LAVERDA JOTA

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - The 1990's -

In 1976 the 140mph pro­duc­tion road bike bar­rier was breached by a ma­cho bruiser with Latin ori­gins, a dash of Bri­tish brio and a Span­ish name. Laverda’s 3C 981cc, six-valve, dohc, air-cooled, 180-degree in­line triple was a bit of a beast even be­fore the Ital­ian firm’s UK im­porters, Slater Broth­ers, de­cided to un­leash its full po­ten­tial.the Slaters dropped in high-comp pis­tons, lumpier cams and a freer-breath­ing ex­haust sys­tem to take the bike past the 140mph land­mark. Be­ing a triple and a four-stroke, the Slaters named their cre­ation the Jota, af­ter a Span­ish dance in three-four time.

The fac­tory would adopt the Slaters’ Jota con­cept to make it an of­fi­cial model.the Jota made most sense when rid­den fast, as you might hope and in­deed ex­pect.tall and heavy, with a wrist-crunch­ing clutch and a Bosch ig­ni­tion with a curve that only worked when go­ing prop­erly fast the Jota was built for open roads and rapid dis­tance work. It han­dled – but re­quired ‘in­put’ to do so. Twin Brembo front disc brakes were the best you could get in the mid-1970s and again a strong hand was needed.

In the 1970s the Jota was peer­less as a su­per­bike ob­ject of de­sire.those with money and brawn had some big num­bers to play with. More than 40 years since the year of that long, hot sum­mer of the year when Barry Sheene won his first 500GP ti­tle they might not sound so big but 90bhp and 140mph were the only road bike num­bers that mat­tered in 1976.

“90bhp and 140mph were the only num­bers that mat­tered in ’76”

1976

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