A warning to Laverda owners



In 40+ years of motorcycling I've had pretty good luck with trusting people to follow through on motorcycle deals. There are only two times I've been burned. One was a dealer who had been buying long enough to go on "send the check when I send the parts" status who bought a good-sized order of RITA ignitions from me and didn't pay (and I learned he did the same thing to other suppliers and he also absconded with bikes belonging to customers). The other time was when Scott Potter of Espanola NM who does Laverda restorations under the name motolaverda.us stole the Laverda 750 race bike I built and raced in the 1980s/1990s.

Scott was on my Laverda email list from roughly 2000 and we met and talked a bit at the ILOC rally I attended in the spring of 2005 in SoCal. Later that year I decided to sell my Laverda 750s (basket case street SF2 and the racer) and do something different. I contacted Scott (living in TX at that time) to see if he was interested in the bikes. I told him that I could put the bikes and spares on a trailer going to an AHRMA race in New Mexico in a week or two (this was in November 2005) and if he'd pay for the transport fee and pick them up we'd sort out a mutually acceptable price and payment afterwards. That got them out of my way and I figured they were going to a good home in the Laverda community with someone who could be trusted to deal honestly.

At some time I think in 2006 though it might have been 2007 he got the street SF2 going and sold it and sent me an amount of money that I thought was a fair price for it. Everything was cool at this point. I knew it was going to take some effort to ready the racer for sale so I checked in periodically with him to see how things were going, expecting in another year or so I'd get a nice-sized check in the mail.

Instead, here it is 12.5 years after the bikes left my hands and I've gotten nothing but excuses and promises of "real soon now when XXXX project is finished and the money is collected". He did have a rough patch of luck in 2013 between an acrimonious divorce and a bad wreck when he was hit by a truck while riding his Mirage and sustained serious injuries. If he'd been making regular payments I would have cut some slack during that period until he'd gotten back on his feet. But that all happened 7 years after he received the bikes and he wasn't even making token payments on the SF2RR.

I've tried talking to him to no avail. I've tried enlisting a mutual acquaintance in the Laverda community to talk to him to get him to understand that my patience wasn't boundless and he needed to start following through on his end of the deal. No luck there either.

To top it all off, he sold the race bike several years ago!

I was recently contacted by the newest owner who purchased it from Scott's customer this year. I have no beef with the two later owners who I doubt were aware that they were purchasing a stolen vehicle. The newest owner plans to renovate the bike and take it to a few AHRMA races and he's very excited about owning what he thinks is a very cool bike. I wish him well with that and look forward to hearing about his racing and I hold him and the person he bought the bike from (Scott's customer) blameless in this matter.

Since it is a race bike assembled from parts and has a chassis I built it wasn't documented/titled. I was not expecting any problems (since why would there be any problems with a well-known member of the community?) so it was sold on a "handshake" basis without a written agreement. Plus a lot of time passed as I kept extending more slack to Scott which means the statute of limitations has passed, so going to the police was not seen as an option that would result in anything.

I've given up on getting paid and I have faced the fact that I've been suckered by someone who took advantage of my usually trusting nature.

Therefore, I decided it was long past time to alert the Laverda community and anyone else who might be considering having dealings with Scott Potter that they should take heed of his theft of my bike and avoid risking a similar experience happening to them. I hope my delay in exposing Scott Potter as a thief has not let him victimize someone else.


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© 2018 Michael Moore, last update for this page 20 May 2018

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