Bying a 750 or 1000 Laverda requires the same cautions than for any other classic bike: It is important to check the general state of the bike and, in case of a restoration to check
what has been restored exactly. It is better to get a complete unrestored bike than a flashy one that misses some rare parts (especially the body work) or a worn crankshaft.
Laverda engines had been conceived to be restored many times, the limit beeing the state of the crankcases or, in some cases, the cylinder heads of triples.
Finally, concerning the rare or prestigious models (SFC, Mirage, real Jotas, ...) it is important to check that this is not a replica (advices from experts, like Marnix, "boss" of the 750
SFC registry are then primordial), then to keep in mind that the sale price must cope with the real state of the bike, and finally to check that all the rare parts are still there and
in good state.

750

The 650/750 engines are very reliable and easy to work on. The crankshafts are especially strong, even if some leaved the factory with some minor balancing problems and even some timing inaccuracies on the very early bikes.
Engine must be checked for oil leaks, especially around the head gasket or at the back of the crankcases, near the fixing points onto the frame.
Remember that a Laverda engine shouldn't have any oil leak and that the oil consumption should be very low: Oily exhausts ends are therefore suspect.

It is very important to listen to the noise of the engine: Even if these engines are a bit noisy because of numerous chains and bearings, it is necessary to check that there are not abnormal vibes or rattlings (suggesting a worn crankshaft), clickings to the upper engine (worn pistons rings, rockers axles)
or any worn bearing noise.

However, the presence of pinking in S and early SFs engines is quite inevitable because of the high compression ratio and poor quality of today's fuel (It is possible to reduce this problem by slightly retarding ignition -say 2 degrees- whereas octane boosters have little effect). The gearbox handling, even if it remains stiff, must be precise and easy even without clutch action.
Finally, on the very early crankcases (650 and first 750) with no or only one barrel on the LHS behind left cylinder, some cracks can be found in this area. Later crankcases (2 barrels) solved the problem.
The frames are solid, even if some of them crack around the rear engine fixings, when they are loosened. It is not rare therefore to find these frames welded in this spot, before owners decide themselves to tighten the engine bolts correctly. Ceriani fork and rear shock absorbers are good quality products, easily repaired if necessary. However, hunting down 35 mm Ceriani fork parts is actually difficult, things are a bit better for 38 mm types.
Finally, you have to check the sprocket carrier and wheels bearings regularly.

Points to check: Sprocket carrier bearings, craked frame around the rear enfine fixing points, LHS crank bearing, camshaft bearings and spindle. Carefully check for perfect carbs state and no air leaks (inlet stubs, gaskets, rubber caps and seals).

1000 180°

Finding and bying a 1000 180° is a bit harder as the factory made some engine mods which weren't always fortunate.

As a general rule, choose an engine with oil cooler, enlarged head gaskets, A11 camshafts or 4C for best output power at high revs and also a 3CL bodywork.
But some bike enthusiasts prefer the wild look of the early models, spoke wheels and no flashers.

However, even if the 180° engine is probably one of the most expressive of all Laverdas, it's important to keep in mind that it is too the most difficult to live with: Old Bosch ignition and charging systems require a lot of attention and fuel consumption is quite high.

Apart these points, same precautions than for the 750s should be taken: Check that there are no suspects noises and excessive vibes, even if the 180° crankshaft is almost indestructible.

Bosch ignition is really THE problem, test the bike at different temperatures and at low revs.

Engine must run as smooth as possible. The way to go is to fit a modern electronic ignition like the excellent IIS (see "improving" chapter) which is certainly the first improvment to do on a 1000 Laverda.

It happens that some alloy inlet stubs crack with age, resulting in air leaks and then a lean mixture. New stubs can be found easily.
At the contrary, handling is very good thanks to the solid frame and to Ceriani fork and absorbers.

Bodywork state must to be watch over because some parts are difficult to find and can be expensive.

There were some mods throughout the 180° bike range: In order to help those who are looking about a good 180°, here is a guide to know what modifications have been done by the factory, following serial numbers, years and what improvments you can expect:

Years/Frame number
Type of modificationPROCON
1974
   
1230
First disc brake model
Evident!
 
1257
Modified head, reinforced valve guides (12,9 to 14,9 mm)
X
 
1279
Modified clutch: No more rubber disc
X
 
1557
LHS crankshaft roller bearing instead of ball bearing
X
 
1806

-Valve tappet bores machined directly in alloy instead of cast iron liners.
- Seals on inlet valve guides
- 3 carbs fixed solid on a plate.
- Alloy inlet stubs replace the rubber type.
- oil cooler
- Some minor changes to solve problems with the unreliable Bosch ignition in wet conditions

X
Warning: Some cracked inlet stubs with age.
2167- New speedo/rev counter plate (alloy instead of steel)
X
 
1975   
2256- New front mudguard fixing points (rubber type)
X
 
2483- Modified head gasket, new o-ring onto the LHS oil passage.
X
 
2509- New location for the ignition module
X
But not sufficient to solve the problem...
2583- New brake hose junction unit and new brake hoses
X
 
2583- New ignition module position (upside down)
X
 
2820- New pickup bush (ignition) setting
X
 
2899

- New alternator (140 W)
- New electric wiring (USA type)
- New alternator rectifier

X
New alternator still not sufficient with headlight on
2956- New nuts on downside of the crankcase to avoid oil leaks.
X
 
3052- New ignition module
X
 
3110- Modified oil pump
X
 
3136- New location for the horns (on front fork instead of oil cooler)
X
 
1976   
3352- New cast alloy wheels
- New roller bearings on swinging arm instead of bronze bushes.
X
But sproket plate ball bearings became fragile.
3409- In France and Switzeland, new A12 camshafts, new air filter box and new exhausts 
X
3707- New 1rst gear ratio (2,857 instead of 2,619/1)
X
 
3838- New washers on wheels ball bearings
X
 
3887- New cylinder head, enlarged gasket, new valve guides, replacable seats, all alloy (no more cast iron chambers).
X
But some cracked heads near plug location.
4156- Possibility of LHS gear lever
Perhaps for someone...
Not for me!
4250- Stiffened frame (under tank)
X
 
4498- New enlarged sproket carrier ball bearings
X
 
1977No significant change.  
1978   
End of year- New ignition (BTZ)
X
 
6078- New Marzocchi 38mm fork.
Not evident...
 
1979 Disastrous year!  
June-New crankshaft center ball bearings
-New cylinder head, cast iron chambers
-New valves springs
 
X (Crank bearings extremely fragile, bad head cast iron quality, very fragile valve springs)
1980   
Early- Solving 1979 problems: New head cast iron chambers (although some 1980 models still keep the all alloy type of 1977...), new valves springs, new crank bearings.
- New 36 mm exhausts headers
- New secondary chain, with o-rings.
- New clutch (8 discs)
X
 
1981- New Nippon Denso alternator (250W) onto the LHS
- Modified LHS mainshaft (gearbox) support.
X
 

Points to check: Sprocket plate bearings, Bosch HKZ and BTZ ignition and charging system. Carefully check for perfect carbs state and no air leaks (inlet stubs and
gaskets state). Check for cracked frame near the steering head.

1000 120°

Purchasing a 120° means getting a more civilized Laverda bike, more in the japanese way. Then , the engine character disappears a bit but the bike is more comfortable and docile.

No need to check the charging system as for the early 1000's, it is now reliable and more powerful. However, as for the 180 models, this Bosch ignition remains the main problem of the bike, causing starting problems and also poor running at around 3000 rpm. Modern digital ignitions allow a great improvement and a smoothy running, like the excellent IIS or DMC2.

Nevertheless, even if the new engine has less noises and vibes, it is still necessary to listen if crankshaft bearings are in good condition.

High mileage bikes should be checked for cracks around the steering head, a factory brace kit was produced around 1990.

On the last SFC 1000 produced, with spoke wheels, check the alloy around the spokes for cracks.

As for 180 models, bodywork parts are rare and expensive. Situation is even more desperate for Corsas and SFC 1000s, due to rare and special parts.

Click here to see one of the most beautiful 120° Laverda triple, the 1000 Executive!

Points to check: Sprocket carrier bearings, Bosch BTZ ignition. Carefully check for perfect carbs state and no air leaks (inlet stubs and gaskets state). Check for cracked frame near the steering head. Check for good condition of the spoke wheels on last SFC 1000s.

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