By John Burns
Laverda, in Italian, means “wash your hands,” and that’s what Piaggio did after it acquired the small Breganze brand circa 2000 – washed its hands of the entire brand. (Piaggio bought Moto Guzzi at the same time.) Seven years earlier, though, one Francesco Tognon had bought the brand and produced the bikes you see here, based around an updated 668cc version of a pre-existing parallel twin. Some brave people from Texas, Laverda USA!, brought some bikes to California for the motorcycle press to crash. Why not? They were expendable.
The Affordable Exotic
There exists a generation gap among motorcyclists. Doubt us? Find two enthusiasts and play the Motorcycle Online Word Association Game.One contestant should be over 40, the other under 30. The category: Famous European Manufacturers. First, ask the 40-year-old what is the first thing that comes to mind after hearing “Bultaco” and he’ll probably mutter something about a famous Spanish off-road motorcycle. Say Bultaco to the 20-year-old and he’ll ask you if that comes with chips and salsa.
Now, say Laverda and the 40-something might begin to wax sentimental about racing championships and 1200 Jotas of yore. Say Laverda to the 20-something and if there’s a hint of recognition on his face it will be because his dad used to race them. His knowledge of Laverdas likely goes no deeper than the thickness of the decals on his bold-new-graphics Gixxer.
In the USA, Laverdas do not receive much notice or press because there’s very little racing activity from their camp. But Laverda feels that it’s about time the American press and public took a harder, more serious look at what they have to offer because, they feel, it’s as good as any Italian bike available today.
To prove their point, Laverda USA trucked …read more
Source:: Church of MO: 2000 Laverdas