Posts by Category: Laverda

Laverda May 16, 2018 posted by

Semi-Finalist – 1983 Laverda RGS1000

Laverda was already reeling from overseas competition in the early 1980's, but had the gumption for one more design project.  The RGS was based on their recent 1000cc air-cooled triple and rode more like a Beemer than a finicky Italian exotic.  This one has been enjoyed, but is quite original and well maintained.

1983 Laverda RGS1000 ( Canada ) for sale on eBay

For the RGS, Laverda civilized the 981 cc engine with rubber mounts and quieter exhaust, but the 83 hp didn't suffer.  Marzocchi  suspension is found front and rear, but triple 280mm Brembo brakes are a little undersized for a 135 mph streamliner.  Designer details like the Veglia dash, removable pillion fairing and the tank filler in the front ( out of the way of a tank bag ) are sweet period items.

Over the age of EPA, this Laverda should be an easy import from British Columbia.  Seems cared-for despite the mileage - though my back-of-the-napkin ( ok, google ) conversion shows 57,000 miles from 92,000 KM.  Making it sound like a recent acquisition, the owner isn't a slave to details, but says this in the eBay auction:

Hello, have my beautiful almost all orig RGS to sell.  Wolfgang recently went thru her before my purchase with full tuneup, fluids, tires, rejet, etc.  He has most history on it, has had top end done plus small items.  Most normal upgrades done with ignition, etc.  Runs very strong, and smooth.

After the Laverda family abandoned ship in 1985, the company was fits and starts until industrialist Francesco Tognon was nearly successful with a couple of new models in the 1990's, making the RGS almost the last design from an icon dating back to 1873.  Fast, quiet, and smooth, the Laverda was unfortunately slower, heavier, and more expensive than its Japanese rivals.  But if you're after a continental 1980's experience, the RGS is one of a very few...

-donn

Semi-Finalist – 1983 Laverda RGS1000
Laverda May 8, 2018 posted by

Double Espresso – 1998 Laverda 668 Ghost Strike

Though Laverda's fortunes were largely in the 90's rear-view mirror, the company breathed new life into its mid-size parallel twin, commissioning a sporty jack-of-all-trades.  The Ghost Strike had a fine chassis and premium appointments, and can't be beat in the rarity dept.

1998 Laverda 668 Ghost Strike for sale on eBay

Laverda differentiated the Ghost Strike from their other multi-purpose machines with its Nico Bakker designed aluminum frame and WP suspension.  Motive force came from a DOHC parallel twin, expanded to 668cc and updated with Marelli injection and 70 hp.  Fuel is centralized under the seat and the airbox is in the "tank".

Not much detail about this Houston-based Laverda, but it has only 12,000 miles and looks good.  Not sure about the non-standard appearing left side cover and dash fasteners though.  From the eBay auction:

Great looking 1998 Laverda Ghost Strike.  It starts, runs and drives well.  Paint and seat are in excellent shape.  Mileage on speedometer is in km, so I used a conversion for miles.  This is a unique classic motorcycle.  Have fun with it!

The 668's tight handling and relaxed riding position won points, only to give them up for a notchy gearbox and too loud exhaust.  The name was soon to be retired after being purchased by Aprilia and then Piaggio, but the late Ghost Strike is a singular Euro machine perfect for the fan or collector.

-donn

Double Espresso – 1998 Laverda 668 Ghost Strike
Laverda May 6, 2018 posted by

Alternative Twin: 1999 Laverda Formula 750 for Sale

It's a shame that the second incarnation of Laverda was gone by the end of the 1990s, before the recent interest in classic styles and older nameplates. I can imagine that a modern take on their big, burly triples would have gone over pretty well if they'd survived into the present. Apparently, a new triple was developed for Laverda, but it was ultimately used to power Benelli's Tornado and TNT instead. The new triple never happened for them, so Laverda's "Zane era" really culminated with this Laverda 750 Formula.

Saved from the ashes of their 1980s collapse, Laverda needed a new sportbike to draw attention to the reborn company. As always, the small Italian factory was working with a severely limited development budget, and that meant they couldn't design a brand new engine to compete against the class benchmark, Ducati's 748. The air-cooled, 668cc parallel-twin intially used in the new machines was actually an evolution of the old, 500cc unit from the 1970s Alpino, but Laverda injected new life by fitting... fuel injection, bigger pistons, and eventually a radiator, although you can still see the engine's cooling fins leftover from its earlier incarnation. Or you would be able to see them, if the seller had included any decent pics of the bike with the fairing off...

It may have been intended as a competitor for the Ducati 748 but the engine was less refined and the bike was not as fast in a straight line. Where it really excelled was in the handling department, and the Formula took the already superlative Nico Bakker-designed aluminum beam frame and added excellent Paioli suspension and lightweight wheels to the package. You'll notice that the "gas tank" is no such thing, as there's no fuel filler there. The fuel door is actually a hinged panel on top of the tail, and the cell itself is more centrally-mounted for better balance. The result was a bike period reviewers found frustrating, as the bike would have been truly world-class but for that agricultural powerplant.

I'm not really that big on the regular 750S in solid red, yellow, or black but somehow I love it in the Formula's garish, Halloween-looking combination. Yeah, that dual headlamp makes it look like an Italian take on a late 1980s GSX-R, but I'm a huge fan anyway. I'd prefer some higher-resolution images of this particular bike, since it's really hard to see what kind of cosmetic condition we're really dealing with, but it looks pretty good from what you can tell from the included photos.

From the original eBay listing: 1999 Laverda Formula 750 for Sale

Laverda built this bike as direct competition to Ducati. In doing so, it built it with the highest quality components it could find. For starters, it went to Nico Bakker to design the twin spar aluminum frame. Laverda increased the displacement of the 668cc engine to 750, added water cooling in addition to oil and tune it to develop 93HP. To handle all that power, Laverda added Paioli fully adjustable upside-down forks, rear shock, Marchesini wheels, and Brembo brakes. All wrapped in FRP bodywork to keep it as lightweight as possible. The result is a machine that can handle with the best of them.

Not many of these were imported into the US and fewer still are available for sale. Here is one with 1,668 kilometers (about 1000 miles). This bike is in an amazing condition and it is ready for it's new custodian. The motorcycle can be seen at our dealership in Bellevue, WA

As much as I like Laverda's 750 Formula, there's really no question that the Ducati 748 is a better-looking, more iconic machine. Of course, rarity counts in the collector bike world and, while you can still pick up a good 748 for relative peanuts, these have gotten steadily more expensive. Is the Formula a good bike? Well the handling is exceptional, power is adequate for the class, reliability is decent, and looks are... subjective. Is it a better bike than the 748 it was pitched against? No, but if you're a Laverda fan and want something reasonably modern to ride, or have an aversion to trellis frames, a 750S or Formula are basically your only choices! Or I guess you could buy one of those aforementioned Benellis and just stick some Laverda badges on it.

-tad

Alternative Twin: 1999 Laverda Formula 750 for Sale
Laverda March 20, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: Zero-mile Laverda 750S

When a mid-nineties Ducati just ain't cutting it as far as style, panache, build sheet, rarity and dubious build quality are concerned, it's hard to do better than a contemporary Laverda. Sure, you could go Bimota and snag Japanese reliability with the sex appeal only Italy can muster, but you couldn't be too much more obvious.

1998 Laverda 750S for Sale on eBay.it

Today's Laverda 750S solves all of those problems, with a reputation for millimeter-perfect handling, pretty Paoli squishy bits and a proprietary, fuel-injected 750cc parallel twin. The bike appears to have covered just eight kilometers from new, and is supplied with nearly enough spares to make an entire new bike.

From the seller:

I’m interested in selling my 0 miles Laverda 750 S (the bike + spare parts of a 15.000 km sister bike: engine, electric system, forks, wheels. No frame, no fairings).

Top shelf components:

Brembo brake system;
Marchesini wheels;
Paioli forks.

Only two items aren't original: the carbon look mirrors, coordinated with other true carbon details, and the electric system (a more common and reliable Ducati Monster's electric system is on).

The bike has always been stored in a warm and dry garage, it's is maniacally well cared, the original tires weren't in good conditions, hence I switched them with the twin bike's 5.000 km ones. The bike is ready to roar tomorrow, then it would be a nice deal for collectors and/or users targeting not an ordinary ride. A gorgeous sound and the extreme rarity put the user under the spotlights even on a sunny day.

In case of further need of spare parts, I can put you in contact with "3C moto" company, managed by a former Laverda technician and big lover of the brand who withdrew all the original Laverda parts (or you can straightly contact www.3cmoto.it).

My target price is 5.600 euro (a bike and half, it seems a fair price for a ready-to-use exotica, isn't it?).

The bike is located in Varese, Northern Italy. I can arrange a worldwide delivery at the purchaser's cost (air or sea, according to buyer preference). Any precaution and delivery terms (insurance for the transport included) will be agreed according to the destination.

Contact Stephano with your interest: da3112.sa0202@gmail.com

The Laverda 750S represents a throwback to a time when there were still companies that very much felt like they were screwed together by dedicated enthusiasts in a small shop. Japanese bikes are great for obvious reasons, but they all carry just a whiff of their manufacturers' roots in heavy equipment manufacture.

If you can swing the 5,600 EUR pricetag and import fees, this is a great way to set yourself apart from the crowd.

-Aaron

Full size image gallery:

Featured Listing: Zero-mile Laverda 750S
Laverda March 10, 2018 posted by

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda SFC

The 1974 Laverda SFC is the high-water mark for 1970s Italian sportbikes, representing the pinnacle of Laverda's race bike development and the final SFC offered in the states, as the US mandated left-side shift after September of '74.

The Laverda's big parallel twin made about 75 horsepower, heady grunt for an era where 100 ponies was still the stratosphere. Changes between '73 and '74 included new 36mm carbs and a dual-disk front brake setup.

Quite apart from the power, the Laverda was incredibly scarce, light suave. It is the antithesis of the Japanese race replicas, where weight and power hold sway over aesthetics.

This SFC has been updated tastefully and restored, and presents in near-showroom condition. Moto Borgotaro has a reputation for bringing the finest quality machines to market, and this SFC is no exception. The iconic orange paint, delicate and beautiful aluminum tank and signature bullet fairing are all without blemishes and the running gear is free of spots, stains or drips.

From the seller:

THIS BIKE'S STORY

—By Ian Falloon (Falloon Report October 2014)

Although it was always a limited edition, even after 1973 when the factory stopped racing the 750 twin, the SFC continued, incorporating many of the developments learnt from three successful years of racing.

The 750 SFC was thus a true racing machine, built to the highest standards, that could be ridden on the street and a limited edition replica of a factory racer.

Racing experience during 1973 saw the development of a new frame and this made its way to the 750 SFC in 1974, further distancing this model from the production 750 SF2

Representative of the second US specification batch (with numbers between 17110-17166), we introduce you to #17148.
One of the most significant updates for 1974 was the pair of Dell’Orto PHB 36 carburetors, without accelerator pumps. A racing two-into-one megaphone (as on this example) accentuated the lean race replica profile, and the claimed power for the 1974 750 SFC was 75 horsepower at 7,500 rpm.

A two-into-one reverse cone exhaust system was an option on the 750 SFC. This exhaust system only fits the SFC frame.

1974 LAVERDA SFC DETAILS
Frame #17148
Engine #17148
Dell’Orto PHB 36mm carburetors
Borrani aluminum wheel rims
Ceriani suspension
Electron rear hub and sprocket carrier
High quality aluminum replica gas tank
Nippon Denso instruments
Smaller European taillight
Verlicchi twin cable throttle
Completely serviced

www.motoborgotaro.com

Visit Moto Borgotaro's site for details on how to inquire about this fantastic piece of race replica history.

Featured Listing: 1974 Laverda SFC
Laverda February 26, 2018 posted by

Hot Rod Italian: 1983 Laverda Jota for Sale

By 1983, Laverda was on a slow, downward slide as the company made incremental improvements to their charismatic, but outdated machines to keep them marginally relevant: by that point, the Japanese offered bikes with handling, power, and reliability, all at a significantly lower cost. They couldn't match Italian bikes like the Laverda Jota for style, but styling is subjective anyway, and it is really irrelevant if the bikes in question are out of your financial reach in the first place.

But in 1976 when the original Jota was introduced, Laverda was doing just fine. Their new three cylinder 3C that had been introduced a few years prior was fast, powerful, and handsome, on the cutting edge of performance at the time. But British shop Slater Laverda thought the 981cc triple had more to offer, and with new camshafts, high-compression pistons, and an exhaust their "Jota," named for a Spanish dance, was good for 90hp and 146mph, big numbers for the day.

The original Laverda three cylinder bikes, including the Jota, used a 180° crankshaft with the outside pistons rising and falling at the same time. The result has been described as running like a "four cylinder with a miss" due to the ragged, uneven sound and feel. At lower rpm, it almost sounds like a twin, although the extra cylinder adds an additional layer to the sound as revs build and it's a very raw, raucous powerplant. Later machines switched to a smoother, more conventional 120° crankshaft, but all Jotas sound way wilder than any modern triple, so if you're expecting the "neutered" 120° bikes to feel like a modern Triumph Speed Triple, you'll be sadly disappointed or incredibly thrilled, depending on your point of view.

Today's example from 1983 likely has the 120° crankshaft that was introduced in 1982, but with low-volume Italian bikes it can be hard to predict. The earlier, raw-er bikes are generally more desirable, but pretty much all classic Laverda triples have become very valuable at this point, especially Jotas.

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Laverda Jota for Sale

1983 Laverda Jota. All original and unmolested. This bike runs and drives like a new motorcycle. Has been fully serviced, needs nothing. I won't go into a long tirade, because if you're looking at this, you know exactly what you were looking for. Absolutely and confidently NO disappointments!

Well I know what the seller means, buy I'd argue semantics and say that an old Laverda in no way runs or drives "like a new motorcycle," which I think is really the point here. Modern motorcycles are dead reliable and deadly fast, but they basically do exactly what they've been asked to do: they start, they run, they go around corners. That's a little boring, and a Laverda Jota is anything but boring, even in more refined 120° form. A modern bike is basically a tool, and an old bike and especially an old Italian bike is more like a living thing: a lover or a temperamental spouse. The asking price for this particular mail-order bride? $32,000.

-tad

Hot Rod Italian: 1983 Laverda Jota for Sale