is not possible to speak about Laverda without looking to the 1000 V6, the
only one ever built with a V6 engine.
This project was born in 1976 and intend to build the real superbike which should be able to win the endurance championship faced with the big Japanese factories and, why not, to project a unique and fantastic road bike into the future.
The specifications were directly very high, probably too high for the factory financial conditions...
But no one will say ever that Laverda was wrong trying to keep the challenge, given in heritage one of the most fabulous bike ever.
specifications planned a V6 engine, fitted longitudinally in the frame,
able to get more power and torque than any other racing bike, and a frame
with modern geometry and suspension, able to contain the engine power.
The Laverda brothers had already an idea about the engineer who could build such an engine: Il signore Alfieri, who worked for Lamborghini cars and above all for the Maserati V6s, was the ideal man. He was charged to conceive the Laverda 1000 cc V6 engine.
To adapt such an engine into a motorbike frame was very difficult.
The first problem was the longitudinally position of the engine, which gave a very strong torque reaction. Alfieri finally solved the problem allowing an opposite torque reaction, for instance by the opposite rotation of the alternator.
build a frame around this engine was not easy: A "spaceframe"
type was not possible because it should be heavy and bulky, and it would
prevent easy maintenance of the engine during races. A special frame has
been made for the V6.
Others difficulties remained during all the tests: Then, the Cantilever suspension of the V6 prototype put too much forces on the transmission housing. Finally, Alfieri came back to the classic rear Marzocchi twin shocks.
Alfieri solved the numerous problems and the V6 did its first road tests
on the factory owned track in its almost definitive version, the objective
being to race the 1978 Bol d'Or.
However, due to the monstruous budget given to the V6 project, the factory could not do all the necessary road tests.
It was in these conditions that the V6 arrived to the Paul Ricard race track, for the 1978 Bol d'Or. It was a real surprise because the other factories waited for a new triple Laverda and not for the V6, considered only as a motorbike show project. It was too much of a surprise when the V6 was timed at 283 km per hour during the pre-race tests, 38 km per hour faster than the best Honda factory bike!
But it was evident that the V6 Laverda was too slow in the curves, essentially because of the lack of time and money to complete the bike tuning.
|The V6 ran the 1978 Bol d'Or, with the number 26. The riders were Cereghini and Perugini. The V6 adventure finished after seven hours and half due to a broken transmission shaft, one of the rare part which was not built by Laverda!|
the story of the V6 finished here, the factory was not able to put up
the money to keep the project alive.
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