Posts by tag: three cylinder

Featured Listing August 8, 2019 posted by

Featured Listing: 1980 Laverda Jota for Sale

Check out all of Joe’s bikes for sale on RSBFS! Many thanks for choosing us to help move your collection! -dc

When it rains, it pours, and the past couple weeks have seen us feature several different Laverdas. Bikes this old are usually a bit too “classic” to feature regularly on the site, but certain models are just too important not to include at RSBFS, and the hairy-chested Lavereda Jota like today’s featured listing is one of them. As a followup to their successful parallel-twin models, Laverda introduced a three-cylinder in 1973 after teasing prototypes for several years. It wasn’t just a twin with an extra cylinder grafted on, it was an almost entirely new design, with a twin overhead-cam head.

1980 Laverda Jota for sale on eBay

The earliest three-cylinder bikes used a large drum brake at the front, but that was soon updated to a twin-disc setup, although a drum was retained at the rear for a bit longer. Although it wasn’t tuned as aggressively as it could have been, the new, unimaginatively-named “3C” was one of the best-performing bikes available, with a 133mph tested top speed. But stock performance, however impressive, is never enough for some people, and UK Laverda importers Slater Laverda saw plenty of untapped potential and decided to build a bit of a hot rod.

Slater fitted factory racing cams and high-compression pistons, an updated exhaust, and SFC yokes for different front-end geometry. The resulting bike impressed Laverda’s management, and limited production began in 1976. Power for the 981cc engine was up to 90hp and the bike could clear 140mph, making it the fastest production motorcycle at the time. After success racing the bike in the UK, Laverda expanded distribution, and eventually the bike found its way to the US, although bikes originally intended for us were of lower-spec than the UK machines.

The Jota, named for a Spanish dance, is often characterized as a “man’s bike” but could more accurately be described as “a bike for tall people with strong hands.” The triples weigh in at nearly 500lbs dry, with a very tall seat 32″ high, no side stand fitted as standard, and a brutally stiff clutch-pull. Like all Laverdas of the period, they’re solid and overbuilt with power and handling to spare, but a Jota takes work to ride quickly. Or slowly.

Slight clarification of the seller’s information below: all of the early Laverda three-cylinder models, including the 3C and the original Jota used a 180° crank that basically fired “like a four with a miss.” The Jota was basically a hotted-up version of the regular production triple and used the same crank as the 3C. The “two up, one down” crank was great for power and made a pretty distinctive noise, but vibrated a bit more than than was considered acceptable. Later triples switched to a 120° crank after 1981 for increased smoothness, but purists feel like only the 180° bikes are the only “real” Jotas. Personally, I think the 120° bikes sound pretty cool too, but the 180° bikes are definitely more desirable to collectors.

From the Seller: 1980 Laverda Jota for Sale

You should know that I am a serious collector, with a large motorcycle collection. I decided to sell some of the most valuable motorcycles in the collection. These motorcycles represent some of the most iconic motorcycles of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Those motorcycles are now being offered up for sale one by one. These motorcycles were targeted by me for my collection many years ago when the best of the best were available and that is what I purchased. 

In general, I do believe super rare Italian motorcycle of the 1970s and 1980s are the future Ferrari of motorcycle collecting. We all know what has happened to Ferrari. 

When you decide, as I did, that the rare, large Italian Sports bikes of the 1970s are a great place to be for collecting. You will for sure want to have a Laverda Jota in your collection. 

Make sure that your Jota is a real Jota with 180 degree firing order, which distinguishes the Jota from other Laverda models. Again, the 180 degree firing order means that the 3-cyclindar engine fires off when two of the cylinders are up and then 180 degrees later when one cylinder is up, it again fires. In other words, the Jota fires two times per 360 degrees and not three times per 360 degree rotation, like the lesser Laverda models. This is what gives the motor its unique power and especially its unbelievable thundering exhaust note. These are big, heavy, and handsome bikes. This one was restored by a Laverda guru a little over 10 years ago and was put in our collection shortly thereafter. If you are talking about these Italian bikes that are designed to look like they have big muscles the Jota certainly exemplifies that. Of course, any of the rare Italian 1970s and 1980s iconic bikes are always great garage art and most often wonderful bikes to ride. The Jota is a man’s bike and not meant for the faint of heart unless you are going to just put it in your living room to look at it.  

There is plenty of information on the Internet about the Jota. There is a very large international club for them. This Jota was restored to perfection and is still in wonderful cosmetic condition and riding form. 

This is certainly a bike for serious collectors and for those that don’t know all the details, the internet is just loaded with information. I can only suggest that you scrutinize the pictures and decide for yourself if this is another rare Italian collector bike that will eventually become as iconic as the Ferrari automobile. I spent a decade looking for the best one and this is the best one I have ever seen.

The real Jotas seldom become available and you should always get the best. When they are available, they are almost never in highly restored condition.  All my bikes are kept on trickle chargers ready to take a day’s ride at a moment’s notice. The Jota is one of those.  

I would suggest that you check out the other rare cycles that I am offering for sale by clicking on “other items for sale” in the upper right corner to see the other bikes being offered from my collection.  

Prefer phone calls 847-774-4857

Thanks for looking at one of the best!

The seller clearly knows bikes, and the collectability of the Jota is undeniable. The only Laverda model more valuable is the earlier SFC, and the Jota is a bit more civilized, although that probably isn’t saying much. Many Jotas came with a half-fairing, but I much prefer my big, burly bruisers to be naked! Wait, that came out wrong… Anyway, the additional wind-blast will be perfect for bulking up your neck muscles to match your newly-muscled hands: I’ve got a couple friends with Laverda triples and the effort required to pull that clutch still blows my mind.

-tad

Featured Listing: 1980 Laverda Jota for Sale
Triumph May 3, 2018 posted by

Better Late – 2006 Triumph Daytona 955i with 2,510 miles !

The owner of this 2006 Daytona bought it as a long-term leftover in 2014, from the unlikely sportbike haven of Denmark.  Since then his travel schedule has only allowed 2,510 miles, presenting the auction winner with a virtually new Triumph liter bike.  2006 was the last model year for the 955i, and it has some nice upgrades from earlier Daytonas.

2006 Triumph Daytona 955i for sale on eBay

An assault on the sportbike establishment in 1997, the later Daytona was a more mature GT, the fuel injected triple good for 149 hp.  The double-tube cradle frame is now black, but the same aluminum alloy.  Extra-large 45mm forks and 320mm brakes are Triumph’s own design, and 2003 saw a return to the single-sided swingarm.  A nice re-design of the fairing and headlight was done in 2005, and black was introduced as a color choice.

Currently residing in Delaware, this Daytona had a bath for the occasion and looks excellent.  A carbon and polished exhaust has been added, but not much else in the way of personalization.  From the eBay auction:

Bike has straight papers, currently registered in Delaware.  Numbers are straight.  Bike had zero miles when I got it in 2014.  Only have 2510 miles ridden since and clearly looks the part.
Bike was manufactured at the end of the production run in 2006.  Has the gorgeous split headlamp, the preferable single sided swingarm and a number of other improvements made over the earlier years of the models.
Bike has the beautiful carbon factory high level exhaust which sounds heavenly.  Also has a rear seat cowl and a passenger seat as well.
Condition is 99% perfect.  Almost no flaws to speak of.  The clear coat on the carbon infills could be redone.
I installed a cell phone holder that holds my phone very well, that’s included.
The legendary Triumph triple is a blast to ride and an absolutely unique machine.

Revitalized by John Bloor, Triumph proved itself a sportbike force with the Daytona.  It offered a different perspective for riders reacting to the vanill-ish offerings from the big four, and bonus points if one felt buying European was important.  The company soon made the 955i redundant to focus on the middleweight market, so the 2006 is the end of an era.  This example has spanned the globe to bring the new owner a smashing experience…

-donn

Better Late – 2006 Triumph Daytona 955i with 2,510 miles !
Triumph April 26, 2018 posted by

Fireball Orange: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale

Fully-faired sportbikes of the 80s and 90s from Japan are almost without exception festooned with jagged graphics, huge logos, hilariously technical-sounding acronyms, and retina-searing colors. They’re pretty cool now in a retro way and some of them, like the famous Rothmans designs, are truly iconic, but they feel like rolling billboards. Which of course is exactly what race-bikes, and therefore race-replicas are. They’re fun and nostalgic and even ironic these days, but honestly? I wouldn’t have been caught dead on one back when they were new. I’ve always been a classy, subtle guy and while this Fireball Orange Triumph Speed Triple may not be subtle, it is a pretty classy brute and exactly the kind of machine that interested me back when I got into motorcycling.

It’s a shame folks on this site don’t seem to like these first generation “T309” Triumph Speed Triples. You’re really looking at one of the original factory streetfighters: a legitimate sportbike with the fairing removed, a modern cafe racer. Because while the period Daytona may not have been a cutting-edge performer, it certainly was a sportbike, just one that was more a “gentlemans’s express” than a “racetrack refugee.” Sure, the Speed Triple was limited by its modular spine-frame that allowed design flexibility at the expense of weight and handling, but people did actually race them, at least in a one-make series called, fittingly enough, the Speed Triple Challenge that was meant to promote the brand.

Unfortunately, the weight and top-heavy design meant it was as much a race bike as Harley’s more recent XR1200 that also found its way into a one-make race series. But as a road bike? The Speed Triple’s burly 885cc three cylinder engine had performance and charisma to spare. Triumph knew it couldn’t compete in terms of raw performance against the Japanese, so they went for quality and character instead, and their bikes of the period had better detailing and better paint. You’d certainly be hard-pressed to find another bike from this era that looks this good without having been restored.

From the original eBay listing: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale

Beautiful, mint, original ‘95 Speed Triple. Low miles & garage kept. Meticulously maintained. This bike is unique, draws a crowd, and performs extremely well for an older bike. Soulful exhaust note and a ton of character. There are not many like this one left. Mileage is subject to change, as I am still riding it.

Even if the early Speed Triple wasn’t a pretty cool bike on its own, at least Triumph’s strategy paid off and strong sales allowed brand to thrive, enabling it to produce machines like the much-lauded Daytona 675, Street Triple, and modern Speed Triple. Picking at them for their limitations seems unkind, especially considering the incredible bang for the buck they provide. You’re a seasoned rider, you’ve got a few grand to spend, and you want something cool to ride to work and blast around the canyons on weekends? Something that your significant other will want to ride with you? Something with classic looks and reasonably modern performance? This is about the cleanest, lowest-mileage near-classic you’re likely to find, and you can even pretend it’s an investment…

-tad

Fireball Orange: 1995 Triumph Speed Triple for Sale
Triumph April 5, 2018 posted by

Low Mileage Future Classic: 2001 Triumph Daytona 955i for Sale

The first generation of Triumph’s new line of motorcycles that followed their resurrection by John Bloor seemed calculated to avoid direct comparison with products from the Japanese manufacturers. They’d obviously learned from their past mistakes trying to match the high performance and low cost of their Big Four rivals, and the new lineup filled in the gaps in more conventional thinking: a sportbike that wouldn’t be legal in any major racing class, with comfortable ergonomics and a big, flexible engine. Or two engines? Check. A funky retro-roadster with classic looks and a three-cylinder engine? Check. And it worked: build quality was high and the bikes sold well enough to support a second generation of the machines that included the now-iconic bug-eyed Speed Triple, the versatile Tiger, and an updated Daytona like today’s sleek silver example.

The second generation of the Daytona introduced in 1997 still didn’t try to go head-to-head with bikes like the GSX-R750 or the GSX-R1100. In fact, with the four-cylinder version gone, it fell pretty much between those two in terms of character and performance: it was more powerful and more comfortable than the 750 and more agile than the 1100. The GSX-R1000 that came along later pretty much murdered the Daytona in terms of outright performance, but Hinkley’s big triple sportbike was one of the best roadbikes of the era, and the looks have aged very well.

Originally designated the T595, the revised, fuel-injected 955cc triple put out 128hp at the wheel and a healthy midrange. It was quickly renamed the 955i to avoid any misunderstandings regarding the big triple’s displacement. The single-sided swingarm is obviously for looks, since no one that I know of was racing them, and the simple, monochromatic paint suggests confidence in the design: I’ve always felt that wild graphics take away from a bike’s design and distract you from its actual silhouette, like you’re looking at some World War II combat ship with bold shapes painted on the hull to make it harder to hit with a torpedo… Anyway, I like these in Triumph’s vivid “burnt mustard” color, but this silver example looks very elegant and mature.

The smaller Daytona that was introduced in 2006 carried on Triumph’s tradition of oddball displacements, and that bike’s famously flexible 675cc triple ended up allowing Triumph to finally compete on nearly equal footing with the more traditional 600cc inline fours. Triumph fans have long clamored for a sportbike built around the bigger, 1050 engine from the Speed Triple, but a new bike based around the 765cc version might be a great alternative to Ducati’s “supermid” 959 Panigale and MV Agusta’s F3 800…

From the original eBay listing: 2001 Triumph Daytona 955i for Sale

Frankly, there is not too much to say about a 2001 Triumph 955i that has accumulated just over 3,600 California miles since it was delivered in 2001! We will take this opportunity to clarify a few important points, and provide a history of the bike that many believe represents one of the best high performance sports bikes ever produced by Triumph. Specifically:

  • From a cosmetic and mechanical perspective, the bike remains in excellent condition in every respect… no surprises, no excuses.
  • Within a few months the bike was fully inspected and serviced by the local Triumph dealer. The bike has always received “expense no object” care and has been ridden occasionally to ensure full operation at all times. Of course, it has never seen rain.
  • The 955i has always been licensed and carries a clear California title
  • No surprises, accidents, replaced components, aftermarket parts… 100% stock
  • No modifications
  • Stand shown not included
  • Owner’s manual included

Note: This is a serious super bike and we recommend that only experienced riders consider the purchase of a bike that is capable of speeds over 165 mph with ¼ mile speeds reaching 130+ mph when piloted by a capable rider.

In any event, if you have a hankering for an absolutely pristine example of Triumph’s comeback kid, you’re in the right place. There is very little time left on the auction and bidding is up over $4,500 with very active bidding. This is more than you typically see for an early Daytona like this one, but mileage is outrageously low, and appears to be one of the very last built before a significant redesign in 2001 that resulted in a much improved, but less attractive motorcycle.

-tad

Low Mileage Future Classic: 2001 Triumph Daytona 955i for Sale
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 August 18, 2016 posted by

Throwback Thursday: 1983 Laverda RGS1000 for Sale

1983 Laverda RGS1000 R Front

While many of the 80s bikes we’ve featured recently look relentlessly forward, spending their lives on the bleeding-edge of sportbike design, other manufacturers were necessarily stuck in the past, limited by budgets and working to maximize the potential of existing, sometimes moribund designs like today’s Laverda RGS1000. Laverda had certainly earned its fair share of laurels in the 1970s with their SFC endurance-racing machines but, fueled by strong sales, the Japanese manufacturers’ experimental output exploded in the mid-to-late 1980s. We saw everything from big-bore inline fours to two-stroke, V3 race-replicas and the European manufacturers were left trying to shift some suddenly very obsolete machines.

1983 Laverda RGS1000 L Rear

Laverda’s manly 981cc three-cylinder Jota of the late 1970s was in every way a sport bike: uncompromised by comfort or practicality, obsessed with speed, power, and loud noises: it was rare, exotic, and required real commitment to ride, especially if you were under 5’10”. But keeping pace with the Japanese in terms of outright performance meant developing a new engine, something that the small company could not afford.

So Laverda wisely cashed in on their brand’s racing history and Italian sportbike credentials to recast their top-of-the-line sportbike as something more of a racy sport-tourer with a revised frame and fully-enclosed bodywork. The fuel door in the front of the fairing is an interesting detail and speaks to the bike’s new mission. Could the RGS keep up with the latest and greatest machines from the Land of the Rising Sun? Certainly not, at least on the race track, but handling was excellent and that big engine was no slouch. By pitching their revised RGS at a well-heeled clientele less likely to buy a bike based on some ever-changing performance-per-dollar ratio, Laverda targeted a premium segment and attempted to stave off the inevitable. Unfortunately, the bike was good but it was also expensive.

1983 Laverda RGS1000 Cockpit

Although the cognoscenti typically prefer the earlier Laverda triples with their raucous 180° “one up, two down” crankshaft to the later, much more refined 120° bikes, don’t think that the RGS is some shrinking violet. “Refinement” is a relative term, and an RGS with a free-flowing exhaust is one of the best sounding motorcycles I’ve ever heard, even if the sound is snarling out of the pipes of a somewhat awkward-looking machine. Today’s example isn’t perfect, but appears to have been sympathetically maintained and it certainly hasn’t been left to slowly rust away in a shed somewhere, based on the miles its covered…

1983 Laverda RGS1000 Engine Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Laverda RGS 1000 for Sale

Good condition, strong runner. Has no mechanical issues. Recently gone through by noted Laverda experts Wolfgang and Chris Haerter. Many parts replaced including, but not limited to. Wheel bearings, drive chain and sprockets, tires, entire exhaust, brake lines, cam chain, engine oil, fuel lines, carburetors ultrasonic, DMC ignition, Dyna coils, Foot control linkages, all rubbers, mirrors. Has no leaks starts very well and sounds amazing. 

A very good example of a well looked after daily rider. 

1983 Laverda RGS1000 R Side

There are 86,000 miles on the bike, but these engines are very well built and, assuming the maintenance has been done as indicated, there should be plenty of life left in this beast still. Obviously, if your heart pumps premix and your riding boots all have their toes ground off, this probably isn’t the bike for you. But if a classy gentleman’s express appeals and you want something far sexier and more exotic than a BMW twin, the RGS can provide you with the traditional Jaguar values of grace, pace, and space.

-tad

1983 Laverda RGS1000 L Fairing

Throwback Thursday: 1983 Laverda RGS1000 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 February 8, 2016 posted by

Gentleman’s Express: 1983 Laverda RGS1000 for Sale

1983 Laverda RGS1000 R Front

Laverda’s big-bruiser RGS1000 comes from an era when the European brands were struggling in the face of the Japanese Big Four’s onslaught. To keep pace required serious levels of financial and manufacturing muscle, and most of the European brands just could not compete.

1983 Laverda RGS1000 Tank

Some, like BMW hung on to a niche market, with loyal sport-touring fans continuing to buy up their durable flat-twins, even as the company continued to innovate, building new triples and fours. But companies like Triumph struggled to update already obsolete machines and stave off their inevitable doom.

1983 Laverda RGS1000 Clocks

Laverda, a tiny company compared even to Triumph, took a different path. They started with their powerful and chest-thumpingly manly 981cc three-cylinder engine and five-speed combination, then wrapped the package in modern, fully-faired bodywork, creating something new out of something old, a bike that wasn’t really trying to compete.

1983 Laverda RGS1000 Engine

Although it was decidedly old-tech, the new sport-touring mission of the bike meant it wasn’t even trying to compete in the rapidly-escalating sportbike wars against the Japanese, and the bike, while not very light at 550lbs, offered Laverda’s famous stability, impressive midrange power, and reasonable comfort. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough.

1983 Laverda RGS1000 L Front

From the original eBay listing: 1983 Laverda RGS1000 for Sale

I bought this beautiful Laverda RGS 1000 about five years ago from a Laverda collector in California. He was selling it and other bikes after suffering serious injuries in an accident. He had owned it for a number of years when he decided that he wanted more “oomph” so he wisely sent it to Scott Potter, Laverda engine builder and restorer par excellence for some high-compression pistons. The bike was in good condition and did not need restoration, but since the engine was coming out anyway, why not take advantage?

And well, here is Scott’s work order:

RGS 2029 Disassemble the machine down to every last nut and bolt. Send out all chrome components to be replated . Strip frame, center stand and rear fork to bare metal. Fabricate gusset plates to strengthen headstock. Powdercoat frame and rear fork gloss black. Renew headstock bearings and rear fork bearings. Disassemble engine. Clean sand cast engine components. Bead blast as necessary. Follow with hot tank wash and clear out all passages with compressed air. Polish all alloy covers. Replace wearing components as necessary. Lighten clutch basket and pressure plate. Machine true and lighten clutch drum. Send out cyl head for 3 angle Serdi seat cut. Reassemble engine to factory tolerances. Check valve timing to published specs. Disassemble, clean and inspect starter clutch. Reassemble with new springs, plungers, and rollers. Refit to engine. Refit engine to chassis. Disassemble front forks and clean. Check fork tubes for straight and true. Polish fork tubes. Fabricate adapters for cartridge emulators. Modify damping rods for cartridge emulators Reassemble with new seals and oil. Refinish yokes and instrument mount. Refit forks to chassis. Renew rear damper assemblies with custom Works Performance units. Disassemble brake hydraulics. Clean and reassemble with new kits, pads and pistons. Remove rotor surface area of iron oxide. Mount rotors to hubs with new fasteners.Install new black sheathed stainless brake and clutch hoses. Bleed all hydraulics with fresh Castrol GT LMA DOT 4 fluid Fit new sprocket and renew sprocket locking tabs. Refit wheel assemblies to chassis. Fit new drive chain. Polish footrest plates. Clean adjustment discs and assemble with antiseize compound Install new bronze bushings in shift and brake levers and hone to fit. Install new type designation plate Fabricate new mounts to fit Mikuni RS36 carbs to utilize stock airbox connectors Fit carb assembly to engine. Install new push pull throttle quadrant. Clean and repair/modify wiring harness as necessary. Install Witt/DMC ignition unit and Mitsu coil assembly Refit wiring harness and switch gear to chassis.

As you can see it is a comprehensive rebuild, but not a complete restoration as the original durable Laverda paint was in great condition still. The owner was able to put only a few miles on the restored bike before his accident. Since I bought it from him, I have put about 1200 miles on it. I treated it as a new bike and carefully broke it in. I then changed the oil (Mobil 1), re-torqued the head and adjusted the steering bearings. I have changed to the shocks to Ikons from Wolfgang as the Works Performance shocks were a little soft. The only negatives that come to mind are the tire-changing marks on the rims and the older tires that have plenty of tread but should be replaced before any serious cornering takes place. It starts and runs well with plenty of power. The clutch action and shifting are great- better than any of the Lavs I have owned. It is an imposing bike in looks and sound and it makes a decent sport-tourer with the bags attached. I am including some pics of the rebuild and one of me riding it on the Dragon. I forgot to mention that this RGS has the dealer installed Executive package which consists of the hard bags, higher handlebar, and additional wind protection for the hands.

Bidding is up to $8,500 with the Reserve Not Met and a Buy It Now price of $14,500, which seems pretty on-the-money for a nice RGS. Although this uses the later, 120° crankshaft and was pitched towards a more “civilized” audience, these are still pretty raucous if you’re used to something like a modern Speed Triple.

1983 Laverda RGS1000 Front Wheel

They’re very rare, with just 250 imported to the US and if you want a classic Laverda to ride and enjoy, these are stylish, durable and, with the fitted luggage included with this bike, make great sport-touring mounts. And, in case you’re wondering: yes, that little door in the front right fairing does in fact hide the fuel filler cap. Obviously you’d need to find a good mechanic, or be handy with a wrench, considering the age and rarity. But the Laverda community is close-knit, and many owners take great pride in wrenching on their own machines.

-tad

1983 Laverda RGS1000 Ride

Gentleman’s Express: 1983 Laverda RGS1000 for Sale