DECEMBER IS VMCC RAFFLE MONTH-WIN A GREAT CLASSIC MOTOR CYCLE FOR CHRISTMAS!
We’ve said it before, finding the current VMCC raffle bike in your garage on Christmas morning has got to be better than unwrapping a pair of socks or a dodgy jumper.
Just before we Christmas we will be drawing both the July-Dec 2012 Raffle. This Raffle with the 1973 Laverda SF1 750cc as 1st Prize will be drawn on 21/12/12 & if at all possible we will be delighted for the lucky winner to arrange for collection of their machines prior to the Christmas holidays.
Below you will find a road test by VMCC Member Karl Gamble on the Laverda which will also be published in the December issue of the Club Journal.
Don’t forget that there’s still time to enter by contacting VMCC HQ on (01283) 540557 where you can even pay by debit/credit card over the phone and tickets will be sent straight out to you. Alternatively you can also order tickets for the Laverda via the website www.vmcc.net following the “raffle” link.
VMCC July-Dec Raffle (1st Prize) bike road test of the Beautiful 1973 Laverda SF1 750cc. - Karl Gamble
Ever since I knew that this motorcycle was going to be a VMCC raffle bike I had to do a test ride ! Why ? Because I actually owned it for a brief period in the early 90s that’s why!. This machine is a 1973 Laverda SF1, a 750cc 360 degree parallel twin which was imported into the UK. It came directly from Italy and belonged to a friend of Augusto Bretonni, the Laverda factory endurance rider from whose dealership near Siena it had been purchased.
I had only rode the machine once for about a mile then promptly stripped it down. The wheels needed rebuilding along with some other minor bits and bobs but with the birth of my Daughter , usual story- cash strapped, I sold it on without getting it on the road to another friend of mine who then sold it to someone in Selby, Yorkshire who already had a number of Laverdas. Fast forward a few years and my friend bought it back from said fellow in Selby. At that time I said " If you sell it , give me first refusal, Please!" Unfortunately at this time I have two Laverdas , A Kawasaki and an AJS and I'm not allowed any more bikes, in other words....Skint!
I really wanted to see what it rode like ," why didn’t you ride it while your mate had it?" I hear you ask. He owned it for about 5 years but never taxed or tested it as he had other modern bikes on the road although he did use it in some “parade” event’s like Coupes Moto Legende. At the last outing it was smoking at bit so with my Laverda Triple bound for Italia Classic's in Lincoln for a cam chain replacement the SF1 also went with it and ended up having a complete top end rebuild with bills totalling over £2000!
That brings us up to date. How many miles has it covered since the rebuild? This test ride ! Don't worry , I'm inflicted with Mechanical sympathy and only revved it to 3250. with a redline of 6500. I've sat on it numerous time’s but was still surprised at how tall it felt while riding & also how good the front drum was. Earlier Laverda twins had Gremica drum brakes ,this has Laverda's own drum and in my mind , the best looking drum brake of any motorcycle. The engine was quiet ,should be after a rebuild , didn’t feel too tight , pulled very well up to just over 3 grand , the exhaust note lovely and deep but not too loud (mainly due to the original and uber rare balance pipe/collector box). There’s a slight “ding” in the nearside silencer but it has been like that since my mate has owned it , again original. You can get stainless replacements but they're a slightly different diameter so cannot be fitted to the balance box therefore to replace you have to do away with the balance box and buy new down pipes too! Stick to what’s on it ! Handling was stable with the bike turning quite nicely. Again, I was taking it steady at 3250 revs where it was just doing over 50 in 5th. Starting? Electric start- no kick start here as the Laverda Brothers were so confident with the Bosch starter motor that they didn’t fit one ! Even the Japanese were still fitting them in 73!
To Sum Up , a lovely bike , usable classic , very nice metallic blue paint , It has had a re-spray recently but I was blue when it came into this country. I've only done a handful of miles on it bit enjoyed them &, It's in my shed at the moment as I said I'd give it a polish ready for the classic NEC show where you may have seen it on the FJ/VMCC stand? While polishing I stood to admire and that’s when it hit me ! This is the one that got away !
So here's my plea, to the lucky winner If you decide to sell ,please give me first refusal !! Name and address supplied on request from VMCC HQ .