LAVERDA GETS BACK ON CORSE
MODERN TAKE ON CLASSIC SFC PARALLEL-TWIN IS LAUNCHED DOWN UNDER BY A NEW ENTERPRISE – LAVERDA CORSE
Fans of the Laverda SFC will soon be able to buy a retro-modern version of the iconic 1970s café racer. Called the SFC/4, the new model made its world debut at Sydney’s recent International Festival of Speed.
The sleek, bright-orange sports bike features an updated version of Laverda’s 1990s 668cc parallel-twin engine fitted in a tubular spaceframe with modern suspension and brakes. It promises 70bhp at 8000rpm from its 700cc, 180° parallel twin which is fuel injected and has a six-speed gearbox.
The project is the brainchild of Piero Laverda, son of the Italian brand’s original founder.
“Two years ago, I rode one of the old 668s through the Italian Dolomites and realised what enormous potential it still has,” said Piero at the Sydney launch. “It had rideability, safety and gave great enjoyment on winding roads. I thought it could be a fantastic base to build a new version of the SFC that also retained its classic lines.”
He spoke to his old friend, Giuliano Cogo, Laverda’s former worldwide aftersales manager who had bought up the entire stock of parallel-twin parts from new owners Aprilia in 2004. Piero, his son Giovanni and Giuliano directed a development programme resulting in two versions of the SFC/4. One is a trackday-only ‘gentleman’s racer’, the other a road-going sports bike. The SFC/4 is being produced by a existing Laverda brand, currently lying dormant under present owners Piaggio. Laverda Corse is a group of ex-factory employees headed up by Piero Laverda. It aims to build a limited number for enthusiasts. The European-based owners will be able to join Team Laverda Corse members in the club meetings or on non-competitive track days.
Buyers will have three options. They can donate an existing 668 Laverda twin and have it converted into an SFC/4, buy a complete new motorcycle or purchase a kit and build their own. “Our plan is to make the SFC/4 affordable, but being a small number will also make it exclusive,” said Piero. “We want to see more orange on the road and at trackday events.”
The 668 twin and its larger 750 version were well received by magazine testers in the 1990s, but early reliability issues with the first model blighted worldwide sales. Laverda Corse can address the original design’s shortcomings, which mainly revolved around crankshaft failures and electrical issues. Using their vast range of spares, they can upgrade any existing 668 engine and are finalising the optimum state of tune. “We can increase power by 1520% without much effort and still have a reliable engine,” claims Piero. The SFC/4 on show was running a test-mule engine, but performed faultlessly over the weekend as part rge historic Laverda parade. had a great amount of n the bike, and both its nd specification was well ,” said Piero. “We chose or the world debut to both ustralian Laverda fans for cades of devotion to the nd also because we saw an unity to do more track-time ur prototype.” For further information, you an contact Laverda Corse at firstname.lastname@example.org
LEFT: Original SFC. RIGHT: New SFC/4 leads SF4 on track
ABOVE AND RIGHT: Retro-modern SFC/4 at its Sydney launch