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 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
Laverda February 13, 2018 posted by

Seeing Things: 1982 Laverda Mirage 1200

Update 2.13.2018: We first posted this Mirage last April and it was bid to $11,500 and then relisted and removed. It is back on eBay with a different seller and current bid is $7,700 reserve met. Links are updated. Thanks Donn! -dc

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 January 12, 2018 posted by

Relic: 1982 Laverda Jota 1000

Named after a Spanish dance conducted in triple time (triple, get it?), the Laverda Jota was an Italian superbike designed for high speed travel. Featuring a 1000cc inline three cylinder, the Jota line ran from 1976 through 1982 – and witnessed the inception of the downfall of this iconic motorcycle (and farm equipment) manufacturer. By the mid 1980s Laverda was in serious trouble. Relying upon the basic underpinnings of the Jota, Laverda attempted to reverse their fortunes with the RGS / RGS Executive and the nostalgically named SFC. When those models failed, Laverda submerged into receivership. They resurfaced a few times with attempts to rebuild the brand under new ownership, but ultimately sank from view completely. Today the brand is owned by scooter magnate Piaggio, who have shown no interest in furthering the Laverda lineup. As a result, this 1982 Jota could be seen as the last of the true Laverdas – the heyday of a bygone era.

1982 Laverda Jota 1000 for sale on eBay

The Jota enjoyed two distinct periods of existence related to crankshaft timing. The original 1000cc triple featured a 180 degree crank configuration – the center piston on the bottom of the stroke when the outer two were at TDC – giving the bike a distinctive lope at idle and a unique character while underway. It was not until the end of the run (the very final year) that Laverda introduced the 120 degree crankpin arrangement. Evenly spacing the 360 degrees of revolution, the 120 degree crank provided for a smoother idle and less vibration while underway. These were important elements, as Laverda was struggling to compete with the technology onslaught of the Japanese – especially the developing four cylinder examples.

From the seller:
This very original survivor Laverda Jota is a remarkable example of a special motorcycle. Considered the top European superbike of its day the Jota was a performance showcase for Laverda and had a very successful racing career. Rated at around 90hp, it could exceed 140mph, making it the fastest production bike of the era. Race versions went on to win the UK Production series in 1976, ’78, ’79 and ’80

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 .. Bikes 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 very original. Has had an original replacement ignition at one point. Wheels correct but color not standard and cylinder casting appears to have been painted black, might have new rings. Completely maintained and recently serviced, runs and rides like new.

The original Jota is a terrific platform; it’s a great bike that has raw, visceral appeal. It is a big block hot rod with the looks and noise and exclusivity that only a Italian thoroughbred can provide. The paintwork shines, the frame narrows the view to the engine, and well, the air cooled triple delivers. This is pure energy in a retro form. For a price. The Buy It Now is nearly 18 grand – $17,975 to be exact. That is not an outrageous number for a proper Laverda. We have also seen this bike before at auction, about a year ago. Back then, this one was bid up to $14k and change, failing to meet reserve. What will happen this time around with a BIN auction instead? The seller is open to offers, so there may be some room to move on this marvelous throwback – and I’m thinking somewhere between the ask and the last auction result is a good place to target. Check it out here for all the details, and then determine if you are a 120 degree or 180 degree sort of collector. Maybe you go both ways – in which case this one would fill a hole in your collection quite nicely. Viva Italia, and good luck!

MI

Laverda November 28, 2017 posted by

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

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

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

1998 Laverda 750SF/Formula in the UK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Marty/Dallaslavowner

 

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

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