This blog records the success and failure of my ambition to have my seven Laverda’s road legal by the 31st December 2017.
I originally set this goal for 31st December 2012! My problem is that I have to use my Laverda’s to get to work each day (a round trip of 100+ miles) so much of my time is spent on running repairs. As of this moment I have two Atlas’s and the little Turismo on the road. My focus at the moment is to get my RGA back – it’s been idle for 7 years now.
I’ve been riding Laverda triples since 1987 when I bought a 1981 Jota. I rode that into the ground and ‘graduated’ to an RGA Jota which went the same way in 2009. Along the way my RGS just got so grotty it was laid up in the garage, recommissioned for the first part of 2013 but then a disastrous ride back from France without oil (!) sees this in pieces. The Jota engine is lodged with Keith Nairn to be assembled and the RGS and RGA are 99% torn down and waiting to be restored. The Jota is the iconic triple but the best Laverda is a 120 degree crank triple – not so fashionable but prices are rising…
I decided to try out the eight valve twins starting with a 1989 Mk 3 Atlas which is sitting waiting for a bit of attention! Fortunately it’s place was taken by another Mk 3 which started off with just 37,000 km on the clock. Many miles have since been covered and earlier this year I had an off resulting in a broken thumb and bent Atlas 😦 It’s now repaired and is about to be placed back into active service alongside my third Atlas and 1989 Mk 2.
The Atlas is a good bike, superb handling, 55 mpg and 250 mile tank range. The Atlas though suffers from poor starting and the fact it has a small engine – a true 750cc version would’ve been magic!
The remaining Laverda is a 1958 Turismo which I rode to Breganze in 2009 along with Cor Dees, Gido Lodders and Dean Young to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of Laverda. The Turismo didn’t stop at Breganze and has been used for other trips taking in France, Belgium and Luxembourg.
My approach to motorcycles is never to fix what isn’t broken – trouble is I’ve broke them all! Putting this aside don’t be put off buying either a Laverda triple, 750 two valve twin or the 500/600 eight valve twins (only buy a Zane twin if you are feeling brave) – they will keep going despite their owners…