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laverda sfc1000

Laverda SFC1000

(by Ian Falloon, Mar 2022)


Laverda's eighties swansong


Laverda’s legend was built around the 750 SFC; the bright orange factory racers that dominated European endurance racing in the early 1970s. As the 750 twin became outclassed Laverda turned towards the fire breathing 180-degree 1000cc Jota triple to sustain the myth.


But by the 1980s not even the roguish exhaust note or rush of upper end power could disguise the 180’s excessive vibration caused by the two outside pistons rising and falling together. Laverda sought to tame their triple with the more orthodox 120-degree crankshaft layout, in the process creating a motorcycle with a completely different character.

laverda sfc1000


Like all Italian manufacturers Laverda struggled to survive in the early 1980s. The 120-degree triple was still an engine rooted in the past and the RGA, RGA Jota, and RGS Executive were misguided attempts at increasing sales. By the end of 1984 it was obvious that Laverda was in serious financial difficulty but they surprised everyone by releasing the SFC 1000 for 1985.

laverda sfc1000


As a limited edition model the SFC 1000 was packed with special features. The engine was hand assembled, the forged 10.5:1 pistons from the factory F1 racer, and the cylinder head modified to include larger (40.6mm) inlet valves and smaller (34.0mm) exhaust valves. The power was 95 horsepower at 8,000 rpm, and a Formula One racing kit was optional. This kit included P1 (Prova 1) camshafts, 36mm carburettors and a close ratio transmission.

laverda sfc1000


The SFC 1000 chassis was significantly uprated over the standard RGS 1000 but it was still old fashioned. This chassis now included a Verlicchi-built box-section aluminium swingarm, 41.7mm Marzocchi M1R fork, 300mm fully-floating front disc brakes, and three-spoke 18-inch Oscam wheels. The brakes were Brembo Gold Series, and the rear disc full-floating with a frame-mounted linkage. At a time when most other manufacturers were moving towards a single rear shock retained a pair of new Marzocchi remote reservoir shock absorbers.

laverda sfc1000


The red-painted fibreglass bodywork was a similar style to the 1000 RGS, but the 22-litre fuel tank had twin screw type filler caps. The beautifully milled SFC-emblazoned footpeg brackets set the SFC apart from more mundane motorcycles.


Unlike the automotive-style instrument panel of the RGS the SFC panel was a simple aluminium plate with three instruments (tachometer, speedometer, and oil temperature gauge).


Rolling on a long 1528mm wheelbase and weighing a daunting 248kg the SFC 1000 created a huge presence and it was an overwhelming motorcycle for anyone short of stature. But once rolling it was impressive. Stability was unquestioned and the power seamless almost from idle.

laverda sfc1000


At a time when motorcycle design was embracing innovation the SFC 1000 remained a bastion of conservatism and although representing an earlier age the SFC 1000 ensured the Laverda legend didn’t die with a whimper.


With classically beautiful styling the SFC 1000 also benefited from nearly 15 years of the development. What was already a robust design was perfected into an extremely reliable machine, with excellent handling and performance.


With the wonderful SFC 1000 the classic Laverda triple finally finished, and for many they were the last real Laverda motorcycles.

See the period road test from Classic Two Wheels



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