A Laverda three-cylinder Jota on the wealth bank

Appraisals mobile

Laverda, test benchA Laverda three-cylinder Jota on the wealth bank

With all the love we give our classics, we often forget one thing: an analysis on a wealth bank.

26 pk power gain for 220, - euros

Our classics, no matter how good they are, are old. And that can have consequences that only become noticeable once a specialist has been released. The engine that the owner was so happy with can suddenly be kissed awake and perform better than in the wildest dreams.

Technically and economically, there is one approach that provides the ultimate answer to all your questions. And that is a visit to a company that specializes in measurements on the dynamometer. On a dynamometer, the performance and pain points of an engine are made crystal clear. The professionals who operate the asset bank can read and interpret the charts that appear on the monitor - and the printout of those charts that always look fantastic on your workplace wall - as a doctor diagnoses a well-insured patient.

Power and torque are measured on the dynamometer itself. The multi-gas tester that is pushed into the exhaust measures the composition of the exhaust gases. That composition makes a lot clear about the combustion process in the engine. A pick-up around a spark plug cable provides extra information about the ignition and speed. The synchronization of the carburation is checked separately and corrected if necessary.

Laverda JotaFor our story we had access to a very nice example: Ernie Wijnstekers' Laverda 1000 cc three-cylinder from 1978. A real, honest machine that, according to the information supplied, would have been tuned with the C4 racing camshafts from a Jota. The machine was once imported from Germany and the frame was missing some tabs. That could indicate track use in the past and fit nicely with the story that the block would be tuned. The open air filters in 'K&N' style and the Jota exhaust system were at least the visible signs that something had been done to the engine. The rearset also indicated a sporty commitment, as did the mounted clip-ons. Incidentally, Ernie had already replaced those stubs with a real one a day after purchase. The previous owner was a diesel mechanic and said he had always done the maintenance himself. The engine felt a bit messy 'at the bottom', so at low revs. In city traffic, that engine character was downright annoying.

That somewhat boxy behavior under the 3000 rpm could be a result of mounting camshafts with sharper ramps and more valve lift height. Or it could simply be because the block in terms of nozzle occupancy of the carburetors would not be adapted to the aforementioned mesh air filters. The engine started to run better from the middle speed range when it was up to temperature. At the top, the case didn't go as well as with the C 1000 that Ernie had had before. But he was always cuddled and cherished as an ex-motorcycle of a KLM commander. In Gaanderen we visited Startrick Tuning where Hans van der Starre can analyze power to 500 hp.

Ernie's request to Van der Starre was to check the engine. Not to come to the ultimate top power, but to see if the case could run nicer.

Laverda K&NUpon arrival in the rain, people first listened quietly to the engine block with their hands sideways. The craftsman listens and analyzes the sound of the camshaft drive, the valves and the pistons. The response to gas commands also says a lot. The intake interview is then over. The motorcycle is lashed to the test bench with lashing straps. This is a power bank that was developed and built at Startrick itself and where the driven wheel (s) is placed on top of the 1 set of rollers.
This has the advantage that 1 contact surface most closely approximates the situation on the road while the friction is minimal. (On test benches where the driven wheels are placed between 2 rollers, more friction occurs because the wheels want to move from one roll to the other roll. There are therefore 2 small contact surfaces, so that 2 x also deforms the tire. find what gives friction and loss.)
The engine receives the multi-gas meter. The cooling air blowers are started. The hearing protection is on.

What is such a wealth bank doing now? A diagnosis is made about the structure of the engine power. Quite simply, an indication for extra power and torque is obtained through better adjustment, in particular of the fuel system and the ignition.

The first run results in the 1000 cc three-cylinder, which, according to the manufacturer, according to the state of tuning between the 80-97 hp should have on the crankshaft…. Provides thick 40 horsepower to the rear wheel. And perhaps those once-given 97 crankshpk's are the then-infamous Italian fantasy ponies, but this is crazy. Hans van der Starre takes his infrared thermometer and the engine is started again. It appears that the exhaust bend of the right cylinder remains around 100 ° colder than the middle one. The first conclusion is that the cylinder does not really participate.

The right spark plug goes out and appears to spark. Which is good. The three imitation K&N filters are disassembled to be able to see the gas slides. Hans van der Starre looks at things and says "Hey, we're going to notice that." He points to the sharp transitions in the Chinese imitation filters and the fact that the edges of the rubbers obstruct the compensation holes of the Dell'Ortos. A look into the carburettors after a turn of the throttle makes it clear that the throttle slides don't really move evenly.

The chokes are checked and found to be in order. The gas cables do their job. The engine is restarted and the cooling fan comes on. The third cylinder now turns smoothly and the block already sounds very different. In that strong breeze, the Italian 180 ° three-cylinder engine suddenly pulls 20 hp!

Laverda JotaSo the imitation K&N filters destroyed 20 hp!

"See!" Hans beams satisfied. "Now we are going to look a little further." Because Startrick Tuning is not only the distributor of Dell'Orto carburettors, but also an official K&N air filter dealer, real K & N's are installed instead of the Chinese 'would be' K&N filters after ensuring that the three throttle valves open synchronously. The digital vacuum gauge is connected and it follows that the adjustment of three Dell'Orto by a diesel specialist does not have to be an unqualified success. Hans ensures that the three 'digital mercury columns' on his measuring device march up and down neatly in step. The three real K & N's are screwed on and the engine is started again. The nozzle occupation appears to be almost in order. For ultimate perfection, the throttle needles, in the carburettor and the main jets still need some tinkering. These also determine the ratio of gasoline / air. The throttle needle should go down a tiny bit and the main jets could be one size bigger. But that would be just for the good. And that doesn't matter to Ernie.

Main nozzles are for the mixture supply at full gas, and the Laverda no longer needs to work that hard. His three-cylinder engine moved from more than 40 to more than 70 hp at the rear wheel within an hour. And with respect for the 90.000 kilometers that are on the clock, Hans has opened the case to just above the 6000 rpm. At that moment the curves continued to rise unrestrained. So there is clearly more in this block. For Hans van der Starre, that is something he doesn't want to know about. A classic does not have to be tormented for him.

Laverda printoutFor Ernie, it is all just about wailing. The forty horses delivered by the unfinished Laverda were dear to him. He is not interested in the ability. After all, power is only important in this country if you have gold in your vault. After adjustment, the three-cylinder engine runs like a very bit of sun instead of a nasty tractor. And that was what Ernie was all about.

  • The first run provided the Laverda 44,21 ok @4450 rpm and 70,65 Nm @4350 rpm
    The second run, without the imitation K&N filters, the engine delivered about 20 hp more.
    The third run delivered the Laverda 70,65 pk @6100 rpm and 81,28 Nm @ 6100 rpm

The honest Laverda needed some detail care. An hour at Startrick costs 55 euros. The original K&N air filters also cost that per piece. For 220 euros, the engine character of Ernies Laverda has changed from 'jerky threshing machine' to 'circle case for 100-year-old oaks'. The power increase from a minimum of 44,21 hp to 70,65 hp is 62,5%. Or: 8,32 euros per horsepower. That is in the pre-chip tuning world where 500, - Euro for the first 10 extra horsepower, 1000, - Euro for the next 10 horsepower and 2500, - Euro for the next 10 horses is seen as dirt cheap. Conclusion: the cheapest horsepower can be found on the power bank.

Thanks to:,
The club:


Startrick reported: It is unknown how original this copy is. With regard to the basic values, we therefore gambled on the 'standard' model and the 'Jota' model. The measured values ​​are listed under 'The test engine'
Motorcycle: Laverda 1000 cc three-cylinder (year 1978), with 180 degree crankshaft

Laverda logoEngine: three-cylinder four-stroke, 981 cc, double overhead camshafts, two valves / cylinder. The specified values ​​are measured at the crankshaft. The measured values ​​on the rear wheel.
compression torque
Laverda 1000 C3 9: 1 80pk @ 7250 rpm 88 Nm @ 6200 rpm
Laverda 1000 Jota 10,2: 1 97pk @ 7800 rpm 90 Nm @ 7000 rpm
The test engine The values ​​are measured at the rear wheel
Run1 44,21pk @ 4450 rpm 70,65Nm @ 4350 rpm
Run2 without imitation K&N air filters: + 20 hp !!!
Run3 70,65pk @ 6100 81,28 Nm @ 6100 rpm
With an engine of this age it is reasonable to assume a transmission loss of 15%. Our photo model would then have 89,2975 hp on the crankshaft after the adjustment work at Startrick. In human language that is 89,3 pk. And that is a nice value for a good Jota 1000 with almost a ton on the clock.

The story about tuning could therefore be correct. It will no longer surprise Ernie to find C4 camshafts in his block. The somewhat different sprinkler occupation compared to a real Jota can be exemplary (because born of an Italian / British marriage), or the result of a later upgrade to Jota specifications.

Carburation 1000 C3: 3 times Dell'Orto PHF 32 AD / AS
Carburation Iota: 3 times Dell'Orto PHF 32 (34?) AD / AS. + adjusted nozzle occupation
Carburation during test: 3 times Dell'Orto PHF 32 AD / AS + adjusted nozzle occupation

With thanks to:,, Steverinkstraat 60, 7011JN Gaanderen
The club:

Holiday content banner

Give an answer

The email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

The maximum upload file size: 8 MB. you can upload: image. Links to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other services inserted in the comment text will be automatically embedded. Drop files here

Now in store

View the 40-page preview via or a click on the cover.

The December issue, containing:

  • restoration report Fiat 1900B Granluce
  • restoration report Renault 5 Alpine Turbo
  • Austin 3 Liter
  • De Golf Convertible and the Creme21 Youngtimer Rallye
  • restoration report Hoffmann Governor MP 250-2
  • Kawasaki GTR 1000
  • Fisherman's Ambulance Museum
  • Duplicate type designations Part XX
cover 12 2022 300

The perfect reading material for an evening or more of undisturbed dreaming. It is now in stores. A subscription is of course better, because then you will no longer miss a number and you are also much cheaper. Not bad in these expensive times.

The paint, the coat of our classics

Not sulfur-containing

An addition that works: TSL