Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Laverda 1000 Triple

I about shit myself driving down Southard Street when I saw a non Harley Davidson motorcycle parked on the street. Whoa!



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 verda 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.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

8 comments:

Chuck and the Pheebs said...

Forza Laverda!

Belissimo!

Bravo!

Paul LeClair said...

the silver bike in the photos is a real Slater's modified 1976 "Jota" from the uK, one of 5 or so that the late great Lance Weil imported back in the day. The silver bike recently moved from Oregon to Florida, nice to see it out and about being used rather than hoarded away as the serious collector piece it has become. Richard Backus's Laverda is a much later model, a 1984 Laverda RGS 1000, far removed from the early Jota and much more refined and polished, some would say to its detriment, but very nice bike as well. Best Regards, Paul leClair www.laverdaforum.com

Conchscooter said...

They were built for the American market. Massimo Laverda wanted to penetrate the US market where he figured the money was and persuaded his family to build big bikes for precisely that purpose. That they didnt sell in huge numbers is attributable to the lack of American taste conditioned by endless parades of Harleys and Triumphs I guess.
Nice friendly forum you've got there. Makes me want to join-Not!

bugsy capone said...

it's a nice bike, but perhaps you should check your facts before putting fingers to keyboard - you sound knowledgeable, but most of your detail and info is way off. oh, and we are a nice, friendly, very open forum and we'd be happy to help you learn all about these great bikes.

Conchscooter said...

Thanks but I have but a passing interest in the brand.
"By the late 1960s, Francesco and brothers began sketching out a new breed of large motorcycles that would be built around an all new 650 cc parallel twin engine. The brand was now sufficiently strong and well known, and Francesco's son Massimo had just returned from the USA where it was clear that sales were dominated by large capacity British and American hardware suited for long distance traveling. Above all this, was a desire to produce a prestigious and powerful machine that could conceivably take on the best and finest from Moto-Guzzi, BMW and the rapidly emerging Japanese."
And:
"Many of the first bikes were produced for the American market under the brand "American Eagle", which were imported to the US from 1968 until 1969 by Jack McCormack."

And from the Breganzane website:
"Massimo's vision of cracking into the American market with the 750 was soured in the early stages when the bikes (GT's and S's) were launched under the 'American Eagle' banner, though I don't know the details apparently the marketing was a disaster and the bikes were caned by the press in the US while being praised in Europe and the UK. Very few 'American Eagles' were sold and worst of all, the bikes reputation suffered unfairly as a result. Not a good start." Which may explain why there arent many in Indiana...
Nuff sed?

Bill said...

Cool to see my former bike is being well taken of...

Carl said...

Bill it was in great shape when you parted with it - and it's a real pleasure keeping it up...

Paul LeClair said...

Here is my apology to "ConchScotter" as posted on www.laverdaforum:

Here is my comment in it's entirety as posted to the "Key West Diary" blog, being the comment to which Michael has taken offense

the silver bike in the photos is a real Slater's modified 1976 "Jota" from the uK, one of 5 or so that the late great Lance Weil imported back in the day. The silver bike recently moved from Oregon to Florida, nice to see it out and about being used rather than hoarded away as the serious collector piece it has become. Richard Backus's Laverda is a much later model, a 1984 Laverda RGS 1000, far removed from the early Jota and much more refined and polished, some would say to its detriment, but very nice bike as well. Best Regards, Paul leClair www.laverdaforum.com

I am unfortunately not at all clear as to how I have offended with this factual comment. As I also own a 1984 Laverda RGS, my comments about Richrad Backus's bike not being a "Jota" but being an RGS were again intended to be factual.

Michael has clearly taken offense. For that I sincerely apologize, there was certainly no intention to offend.

My second comment on the "Key West Diary" blog, was yesterday to the effect of " I am glad seeing the Laverda made your day. Good on you for even recognizing the bike for what it is, most wouldn't. Best Regards Paul LeClair" When I checked the blog, my second comment does not appear. I assumed Michael deleted it. As he states he did not delete it, I am happy to attribute my second comment's non appearance to software or my own mistake in how I posted it. Again, certainly no intention to offend.

I use my own real name here and elsewhere on the internet, as well as the laverdaforum address, my e mail address, and my personal location, for clarity and accountability. Michael, my sincere apologies and welcome to our laverda forum!

Paul LeClair