Posts by Category: Laverda

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Laverda August 4, 2022 posted by

Be the Speed – 1983 Laverda RGS1000 with 7,671 Miles !

In the moto business since 1949 ( and agricultural engines way before that ), Laverda saw the lights of the oncoming bullet train in the late 1960’s and set to developing a three-cylinder engine.  The RGS featured new developments all around and this example looks just about as delivered.

1983 Laverda RGS1000 for sale on eBay

Laverda’s air-cooled triple had been in the line-up since 1969, and the RGS had the latest double overhead cams and 120-degree crankshaft.  A conservative 83 hp were on rubber isolators, with 32mm Dell’Orto carbs and a 5-speed transmission.  Marzocchi dampers and 280mm Brembo brakes were premium components for the time, along with 18-inch alloys.  Innovative footpeg carriers and fuel filler were distinctive and complemented the bodywork which flowed from headlight to tailcone.

Offered by an eBay consigner, this Lav is reportedly in Illinois and looks pampered.  Might be ridden occasionally but at 39 years young, not very far.  Just the 3-into-1 exhaust, oil cooler, fork brace and what seems to be a Corsa brake upgrade catch the eye, besides the overall unrestored beauty.  Some of the detailed comment in the eBay auction –

The cosmetic condition of this machine is just as good as it looks in the photos. Every finish on the machine is original. No part of the bike has been re-finished. The running condition of the machine is flawless, starting immediately. This bike has been part of the owner’s collection for a while and is ridden on a regular basis. It runs and rides with absolutely no issues.

As you can also see from the photos, the machine has had absolutely no restoration performed to any part of it. The condition is exactly what it looks like in the photos. I have been a fan of Laverda for some time, and have had two of these RGS machines in the past as well as this one.

The paint on the tank, side covers, and cowl is, as far as I can tell, original, and have never had any type of paintwork or touchup. The bike has never been in any type of accident or been dropped at any time.

The machine has 7,671 original miles on it, and is in perfect running condition with a compression test having being recently performed. The cosmetic condition of the engine finishes, apart from some minor age freckling, is very nice, with the aluminum and cast parts being particularly beautiful for their age.

The seat is original and in perfect condition, and the rear cowl is easily removable, allowing for two up riding. The wheels are original to the machine, are the rarer and more desirable gold version, stamped Laverda, and are in very nice original condition. Please note the original specification smoked windscreen is present and in beautiful original condition.

The RGS 1000 runs and rides the way you expect a machine with this type of mileage to run. All of the mechanical components have been checked over to ensure they work properly including the clutch and brakes, which were recently serviced and adjusted.  The carbs were completely gone through this season and function perfectly, and there is a new battery installed.

Laverda had a long racing history and produced some beautifully equipped road bikes, but without a gazillion smaller bike sales to fund development, even their latest designs were a little quirky and relatively expensive.  But sometimes a fascinating, Euro-centric design with provenance is just the ticket, and if this era and continent strike a chord, it might be a while before a nicer example is available.

-donn

Be the Speed – 1983 Laverda RGS1000 with 7,671 Miles !
Laverda July 14, 2022 posted by

Featured Listing: 1983 Laverda RGS 1000

Update 7.22.2022: Seller has confirmed this bike has SOLD! Auction ended at $13,850CAD, or roughly $10,750USD. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

The epitome of Italian speed and style, the Laverda RGS has been an underrated darling for too long. Revered by riders in the know for its legendary 3 cylinder power, comfort, and relaxed attitude at higher speeds, the RGS brings with it a taste of the exotic and rare in a world filled with plastic scooters and me too bikes.

1983 Laverda RGS 1000 offered at NO RESERVE!

The heart of the beast is a relatively simple air-cooled triple displacing an actual 981cc. The heads are of two-valve per cylinder design, breathing through a tri-power of Dell’Orto carbs. Crank throws are evenly spaced at 120 degrees, which was a departure from the earlier Jota’s 180. The result was a smoother, more even power delivery befitting high velocity travel. Exhaust gasses flow through a svelte 3-into-two system, offering just the right amount of civilized noise. The bodywork is classic Italian – flowing and sensuous, yet purposeful The tank cover is devoid of fuel cap, as the fairing incorporates a slick automotive style door and fill mechanism that is much cleaner than traditional designs. The rest of the components exude class, including the Brembo binders and Marzocchi air-assistend forks and air-adjustable rear shocks. The Laverda RGS was built as a quality machine, taking on the world not via outright performance, but by doing everything well – and looking good in the process.

From the seller:
1983 LAVERDA RGS 1000
A rarely seen Italian touring motorcycle, fitted with a handful of well-chosen upgrades for greater everyday usability. It is powered by a 981cc DOHC triple, delivering 90bhp through a five-speed transmission.
This 1983 Laverda RGS 1000 is said to have been owned by enthusiasts and members of the Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Association from new, has been displayed at several shows, and was invited to the Cobble Beach Concours event.

More from the seller:
This RGS 1000 is finished in Laverda Red with gold wheels and a black seat. It has been fitted with Executive fairing extensions, a DMC electronic ignition system, and Oxford heated handlebar grips, but is reported to retain its original exhaust. The bike also features the original Brembo disc brakes, original Marzocchi adjustable shock absorbers, Dell’Orto carburettors, and original Bayflex moulded bodywork and Perspex front screen. A number of spare parts are included, including a front sprocket, clutch lever, and carburettor crossover pipe and fasteners.

Also accompanying the sale is the electronic ignition manual, Laverda Ricambi spare parts catalogue, two Laverda caps, a Laverda T-shirt, Laverda hoodie, display signage, and a leather and enamel Laverda keyring, made in England.

More from the seller:
There is no known bodywork or frame damage. The Laverda Red paintwork is in excellent overall condition, save for some small cracks and chips on the fairing extensions, wear at the bottom of the pillion seat, and general age-related ‘patina’ on the front forks. No mechanical or electrical faults have been detected.

The seller reports that this RGS 1000 underwent an oil change and carburettor service at approximately 17,500 miles by the previous owner, who was an Italian motorcycle collector. The bike has been stored inside the seller’s home and has been connected to a battery charger during his year-long ownership.

First displayed in dealer showrooms in 1982 and gone by 1985, the Laverda RGS had a short, underappreciated run. With only an estimated 2,500 units built worldwide (and only 250 officially imported in the US), the RGS is rare, rare, rare anywhere you can find one. Die hard collectors tend to gravitate to the earlier Jota or the latter SFC and write the RGS off as too civilized. But that is *exactly* what makes the RGS so great.

Here is your chance to snag this beautiful example of a 1983 Laverda RGS with tasteful enhancements in a NO RESERVE auction. The overall condition looks great, and the mileage is reasonably low for the age. This bike is located in Ontario Canada, and most certainly qualifies for the “over 25” exemption for used motorcycles in most states. Check out the details here, including the 130+ quality pictures of this beauty. Good Luck!!

MI

Featured Listing: 1983 Laverda RGS 1000
Laverda January 25, 2022 posted by

Florida Orange – 1979 Laverda Jota 1000

Air cooled early superbikes are becoming rarer by the minute, especially built in Italy and tarted up in England. Today’s Jota has an owner or two’s worth of miles but apparently was restored at some point and still looks great.

1979 Laverda Jota 1000 for sale on eBay

Laverda had been making motorbikes since 1949, and their 750 twin was a great success, especially in endurance racing.  As new competition from Japan was arriving, the company created a 980cc triple, with double overhead cams and 32mm Dell’Orto carburetors.  English importer Slater Bros. saw more potential and commissioned higher lift cams and 10-to-1 pistons resulting in a whopping 90 hp.  A strong steel backbone accompanied the light-looking downtubes, making for a solid foundation for the usual Ceriani suspension units.  Handlebars are adjustable but not too much higher, due to the 140 mph speeds expected.

Presented by a Miami dealer, this Laverda looks like a survivor that had some quality restoration work.  Some light corrosion has crept in since then, but a quick clean-up should do wonders.  Though most ( and this one ) have been converted, Jota’s originally came with left brake and right shifter.  Paint work is excellent and includes a full fairing which apparently has never been mounted.  Comments from the eBay auction:

A beautiful specimen immaculately maintained and cared for by its second owner for the last 32 years. This is a rare Slater Brothers 180 degree crank and the the 7th bike imported into the states. It was purchased in 1990 in San Diego from a retired US Navy officer who bought it new while stationed in Europe in 1979.  Slater Bros. in Tacoma Washington informed him that they had imported 6 Jota’s in ’79 and that this was the seventh they knew of. 

The bike was immediately taken to Lance Weil in Burbank California who was the undisputed Laverda guru And who went through the bike from ground up and restored it. Lance rated the motor at over 90hp then and it has covered small mileage since. Runs Now as it did then. The sound of these is unique and memorable to all who have heard it.  These hardly ever come up for sale. Don’t miss this opportunity.
 
A “no stories” bike, this is one of the top collector bikes out there and the fastest of its time. Comes with super rare full fairing which looks amazing fitted. A few spares and another set of matte black silencers. The right brake set is not original but is fitted for better performance and safety. The original one comes with the bike. The back brake is spongy right now and might need slight attention. Books and manual too. 
 
 
The Jota got glowing reviews for power and handling, but the overall build quality vs. the premium price took some lumps.  Either way the factory was positioned more as a boutique than volume manufacturer.  At this level of ask, some further contact with the seller might be in order, not to mention verifying the advertised running condition.  Could be ready for concours season if it checks out.

-donn

 

Florida Orange – 1979 Laverda Jota 1000
Laverda November 20, 2021 posted by

1984 Laverda RGS1000 with 5,400 miles

Here’s a very sharp and low mileage RGS1000 available in the Chicagoland area. Sounds like the seller is assisting a collector in thinning out their collection.

1984 Laverda RGS1000 for sale on eBay

from the seller:

Frame Number: ZLVMVDHA0E0000009
Engine Number: LAV.1000RGS2682
Build Date: 2/1984

The Laverda RGS was among the last all-new designs produced by Moto Laverda in Breganze, Italy. Francesco Laverda built his first motorcycle in 1947-1948, and began serial production of a 75cc single, the Turismo, in 1950.

The cosmetic condition of this machine is just as good as it looks in the photos. Every finish on the machine is original. No part of the bike has been re-finished. The running condition of the machine is flawless, starting immediately. This bike has been part of the owner’s collection for a while and is ridden on a regular basis. It runs and rides with absolutely no issues.

Again, everything on this motorcycle is original, with the exception of the exhaust system, which was removed and replaced with the ultra-rare race exhaust. The seat is also in original condition and is beautiful. The original and complete Laverda tool kit is also included.

As you can also see from the photos, the machine has had absolutely no restoration performed to any part of it. The condition is exactly what it looks like in the photos. Owner has been a fan of Laverda for some time, and has two of these RGS machines at the moment.

The paint on the tank, side covers, and cowl is, as far as he can tell, original, and has never had any type of paintwork or touchup. The bike has never been in any type of accident or been dropped at any time.

The machine has 5,400 original miles on it, and is in perfect running condition with a compression test having being recently performed. The cosmetic condition of the engine finishes, apart from some minor age freckling, is very nice, with the aluminum and cast parts being particularly beautiful for their age.

The seat is original and in perfect condition, and the rear cowl is easily removable, allowing for two up riding. The wheels are original to the machine, stamped Laverda, and are also in very nice original condition.

Please note that the owner has the original spec smoked windscreen, which will be included with the sale of the motorcycle. He preferred riding with the clear windscreen, but the new owner can decide between the two.

The RGS1000 runs and rides the way you expect a machine with this type of mileage to run. All of the mechanical components have been checked over to ensure they work properly including the clutch and brakes, which were recently serviced and adjusted. The carbs were completely gone through this season and function perfectly, and there is a new battery installed.

The tires currently installed have comparatively few miles on them, and have plenty of service life left, but if you plan to ride it hard, tires should be replaced. There is absolutely nothing else you will have to do to this motorcycle to ride and enjoy it this season.

Note the seller borrowed a portion of our copy from this post by Mike in 2018. While always flattering, it’s polite to note your sources 🙂

Hat tip to Jack P. for the forward!

dc

1984 Laverda RGS1000 with 5,400 miles
Laverda October 7, 2021 posted by

Classic Italian: 1977 Laverda Jarama 3CL

The late 1970s were an interesting time for the Laverda brand.  Competition from all angles resulted in lackluster sales numbers and a fading appeal in the market.  For the 1978 model year a new name was introduced to the North American market, Jarama.  Instead of being named after a dance as was the case with the Jota, the Jarama was named after a race track.  Production numbers are unclear, but most agree it was in the 200-300 range.  Many of these bikes were converted in period to “Jarota” specifications.  Basically combining the updates of the Jarama with the performance parts of the Jota.

Known for being reliable and easy to live with, owners are fiercely loyal to the brand, even decades latter.  It is not uncommon to find used bikes that have covered tens of thousands of miles over the years, a real testament to have usable these bikes are.

From the Seller’s eBay Listing:

1977 Laverda Jarama 3CL, 1000cc triple, bike has the expensive and hard-to-find Jota 4C cams and Dellorto 36mm PHF carbs (Jarota), runs very strong, starts easily and handles well. New fork seals just installed and bike has adjustable Jota Breganze bars as shown in second photo. I may add a running video later weather permitting. Horns need a relay, as always, which I may install prior to selling, otherwise all lighting is functional. Clean fresh oil, and I’ve only used non-ethanol premium gas. Ready to ride but would put new tires on soon. These bikes are over-built and bulletproof and they handle really well. The 180˚ triple sound is amazing. Faint ripple in paint near left side emblem and scuff on left sidecover corner from seat but otherwise very nice. Look carefully at the photos.

For some reason “Make an Offer” does not seem to appear in the preview. I am happy to hear offers and will end the auction early, bring them on.

NY State title in previous owner’s name with bill of sale and other transfer of ownership docs from him and will also be sold with additional official VT bill of sale from me on this matching numbers vehicle. Bike is titled as a 1978 and was an original US import Jarama. Check your state’s requirements before bidding. Laverda Registry: http://www.laverdamania.net/registre180.htm

Bike is being offered with a Buy It Now price of $13,000 and in todays market that does not seem unreasonable for a clean, rare, interesting Italian classic bike.  Seller states that he has the original airbox not pictured, but interested buyers should confirm the current state of the title as well as your local laws before closing a deal.  Sure to stand out at your local Cars and Coffee event for a similar price to a ubiquitous SOHC CB750.

Classic Italian: 1977 Laverda Jarama 3CL
Laverda September 29, 2021 posted by

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda 750 SFC

This bike has SOLD! Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

In case you thought race replicas were a recent innovation, Laverda set the world on it’s ear some 50 years ago, with its 750 Super Freni Competizione, first in endurance racing, and then on the road.  Presented by a Seattle area restorer, this 750 SFC has been restored to museum quality and is ready for its next display.

1974 Laverda 750 SFC for sale

A development of Laverda’s 650cc parallel twin ( itself a template of Honda’s 305 ), the 750 SFC immediately did well in competition, and was made in rather small lots from 1971-75.  For 1974, the factory blue-printed engine with two 36mm Dell’Orto carbs and 9.9-to-1 compression made a reliable 75 hp with Bosch electronic ignition.  The classic nickel plated chassis held the engine from above as a stressed member, stabilizing the 38mm forks with their Super Freni ( Super Brakes ) 280mm disks.  Orange was adopted as Laverda’s competition color at some point in the early 1970’s, and the small seat and long range tank on the SFC appear to have been the inspiration more than one generation of café racers.

Evidently a previous owner started the restoration using all factory Laverda parts, and Duncan has these notes about the SFC and this example in particular :

A Production Racer For Sale

Laverda 750 SFs achieved notable endurance racing success in 1970, including a win of the 500km of Monza, a 1-2-3 podium sweep at the 24 Hours of Oss in Holland, and a third and sixth in the Bol d’Or in France. These bikes improved incrementally, but so did the competition. By the end of the year, Massimo asked Luciano Zen to think about a production racer version of the Laverda 750 SF.

In May 1971, the Laverda 750 SFC, for (Super Freni Competizion) was launched. Compared to the 750 SF, the engine was extensively modified. The reworked cylinder head had bigger valves and a new cam profile (designated 2/C), rockers were polished and 36mm Amal concentric carbs replaced the 30mm Dell’Ortos. A close-ratio five-speed was fitted, and the crankshaft and rods were carefully balanced and polished. Power output was rated at 70hp, and each engine was dyno tested to ensure output. The frame was strengthened with gussets and the front brake was either standard Laverda item or an optional Ceriani four-leading-shoe unit. The bikes ran on Dunlop K81 TT100 tires.

Bodywork was also new, with a 23-liter (6.1 gallon) handmade aluminum gas tank, a single seat with fiberglass tail section and a half fairing, all painted in the now-famous bright orange, a color selected to make the bikes easy to spot on the track, especially at night. It was also chosen to please the Dutch importer, Jan Raymakers, orange being the national color of the Netherlands.

Laverda 750 SFC models were produced in small batches between 1971 and 1975. The first batch, built in May 1971, numbered about 20 bikes, all intended for factory competition. SFCs were hand built by a small team and with little regard to cost. They were built to meet exceptional standards of performance, and in particular were intended to excel in endurance races, where bulk and a relative lack of nimbleness would not be so much of a handicap and where their great strength and robustness would give them a competitive advantage.

In their first official race in 1971, the Six Hours of Zeltweg, SFCs finished first and second. That year, SFCs also placed first, third and fourth in the 24 Hours of Montjuic in Barcelona, first and third in the 24 Hours of Oss, and first in Vallelunga (Italy). They also placed second at the Bol d’Or in Le Mans, first and second at Imola, and finished first and second in the 500km of Modena. Not bad for the first year.

In November 1971, 80 more SFCs were produced, and some were sold to the public. The aluminum gas tank was now fiberglass (the alloy ones had a tendency to crack), and the bikes had revised gearbox ratios and exhaust systems. They also had a new Laverda drum brake, with the more effective Ceriani a popular option. Another batch of SFCs were produced in early 1972, with slight changes to the shape of the fairing and seat and a new exhaust with a crossover pipe.

By this time, the Japanese had made significant progress in the development of their machines, and while there were SFC victories in 1972, they did not match the stellar performance of 1971. Only three 750 SFCs were made in 1973, and these served as test beds for radical changes like magnesium crankcases, new cylinder head designs and even lighter crankshafts. The results were not impressive, the bikes becoming more fragile and difficult to ride.

1974 would see the largest single-year run of SFCs. For the first time, the Laverda 750 SFC was considered part of the normal product range offered to the public and was no longer reserved solely for racing. The SFC was promoted as a “Production Racer,” similar to Ducati’s 750SS or Norton’s Commando-based production racers, and the changes were numerous. The bodywork was improved, and the zinc-plated frame was lowered and modified with revised steering geometry, larger front forks, and triple 280mm Brembo disc brakes. A new, strengthened close-ratio gearbox was fitted and the engine was enhanced by a lightened crankshaft, slim, polished connecting rods, a new camshaft (5/C), a higher capacity oil pump, new 36mm Dell’Orto carbs (without accelerator pumps), modified valves and valve springs, a new exhaust system and higher, 9.9:1 compression ratio. Power was now rated at 75hp at 7,500rpm.

A total of 222 SFCs were built in 1974, with slightly less than half of them going to the U.S. To comply with federal regulations, U.S. models had turn signals, bigger taillights, side reflectors, adjustable handlebars and Nippon-Denso speedometers and tachometers. Even though the bike was being sold to privateers in 1974, factory-prepared racers were performing well in the national production class races.

During the 5 year production run, a total of 549 were made. The SFC being offered is one of only 100 SFCs made for the North American market in 1974. According to well-known SFC expert Marnix van der Schalk (in correspondence with the previous owner), the factory records state it was shipped to the USA on July 8, 1974.

The last version of the SFC was the 1975 Laverda SFC Elettronica, its name reflecting its Bosch electronic ignition. It had a new cylinder head, revised valve angles, re-shaped combustion chambers and a new, optional high-lift cam with 10.5:1 compression ratio. A contemporary magazine test produced a 12.5 second quarter mile at 180kph (top speed over 220kph). A final batch of 33 SFC Elettronicas featuring five-spoke cast-alloy wheels were built in 1976.

The following is a list of much of the work commissioned by the previous owner and performed by Ron Small in 2002-2003, with the invoices totaling nearly $6,000.  Previous owner noted that all replacement parts used on the bike were authentic Laverda SFC parts purchased from Wolfgang Haerter at Columbia Car and Cycle in British Columbia, Canada (receipts totaling $1,000).

Motor:

Re-sleeved cylinders

bore and size cylinders

valve job

new valve springs

new valve guides

new cam chain

new cam tensioner

new guide wheel

new rings

blast and clean heads

Cam and timing set correct.

 

Other items:

new gas tank

sealed new tank 

paint new tank

new fork seals

new swing arm bushings

paint swing arm

rebuild brake master cylinders

new clutch cable

new throttle cables

new tires

new brakes

Subsequent to the work being completed at Maximum Effort, the previous owner only rode the bike 900 miles. The current owner has ridden it less than 100 miles. It has spent the past 13 years on display in a climate-controlled garage. 

There is no knowing if the 6753 miles showing on the odometer is the actual mileage, but the condition of the bike, combined with the minimal miles ridden by the current and previous owner in the past 20 years would lend credibility to that number. 

There is a small amount of surface rust on center stand.

Recently recommissioned for the road, it has a new battery, new fluids, top end adjust and inspection. Carburation adjustments and tune. Bike has had complete nut and bolt, safety inspection and test ridden. 

Tires are 15-20 years old.  They are not dry rotted, but if the bike is going to be ridden, changing them would be a good idea. 

For at least the past 20 years, this SFC has been adult owned, never down, always maintained by marquee knowledgeable technicians. Makes big noise and runs flawlessly.

Being offered at $49,950 $42,500 in US Funds. Will assist on Worldwide Shipping.

Duncan asks $49,950 $42,500 and reminds readers – This bike is absolutely correct, adult owned, never down, never abused, maintained by the best techs, riders in the business. Makes big noise and runs flawlessly.  He can be reached via email – here –.

Early in the 1970’s the orange bikes sometimes captured multiple podium spots at championship events like Bol d’Or and Suzuka 8 Hours, but increasing competition from the east made it more of an occasion as the decade wore on.  Mostly made a handful at a time, production peaked at 222 in 1974, and total production is said to be 549.  As happens to race bikes, few survive to be restored, and just 100 of the federalized SFC’s were said to be imported in 1974.  But the SFC put Laverda in the exclusive company of a leading motorcycle manufacturer. 

-donn

Featured Listing:  1974 Laverda 750 SFC
Laverda February 14, 2021 posted by

Complements Orange – 1984 Laverda RGA 1000 Jota Special

With input from their U.K. importers, Laverda’s RGA hoped to excite some new fans and it was positioned just below the RGS super tourer.  This medium blue metallic seems to have been a Laverda color but perhaps not that year.

 

1984 Laverda RGA 1000 Jota Special for sale on eBay

Laverda began manufacturing motorcycles after WWII, and focused on air-cooled four-stroke engines.  The 981 cc triple was the big gorilla, with 97 hp courtesy of electronic ignition and 32mm Dell’Orto carbs.  Three big cylinders made plenty of torque and the 120-degree crank timing imparted more rumble than vibration to the rider.  The chassis was set up for stability, and the air-adjustable Marzocchi suspension was fairly traditional.  Light alloy 18-inch wheels and single puck Brembo brakes were typically high quality Euro componentry.  The RGA was available with an upper-only or 3/4 fairing made by Sprint in England.  A conventional fuel filler was fitted, eliminating the expense of the remote fuel door on the RGS.

Shown on RSBFS back in 2017, this Jota Special looks excellent and part of a large collection, shows the same 13,776 miles.  Many owners had the engine blueprinted with higher compression pistons and better cams, with the half-a-hot-V6 sound.  Comments from the eBay auction-

Super rare and beautiful bike, fairing by Sprint for Three Cross  Motorcycles, including engine upgrades. 13,770 original miles. Runs perfect with no issues. Sounds like a small Ferrari, no issues, these bikes originally were orange – this has had a color change. They were made with  the intent to capture some of the performance and looks of the original iconic Jotas.

Though still making interesting bikes, Laverda was marginalized by the new machines from Japan, and limped along with a couple of attempted re-starts before the Piaggio group closed the doors in 2004.  Rather sportier than the touring RGS, an RGA makes a quite European statement and no apologies.  Though the reserve hasn’t been met, many bids indicate that this rare and excellent Jota will tempt a fan that already has some orange paint in the garage.

-donn

Complements Orange – 1984 Laverda RGA 1000 Jota Special
Laverda January 22, 2021 posted by

A Winning Formula: 1979 Laverda Formula 500

Imagine you are a motorcycle manufacturer and need some publicity. What is the best way to make a splash? Racing is the traditional route to make some noise, but comes with the risk of being beaten (sometimes badly) by the very competition you wish to minimalize in the market. One make race series are a great way to drum up some business – regardless who wins, it will always be your bike. A few manufacturers have attempted this over the years, with the BMW Boxer Cup being the most recent on the big bore side, although the KTM RC390 series that ran with Moto America also applies. A lesser known (at least in the US) series existed in Europe, known as the Coppa Laverda (Laverda Cup).

1979 Laverda Formula 500 for sale on eBay

Formula 500 bikes were developed to drum up interest in Laverda’s smaller lineup of motorcycles – in this case the 350cc and 500cc models. These were air-cooled parallel twins that looked to capture a market outside of the big twins such as the 750 SFC and even bigger triples such as the 1000cc Jota & RGS. The bikes were marketed in the US as the Zeta platform. The race bike (track only, with no lights or other street legal accessories) was essentially a stripped down version of the 500cc street bike. Mild tuning netted about 53 ponies, and the whole shebang was wrapped in beautiful fiberglass bodywork. Laverda provided technical support to the racers, who were all privateers (no professionals allowed). And while the race series was a success in terms of participation and action, Laverda was purported to have lost money on every small bore bike sold.

From the seller:
Sold on Bill of sale. No title. Not for street. Mileage unknown, no odometer.

This is the motorcycle that was reviewed in Motorcycle Classics March/ April 2014.
I acquired it to race in AHRMA, but change of plans.

This bike was restored by the leading Laverda experts here in the U.S. and has not been ridden since it’s latest refresh 18 months ago. Besides the original exhaust that is installed, I have a custom made exhaust that will work with the Montjuic body kit (I do not have), or with the original body kit with a slight mod to the headers to fit under the original fairing.

New spare tires also included. No paperwork available as the collector I bought it from did not pass along any he had. I will pass the collector name to the buyer so he / she can try to get any available. Also the original restoration photo CD of the bike should be available from the expert who did it.

By modern standards these Formula 500 bikes are vestiges of the Stone Age. Air cooling, two four valves per cylinder, small-ish disk brakes and twin rear shocks – all very adequate but nothing that screams “cutting edge.” But the race bikes were successful and competent machines, and today they are quite rare (numbers are uncertain, but are likely in the low 200 range of total units).

I’ve been tracking this example for a bit as it makes its way through the usual relisting process. To be honest, I’m not really sure why the lack of interest by the market in general although the opening ask may scare off some bidders. This bike has gone through a relatively recent restoration, however it sounds like some recommissioning may be in order before running this bike in anger. Rear shocks look to have been replaced with more modern units, and the seller indicates some extra pieces are available. The bike looks clean, and the starting bid of $16,500 is market correct (even if the Buy It Now is rather high). This would make a fantastic collector, vintage racer, or track-day standout. Check out all of the details here, and Good Luck!!

MI

A Winning Formula: 1979 Laverda Formula 500