Posts by tag: RGA

Laverda February 14, 2017 posted by

Love, Italian Style: 1985 Laverda RGS1000 SFC for Sale

Considering I can comb eBay for months on end and not see a single Laverda for sale, it’s crazy that we’ve seen not just one but three worthy examples representing a couple different eras recently. From the 1990s Formula that might be more familiar to our readers, to the more vintage 1984 Jota and today’s Laverda SFC1000, fans of the Breganze Bruisers have been spoiled for choice of late. The RGS1000 SFC was a bit of a last gasp for the original Laverdas before their death and subsequent resurrection during the Zane-era, a technological dinosaur that had been continually updated since the early 1970s to keep up with the ever increasing pace of sportbike development. Laverda knew they were falling behind the curve, as were all of the European brands, and they recast themselves as purveyors of elegant sportbike alternatives for distinguished gentlemen to help justify high prices, outdated technology, and “classic” styling. And even though the RGS wasn’t a sportbike in the high-revving, light-weight idiom, it was still a blood-and-thunder brute with high-quality suspension, stability, and very real road-going performance.

Certainly, the “SFC” name of this very exclusive RGS variant was a bit of a cheat: produced in very limited quantities, the original SFC was based around Laverda’s parallel-twin and was a barely-disguised racebike with lights stuck onto it to make it “street-legal” in the loosest sense of the phrase. Obviously, laws regarding that kind of thing were much simpler back then… SFC was an acronym for “Super Freni Competizione” which translates to “super braking competition”  and referred to the huge aluminum drum brake found on the original bikes. Later machines used a pair of discs as seen here, which provided less sexy but more reliable stopping power.

The engine was Laverda’s long-serving and very charismatic three-cylinder 981cc engine, here with a 120° crankshaft that made for smoother running, along with high-performance cams and other assorted go-fast bits to raise the power from 85 to 95hp. Early examples of the Jota, Laverda’s original, hairy-chested three-cylinder sportbike, used a 180° crankshaft that basically ran like a four-cylinder with a miss. It was good for power, but vibrated excessively and was eventually replaced with a smoother-running 120° crank. Even though the revised crank is considered a bit of an abomination by some Laverda purists, condemned of the sin of being “too civilized,” if you’ve ever heard one of the 120° bikes, “civilized” isn’t the first thing that springs to mind… It’s raw and very Italian, and sounds like a Stradivarius violin crossed with a chainsaw being used to cut down a tree made of silk, dark chocolate, and truffles, or some other equally ludicrous simile. Basically, if you’re expecting the soft whir and refined yowl of a modern Triumph triple, you’ll be sexually aroused, pleasantly surprised, or horrified, depending on your feelings about earplugs.

So even though this was intended as a high-performance motorcycle, it was a bit behind the times when it was new. But if calling this an “SFC” is technically a bit of a stretch and merely a calculated dip into past glories to paint a moribund package a brighter shade of orange, this is still a very special motorcycle, as can be seen from the description below.

From the original eBay listing: 1985 Laverda RGS1000 SFC for Sale

This unique SFC 1000 – one of a tiny number made – is in great original shape. It is a perfect runner receiving all it needs in the past four years to operate as new. The serial number shown is correct…0001.  Here’s the story behind it:

This bike was built for Alexander Claren, a Cologne architect who designed Ewe Witt’s dealership (the German importer of Laverdas).  Claren saw the prototype bike at the Cologne motorcycle show and had to have one. He persuaded Witt to order one – requesting number 0001 – from the factory for immediate delivery and thus it was built ahead of the production line. The first production bike was number 1001, following Laverda’s usual numbering protocol. There are a series of letters from Piero Laverda in the file that accompanies the bike confirming the numbering.

SFC 1000 production ran alongside the RGS, RGS Corsa and various RGAs from 1985 through 1989 but few were made. SFC 1000 specifications changed only in detail as tiny batches of bikes were constructed. The most important visual differences were the color – red or black – and the wheels – three-spoke Oscam cast wheels or Akront wire spoke rims. The engine in all SFC’s starting with this bike was to Corsa specification – that is 95bhp at 8000rpm – 5-speed, Marzocchi forks and rear shocks, Brembo Gold Line brakes, and either Smiths or Veglia instruments. All top quality components.

Two additional sets of factory exhausts and silencers come with the bike.  These are: a set of three into two in chrome (some SFC’s had black, some had chrome) and a rare set of three into one.  The ignition currently on the bike is a modern Sachse electronic with selectable advance curves, but the factory original unit also comes with the bike. Note:  mileage shown is in km.

These bikes are rare. Don’t miss an opportunity to own this one.

They were making these things, or titling them anyway, as late as 1988 by which point this machine would have been horribly outclassed by the latest generation of four-cylinder sportbikes from Japan. But while that might have mattered when the bike was new, it’s pretty irrelevant now: it has classic looks you’d never confuse with a GSX-R or ZX or FZR or even FJ that would have mopped the floor with the RGS. And the bike’s lardy 500lb dry weight was motivated by a stout 95hp so it’s not exactly slow, even now.

So what’s it worth? Well not much, unless you’re an aficionado, so the $14,500 starting bid might seem outrageous if this is your first time clapping eyes on an SFC1000. But if you’re a Laverda fan, that seems like a very reasonable place to start, considering what other rare Laverdas like the original Jota and even the standard RGS are going for these days.

-tad

Love, Italian Style: 1985 Laverda RGS1000 SFC for Sale
Laverda March 2, 2016 posted by

Orange Whip: 1984 Laverda RGA Jota for Sale

1984 Laverda RGS R Side

With early Laverdas like the Jota and SFC headed into the stratosphere in terms of prices, and even bikes from the tail-end of triple production starting to command five-digit prices, it’s no surprise to see this very clean but not as well-known Laverda RGA Jota sitting north of $12,000…

1984 Laverda RGS L Tank

By the early 1980s, Laverda was in trouble. They lacked the financial depth to compete against modern bikes and, although they had moved on to updated, fully-faired styling with the RGS, they were the same old machines under the skin. Not that that was necessarily a terrible thing: the 981cc, dual overhead cam triple was famous for its power and charisma. Fitted with the smoother 120° crank, Laverda’s offerings of the 1980s were certainly not lacking performance, but they were still hard work and not nearly as refined as Japanese offerings. And they were expensive.

1984 Laverda RGS R Fairing

In fact, the RGA was a bike specifically intended to address the pricing issue. The RGS’ fully-enclosed bodywork was of very high quality, but added significantly to the bike’s cost. The RGA swapped that out for a lantern-jawed bikini fairing, a tank-mounted filler cap, and handlebars to replace the clip-ons.

1984 Laverda RGS Gauges

It’s not really clear from the listing whether this is a lower-spec RGA fitted with different bodywork, or an RGS stripped of the full bodywork and fitted with a Sprint half-fairing. Or is it the RGA Jota, that came with clip-on bars, orange paint, and blacked-out mufflers? It’s listed as an RGS, so I’d assume that to start, but it might be worth an email to the seller, since it really looks to be an RGA Jota and is claimed to be original. Performance-wise there’s no difference and no matter how you slice it, this is a very rare bike.

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Laverda RGA Jota for Sale

1984 Laverda Jota RGS/RGA. Rare bike with low miles. Bike is original and is not restored. Bike was imported from the U.K. into the U.S.A. when new. I believe it came from Slater Bros. in England where they were modified after arriving from Italy.

I have owned the bike for about four years and am the third owner. It starts, runs, and rides great. I only repaired what needed to be done after a long period of storage, so paint and decals are original. It has a Super-Trap exhaust system since new and carbs were jetted to match when new.

Here is what I did to the bike to make it road-worthy when I found it, bear in mind this work was completed a few years ago now:

Rebuilt the brake hydraulics.

Rebuilt the clutch hydraulics.

New clutch, as the old one liked to stick after use.

Rebuilt the carbs, new petcocks, flush tank.

New windscreen, as old one was cracked.

New battery.

New tires.

Real head-turner with a very unique look and sound, only one like this I have every seen…

1984 Laverda RGS R Side Rear

Interestingly, we featured a similar-looking RGA on ClassicSportBikesforSale.com a while back. That bike was very nice vintage blue, but it’s hard to argue with an orange Laverda. It may not have the cachet of a Jota, but these are very rare in the US and have all charm of more classic bikes, with improved function compared to earlier Laverda triples.

Like many older machines, these are relatively maintenance-intensive if you’re used to modern designs, but they’re fundamentally durable and well-built. That dual-headlight half fairing should provide good wind protection and the two-up seat decent passenger accommodation. Find yourself a set of fitted luggage and head out for a long weekend ride!

-tad

1984 Laverda RGS L Side

Orange Whip: 1984 Laverda RGA Jota for Sale
Laverda January 10, 2014 posted by

Now that’s Italian: 1984 Laverda RGA 1000 Sprint

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Laverdas are often referred to as the Italian BMW, and this RGA 1000 is a good indication why. Instead of cutthroat sport bikes, Laverda built the gentleman’s express – Italian style. Using curves and flair not typically found in Germany (and often colors not found in nature), these big triples are comfortable, reasonably fast and powerful, and ever so unique. If “quirky” tickles your fancy, read on!

1984 Laverda RGA 1000 Sprint for sale on eBay

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From the seller:
Here we have a 1984 Laverda RGA w/Sprint fairing. Bike has 12k plus miles and runs strong with no weird noises or any smoke. Has new Michelin tires front and back and a new battery. The fairing is very rare and worth around $1000. The bike fell over on the right side while I was taking pictures and the only damage was to the right front turn signal housing plus my ego.

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Due to the rarity of some of these models – and the fact that Laverda is no longer in existence – spare parts and bodywork can be an issue. But such is part of the fun and challenge when dealing with the rare, unique and (often) obsolete. Check out all of the pictures and details here – and then ride off into the sunset!

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MI

Now that’s Italian: 1984 Laverda RGA 1000 Sprint