Laverda 3C owner Andy Powell
Andy Powell, owner of the featured Laverda 3C, works for the Force India F1 team at Silverstone, managing its engineering workshop that supplies consumable components and sub-assemblies for the vehicles. Andy, 52, has long been a bike fan. “I started messing about with old bikes when we were kids. Then my dad took us to watch the Transatlantic Match Races and the Avon Production bike series, when I first saw a Laverda triple.” He bought the 3C in August 2009 from Richard Slater who had acquired it from an owner in Blackpool. Slater knew the bike well because he had originally sold it in 1975. It was “in a state, but importantly, it was all there,” Andy says, “I didn’t want to pay £10,000 for a bike that had already been ‘restored’ because we all know they never are!” (Andy paid much less than that and the bike is insured for £12,000). “I started with a complete strip down and rebuild which took a year. The engine and gearbox were all good so I just fitted new bearings, gaskets and seals, piston rings, and a light hone of the standard bores. All parts were crack tested and ultrasonically cleaned (one of the benefits of being at the FI team) before reassembly.” Andy’s tips for reassembly: always take time and care and use a timing wheel when setting the camshafts. The factory marks are not always correct. One of the key skills he uses is knowing the correct tolerances and how to measure components. “According to Tim Parker’s ‘Green’ Laverda book the engine was all in tolerance,” says Andy. Always use a good (premium) lubricating oil, he says. “I use Silkolene 20/50 Comp 4, and I warm up the engine carefully. I change oil at about 1500 to 2000 miles and remove and clean the oil filter every second oil change. “Always buy the correct parts. Richard Slater has a really good stock of parts and will always help you out. He’s a top man! The frame and many parts were powder coated while the tank and side panels were finished by local expert Steve Goddard at SGM in Banbury. The seat was recovered by Leightons.” Longest run so far has been to Slater’s place near Bromyard, a 150-mile round trip. “I usually get it out when the sun shines”.