Posts by Category: Laverda

Laverda February 14, 2017 posted by

Love, Italian Style: 1985 Laverda RGS1000 SFC for Sale

Considering I can comb eBay for months on end and not see a single Laverda for sale, it's crazy that we've seen not just one but three worthy examples representing a couple different eras recently. From the 1990s Formula that might be more familiar to our readers, to the more vintage 1984 Jota and today's Laverda SFC1000, fans of the Breganze Bruisers have been spoiled for choice of late. The RGS1000 SFC was a bit of a last gasp for the original Laverdas before their death and subsequent resurrection during the Zane-era, a technological dinosaur that had been continually updated since the early 1970s to keep up with the ever increasing pace of sportbike development. Laverda knew they were falling behind the curve, as were all of the European brands, and they recast themselves as purveyors of elegant sportbike alternatives for distinguished gentlemen to help justify high prices, outdated technology, and "classic" styling. And even though the RGS wasn't a sportbike in the high-revving, light-weight idiom, it was still a blood-and-thunder brute with high-quality suspension, stability, and very real road-going performance.

Certainly, the "SFC" name of this very exclusive RGS variant was a bit of a cheat: produced in very limited quantities, the original SFC was based around Laverda's parallel-twin and was a barely-disguised racebike with lights stuck onto it to make it "street-legal" in the loosest sense of the phrase. Obviously, laws regarding that kind of thing were much simpler back then... SFC was an acronym for “Super Freni Competizione” which translates to “super braking competition”  and referred to the huge aluminum drum brake found on the original bikes. Later machines used a pair of discs as seen here, which provided less sexy but more reliable stopping power.

The engine was Laverda's long-serving and very charismatic three-cylinder 981cc engine, here with a 120° crankshaft that made for smoother running, along with high-performance cams and other assorted go-fast bits to raise the power from 85 to 95hp. Early examples of the Jota, Laverda's original, hairy-chested three-cylinder sportbike, used a 180° crankshaft that basically ran like a four-cylinder with a miss. It was good for power, but vibrated excessively and was eventually replaced with a smoother-running 120° crank. Even though the revised crank is considered a bit of an abomination by some Laverda purists, condemned of the sin of being "too civilized," if you've ever heard one of the 120° bikes, "civilized" isn't the first thing that springs to mind... It's raw and very Italian, and sounds like a Stradivarius violin crossed with a chainsaw being used to cut down a tree made of silk, dark chocolate, and truffles, or some other equally ludicrous simile. Basically, if you're expecting the soft whir and refined yowl of a modern Triumph triple, you'll be sexually aroused, pleasantly surprised, or horrified, depending on your feelings about earplugs.

So even though this was intended as a high-performance motorcycle, it was a bit behind the times when it was new. But if calling this an "SFC" is technically a bit of a stretch and merely a calculated dip into past glories to paint a moribund package a brighter shade of orange, this is still a very special motorcycle, as can be seen from the description below.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Laverda RGS1000 SFC for Sale

This unique SFC 1000 – one of a tiny number made – is in great original shape. It is a perfect runner receiving all it needs in the past four years to operate as new. The serial number shown is correct...0001.  Here's the story behind it:

This bike was built for Alexander Claren, a Cologne architect who designed Ewe Witt’s dealership (the German importer of Laverdas).  Claren saw the prototype bike at the Cologne motorcycle show and had to have one. He persuaded Witt to order one – requesting number 0001 - from the factory for immediate delivery and thus it was built ahead of the production line. The first production bike was number 1001, following Laverda’s usual numbering protocol. There are a series of letters from Piero Laverda in the file that accompanies the bike confirming the numbering.

SFC 1000 production ran alongside the RGS, RGS Corsa and various RGAs from 1985 through 1989 but few were made. SFC 1000 specifications changed only in detail as tiny batches of bikes were constructed. The most important visual differences were the color – red or black – and the wheels – three-spoke Oscam cast wheels or Akront wire spoke rims. The engine in all SFC's starting with this bike was to Corsa specification – that is 95bhp at 8000rpm - 5-speed, Marzocchi forks and rear shocks, Brembo Gold Line brakes, and either Smiths or Veglia instruments. All top quality components.

Two additional sets of factory exhausts and silencers come with the bike.  These are: a set of three into two in chrome (some SFC's had black, some had chrome) and a rare set of three into one.  The ignition currently on the bike is a modern Sachse electronic with selectable advance curves, but the factory original unit also comes with the bike. Note:  mileage shown is in km.

These bikes are rare. Don't miss an opportunity to own this one.

They were making these things, or titling them anyway, as late as 1988 by which point this machine would have been horribly outclassed by the latest generation of four-cylinder sportbikes from Japan. But while that might have mattered when the bike was new, it's pretty irrelevant now: it has classic looks you'd never confuse with a GSX-R or ZX or FZR or even FJ that would have mopped the floor with the RGS. And the bike's lardy 500lb dry weight was motivated by a stout 95hp so it's not exactly slow, even now.

So what's it worth? Well not much, unless you're an aficionado, so the $14,500 starting bid might seem outrageous if this is your first time clapping eyes on an SFC1000. But if you're a Laverda fan, that seems like a very reasonable place to start, considering what other rare Laverdas like the original Jota and even the standard RGS are going for these days.

-tad

Love, Italian Style: 1985 Laverda RGS1000 SFC for Sale
Laverda February 12, 2017 posted by

Formula for Success: 1999 Laverda 750S Formula

While there is no guaranteed formula for success in the motorcycling business, there are some pretty basic tenets worth following. The first is to start with a decent brand name and reputation. Laverda - building performance motorcycles since 1949 - fits that bill perfectly. The second rule is that the bike has to look good; as we all know, style sells. The Formula edition of the 750S offers full bodywork rivaling the best Italy has to offer (Bimota and Ducati included). Rule number three is to engineer the heck out of it to ensure a solid platform. Laverda rang up legendary framemeister Nico Bakker who created the robust chassis. The next step is to ensure adequate power - Laverda punched out their 650cc parallel twin to 750cc and the Formula edition provided uprated cams, revised fuel-injection settings and carbon-fibre Termignoni silencers to boost top-end power to aclaimed figure of 92bhp. The last step is to drizzle liberally with the best components money can buy, which Laverda did with Termi exhaust, Brembo binders, Paioli suspension front and rear, Marchesini wheels and Weber-Marelli electrics. What emerged as the 750S Formula was a handsome, potent machine that totally failed to turn the tides of Laverda's fortune. The company went under for good a few short years later.

1999 Laverda 750S Formula for sale on eBay

There is much to like about the 750S Formula. The parallel twin loves to rev, giving it a completely different character than the primary Italian competition, the Ducati 748. Handling is reported to be extremely nimble, with the combination of Nico Bakker chassis and Paioli suspension working well together. This is a proper sport bike with serious potential, but sadly with few real-world credentials. These were simply not produced in enough numbers to make a dent in the market, or in Laverda's finances.

From the seller:
1999 LAVERDA 750S FORMULA ,RARE 1 OWNER MOTORCYCLE ,NO ISSUES ,RUNS FANTASTIC ,PERFOMANCE CHIP INSTALLED AT DEALER STOCK CHIP INCLUDED ,VERY BEAUTIFUL AND RARE WITHFULL FAIRING AND TERMIGNONI EXHAUST ,NEW BATTERY ,ALL MANUALS ,CLEAN TITLE

Located in sunny California, this 750S Formula is listed with 26,672 miles on the clock. In addition to the numerous performance mods from the factory, this one also sports an aftermarket ECU chip (the stock chip is included in the sale). Overall the bike looks to be in good condition. The left side Termi shows some scratching, which could signal a kickstand incident (these bikes are known to sit rather high on their side stands). It doesn't look major, but worth investigating. As with all bikes from defunct manufacturers, replacement parts are going to be an issue - but may not be an immediate concern for well-cared for machines. Check it out here, and enjoy the last gasp from this storied Italian marque. If you've got experience with these models, please share your thoughts in our Comments section. Good Luck!!

MI

Formula for Success: 1999 Laverda 750S Formula
Laverda February 11, 2017 posted by

Make Mine a Triple: 1984 LAVERDA JOTA

In the annals of what could have been sits the very underrated motorcycling firm of Laverda. Best known for their iconic three-cylinder machines, Moto Laverda was formed in 1949 by Francesco Laverda - to make motorcycles. This was a very different start than many other Italian manufacturers of the era - many who started in farm equipment or bicycles. Being a newer player, Laverda did not need to rebuild post-war facilities and return the company to civilian duty; they could just get on with the business of making motorcycles. And that is exactly what they did. From 1949 through the early 1990s Laverda continued to forge their own, independent path.

1984 Laverda Jota RGS for sale on eBay

But times were about to change for this Italian marque. Directly from the Laverda.com website: "In the nineties the company went through a rough period in terms of finances and the market, partially caused by a production diversification policy that did not achieve the expected results." Laverda went into receivership, and was acquired by the Aprilia Group. As of 2004 Laverda was part of the Piaggio Group, who has publicly stated that they have no interest in returning this storied brand back to market.

This 1984 Jota RGS (Real Gran Sport) was one of the bikes that kept Laverda afloat in the waning years. Powered by a one liter triple, the Jota was the performance bike of the Laverda stable. Given that this is a later example, the crank timing is the smoother 120 degree variant, versus the early model's 180 lumpy firing order. The RGS nomenclature (not to mention fairing design) designates high speed transport as a favorite pastime; when originally released in 1976 the Jota was the fastest production motorcycle in the world.

From the seller:
1984 LAVERDA RGA JOTA 1000CC TRIPLE VERY RARE ,RUNS LIKE A JEWEL ,RECENT SERVICE ,NO ISSUES ,NEW BATTERY,

Laverda triples were never made in the numbers that would put a blip on the radar of the Big Four. As such, they are always in limited supply. What makes this one interesting to US readers is that it is a federalized model - here legally. No gray-market import, this Jota rolled through US Customs with the blessings of DOT and the EPA. This means that there should be NO difficulty in registering it for use where you live. And this is a bike that you *should* use. Laverda triples have a feel and a rhythm that is unique. These are well-made machines, sturdy and strong in a brawny sort of way. Legal in the US and something you should ride: You don't see that every day on RSBFS.

This bike is available in California (but appears to have Colorado registration). The seller claims a clean title, which is always a good thing. This bike has a very interesting VIN (....0000010), but that does not usually greatly affect resale value. Still, it is a novel VIN which only adds to the allure of this particular example. Bids are up to $4k at the time of this writing with reserve still in place. How high will it go? Check it out here, and share your Laverda thoughts in our Comments section. Good Luck!!

MI

Make Mine a Triple: 1984 LAVERDA JOTA
Laverda November 17, 2016 posted by

Spooky Sportbike: 1998 Laverda Ghost Strike 668 for Sale

1998-laverda-ghost-strike-r-front

The Zane-era Laverda Ghost and Ghost Strike are extremely rare here in the USA. They were designed to fill the same niche as Ducati's Monster and provide a profitable, parts-bin naked that would help put the struggling company into the black. The seller claims that the bike is "light, fast, loud, and powerful" and he's probably mostly correct. At around 420lbs dry, it is relatively svelte and that exhaust is definitely not stock, so it's likely pretty loud. The Ghost Strike generally came with a dual-exhaust, but this aftermarket two-into-one set up should save a bit of weight over the stock system in addition to increasing noise and power. Handling is excellent so the bike will definitely be quick down a twisted ribbon of asphalt, but "powerful" might be a bit of a stretch: the air-cooled 668 parallel-twin engine was a pretty ancient design and notably down on power compared to its competition from Bologna, with a claimed 70hp output.

1998-laverda-ghost-strike-r-rear

A quick look at the "gas tank" reveals something interesting: a lack of a filler cap. That's because you're really looking at the airbox and the tank filler is under a locking panel in the tail, which should be a conversation-starter anytime you're gassing up. These bikes may look a bit like someone ripped the fairing off a CBR, but they're very quirky machines that stress handling over power. The standard Ghost used a trellis frame similar to the Ducati, although this Ghost Strike features a beam frame that it uses identical geometry and is shared with the fully-faired 750S and Formula models.

1998-laverda-ghost-strike-airbox

From the original eBay listing: 1998 Laverda Ghost Strike 668 for Sale

Real deal.  Made in Italy. Rare and unique Laverda Ghost Strike 668.   Aluminum frame, fuel-injected, air-cooled parallel twin.  Carbon exhaust, Brembo brakes, etc.  Top of the line components.  If you want to ride something no one else has, this is for you!   Runs, rides and shifts perfectly.

Beautiful bike in great condition.  Never dropped.  Very slight imperfections from normal use.  Just had starter and flywheel replaced with OEM parts.   

This bike is light, fast, loud and powerful! 

The bike is missing passenger accommodations and its stock mirrors, but it does look better with these simple bar-end bits anyway. There are just a few hours left on the auction, with bidding up to $4,000. Certainly, a Monster will give you more bang for your buck, with much greater straight-line performance and parts availability. But handling from that Nico Bakker frame is famously good and these are rare as hen's teeth, especially in the USA. If bidding stays low, this could be a very cool buy for someone with a desire to be a bit different.

-tad

1998-laverda-ghost-strike-dash

Spooky Sportbike: 1998 Laverda Ghost Strike 668 for Sale
Laverda November 3, 2016 posted by

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda SFC for Sale

eBay shows sold for $52,500. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

1974-laverda-sfc-l-side

Today's featured listing is a bit older than the bikes we usually feature on this site, but you can't argue that a Laverda SFC is both very rare and a sportbike. It was a machine from the era where you could pull your mirrors and turn-signals off, assuming the bike had them to begin with, drive to the track, and race. In fact, many SFCs sell with the roadgoing bits still in a box... The SFC, which stood for "Super Freni Competizione" or basically "Super Brakes Competition" and was the homologation version of Laverda's 750cc parallel twin powered SF roadbike. The earliest bikes used a huge drum front brake, while later examples like this 1974 model used a pair of discs up front to provide the super stopping promised by the name. All of the SFCs had that funky, tacked-on taillight that looks like it's best viewed from the air and the solo tail-section ready and waiting for a white numberplate.

1974 Laverda SFC for sale on eBay

1974-laverda-sfc-r-side-front

Far more heavily-constructed than British twins of the period, Laverda's engine featured five main bearings and, although the resulting bike was a bit on the heavy side, the SF and SFC machines did well in endurance racing. Reliability was helped by Laverda's insistence on using the very best parts from a variety of manufacturers: Ceriani forks, Bosch ignition, and Nippon-Denso electrical components meant that, although the Laverdas were expensive, they were quality machines.

1974-laverda-sfc-tank

The bike was electric-start only, with a right-foot shift for the five-speed gearbox. Compared to the regular SF, the SFC engine featured an updated frame, suspension, and significant internal revisions, tuned and dyno'd at the factory for a claimed 75hp. That power peaked at 7,500rpm which is, you'll note, at the top of the red band on the suspiciously Honda-looking tach, so I guess you just keep the needle in the red for best results?

1974-laverda-sfc-clocks

Just 549 were built between 1971 and 1975, and this example looks to be in beautiful condition, with just a few tiny modern touches like the stainless-steel braided brake lines and an electronic ignition, both of which should add a bit of modern safety and reliability and are certainly in the spirit of the bike.

From the seller: 1974 Laverda SFC for Sale

1974 Laverda SFC comes set up with steel tank, and includes original fiberglass tank in excellent condition. 18,171 miles, ready to ride and collect. This is an excellent rider, set up correctly with DMC ignition. Considered by many, including myself to be the ultimate '70's Italian sport bike.

Paint details: restored perfect condition paint
Frame: Excellent, restored condition
Wheels: Restored - excellent
Electrical details: Everything in correct working order, set up with DMC electronic ignition
Riding: Smooth. Fast. Violent endless power in every gear.

Disclaimer: Every single bike I buy and sell, I personally go through—-not someone else, I am the owner operator of my small business, and I take what I do very seriously. I work on the bikes, I ride the bikes. I have been working on this lovely Italian crap for a long time, I know the differences between the bikes, how they should work, the history etc.. If you are serious about buying true collector piece from someone who not only has a passion for these bikes, but works on them, rides them, collects them – then call me. Jokingly people say to me, “these bikes don’t seem so rare as there are so many in your shop” well….. I consider myself a custodian for these machines, they should go to people who will love, and appreciate them..

Other details:
Excellent restored condition with receipts
Steel tank
Original fiberglass tank included with sale
18,171 miles
all receipts
original shocks included with sale
On SFC registry

1974-laverda-sfc-engine

The seller includes a couple of clips of the bike starting and being ridden and two things are abundantly clear: first of all, Brooklyn is a pretty lousy place to enjoy a 70s Italian race bike and second, a Laverda twin sounds very different than a parallel twin from Norton or Triumph.

The auction ends on Sunday and the current bid is $32,300 with reserve met.

The bike is being sold by Moto Borgotaro, a well-known shop that specializes in European bikes of the era. Seriously: check out the "For Sale" section of their site to see the kind of machines that have passed through on the way to finding new owners.

-tad

1974-laverda-sfc-r-side

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda SFC for Sale
Laverda August 18, 2016 posted by

Throwback Thursday: 1983 Laverda RGS1000 for Sale

1983 Laverda RGS1000 R Front

While many of the 80s bikes we've featured recently look relentlessly forward, spending their lives on the bleeding-edge of sportbike design, other manufacturers were necessarily stuck in the past, limited by budgets and working to maximize the potential of existing, sometimes moribund designs like today’s Laverda RGS1000. Laverda had certainly earned its fair share of laurels in the 1970s with their SFC endurance-racing machines but, fueled by strong sales, the Japanese manufacturers’ experimental output exploded in the mid-to-late 1980s. We saw everything from big-bore inline fours to two-stroke, V3 race-replicas and the European manufacturers were left trying to shift some suddenly very obsolete machines.

1983 Laverda RGS1000 L Rear

Laverda’s manly 981cc three-cylinder Jota of the late 1970s was in every way a sport bike: uncompromised by comfort or practicality, obsessed with speed, power, and loud noises: it was rare, exotic, and required real commitment to ride, especially if you were under 5’10”. But keeping pace with the Japanese in terms of outright performance meant developing a new engine, something that the small company could not afford.

So Laverda wisely cashed in on their brand’s racing history and Italian sportbike credentials to recast their top-of-the-line sportbike as something more of a racy sport-tourer with a revised frame and fully-enclosed bodywork. The fuel door in the front of the fairing is an interesting detail and speaks to the bike's new mission. Could the RGS keep up with the latest and greatest machines from the Land of the Rising Sun? Certainly not, at least on the race track, but handling was excellent and that big engine was no slouch. By pitching their revised RGS at a well-heeled clientele less likely to buy a bike based on some ever-changing performance-per-dollar ratio, Laverda targeted a premium segment and attempted to stave off the inevitable. Unfortunately, the bike was good but it was also expensive.

1983 Laverda RGS1000 Cockpit

Although the cognoscenti typically prefer the earlier Laverda triples with their raucous 180° “one up, two down” crankshaft to the later, much more refined 120° bikes, don’t think that the RGS is some shrinking violet. “Refinement” is a relative term, and an RGS with a free-flowing exhaust is one of the best sounding motorcycles I’ve ever heard, even if the sound is snarling out of the pipes of a somewhat awkward-looking machine. Today's example isn't perfect, but appears to have been sympathetically maintained and it certainly hasn't been left to slowly rust away in a shed somewhere, based on the miles its covered...

1983 Laverda RGS1000 Engine Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Laverda RGS 1000 for Sale

Good condition, strong runner. Has no mechanical issues. Recently gone through by noted Laverda experts Wolfgang and Chris Haerter. Many parts replaced including, but not limited to. Wheel bearings, drive chain and sprockets, tires, entire exhaust, brake lines, cam chain, engine oil, fuel lines, carburetors ultrasonic, DMC ignition, Dyna coils, Foot control linkages, all rubbers, mirrors. Has no leaks starts very well and sounds amazing. 

A very good example of a well looked after daily rider. 

1983 Laverda RGS1000 R Side

There are 86,000 miles on the bike, but these engines are very well built and, assuming the maintenance has been done as indicated, there should be plenty of life left in this beast still. Obviously, if your heart pumps premix and your riding boots all have their toes ground off, this probably isn't the bike for you. But if a classy gentleman’s express appeals and you want something far sexier and more exotic than a BMW twin, the RGS can provide you with the traditional Jaguar values of grace, pace, and space.

-tad

1983 Laverda RGS1000 L Fairing

Throwback Thursday: 1983 Laverda RGS1000 for Sale