Classic Motorcycle Road Test — Laverda SF750

29 Апр 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Classic Motorcycle Road Test — Laverda SF750 отключены
Laverda 750 GT

Laverda SF750

In the 1970s Minton first greeted the of a high-speed, high-mileage 750cc twin with suspicion, but he was won over. Here’s how, and

As a working motorcycle journalist, by I had become accustomed to abandoning BSAs, Triumphs and Nortons by the The build quality of these products of the British industry by this stage, simply So when Roger Slater me an SF 750 to take to the Laverda factory in and back, my enthusiasm for the trip was with doubts about

Roadside rescue services for visitors then were one rode alone with spanners.

To reduce the tale of a ride to its essentials, I arrived at the iron gates of Breganze’s hotel on a parallel twin had been thraped to within an of my life (plainly not its!) for the and non-stop trip. It had remained at all speeds and finished the 800 mile as externally dry as when it started, as well, ran as sweetly, started as idled as regularly and was, pipes apart (‘They all do Sir’), undeniably less than I. The return trip was as memorably uneventful.

It is perhaps to adequately explain the rarity of an experience at that time. big modern bikes entering the could manage one of two of the essential needed for a successful, very speed trans-Continental ride, but else in my experience encompassed all. I was gobsmacked, and promised that one day I would own one.

So what was it that made trip, and many others it, possible on a Laverda parallel when it was not possible on the British of the era?

Laverda had been motorcycles since 1949 and were sporting enough to Pietro Laverda to go racing. 1951 to 1960 Laverda won their classes in the long races, then so often they almost became benefits. One year Laverdas the first 15 places in the Milano to event.

Then, in the last it was run, Laverda entered its new 750 GT in the Giro d’Italia and won the 750 class

The Laverda family had no interest in Prix racing, believing in the policy of improving the product road-focused competition. One of the great behind Laverda racing was Laverda, elder son of Pietro, who in period was an engineering student at Realising the potential of his company’s new Massimo urged Luciano Laverda’s head of engineering, to the GT into the S. The company’s team of S won every endurance race entered in 1970.

Racing victories convinced it has a winner on its hands and, in with the development of the SF sportster, it the SFC racer. These 135mph, orange twins set an endurance pace through the 1970s won them a list of events too to relate. A great deal of racing experience was incorporated the SF sportsters. In fact the SFs proved so that they also a fine account of themselves in formula events.

While lacked the angel-flight ease of a around bends, they superbly and were utterly in all technicalities — especially

The curse of Italian electrical followed hard on the heels of deservedly abysmal reputation. But twins employed no Italian whatsoever. Their 12-volt belt-driven dynamo was by Bosch, as was the and entire ignition system, the massive starter motor was made for Laverda by Nippon as was most switchgear.

It was bulletproof.

So, by the the 750 SF was revealed to customers in 1971, the audience had awakened to the superior and the dynamic qualities of these from Breganze. In Holland, outsold Honda fours as a of the twins’ endurance racing The racing winning S of 1970 the race-shop-built SFC and the sportster 750 SF.

The SFC adopted the 744cc (80 x 74mm) of the preceding S, which with on tap at 6000rpm delivered a top speed to 112mph. The frame, though, had developed from the original to the centre of gravity further fractionally lower to improve stiffness.

This was also the time that Laverdas own had been seen. The big 9-inch 2ls replaced flawed Grimeca So pleased was Laverda with its own that it dubbed the new models Freni’ or Super Braker, the C of the endurance racers signified

Imported into Britain by Engineering and sold crated in format as kit bikes to beat tax. these first 750 SFs Ј685; a Honda CB750 was At 500lb fully tanked were heavy machines, but good reason. Laverda their massive fabrication to vibration, as well as to ensure high speed stamina.

No engine then made match the massive over-engineering of the which ran on five ball and main bearings.

The frames the imagination with equal Familiarly described as being a bearing’ frame member the in practice is no such thing, it hangs from the frame. massive tubes flow from the steering head, two down to the gearbox and swinging pivot, and two continuing horizontally as sub-framing.

The heavy gauge of the tubes the frame with a weight unequalled in tube steel and this, no less than the of the engine, contributes to the comparatively low of the models.

The significance of the frame’s may be gauged by Fritz Egli’s over his SF and SFC engined machines, in his lightweight chassis vibrated to dissuade him from pursuing a future with them.

As parallel twins they assumed by a cynical generation of British riders to vibrate. In and correctly serviced, by the standards of the SFs did not vibrate and could be ridden all day cracking up, leaking oil or white-fingering riders. Moreover they it reliably and with gratifying speed stability, rare then.

Laverda 750 GT
Laverda 750 GT

Noisy brutes, Ah.

You will recognise the early by their BMW R69-style Bosch Smiths instruments, ‘square’ Dell’ Orto carbs and twin exhausts. Early were fitted with the humpy tank and its rubber pads, later ones with the new big and plain long

Some folk swear these drum brake are the best of the series, thanks to a of small carbs, a semi-sporting slightly lightened flywheels and of an arm-stretching riding stance.

At the they were popular that Laverda were to meet demand, so little was for the models’ second year. was an option of a race-styled seat a lockable box in its back-stop, and the instruments to Nippon Denso. On a good of these the ‘S’ trademark of the Suzuki-intended parts had been overprinted.

The accuracy of the instruments to Smith’s eternal dance to the of anything but speed was a revelation.

By time these Laverdas had recognised and in Britain were to benefit from the attentions of a but discerning group of riders, more usually associated Vincent, Velocette and BMW machines.

No design flaws or performance had arisen. What vibration did was an effect in inadequately tightened mounting bolts, carburation or tuning, and a few hard-ridden bikes their front mudguard

The legend of Laverda’s ‘Big clutch had gone before it and took inverse pride in the challenge. In fact a re-routed and good lubrication usually half of its weight fist-resistance. By time, as befits 1972, was selling the SFs in an astonishingly glamorous of bright metallic colour and offering both dual and seats.

As the bikes were black and apart from tank and a new owner simply picked his and awaited dealer fitment.

the world was rapidly changing them. The CB750 was undergoing rolling chassis revitalisation, Kawasaki seemed determined to to the world that 900cc power was all. Ducati snapping (somewhat erratically) at heels and BMW bikes were great guns.

The 750 SF would a boost to stay competitive.

instalment: SF1 to SF3, buying and today

Laverda twins. than the triples?

Laverda 750 GT
Laverda 750 GT
Laverda 750 GT
Laverda 750 GT


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