1979 Laverda 497cc Montjuic Mk1
Registration no. SUP 666V
Frame no. 2687
Engine no. 2687
Having established its superbike credentials with a succession of 1,000cc triples, most notably the Jota, Laverda returned to the twin-cylinder class in 1977 with the Alpino. Inclined at 20 degrees from the vertical, the Alpino's 497cc engine boasted twin overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, a 180-degree crankshaft, horizontally split crankcases and wet-sump lubrication, while the integral gearbox was a six-speeder. This state-of-the-art engine/transmission unit went into a conventional tubular frame while alloy wheels and triple disc brakes were among other noteworthy features.
With such an advanced specification the Alpino was a natural candidate for development as a racer and the first such derivative, the Formula 500, arrived in time for the 1978 season. Intended to provide novices with an affordable entry into motorcycle sport, the Formula 500 was used for the 'Coppa Laverda' one-make race series sponsored jointly by Laverda, Total and Pirelli.
A Formula 500 was imported into the UK by Laverda concessionaire, Roger Slater, the man largely responsible for the Jota, who believed that a 'civilised', café racer version had greater sales potential than the rather lacklustre, and expensive, Alpino. Slater retained the stock Alpino fuel tank but equipped his new baby with a bikini fairing and solo racing seat manufactured in the UK by Screen & Plastics. Finished in 'Jota Orange', the new model was named 'Montjuic' in honour of Laverda's race victories at the eponymous Spanish circuit, while a loud, matt black, megaphone exhaust system further enhanced the racing connection.
Focused on performance to the exclusion of almost everything else, the Montjuic was defiantly 'hard core' at a time when motorcycles were becoming ever more refined. Bike magazine's tester Barry Wingfield reckoned the Montjuic was 'a lunatic's bike, made to be driven on reflexes fuelled by adrenalin. It's best ridden after you've pulled your brain out and left it in a safe place.' No wonder it was so popular.
Sold new via TT Motor Cycles Ltd of Southwick, Sunderland, this particular Montjuic was first owned by Mr Colin Wood of Chester-le-Street, County Durham, from whom it was purchased by the current vendor in May 2006. Later that same year the Laverda was sent to marque specialist Montydons Breganzane of Grimsby for total restoration (see detailed invoice on file). MoT'd in August 2006 at 3,454 miles, the Montjuic had covered only an additional 745 miles by July 2010 when it was tested again (certificates on file). Described by the private vendor as in generally excellent condition, this iconic Italian sports roadster is offered with the aforementioned documentation, its original bill of sale and loan application, and original/current Swansea V5/V5C documents.
- This motorcycle is offered with an MoT until August 2012. There are no invoices from Montydons on file.