but not outstanding, with most comments saying the new 750cc model was equal to or slightly better than its Italian competition and a good step forward but not a world beater.

Sadly, even with the positive reviews and moderate sales success, Laverda was still a small European maker trying to compete against the well-funded Japanese and a resurgent Ducati (which had just gotten a large influx of private equity investment).  Development of the long-awaiting 3 cylinder engine dragged on and by early 1999 Laverda was again struggling financially.  New financial partners came in with the condition that Franciso Tognon relinquish his majority control.  Tognon instead decided to exit the concern completely, selling his interest but somehow managed to take the rights for the design of the new triple engine with him (which became the new powerplant of the reborn Benelli Tornedo Tre 900) and within a year the entire Laverda concern was bankrupt yet again in 2000.   A brief flicker of hope for a rebirth occurred when Laverda was acquired by Aprilia in 2001 with Aprilia even showcasing a new Aprilia powered SFC model in 2003 but Aprilia soon ran into its own financial difficulties.  The entire Aprilia group, which also included Moto Guzzi, was soon acquired by the Piaggio Motors who quickly made the decision that Laverda was the weakest brand of the 3 and in 2004 the Laverda marque was mothballed.

Ok, now that we have covered the history, what does all this mean to prospective collectors?   Its simple; the 1998-1999 750SF/ Formulas can be thought of as the last official development by Laverda, the model that contains all the final updates.  Bikes that represent the last of a marque are sometimes referred to as a "legacy" model and are usually a good investment opportunity, especially if they look as good as the Formula does.

As for this particular Formula, mileage is approximately 12,500 kilometers but the seller indicates it hasn't run in a few years so a reconditioning might be required.   Condition looks to be good with all the carbon bits in place and while I did notice that some bolts appearing to be non-OEM I don't see any major damage.  The seller indicates it does come with the optional Termignoni exhaust system including the chip but probably the most important aspect of this bike is the fact that it comes equipped with an updated/Type 3 crank.  This is important because depending on how they were ridden and maintained, the zane-era Laverdas could experience lower bearing failures/oiling issues which could cause engine failure by 25,000 miles.   These problems were most pronounced in the earlier 650/668 air cooled engines and while the risk of this could be partially prevented by an update to a stainless oil filter system and regular maintenance, the company did redesign the crank for the later 1998 and 1999 models to further reduce the chances of this issue occurring.  The seller indicates this bike has been equipped with one of the updated factory cranks which is quite rare and an important value add for the bike.

So now to the question - what's this bit of turn-of-the-century-possibly-tempermental-carbon-fiber-accented-Italian goodness worth?   Well its a 1998 model which means it not quite as desired by collectors as the final edition formulas from 1999 that came in a truly beautiful blue/orange or silver/orange color scheme.   Parts will be a bit of concern, although several suppliers are available and there always seems to be a 750s model being broken on ebay.uk.com.  Givn that only an estimated 600 formula editions were built over the two year model run and the fact that this one has had the crank issue resolved, I would say this is a solid opportunity for a collector.

I would guess reserve somewhere around 4500 GBP/6000 USD.  Value won't probably shoot up, it will be more of a slow gainer but its still a rare sportbike and probably a solid long term investment opportunity.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

 

Addendum:  I feel its only fair to note that I personally have a zane-era laverda collection and make a bit of money on the side selling parts/doing restorations/helping people mechanic their issues.

Collector Alert: 1998 Laverda 750SF/Formula with updates (UK)
Laverda July 27, 2017 posted by

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda 750 SF2 for Sale

Today's Featured Listing Laverda 750 SF2 is definitely more of a classic sportbike, but it's definitely rare and such an icon we couldn't help but publish! For fans of the site who aren't really familiar with low-production Italian bikes of the 1970s, you could probably think of Laverda as "the Lamborghini of motorcycles," since they also got their start building farming machinery. Bikes were added to their repertoire to help supply the post World War II need for cheap transportation with early examples clocking in under 200cc. But Laverda knew that, in order to compete with rivals like Triumph and sell bikes in the USA, they would need to expand their range to include bigger, faster machines.

Their first big bike was a 650cc parallel-twin that was introduced in 1966 and then enlarged to 750cc’s in 1968. It was powerful, with 60hp and fast, with a tested speed of over 100mph, no slouch for a stock motorcycle of the era. It was also legendarily overbuilt with five main bearings in the twin-cylinder engine, and every part not designed and built in-house was chosen for quality. The "SF" in the name stands for "Super Freni" or "super braking," a reference to the huge twin leading-shoe drum brakes fitted to the original machines, although by 1974 the system had been updated to a pair of Brembo calipers and discs.

The Laverda SF wasn't light or nimble, but it was very stable and proved successful in endurance racing when kitted out in SFC or "Super Freni Competizione" form. As rare as they are, they're pretty reliable for vintage machines, relatively simple to work on, and parts are apparently available to keep them running.

From the Seller: 1974 Laverda SF2 750 for Sale

As seen on a recent cover of Classic Bike Guide. This Laverda was acquired in 2012 from the second owner (I believe) who did extensive restoration on the bike including a complete engine rebuild from renowned Laverda expert Scott Potter. This bike runs as good as it looks with no issues.The original Nippon Denso gauges were rebuilt and function perfectly. The original polished Borrani Wheels were laced and trued by Buchanan's, the rear shocks have been updated to Hagons, the front forks have been upgraded to Works Performance dual rate springs etc. The bike has been restored using either original NOS parts or correct reproduction parts mostly sourced from Columbia Car & Cycle in BC Canada. Even the two keys for the seat storage box are included.The bike is complete and ready to ride or show.

It is original with a few exceptions that I am aware of as noted: the Euro rear tail light; (the original large US tail light is included with the sale); the front brake rotors have been drilled; the original foot pegs have been replaced with modest rear sets; the horns work great but are not original. The pictures tell the rest of the story.  It has the original exhaust with the crossover pipe and it even has the rare "Conti" stamped exhaust brackets. This Laverda comes with the complete correct tool kit in the correct stamped Laverda tool bag. It also has a new battery. Included with the sale if the reserve is met are the optional  solo seat, a front and rear fender painted to match the bike, an optional left foot shifter kit, (I have not used this) Tommaselli Clip-Ons, and a considerable treasure trove of literature including 2 copies of Tim Parker's Laverda Twin and Triple Repair Guide (one original and one revised). Two period correct (if tattered sales brochures), a copy of Nolan Woodbury's extensively researched article on the Laverda SF/2 twins as it appeared in the November 2016 issue of Classic Bike Guide, a Laverda Spare Parts List for the SF2.  I will also include related vintage articles that I have collected on this Laverda model. They are from the 1974 issue of Cycle Guide with a cover story on the SF/2, the 2013 issue of Classic Bike Guide with a cover story on the SF/2, the January 1992 Bike Journal with a cover story on the SF/1and various other articles on the SF/2. Please note that this bike is a right foot shifter. 1974 was the last year for the right foot shift Laverda SF/2. This bike is being sold as is with no guaranty or warranty. The bike is currently registered and titled in California.  

A $1,000 deposit is due within 48 hours of purchase with the balance due in ten business days. The bike is available for inspection in the Rancho Santa Fe, San Diego, CA area. Inspections can be arranged with advance notice. I can assist in helping the shipper of your choice. The bike can be stored indoors for up to 90 days as long as the bike is paid in full and insured by the buyer. I can also deliver the bike in an enclosed trailer (for a fee) if you are in the vicinity. I reserve the right to end the auction at any time as the bike is for sale locally.  

The days of reasonably-priced SFs are long gone and nice Laverda twins are not only hard to find, but command high prices when they do come up for sale. While the competition-oriented SFC sits at the very top of the Laverda twin hierarchy, the SF1 and SF2 are much more practical motorcycles, as the SFC is literally a race bike with lights and mirrors tacked on almost as an afterthought. This example is about as nice as you're ever likely to find, and it's even appropriately Laverda-orange. Bidding on the eBay listing is up to over $10,000 with several days left on the listing.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda 750 SF2 for Sale
Laverda July 17, 2017 posted by

Italian Brute: 1982 Laverda Jota for Sale

 

A bit of a throwback, this brawny Laverda Jota was built in the 1980s but has its roots firmly in the 1970s. Big, powerful, and uncompromising, the Laverda Jota had plenty of speed available, but made you pay for it with heavy controls and vibration that could shake your fillings loose. With the 981cc triple putting out 90hp, the Jota was capable of 146mph, no small feat in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The earlier examples used a 180° camshaft that had the outside pistons rising and falling together. Laverda used that configuration for better for power, and it was also good for noise: the triple was famously raw and basically ran like a four with a miss… In 1982, Laverda switched to a smoother 120° camshaft that wasn't lacking in character, but purists of course prefer the 180° bikes.

Interestingly, the Jota wasn't even designed in house. Slater Laverda in the UK proposed a higher-performance version of the bike, and the Jota featured high-compression pistons, different camshafts, and a free-flow exhaust. Specs varied by market, and it is generally believed that the US models were a bit less powerful than European machines.

Today's example is one of the later machines and features the Jota's famous adjustable bars. Mileage is very low, but higher-mile bikes shouldn't put prospective owners off: the triple wasn't quite as overbuilt as the earlier 750SF twins, but was still very durable.

From the original eBay listing: 1982 Laverda Jota for Sale

Absolutely beautiful 1982 Jota. Needs nothing. Mechanically great. Starts and drives perfectly. No rust or oxidation. Stored inside and driven very occasionally. Perfect addition to any collection. All original.

Well, that isn't very much detail, but what more is there really to say? There are just a couple days left on the auction, with no takers yet at the $20,000 opening bid. That isn't an outrageous number, considering what Jotas have been going for, but maybe buyers are thinking that should be the Buy It Now price, and not the opening bid?

-tad

Italian Brute: 1982 Laverda Jota for Sale
Laverda May 30, 2017 posted by

WAUW: Cor Dees Laverda collection for sale (Netherlands)

I know this listing has already been posted on the RSBFS Facebook page and on other sites such as laverdaforum.com but this opportunity is too unique to not deserve a post here on the RSBFS mothership site - Marty

Late spring is usually the busiest time for RSBFS as people bring their bikes out of storage and decide they need to "thin the herd" a bit. A good example is the recent listings from seller Whiteknuckle in Springville, Utah who has been offering quite a wide variety of makes, models and conditions.   But over in the Netherlands another collection is up for sale that is truly amazing, the Laverda collection assembled by Mr. Coor Dees.  Apparently after 30+ years of collection Dees has decided to hang it up and the entire collection/museum is now up for sale with over 80 Laverda's as well as a huge amount of memorabilia such as cutaways of engines.  Also includes is a massive photo archive that tells the story of the Laverda marque decade by decade.

Laverda Motorcycle Collection/Museum in the Netherlands

Dees dedication to the Laverda marque has produced possibly the finest long term collection of the north-Italian Laverda marque.  He collected everything related, even artifacts and old machinery showing the agricultural roots of Laverda and his close friendship with the Laverda family allowed him to purchase many of the bikes and associated memorabilia directly from the Laverda factory.  Now, after thirty years of collecting, he feels that it's finally time to hand over the keys to his amazing collection.

The full list of the bikes that will be included in the sale is available via the link above but below are some some highlights of the offered machines.

*Laverda Racing models*
1973 Laverda 750 Side sidecar racer - factory SFC engine
1975 Laverda 750 SFC 1976 Belgium Champion
1975 Laverda 1000 spaceframe works endurance racer
1975 Laverda 1200 Franz Laimböck Monocoque racer
1978 Laverda 500 Formula Mk2 - one of 75 - Laverda Cup

*Laverda Prototypes*
1971 Laverda 1000 Milano EICMA motorshow - prototype
1986 Laverda OR 600 Atlas prototype
1986 Laverda 668 Cruiser prototype
1989 Laverda 668 Hidalgo prototype
1989 Laverda 700 El Cid prototype

*Laverda 650 & 750*
1968 Laverda 650 production number 17 - May 1968
1971 Laverda 750 SF
1972 Laverda 750 SF
1973 Laverda 750 GTF
1973 Laverda 750 SF1
1974 Laverda 750 Polizia Allessandria police
1974 Laverda 750 SF2

*Laverda 1000 & 1200*
1974 Laverda 1000 3C
1977 Laverda 1000 3CL
1980 Laverda 1000 Jota 180
1981 Laverda 1000 RGS Executive panniers & fairing
1982 Laverda 1000 Jota 120
1982 Laverda 1200 TS
1983 Laverda 1000 RGA
1989 Laverda 1000 SFC wire wheels - 2000 km

*Laverda Zanè production*
1995 Laverda 650 I.E.
1997 Laverda 668 Diamante
1999 Laverda 750 Formula

I have to admit I am personally happy to see some Zanè-era models also included as well as some prototypes I have never even heard of.  Amazingly even the original Laverda entrance sign of the old Breganze factory will be included in the sale (200 kg and 4m long, it was in the Laverda factory between 1952 and 2000).

Now before you begin looking through your checkbook, there are a few caveats with this offering.  Though the complete collection is for sale, Mr. Dees will (for now) keep the most significant specimen of Laverda engineering: the legendary Laverda V6.  After eight years of determination Dees has indicated he has almost completed the restoration of the 1991 V6 racer back to its 24-hour endurance race trim.  Dees has also indicated he wishes to continue working on the original 90-degree 1000cc Vee-Six prototype which caused a sensation during its presentation at the 1977 Milano Motorcycle Exhibition.

While not having these bikes in the sales of collection might disuuad some prospective owners, Dees has stated that once these two (of three!) existing Laverda 1000 V-Six machines come up for sale, the new owner of the collection will be given the Right of First Offer to purchase both machines as well as the remaining factory V6 spares and technical drawings.

Another caveat of the sales is that the collection has to be maintained.  This could be by being included in a museum or exposed as part of a larger collection of motorcycles but Dees also wants the collection to be based somewhere where there is a strong Laverda community, ideally near the companies home of Breganze, Italy.  Lastly he wants the collection open to the public so it can be admired on a regular basis by visitors from across the world.

It seems safe to assume the sale price for this amazing collection will likely depend on how closely the new owner is able to satisfy Dees requirements.  While Dees has stated he is ready to sell his collection at a very reasonable price if the next owner is a real enthusiast who is willing to exhibit the collection for the next decades, it has been my experience that when a lifetime-effort collection like this is sold what typically happens is the collection is parsed with the highest-end/most notable pieces being added to a major collection (possibly being rotated) while other categories are eventually sold off to collectors more oriented towards those aspects.

Given the size of this collection and the caveats on the sale, I don't think this one will be going to a private collector.  Perhaps it can be acquired by one of the big museums in Italy such as the Museo Nazionale del Motociclo.  If by some chance it does end up in private hands all I can say is hopefully whomever acquires this amazing collection will at least meet the final caveat of keeping the collection open to the public so fans of the marque can continue to enjoy these Northern-Italian lovelies.

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

 

WAUW:  Cor Dees Laverda collection for sale (Netherlands)
Laverda May 8, 2017 posted by

1999 Laverda 750S with under 1,000 miles !

In the late 1990's Laverda was re-incarnating their past glory and made some of their best big upright twins and triples, before being purchased and then shuttered by Aprilia.  Presented here is a rare yellow and very late 750S, sparkling with only 994 miles.  Could be the nearest thing to a brand new Laverda out there.

1999 Laverda 750S for sale on eBay

 

The basis of the 750S is the company's signature twin, but updated with 4 valves per cylinder, a balance shaft, fresh air intakes and Weber fuel injection.  The powerplant inspired reviewers to put the excellent twin-spar alloy frame through its paces, and the premium Paoli suspension was worthy.  The company was known for not scrimping on components, as the gold line Brembo brakes and Marchesini wheels testify.  The fairing favors the solo rider with a snug seat and step up for the pillion, and the upturn of the dual exhausts is delayed to accomodate the rather rear-set pegs.

 

Evidently on display almost since new, this 750S still needs its break-in miles.  You'll have to lift the seat to add fuel, since the 750S was an early convert to underseat fuel and high airbox.  Finishes are unmarked and somehow the bike escaped the garage elves that usually plot a tipover or dent.  The seller relates that he is the second owner, and keeps it simple in the eBay auction:

1999 Laverada 750S with 994 original miles (1598 Kilometers) in like new condition no damage ever. Temperature and humidity controlled environment, on battery tender and covered. Starts and runs strong. Everything works, no leaks. Pictures speak for themselves.

 

At the time, European manufacturers were reeling from eastern competition, and couldn't hope to turn the clocks back.  Like many, the Laverda response was reverential to past glories, and a competent if not class-winning performer.  Great design and top components make for a worthwhile experience, though at this point one would have to be mindful of the parts availability question.  But if you have the bug for a classic Italian, why not pick one that looks showroom new ?

-donn

1999 Laverda 750S with under 1,000 miles !
Laverda April 6, 2017 posted by

Seeing Things: 1982 Laverda Mirage 1200

On the block today is one of Laverda's best kept secrets: The Mirage 1200. Created as a bit of a parts-bin special, the Mirage fills a distinct niche in the Laverda triple lineup, providing a naked cruiser, a half-faired sport-cruiser, and the full-blown TS sport touring edition (which we see here) all from the same basic bike. The Mirage is powered by the familiar 180-degree triple, but punched to 1200cc and fitted with a different cam profile from the other models. Jota bits are utilized throughout - such as the Jota-spec exhaust - but some items like the handlebars and seating position are unique to the Mirage.

1982 Laverda Mirage 1200 TS for sale on eBay

The engine modifications move the Mirage away from the raucous, sporting intent of the Jota, and the overall effect is a more civilized "Executive Express" type of feel. The large fairing provides decent wind protection, and gives the Mirage TS a polished look - much more so than the brutish, bare-bones fighters Laverda built their name on. This was to be a Laverda that you could go out and ride - often and far. Unfortunately, triples are inherently imbalanced (even the 180 degree motors), and vibration at speed was a persistent fly in the Mirage's high-speed transport ointment. The new additions came at another cost: weight. There are over 30 lbs added to a similar spec Jota in order to create a Mirage, which tips the scales at a burly 542 lbs. With only 73 HP available, performance is more inferred than experienced.

From the seller:
Here we have a 1982 Laverda Mirage 1200 TS with only 24k miles. This is a late 1200 series 2 and one of the last with the wonderful 180 degree crankshaft, giving this bike a lopey idle and great sound. If you're not familiar with this crankshaft configuration, the outer pistons rise and fall together while the center piston is offset at 180 degrees. This example is a South African market bike and was originally sold by Roma Guzzi LTD, in Johannesburg South Africa and it was imported to the US in 1993. While in the US it's lived all of it's life in hibernation while stored in a detached garage in Ohio until just last month.

More from the seller:
Upon possession of this exotic motorcycle I immediately began the resurrection process. The carbs were completely rebuilt and new O-rings, float valves and seals were installed. The Brembo brake calipers and master cylinders were completely overhauled and new seals, O-rings and pistons were installed. This bike got a thorough inspection and what was not roadworthy was replaced with new or NOS parts. The ignition pick-up wires were so bad that they turned to dust with the most gentle touch (something common on these bikes). These wires along with the outer silicone sleeve were replaced. The front forks also received new seals and fluids. This bike did not receive a frame-off restoration and it is not a trailer queen, it is meant to be ridden. Front and rear tires look good and they don't show any cracking, however, they are the original Metzelers it wore when it left South Africa and are over 24 years old. Bike shifts through all the gears and it brakes work as they should. Throttle response is very good and crispy. The clock currently shows 40,067 Km which is a little over 24k miles. The serial numbers are matching frame and motor #3444.

The seller has done a decent job describing this machine. True, it is not exactly the loving, original owner putting his baby up on the market. Still, there has been some work done to make this bike as presentable as it is, and plenty of decent photos. This is not a new machine, and there are some rough edges to some areas of the bike - certainly expected after 35 years of use. But it is also a reasonably rare machine, especially here in the US (you will note that the gauges are primarily in KMs). There appear to be a few slight modifications over the years as well - the oil pressure gauge does not appear to be OEM, and the Mirage originally came with a 3-into-2 exhaust, not the single pipe currently fitted.

Pricing on a Mirage model is difficult, at best. We have only featured one other such model on the pages of RSBFS, and that was a half-faired, non-TS model. Valuation should be comparable with a similar age Jota, or even RGS. There has been enough interest in this auction to pull the bidding above the $8k mark, with reserve still in place. Given the rarity of the model in the US, this one could go much, much higher. Curious to hear from our RSBFS sharpshooters on their thoughts - I know some of you are Laverda experts and might have more to share. Check it out here, and then jump back to the Comments section to let us know what you think!

MI

Seeing Things: 1982 Laverda Mirage 1200