LAVERDA GETS BACK ON CORSE

MOD­ERN TAKE ON CLAS­SIC SFC PAR­AL­LEL-TWIN IS LAUNCHED DOWN UN­DER BY A NEW EN­TER­PRISE – LAVERDA CORSE

Classic Bike (UK) - - News - WORDS: HAMISH COOPER PHO­TOG­RA­PHY: TEN TENTHS MO­TOR­SPORT

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 nfo@laver­da­corse.it

LEFT: Orig­i­nal SFC. RIGHT: New SFC/4 leads SF4 on track

ABOVE AND RIGHT: Retro-mod­ern SFC/4 at its Syd­ney launch

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