- 1979 Laverda 500 ‘Endurance / SCF Replica
- Scratch built
- Full engine rebuild including 270° crankshaft conversion, gas flowed head
- Custom made exhaust, wiring loom, light bracket
- Maxton suspension
- Perfect road spec café racer
The endurance racing scene was at its zenith in the 1970s and 80s and the blue flag events such as the Bol d’Ore and Le Mans drew huge crowds and the parties became the stuff of legend. This has created many motorcycles specials inspired by the period and they range from the excellent to the woeful. This Laverda 500 currently offered for sale at The Classic Motor Hub is however rather special – not another slap dash endurance replica with a few choice parts bolted onto a stock bike, this is a full on scratch built special with exceptional attention to detail everywhere you look. Bikes this good rarely turn up for sale.
For this build, a donor bike was found and then completely stripped down. The frame was sent to Alumacraft to be stripped and de-lugged, then the new fairing brackets and foot-plate brackets were added before it was powder coated at Triple S. The suspension was seen to by specialists, Maxton, who put on new rear shocks and re-sprung/set up the original front forks.
The carbon fiber, SFC style bikini fairing came from Serbian Laverda specialist Boba Vukomanovic while the SFC style seat was shortened and altered to fit the new rear shocks by Melton Fibreglass. The finished effect is outstanding and it looks and feels better than any ‘70s Laverda you have ever seen. So good in fact that the twin KC lights and custom laser cut brackets had to be of the highest standard to be allowed to cover it and the stance of the bike is purposeful yet comfortable and useable.
The heart of the bike is of course the engine and this was given to Keith Nairn of Laverda Scozia. This was his first 500cc engine but he applied the principles he had learnt on the 750cc engines to produce an absolute gem. The crankshaft was altered from 180° to 270°, this smooths out the rocking effect and produces power similar to a V-twin rather than a parallel twin. The crankshaft was also lightened and dynamically balanced to reduce vibrations even further. New camshafts were of course needed to go with the 270° crankshaft layout, these were machined from EN40B steel and the lobes and journals were ground to the correct profile and then Nitrided. US made, Ross forged pistons with ceramic-coated crowns and Teflon skirts were used on the stock conrods. The inlet ports were increased to allow the use of a 36mm carburettor and the head was then gas flowed. Finally a custom quick flow, stainless steel exhaust was made and a fully programmable Ignitech ignition was installed to allow variable set ups.
The engine has been set up for fast road spec and is currently around 50hp but it could probably get close to 70hp should you wish to take it racing. The brake calipers were rebuilt using new pistons and seals in the Brembo units, and a new front master cylinder was also added. A new custom wiring loom was built to aid reliability and to keep the whole bike looking as beautiful as it can be.
The rear-set footrests tip you nicely onto the clip-ons and the seating position, although racy, is very comfortable and feels just right. The engine gives loads of midrange torque and is addictive to ride, especially with the twin disc brakes up front giving you so much feel. This really is one of the best road set ups you can imagine – it certainly isn’t all at the top of the revs like you might imagine.
This Laverda 500 really is just a brilliant and superbly engineered café racer. What more could you want?