Just this month Motorcycle Classics magazine had a feature on the Laverda twins from the 1970's. And here was a triple right in front of me. In Key West no less, land of the endless v-twins.
The motorcycle looked brand spanking new with just 25,000 miles on the original clock. My four year old Bonneville has almost 56,000 miles on it and looks far less pristine than this machine.
The 45-year old motorcycle has the original labels and some rather tacky stick on labels (which given Italian tastes may also be originals for all I know). The name is pronounced Láverda with the emphasis on the first, two letters.
Laverdas were designed for the American market with lots of cubic capacity and power to impress in the land where "there's no substitute for cubic inches."
When I was a kid growing up in Italy I dreamed of Moto Guzzi motorcycles, too expensive for me and as out of reach as the big Laverdas which were known for excellent performance and finicky maintenance and...
...tall saddles which were a killer for a teenage man with a 28 inch inside leg. Funnily enough standing next to the Laverda on Southard it didn't seem that tall now that I am 54.
What a fabulous find. I hope the owner plans on riding it for miles and miles and miles.
The editor of Motorcycle Classics, Richard Backus has an actual Laverda Jota, the hotted up version of the regular one thousand. He loves it and acknowledges its flaws and brilliance all at once.
I know Conch cottages are lovely but the Laverda made my day.
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