Posts by Category: Laverda

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
Laverda March 26, 2017 posted by

Fast Waltz – 1982 Laverda Jota 1000

Laverda introduced a three-cylinder engine based on their air-cooled 750 in 1973, and refined the concept for the 1976 Jota.  An exotic superbike, the Jota was for a time the fastest production motorcycle, and was a major presence on the European endurance racing calendar.  Ongoing improvements made the 80's Jotas smoother and more reliable.  This recent import from Italy pushes all the right buttons.

1982 Laverda Jota for sale on eBay

After making their triple with 180-degree crankshaft timing for several years, the 1982 model was the first with 120-degree spacing between the crankshaft lobes, and a smoother running engine.  Along with a newly designed head, the triple Dell'Ortos had new mountings to isolate them from the engine heat.  With ongoing ignition and alternator improvements, the bikes were a lot easier to enjoy.  1982 also brought improved Marzocchi suspension, which helped the heavy-steering supersport hold the line once turned in.  Also new was the hydraulically actuated clutch which complemented the Brembo brakes.

With mileage just under 14,000, this Jota looks great in the company's favorite paint and boasts California title.  Very original, as the owner says in the eBay auction:

This Euro-Spec Laverda was purchased from a collector in Italy and recently imported to California. 

Very low original mileage with only 22K kilometers. (13,670 miles. Bike has odo and speedo in kilometers and kph)

Overall cosmetic condition is excellent, showing very minor weathering and no significant flaws or faults.

Paint, bodywork, seat, wheels, chrome, instruments, tires etc. all in nice shape.

This bike is completely original aside from it getting an original replacement ignition at one point. 

Completely maintained and recently fully serviced, starts, runs and rides like new. 

A rare casualty of Piaggio's consolidation, Laverda's big supersports couldn't compete abroad or at home, and the company was subject to a series of re-financing tries until the brand was retired in 2004.  But the brand has instantaneous recognition among riders and their sound still catches the ear, with or without orange paint.  This Jota has momentarily stopped time for those lucky enough to view, and when it rides "like new" for its new owner, they'll likely experience an interruption in the aging process...

-donn

Fast Waltz – 1982 Laverda Jota 1000
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