The Laverda 750 Roadracer article


The Laverda 750 Roadracer

Here are two other pages with information relative to this bike. They've been in place for some time so I'll just leave them as separate pages. On this page I'll discuss the five versions of the Laverda racer and show photos from the construction process and some of the bike at the track.

An article containing tips from my experience racing classic Ducati and Laverda 750 twins

An article quantifying the weights of the different components of my Laverda 750 F750 vintage race bike

In the mid 1980s I swapped my Kenny Roberts' framed Yamaha TT500-engined singles racer for a Laverda SF2 750cc twin. My intention was to go racing in the Battle of the Twins (BOTT) class, both in my local roadracing club the American Federation of Motorcyclists as well as with the AMA. I never rode the Laverda on the street -- on getting it home I started stripping it down and modifying it for racing.

The Mark 1 version of the Laverda 750 SF2RR racer was using the standard chassis. I changed the wheels for a 3.5" x 16" Astralite front and 3.5" x 18" Astralite rear. I used a Hunt ceramic-sprayed aluminum rotor on the rear wheel and a stainless steel/aluminum/stainless steel sandwich rotor from Erik Buell on the front. Those were grasped respectively by a four piston and two piston Brembo Gold Line caliper. I installed SFC pistons, 5c cams, SFC valve springs, 38mm Dell'Orto carbs, some porting on the head and a 2-1 exhaust pipe. A Lucas Rita ignition was grafted on. I got a fifth place in the 750 Modified Production BOTT class at the AMA national at Sears Point in this trim.

My Laverda SF2 750cc road racer at Las Vegas I first raced the SF2 in the stock frame, with 16"x3.5" front and 18" x 3.5" rear Astralite wheels. A Buell aluminum core front rotor and a Hunt plasma-sprayed aluminum rear rotor were gripped by Gold-line Brembo calipers. The 2-1 high pipe is was also used on the later special-framed bikes. This version of the engine, when put on the dyno, was putting out about 50 bhp. Photo circa 1987. 56K jpeg file

The Mark 2 version of the Laverda 750 SF2RR racer was started when I decided to try my hand at building a frame. This was going to use a Hossack-style FFE (funny front end). The a-arms would pivot near the ends of the two front cross tubes. I never got past the main frame and swing arm.

The Mark 3 version of the Laverda 750 SF2RR racer saw me trimming back the Mark 2 main frame and making a steering head that attached directly to the stock rocker cover. I eventually decided that I didn't feel comfortable using the stock cover a la the Quantel Cosworth Norton

The Mark 4 version of the Laverda 750 SF2RR racer got to the point of being on wheels but no bodywork was done. I recycled the rear portion of the chassis from the Mark 2/3 bike and attached new tubing to the front. By the time I finished it was clear that for the special-framed class an open Twin was needed, and I'd decided that racing vintage instead of BOTT was more appealing (and more appropriate for my skill level).

The Mark 5 version of the Laverda 750 SF2RR racer. I had several races on this version and I was surprised at how it wasn't very fast. I eventually put it on a dyno and after some investigation determined that I'd been sent late-model SFC pistons that were very different on the deck height from the standard pistons, leading to a very low compression ratio. After shortening the cylinder and having a bit more porting work done the engine put out 74 bhp at the rear wheel on an chassis water brake dyno. I ordered new JE pistons in stock height and did some work to space the cylinder up and set the squish bands, but never got the engine back together and in the bike before selling it to another Laverda enthusiast. New cams were developed by Megacycle too, so I expect the final version would probably put out 78-80 bhp at the rear wheel.

I modeled the frame along the lines of a MK3 Seeley. This time I decided to make a new rocker cover that would be sturdy enough for chassis use. I moved the mounts on the rocker cover to the outside corners.

I eventually fitted an XR750 long track fairing, TZ replica front fender and a newer version of the seat and had them painted. I never got the engine back together and installed before selling the racer and the SF2 street bike to another Laverda enthusiast.


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© 1996-2009 Michael Moore, last update for this page 06 December 2008

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