Posts by tag: RGS

Laverda August 15, 2018 posted by

Overnight Success: 1984 Laverda 1000 RGS Executive

When you think “high speed touring” the usual suspects usually begin with BMW and then taper off quickly towards some muted, former sportbike, Japanese road missile (think Connie or otherwise). All good choices, to be sure. But if I challenged you to narrow your answer to cover the 1970s and 1980s, what would you say? BMW still comes to mind… but not a whole lot else. We’re not talking about the two-wheeled Winnebagos with which the Big Four did battle across the decades. We are talking about packing a briefcase and a small bag and streaking across the autobahn/autostrada at max velocity for an overnight trip. Compared to the rather staid Beemers, today’s RGS Executive was as exotic as a Ferrari, and just as rare.

1984 Laverda 1000 RGS Executive for sale on eBay

The engine powering the RGS was Laverda’s long-serving and very charismatic three-cylinder 981cc engine, the legacy of the Jota. With the latest spec mill having a smoother 120° crankshaft – instead of the less refined 180° lumpy crank timing – and rubber mounts the big triple was very nearly civilized. But what really made the RGS was the bodywork. With a large, aerodynamic fairing, comfortable seat and swoopy tail section the RGS was spit and polish on the basic bones that were born in the mid-1970s. The top spec of the lineup – the Executive model – added fairing extensions for even more weather protection, bar risers and matching color-coded hard bags. Performance was strong for the time, suspension was courtesy of Marzocchi, and cast wheels and Brembo brakes rounded out the package. Expensive, exclusive and totally unique, the Laverda RGS Executive stands out as an icon from a manufacturer that has created quite a few.

From the seller:
I bought this Executive early this year with only 2500 miles. It was stored away in a warehouse since the late 80’s. It had the original Laverda FIAMM battery and original tires when I took possession. I performed the usual tasks that one does to a bike that’s been dormant for several years. I replaced the battery, tires, rebuilt front and rear brakes, clutch, front end, rebuilt carbs and did an added some fresh oil. I also installed a Sachse electronic ignition. It runs flawlessly but has some cosmetic issues. It’s an all original bike with original paint. It has a baseball size dent on the tank which can be seen in the photos. Also has an area on the topside of right pannier that’s been scratched or scuffed. The right side fairing extension is cracked. The aluminum piece of the right pannier fell of on the road and is missing. The original tank had old fuel in it for 3 decades and it was full of sticky gunk so an NOS tank was purchased installed. As you can see in the picture the NOS tank has a dent. The original tank was mint on the outside but the inside nit so much. The original tank recently fell over on my bench and now has a golf ball size dent in the same area as the installed tank. The bike will include the spare tank and if the buyer wants the original battery and phantom tires they will be included as well. All the cosmetic mishaps occurred while bike was in storage.

While the Laverda family threw in the towel in 1985, the company continued the occasional spasm of activity through the 1990s – including a rather audacious reboot attempt that unfortunately failed. Last owned by Aprilia and now fully shuttered, one can consider the long run of Laverda to be from 1873 until about 2004. That’s a run of over 130 years, for those of you counting along at home. And during that time Laverda made a name for itself as building motorcycles for real men; motorcycles with substance. This RGS Executive is one of the final models offered by Laverda, and remains a beautiful and collectible machine. Outclassed by the fit, finish and demonic attention to detail of the Japanese, the RGS brings something to the party that cannot be matched by any other motorcycle.

This particular RGS Executive is a very low mileage example: only 4,430 original miles claimed by the seller. That is not a lot of travel for a long-legged beast like this one. Overall the bike looks to be in decent shape, but there are some very obvious (and unfortunate) cosmetic issues. The grips are also not stock items. Keep in mind that we are talking about a low-volume, mostly hand-built machine from a defunct manufacturer. Parts specific to this model will be pricey and hard to find, although the fan base and support group for Laverda remains strong. Does the low number on the odometer equate to a high number at sale time? Given the rarity of the Executive model, there must be interest – but we really don’t have enough current data to determine value. Certainly the $15,900 OBO ask is strong, but not horribly out of line across the last 10 years or so. Check out this rare beauty here, and enjoy another cool bike that you won’t see every day. Good Luck!!

MI

Overnight Success: 1984 Laverda 1000 RGS Executive
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 February 11, 2017 posted by

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:
1984 LAVERDA RGA JOTA 1000CC TRIPLE VERY RARE ,RUNS LIKE A JEWEL ,RECENT SERVICE ,NO ISSUES ,NEW BATTERY,

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!!

MI

Make Mine a Triple: 1984 LAVERDA JOTA
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 October 4, 2015 posted by

Throw Back Sunday: 1984 Laverda RGS 1000 for Sale

1984 Laverda RGS1000 L Side

A bit of a hulking dinosaur, even when new, this Laverda RGS 1000 lives at the transition point between the old and the new, as the European manufacturers were being eclipsed by the Japanese when it came to sports motorcycles. For a long time, they’d hung on by being able to out-handle the upstarts from Japan, but bikes like the GSX-R750 brought power, handling, and contemporary racing style to the table at a bargain price.

1984 Laverda RGS1000 Dash

Look at the RGS compared to something like Honda’s NSR400R, a bike that was more sophisticated in just about every single way, but with the same cylinder count: two-stroke, six-speed gearbox, fancy anti-dive forks, and significantly lighter weight and some of the best handling of the period. How could Laverda hope to compete with that? Well they did, for a time, recasting their big, bruiser of a triple as a classic GT, a “gentleman’s express” with hand-built quality, character, and a timeless design.

1984 Laverda RGS1000 Dash

Powered by a revised version of their 981cc three-cylinder with a revised, 120° crankshaft to smooth out the famously raucous engine, the RGS featured a full fairing, comprehensive, if sometimes fickle instrumentation, and reasonably comfortable passenger accommodations. Fitted luggage was even available.

But the original three cylinder bikes were big, butch sportbikes and saw plenty of time on racetracks, so the RGS is no old-man touring bike. While it’s no lightweight at 550lbs full of fluids and ready to run, it’s pretty par for the course when compared to other big sportbikes of the period and offers up big speed and stable handling for mile-crushing sport-touring.

1984 Laverda RGS1000 Front Wheel Detail

I almost passed on posting this bike, as the photography is less-than-stellar. But Laverda RGS is very rare here in the US, with just 250 imported, and this looks like a very nice example. Those upgraded ISR six-piston calipers should provide serious stopping power, although the stock parts work very well.

From the original eBay listing: 1984 Laverda RGS 1000 for Sale

This is an opportunity to own a very rare piece of motorcycling history.  This is a 1984 Laverda RGS 1000.  It is in excellent cosmetic condition and is complete.  The plastics are not broken or cracked.  It is currently on display so I can only take pictures of the one side, but the other side is in the same condition as the pictured side.  I have owned the Laverda for 30 years, but it has been in storage for the last 25 years.  It will need to have the carbs gone through, new tires, new brake and fork fluids, and battery at the minimum to have it in running condition.  

The Laverda has the following modifications:

  • Corsa high compression pistons
  • Port and polished head
  • Carbs bored to 34mm
  • Moto Witt ignition
  • Astro Lite wheels
  • Slater 3 into 1 exhaust
  • 38mm M1R Marzocchi front forks
  • Werks rear shocks
  • ISR 6 piston front calipers
  • 320 full floating front discs

I have the following stock parts that will go with the Laverda:

  • exhaust
  • front rim
  • forks

Mileage isn’t listed, but shouldn’t be of much concern, assuming it’s been properly cared for: these are seriously overbuilt bikes, with top-shelf electrical components. But, like everything else Italian, it’s the maintenance that can get you: there’s no oil filter, so regular changes are a must, and shim-under-bucket valve adjustment means a major headache when the time comes for that.

Cherished by owners, these rarely come up for sale and at the $11,500 Buy It Now price seems very fair, although I’d recommend the photographer spend some time making sure his or her pictures are in-focus if the bike doesn’t sell this time around…

-tad

1984 Laverda RGS1000 Engine

Throw Back Sunday: 1984 Laverda RGS 1000 for Sale
Laverda June 21, 2014 posted by

Out With an (Orange) Bang:1988 Laverda SFC1000

Unable to compete with the ruthless, technological march of the Japanese manufacturers, Laverda’s SFC 1000 was an attempt to capitalize on their past endurance racing glories, a last gasp before they went under, prior to their relatively brief resurrection in the 1990’s. To be honest, I didn’t even realize that Laverda was still making bikes in 1988, so I’d imagine this was bike was built 1985 and sat untitled for a couple years.

1988 Laverda SFC 1000 L Side

1988 Laverda SFC1000 for sale on eBay

SFC originally stood for “Super Freni Competizione”, basically “super braking competition” a reference to the huge drum brake on the front of the very first SFC twins, later replaced by a pair of discs. Powered by a 750cc parallel-twin , the original SFC was produced in very limited numbers, the epitome of a “racer for the road” and many were quickly stripped of their street-legal lighting for track duty. This was probably for the best: the SFC was fast and very brutal, and probably didn’t make a good road tool for casual riders.

Not so with the SFC 1000, which was basically a renamed and slightly restyled version of the “executive express” RGS, the SFC1000 was a far more street-oriented bike built around Laverda’s charismatic three-cylinder engine. Earlier triples had a 180° configuration that ran like a four-cylinder with a miss, but later examples like this one used a smoother 120° engine that lost some character but was much more user-friendly.

1988 Laverda SFC 1000 Engine

And while the big triple had evolved into a more conservative machine in terms of its mission, don’t think it couldn’t hustle: on track, you could lean these over enough to grind the generator cover into dust.

From the original eBay listing: 1988 Laverda SFC1000 for Sale

Very clean, with upgrades–all easily reversible to full factory-original, if desired.
Imported by me from New Zealand in 2010.
Never dropped, raced, or mistreated.

I am the second owner since new.

New coils, wires, plugs, timing chain, electronic ignition, custom slanted intake manifolds, Mikuni carbs, lubricants, bar-end mirrors, battery, throttle cables, grips, windshield, air filters, tune-up, rear brake caliper rebuild, sprockets, X-ring D.I.D. chain.

Valves meticulously adjusted.
Custom Mikunis by Mike Nixon.
Custom manifolds by Red Cawte.

1988 Laverda SFC 1000 Dash

They may have been obsolete at the time they were sold new, but these Laverdas actually represent an opportunity to buy what amounts to a classic bike at the pinnacle of its development: in 1988, this may have looked like a dinosaur, but today it just screams “useable classic”!

Which might explain why this particular bike featured over on our sister site not too long ago: Classic Sport Bikes for Sale 1988 Laverda SFC1000.

1988 Laverda SFC 1000 Rear Suspension

Overall, this example looks to be in excellent, very orange condition. One caveat: the bike was originally imported from New Zealand, so make sure that you check with your local DMV to make sure there won’t be any issues with registration before you park this in your garage. Or living room.

-tad

1988 Laverda SFC 1000 Engine2

Out With an (Orange) Bang:1988 Laverda SFC1000
Laverda March 30, 2013 posted by

Italian transport: 1983 Laverda RGS1000

RGS1000_3

I you tire of endless L-twin and V-twin pasta rockets, then check out this latest Italian find: a 1983 Laverda RGS 1000. The RGS was derived from the legendary Jota, but made to be more comfortable and more of an executive travel machine or a GT. Don’t let that fairing and those soft curves fool you, however. At the heart of this beast is the same 1000cc triple that dominated Europe before the rise of the Japanese machines.

RGS1000_5

Like most Laverdas, this one has been ridden. There is just over 21,000 miles on the clock, and the expected wear and tear of a 30 year old bike. But it looks like all of the pieces are there and with no significant damage this unmodified find might just be your ticket into Italian ownership.

RGS1000_10

From the seller:
Great Italian exotic superbike. Hard to find in this good running condition. Unmolested, clean, correct and complete. Buy for your collection or ride it like the makers intended.

RGS1000_6

This RGS is not the more desired Executive model (with higher handlebars, add on fairing bits and color coded hard bags), but it is still a great motorcycle. There has been nominal interest in this bike thus far, although at $4,350 the reserve has yet to be met. The BIN on this bike is set at $9,250 – perhaps a little high, but time will tell what the market thinks. For more info and pictures, click the link and jump over to the auction. Good luck!

MI

Laverda May 3, 2012 posted by

Italian Classic: 1985 Laverda RGS 1000

For Sale: 1985 Laverda RGS 1000

Update 5.3.2012: Originally listed in February, a winning bid of $8500 was accepted but apparently fell through. Links updated. -dc

Laverda has never quite gained the popularity of those other Italian brands. Sure, everyone has heard about Ducati, most know of Moto Guzzi and collectors and enthusiasts know of Bimota. But Laverda? Doesn’t ring a bell.

Perhaps that is because Laverda no longer exists from a brand perspective – although a long and storied marquee, Laverda foundered in the 1980s, changed hands several times, and attempted a minor comeback in the late 1990s. By then it was too late, and Laverda was absorbed by Aprilia in 2000. Aprilia was absorbed by Piaggio in 2004, and the Laverda name sits on the shelf. Aprilia is entertaining offers for the Laverda brand, howevever, so hope may yet exist for another rebirth of this classic name.

To start at the beginning, we must go back to 1873 – which is when Pietro Laverda first started dabbling in engines for agricultural purposes. It was not until two World Wars and a few generations had passed, however, until Pietro’s grandson – one Francesco Laverda – started up a small motorcycling concern in post war Italy in 1949. Like most Italian brands of the era, Laverda motorcycles were small capacity vehicles designed to provide cheap transportation. But how quickly the Laverda reputation grew from there!

By the 1960s, the twin cylinder machines – such as the 750 SF and flagship SFC – were already on the drawing boards. And by 1969 Laverda stunned the world with the introduction of the 3 cylinder concept bike – created by adding a third cylinder to the already successful 750cc parallel twin. By early 1970 this was a production model, and the fight with the Japanese bikes of the time was on.

From the seller:
For sale is this Red 1985 Laverda RGS 1000 cc Triple

One original owner, with 19,851 miles

Reciently maintained with new parts, and some custom work, beautiful aluminum sidecovers, new battery, stainless exhaust etc.

It has always been covered and garaged, never dumped.

The RGS has some pretty nifty features not often seen on other bikes. Did you notice the smooth, unobstructed tank up above? So how do you fill it? Laverda provided this cool fuel door in the fairing – just like on a car!

The auction for this 19,000 mile bike is going on right now. The seller has listed this beautiful bike for the princely sum of $14,000 OBO – pretty high for a straight RGS given that the Executive model (with fairing extensions, higher bars and color matched bags) rarely brings this level of cash. Fortunately, this seller will accept something less, so jump on over to the auction and make the man an offer! Good Luck!

MI