Today’s Laverda Ghost will certainly have a predictable share of haters, but it offered up a unique, stylish alternative to bikes like Ducati’s Monster. Powered by an air/oil-cooled, four-valve per cylinder 668cc parallel-twin with Weber-Marelli fuel injection that put a claimed 70hp through the six-speed gearbox, the bike was down on power a bit when compared to the competition, but made up for that deficit with superlative handling.
The seller mentions that this is the “desired trellis frame model.” I’m not sure if he means from a styling or performance standpoint. Laverda claimed the geometry and weight were exactly the same for the Ghost and the Ghost Strike, with looks being the primary difference between the two frames: since they’d already developed the beam frame for the faired Formula, they felt it made sense to offer it as an option for the naked model as well.
Certainly the trellis frame looks better, but the beam frame used in the Ghost Strike and the 750 Formula models was designed by the famous Nico Bakker and, whether you love or hate the looks, those Formulas are famously good-handling machines, easily the equal of anything available at the time.
From the photos, you can see that this Ghost also shares the Formula’s high-quality Paoli adjustable front and rear suspension, something that would give it a serious leg up compared to most Ducati Monsters of the period. Unfortunately, although the bike is fitted with top-shelf components, the odd looks are a bit of an acquired taste, and are not helped by the aftermarket fairing fitted to this bike.
If you look closely, you’ll also notice that there’s no fuel-filler on top of the “gas tank.” Interestingly, this was one of the first sportbikes to use a fuel cell to help maximize airbox volume and centralize mass: fuel goes into a filler hidden underneath the passenger seat.
From the original eBay listing: 1998 Laverda Ghost for Sale
This is the desired trellis frame model. Bought new in 1999 from dealer here in Birmingham. Bike has been inside all of its life and is in pristine condition. There are two scuff marks on the front fender which may be buffed out. Tires are new, as is the battery. Bike is stock except for the aftermarket fairing, 2-into-1 Leo Vinci carbon fiber exhaust and Power Commander to tame the original quirky fuel injection system. An expensive dyno tuning was done on the F.I. mapping. Reason for selling is that the bike hasn’t been ridden for 3 years and it should go to an owner who will ride it.
This example, although poorly photographed, looks to be in very nice shape. And you can see a number of other classic Italian cars and motorcycles in the background, so the bike has certainly been owned by a dedicated enthusiast! Although many scoff at these later Zané-era Laverdas as being “not the real thing,” they offer up genuine Italian style, handling, and quirk. With just 6,000 miles on the clock and a Buy It Now price of $3,200 this is a screaming deal for lovers of bargain exotica.