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Laverda 1000 3C. The Laverda three-cylinder

Laverda 1000 3C
ER Classics Desktop 2022

Already in 1969 reports were 'leaked' to the press and sent about the Laverda three-cylinder. The machine itself was shown at the Milan motor show. Only from 1972/73 was the '1000' (980) cc Laverda 1000 3C actually for sale. In keeping with Italian tradition, the fat Laverda had been presented years earlier, but Italians often want to experience the deepest silence after the most exuberant introductions.

Nobody believed in it anymore

In 1972, few people believed in the arrival of the three-cylinder engine from Breganze. But when Kawasaki presented the Z900, the Italians jumped out of their dreams and marketed the '1000'. In early 1973, more than three years after its introduction, the Laverda 1000 3C finally in the shop.


And that that machine was not fully developed technically at the time of its actual 'being for sale'? Ah, Jan Keijzer of the Moto Guzzi club always reports it smiling: “Italians bring something to the market when they Mooi find enough ”. The eventual product development is then played via the clientele. The Laverda 1000 3C it was immediately the heaviest motorcycle offered by the Italian motorcycle industry. Apart from all the Italian values ​​stated, the machine ran about 20 kilometers faster than the 750 cc twins and was therefore actually above 200 km / h. And that is pretty hard when you are head to head in the wind.

And to come back to a bit of serious approach in the design of the three-cylinder: Luciano Zen and his employees took Honda's CB 750 as a benchmark. Their engine should not be wider and heavier than the Japanese revolutionary. And did you know that the first crankshaft layout really was already at 120 degrees?

Laverda wanted to go for top quality

Attempts to reach conclusive agreements with Italian suppliers about delivery times and quality failed, mindful of the popular character that 'Passion' always takes precedence over something as banal as pasta. That is why the people of Laverda went shopping widely. The first production version of the Laverda 1000 3C Bosch had lighting, Tommaselli handles, Lucas switches and Nippon Denso counters. Laverda also had to get permission from Honda to use the Nippon Denso counters specially made for them.

Clumsy elegance

If we now such Laverda 1000 3C then we mainly see the huge lump motor that hangs massive and impressively beautiful between the frame tubes. The whole machine looks rather crude than graceful Italian. The aluminum is fair and not alloyed to anorexic. The entire engine block radiates "POWER!" from. And one exclamation point is actually too little. The Laverda is simply a boulemic ADHD person.

In addition, the large three-cylinder is not the most light-footed dance partner. He emphatically requires a lot of physical effort when driving, including the squeeze force for the clutch. But when the block is at the right temperature, then every modern superbike, if necessary including its 200 hp and handfuls of electronic slaves that have to keep the front wheel on the ground, with anti wheely system, an anti hopping clutch, handful of riding modes, breakout protection, bends ABS and the whole dog abbreviations more just a thing for wimps.

You just go like crazy on the Laverda 1000 3C

And if you go beyond the limits of the decent, you just as hard go off. The early ones with their crankpins at 180 degrees are kind of raw and brutal like a twin with a multiple personality disorder. They can also vibrate very well. The later blocks with the crankpins on the 120 degrees crankshaft offset, which fits the three-cylinder four-stroke concept much better, are much nicer. And according to the hard core enthusiasts that shows less character… And so it always remains something in motorland.

More articles about classic engines can be found via this link.

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