2005 Laverda Owners’ Club Rally — Classic Motorcycle Events — Motorcycle…

9 Июн 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 2005 Laverda Owners’ Club Rally — Classic Motorcycle Events — Motorcycle… отключены
Laverda SFC1000
Laverda SFC1000

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My wife has a view of old bike rallies. She they’re just a bunch of standing around saying bike to each other. And much of the time she’s

But the inaugural North American Owners’ Club meet in at Ojai, Calif. was different. there was the nice bike but the four-day 2005 Laverda visits to four world-class collections, two days at Willow Raceway (including participatory laps) and attendance by leading from the Laverda story — as Dr. Ing.

Piero Antonio great-grandson of the company’s founder, Laverda.

The Laverda story

Laverda founded the Breganze, company in 1873 to manufacture machinery. But it was his grandson Francesco who a 75cc four-… motorcycle for his own use in Devastated by war but fired with vitality, Italy was undergoing its and demanded cheap, economical Soon, Francesco’s neighbors one of his sturdy little bikes.

motorcycles into the company’s wasn’t a great stretch, and an batch of 500 bikes was produced in

With a commitment to motorcycles needed sales, and selling in Italy means going So Laverda entered a 75 in the 1951 race, and although carburetion forced early retirement, the proved competitive. In the same in 1953, Laverdas filled the 14 places in their class!

followed in the 100cc class 1956, from which OHC Ceccatos and Ducati Mariannas designed by Fabio Taglioni) the class.

Thanks to its farm machinery Laverda survived the motorcycle 1960s slump, as Italians bikes for Fiat Cinquecentos. spending time in the United Francesco’s elder son, correctly anticipated the motorcycle shift to larger-capacity bikes. The 650, first shown in borrowed engine dimensions of 75 x from the same-size BSA twin, but its crank and SOHC configuration from Honda’s 305cc

By the time the bike came to in 1968, bore had been to 80mm to give 750cc, and spacing was 360 degrees, like a twin. A massively heavy suspended the engine and helped vibration.

Further tuning the 750S of 1972, while of Laverda’s own drum front disc brakes, cast (also of Laverda manufacture) 750SF (Super Freni), SF2 and SF3 through the Seventies.

Once Laverda went racing, and similar success. The 750 won every race the factory entered in leading to production of the highly 750SFC (Super Freni race-replica street model.

Massimo and Ing. Luciano Zen working on a more ambitious a triple using the 650’s dimensions (75 x 74mm) to give Though Laverda already had a for bulletproof engines, the triple previous standards with a crankshaft rolling on ball and a needle roller outrigger for the

Experiments led to a chain-driven, shim-and-bucket arrangement, but also showed a conventional 120-degree crankshaft unacceptable levels of vibration. led Zen to the unique 180-degree layout, the two outer pistons move up and together, alternating with the piston, creating the triple’s 1-2-3-miss sound.

The first 3C proved fast but were heavy. For 1976, the upgraded 3CL with triple Brembo and Laverda’s own cast wheels. The might have ended but for the enterprising Slater Brothers in

Recognizing the overbuilt bike’s they tuned one for racing, was campaigned most successfully by Davies. The Slaters persuaded the to incorporate their modifications a street version. The Jota, best known and most model, was born.

At the time, the Jota was just the fastest production motorcycle on the with a top speed of over Though not as successful, Laverda a 1200 using the cylinder of the 750 for 1116cc, but its potential was never realized. Fierce vibration practical compression ratio to and most 1200s (marketed as the in the United States) were in soft tune as sport

By 1983, the Jota’s weight, crank and associated buzzing pretty dated. A 120-degree became standard, the 1200 was and the new engine was rubber mounted to the out-of-phase vibes. The new bikes Jota 120, RGA, RGS touring bodywork), Executive luggage) and the final version, the The engine had essentially reached its limit at more than

The final batch of around 250 was produced about 1988.


Rally organizers Bob Andren and Chalk laid on a four-day bacchanalia. Congregating first at eyrie in the hills above Barbara, Calif. we toured his and Chalk’s Laverda collections, made a run to Brian Dietz’s race bike museum in Monica. Afternoon found us at Chandler’s museum in Oxnard, rounding off the day with Mike collection back in Ojai.

The day’s agenda included a to the Solvang motorcycle collection and a opening of Guy Webster’s unique of Italian motorcycles, again in So many beautiful bikes in one area!

On the third day the rally to Willow Springs Raceway, Fastest Road, in the California It was a day of parade laps, Corsa vintage racing, and a chance to the breeze with Laverdisti.


Of course, that’s what we there for. Just the only type of Laverda not was the V6: Three were built, two ran, and all are in Italy. The biggest was of Jotas from the late but there were a few standout of other types.

Many of us wanted to take Bob Andren’s cute 60cc and his ’55 100cc Tipo Chris Brown’s beautifully silver 1974 3C was the earliest on display; Brian Larrabure’s represented the 549 SFCs ever (fewer than 270 remain); and the Laverda, Ed Lutz’s Lance 1200 special. This machine (in orange, naturally) an English Spondon twin-beam frame with a 120-degree, engine tuned for racing. So Laverdas, so much orange

The ride

Three days, miles, three Laverdas: Gurry, Dan Watt and I rode to the from Vancouver, British arriving late on Wednesday We’d been slowed by closures, the result of an uncharacteristically California winter. What’s it riding 2,400 miles on a uncompromising 23-year-old bike?

comfortable — after I’d got the handlebars to my liking. (Why all bikes have adjustable With the engine spinning 4000rpm at 75mph, vibration was acceptable, and as we were mostly on the heavy clutch was no problem. My real beef: the wussy which resisted all attempts to them in place.

The events

We accepted the offer of a car ride to the collections, courtesy of Ohio Bob Vail and Ray Shaw’s rental As a newish Laverda owner, I got the to build my knowledge base on the make contacts and learn the who of Laverdisti.

The bike collections Guy Webster’s comprehensive compilation of racebikes), left me so overwhelmed each deserves its own story — and may appear in future issues of Classics . We rounded off our two days of with an open house at Bob mansion hovering over the valley.

Transferring to Willow was to included a ride on famed 33; sadly, it was washed out, so we a more mundane and urban The American Historic Racing Association’s Corsa MotoClassica race weekend was under way as we in. Willow might have Valhalla: two heavenly days of race machines (including Nixon riding his Triumph mellow ambience and good – and a few turns on the track ourselves.

Steering a 550lb road around a racetrack is hard Although Willow has a long, main straight, the back features a tight S and a fast left turn. The Mirage serious muscling to get it switched one side to the other in the S and was a real under braking, locking the easily with its considerable braking and causing a few sphincter-tightening as the tire hopped across the

Even though the track as wide as the Los Angeles freeway, still disturbingly easy to run out of and it took a few panic pulls on the before I got comfortable.

Saturday banquet at the Desert Inn in Lancaster the chance to hear Piero’s insights about Laverda. scale, for example: Over 20 years, total production of under-100cc bikes was less 50,000. Of the successful 750 series, than 19,000 were

Triples were commonly in batches of 100 bikes, when break-even for their 750-four was units!

Side notes

the name: In Italy it’s LAV-erda, the emphasis on the first like lavender without the n. And as is Spanish, it’s Hotta a guttural H.

Crankshafts: All 750 twins a 360-degree crankshaft, with the rising and falling together a British twin. The heavy dampens the vibes to acceptable Triples used a 180-degree until 1982, when switched to 120-degree. All 1200s use the 180 The reason?

The 120 crank’s rocking (the two outer pistons out of phase) created unacceptable at low revs. The 180-degree crank, introducing high-rev buzzing, was in the mid range.

Another successful design, the 8-valve 500cc twin, which started as the Alpino, and later became the is reckoned by many to be the sweetest of the bikes, with around and far less weight than the machines. That this was a tough engine is evidenced by its into the Zane-built liquid-cooled 650 and 750 Formula after the Laverda had sold its motorcycle business.

And the fabled V6; a longitudinal, shaft-driven, liquid-cooled, DOHC 4-valve of 1000cc, the development of which significantly to Laverda’s financial in the 1980s. But in spite of arguably the company, the V-6 was never fully

And Laverda now? Former owner Aprilia threatened to an all-new SFC1000 using its engine in 2002. Under new Piaggio, this project has iced — for now. Piero and his son keep the flame alive Laverda Corse, a demonstration of restored factory racers to entertain Italian race (www.laverdacorse.it ).

Want to buy one?

twins and triples are generally buys: The engines are overbuilt and — maintained — bulletproof. Laverda selected the best of available Bosch electrics; Nippon instruments and switchgear; Brembo Ceriani or Marzocchi suspensions; exhausts. They made of their own castings, including wheels and brake drums, and are very few unresolved mechanical or issues.

But ride one first: tall, top-heavy and (the especially) brutish machines.  MC


1873 — Pietro founds a farm machinery company in Breganze, Italy.

— Moto Laverda is founded by grandson, Francesco.

1950 — The company’s model, the single-cylinder Laverda 75, is officially

1970 — Laverda introduces its 750 SF of twins.

Mid ‘80s to early   — Production falls off amid of financial crises.

1993 — Tognon takes over and the name, but pulls out in 1998.

— Laverda now is part of the Piaggio which  acquired the Aprilia in late 2004.


1974 Laverda 3C

Owner: Chris Brown

Albuquerque, N.M.

Occupation: operations

Etc.: Bought a new 3C in 1974. Traded it for a Ducati in 1977. I’ve regretted that 3C ever since.

His 3C won the People’s Choice award at the Laverda rally.

Chris loves motorcycles, especially triples. I love the look of the it’s so massive looking, the engine was constructed out of cinder And the way the three pipes come underneath, that was one of the first I noticed in 1974.

Brown’s Laverda was the first 3C sold in It was love at first sight. I saw it, and I had to have it. It was on the floor for about a and a half, and I’d look at it or four times a week.

go at night and look at it through the

Coincidentally, Brown’s current 3C belonged to Joe Turney, whose motorcycle dealership sold his first Laverda. When retired to Texas the 3C followed, and he died his brother hauled it to Albuquerque.

A friend bought the and started restoration: Four later Brown convinced him to it. I told him I knew the that I was there in 1974 the bike was delivered to Turney. It was a thing, I just happened to be around the shop.

Will get another? Probably not, he What I’ve got is exactly I want, and it’s enough for me.

perfect and correct, which is why (Laverda) picked it as his favorite at the


International Laverda Club:

North American Owners Club:

Laverda SFC1000


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