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Zero

   

Laverda 750SFC

 

 

 

 

Make Model

Laverda 750SFC

Year

1971-73

Engine

Air cooled, four stroke. parallel twin cylinder. 2 per cylinder.

Capacity

744
Bore x Stroke 80 x 74 mm
Compression Ratio 10.5:1

Induction

2x 38mm PHB Dell'Orto carb

Ignition  /  Starting

Max Power

70 hp @ 7400 rpm

Transmission  /  Drive

5 Speed  /  chain

Front Suspension

Telescopic forks

Rear Suspension

Dual shocks

Front Brakes

2X 230mm drum

Rear Brakes

200mm drum

Front Tyre

Rear Tyre

Dry Weight

Fuel Capacity 

25 Litres

Talk big Italian bikes and people think V-twins. Ian Fallon shows us something different - a big parallel-twin.

Today we are used to sanitary motorcycles, machines that are easy to operate and packed with user-friendly features. Life was not always like this. In Northern Italy companies like Laverda specialized in producing single purpose motorcycles. Outlandish and brutal, and designed for the alpine roads on their back doorstep, the 750SFC was the ultimate early 1970s factory racer. There were others, like the Ducati 750 Super Sport, MV Agusta 750S, and Moto Guzzi V7 Sport, but the 750SFC was different. This was a masculine motorcycle, muscular, and bursting with testosterone.

Always conceived as an endurance racer, the 750SFC (Super Freni Competizione, or super brakes competition) was made to last. Each SFC was hand-built in batches by the competition shop. Based on the production 750SF, the engine specification was unremarkable, and certainly not as exotic as the desmodromic Ducati or double overhead camshaft MV. The 360 degree parallel-twin engine layout was similar to most British twins, but the pressed up crankshaft included central roller bearings. A few were produced from 1971, but most were 1974 and 1975 versions. On these examples the 80x74mm engine included a lighter crankshaft, polished con-rods, and higher compression pistons. Primary drive was by triplex chain and the single overhead camshaft was also chain driven. With a pair of 36mm Dell'Orto concentric carburettors the 750SFC produced a substantial 75 horsepower at 7,500 rpm. 1975 Updates included Bosch electronic ignition, an oil cooler, a revised cylinder head, and even higher compression pistons. This final batch was termed the "Electronica," and with only 164 produced was arguably the definitive model.

Just about every component was produced specifically for the 750SFC. While the zinc-plated open cradle frame was similar in design to the 750SF, it was quite different, particularly for the 1974 and 1975 versions. These examples also included a larger diameter (38mm) Ceriani front fork, and triple Brembo disc brakes. Although it weighed a considerable 230kg, the wheelbase was a moderate 1,460mm and the tall SFC was a competent handler. Everything about it screamed racing, particularly with the optional two-into-one megaphone exhaust. There were no turn indicators, and the only instrumentation was a single Smiths tachometer mounted on a crude bracket in the fairing. The rider stretched out over the long 25-litre fibreglass fuel tank to crouch under the lowest fairing screen of any production motorcycle. Although one concession was made to civility, an electric start, the 750SFC was not designed for tooling around town.

Here was a raw open road motorcycle par excellence. Certainly the big twin vibrated, and the controls were heavy, but one ride could convince the rider they were flat out at the Bol d'Or. Stability was unquestioned and the top speed was close to 210 km/h. Unfortunately, time caught up with the 750SFC by 1975. Larger capacity Japanese multis were now winning endurance races, and Laverda's own double overhead camshaft 1000 provided more performance. The hand-built 750SFC was expensive to produce, and was becoming difficult to sell. The 750 twin died, and while the 1000 also became an SFC in 1985, Laverda folded soon afterwards. Now Laverda is resurrected, and it is the 750SFC that provides the inspiration for a new generation. Distinctive, beautiful, and functional, the 750SFC will be a hard act to follow.

Five magnificent things you didn't know about the Laverda 750SFC

1. Laverda was founded by Francesco Laverda in 1947 in the northern Italian town of Breganze.

2. After building a reputation with small capacity motorcycles, Francesco's son, Massimo Laverda, took over the company during the 1960s and decided to produce large capacity bikes.

3. The Laverda twin started life as a 650 twin in 1968, and was deliberately styled to look like the Honda CB77. This was so it would be popular in America where it was sold as the American Eagle.

4. By 1970, the Laverda twin grew to 750cc with the SF750, and was successfully campaigned in a number of endurance races in Europe. This led to the first SFC in 1971 and victory in the Barcelona 24 hour race. The orange colour was chosen so the SFC could be distinguished amongst the other, mostly red, bikes.

5. Only 549 750SFCs were produced between 1971 and 1976. When the new Laverda 1000SFC was announced at the end of 2003, envisaged production was to be an identical number.

Source BikePoint

 

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