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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:

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!!



  • Odd that the gauges are identical to early ’80s Honda CB F bikes. I never noticed this before on an RGS, or maybe this bike has had them adapted?

  • It seems all of the controls are Honda pieces too. This bike has had the stock bars replaced with clip-ons; that might be what made it stand out to me.

    Always thought these were super neat bikes. Real ‘sport tourers’ indeed.

  • Laverda actually did start off building agricultural back at the turn of the century.

  • Hi,

    As was explained to me regarding the gauges/switchgear, Laverda built engines and frames in-house and used the best peripherals that were available.
    Things like brakes, gauges, etc came from Nippon Denso, Smiths, Veglia, and Brembo.
    I’m sure there are people on here much more knowledgeable than I that can chime in.

  • I’m not aware of any modern motorcycle manufacturer who makes their own peripherals. Switchgear, wheels, brakes, gauges, carbs, fuel pumps – you name it – are made by specialty manufacturers. Virtually all Japanese bikes use either Nissin or Tokico brake components, for example. Laverda used a business model similar to Honda, but as a smaller factory, they took the less expensive option of using what was already being produced for the big guys.

  • 80mph speedo! SO SAD!

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