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Cult bike Laverda 1000

And size does matter

Size matters, Massimo Laverda knew that before any other European, and so he began developing a 1000 cc superbike at an early age. The Laverda 1000 came a little too late anyway.

The venerable agricultural machinery factory L.averda from Breganze – to this day it is one of the most important suppliers of combine harvesters – has also built motorcycles since 1950. Initially with a modest cubic capacity, but when the founder’s great-grandson got involved in the company’s fortunes, awareness of performance increased. Massimo Laverda wanted to get involved in the profitable North American market, extensive on-site studies prompted him in the mid-1960s to start with 650 cc. So much displacement, he was sure, had to be shown in order to be recognized as a newcomer there. But even during the development phase of this first great Laverda, the demands rose. Massimo increased his twin to 750 cm³ and also commissioned chief technician Luciano Zen for a thousand.

Cult bike Laverda 1000

And size does matter

Chassis stability had no weaknesses

But still not for sale. Instead, Kawasaki presented the 900 Z1 in 1972 and reaped the astonishment that Massimo had intended for his 1000 cc. It was not until the following year that he was able to switch from pre-production to series production, and many more months passed before German fans were served – by then two Brembo disc brakes had already replaced the overstrained front drum. 

But it stayed with Borrani high-shoulder rims, and not a few consider these 3 Cs to be the most beautiful, even more beautiful than the 3 CL with rear disc brakes and cast aluminum rims. Externals! At the core of the experience is an engine who is considered one of the best character actors in his field. The two outer pistons race up and down in parallel, the middle one offset by 180 degrees, this ensures a unique sound. And increases the pulling power. 

In fact, the torque curve of the 1000 Laverda climbs a 70 Nm plateau at 4500 rpm, which it only leaves again at over 8000 rpm – even the Kawa had to fit. Unlike the Japanese, the chassis stability had no weaknesses, but the handling suffered from the high center of gravity and the suspension elements offered only rudimentary comfort. So you have to be able to grab hold of it in order to be quick, and everyone takes the aptitude test on the clutch: If you don’t have tendinitis after 50 kilometers, you can continue training.

Scene and information


Only a few thousand were produced. It had discussed half the motorcycle world and dreamed of it – no wonder that the Laverda 1000 in all its versions is one of the most sought-after young timers. It was built until 1987, most recently as a 1200 model and with a 120 degree crank pin offset. The mechanical basis of the engine and chassis is really good; Ignition and alternator are weak points and are often replaced by better ones. Good copies quickly cost over 7,000 euros, great ones even more. Thanks to active specialists ( and, service and spare parts supply are guaranteed.


The informative work "Laverda – the complete history from 1949 to 1989" by Jean-Louis Olive is only available as an antiquarian. The repair instructions at Bucheli about Laverda’s two- and three-cylinder (39.90 euros) are different. The exemplary website is very lovingly made.

Technical specifications

The one-liter three-cylinder of the Laverda 1000 delivers 78 hp. That’s enough for 209 km / h – lying down.

air-cooled three-cylinder four-stroke dohc in-line engine, two valves per cylinder, 981 cm³,
52 kW (78 hp) at 7800 rpm, 75 Nm at 7000 rpm

Primary drive via chain, five-speed gearbox, secondary drive via chain

Double loop frame made of tubular steel

front 3.50 x 18, rear 4.00 x 18

measurements and weight
Weight with a full tank 243 kg
Tank capacity 18 liters

Top speed lying down 209 km / h
0-100 km / h in 4.7 seconds.

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