Test: Laverda 750 S Formula
Exotic outsider or customized standard goods? With the special model 750 S Formula, limited to 280 pieces, Laverda is trying to build on the tradition of the glorious SFC models.
Sparkling, the side stand creates a furrow in the asphalt of the Sachskurve in Hockenheim.
Thanks to its electronic mixture preparation, the lively two-cylinder spontaneously converts every little twist of the throttle into propulsion. The Opel curve is already approaching. High time to delay. The two floating front cast iron disks brake well, provided that you have a courageous grip at the racetrack speed. Just as one is used to from a Brembo system. Righting moment when braking in an inclined position? Nothing. It is amazing how the Laverda technicians have put together this package. The sporty tradition of the glorious Laverda SFC models is omnipresent.
In Formula, the Italians have ignited a further development stage of their water-cooled four-stroke twin. Camshafts with more lift, longer control times, larger intake and exhaust valves, increased compression as well as an adapted EPROM for the injection system and a rev limiter that starts later ensure a higher rev level ?? and the associated extra performance. The data sheet promises a full 91 hp, seven more than for the basic version Laverda 750 S..
In terms of engine characteristics, however, everything remains the same. Anyone who is lazy about shifting relies on the supposed torque of a two-cylinder engine is wrong with the Laverda. The motto is still: speed, speed, speed. Below 3000 rpm, the four-valve engine, which its designers consider with a relatively low flywheel, shakes like a wet dog, disgusted by the performance demanded of it. Beyond this mark, however, he is setting off fireworks full of Italian passion. From about 6000 rpm he then proceeds to the finale furioso, which makes the existence of all the specified Cavalli believable ?? and the test stand even certifies two more horses. The short-stroke and surprisingly thirsty twin ?? he treats himself to around two liters more than the normal 750 S ?? almost seems to explode. The tachometer needle hurries through the display area at high speed. It’s good that the Italians put the limiter in front of the mechanical exit, which locks at 9500 rpm. This powerhouse of the engine is accompanied by an intake noise that beguiles the driver, which roars from the air filter box under the dummy fuel tank. Italo fans’ hearts beat faster.
Not so nice: Despite its hydraulics, the Laverda coupling is difficult to adjust. If you want to move forward quickly, you also have to diligently change gears so as not to miss the optimal shift point. Admittedly, the shift travel is a bit too long, the search for neutral is difficult, but otherwise the six-speed gearbox does its job properly.
And how does the formula perform in normal life? On the perfectly flat racetrack, the Paioli spring elements are clearly impressed by the furrowed and undulating German country roads. Despite a wide range of adjustment options, both on the fork and on the shock absorber, there is no convincing set-up to be found. The rear central spring strut ?? clearly preloaded for more ground clearance? works almost exclusively in the progressive area, so the rear wheel tends to shift. The fork struggles with its high breakout force. Sooner or later, even small bumps in the ground wear down any fan, no matter how eaten up by Italian two-wheelers. A different spring for the shock absorber and a more sensitive fork, and the formula could also inspire off the racetrack.
UTo complete the wish list: Quick-release cladding fasteners, which can only be removed after tedious fiddling, are just as unsuccessful as a paintwork that has become dull after a few kilometers. Nevertheless: The legendary SFC models have found a worthy continuation in the Formula.
The situation for Laverda customers is confusing. When the importer changed from the März company to the PGO company in July 1997, some Laverda owners are visibly unsettled about the further care of their guarantee and goodwill applications. However, this concern seems unfounded. Even if the situation is confused, the customer will not be left out in the rain. Although the former Laverda importer Ronald März from Ettlingen near Karlsruhe can no longer work for the traditional brand according to his own statements, März has passed on all warranty documents and other processes that affect his customers to the new importer. Inquiries made to him, however, will be forwarded to the PGO company in Flörsheim near Frankfurt (phone 06145/506980) for further processing. Regardless of which importer a customer bought his Laverda through, the warranty period and services are always fully retained. The only thing to note is that all warranty and goodwill claims must now be submitted to the company PGO, which is also responsible for the service and spare parts procurement for all models of the Italian brand. The new importer is aware of the confused situation for the customer, and he is already working flat out to improve this situation. Since the guarantee processing no longer runs through the factory, but is now solely with the PGO company, the new importer guarantees a quick and smooth processing of all warranty claims. PGO also promises fair and customer-oriented handling for damage that is not covered by the guarantee..
Overall, like its predecessors, the Formula leaves a somewhat ambiguous impression. It offers great driving pleasure on a perfectly flat racetrack. But that goes through the unsuccessful suspension setup and the excellent performance characteristics on country roads of the second order. At a price of almost 23,000 marks, you can expect a little more fine-tuning ex works.
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