1984 Laverda RGA1000 Jota Special
Frame no. ZLVMVDGA6E0000016
Engine no. LAV.1000RGS2398
Moto Laverda, located between Vicenza and Venice, in the Dolomite foothills, launched the RGS 1000 at the 1981 Milan Show. It featured the new 120° crankshaft-throw 1000 cc three-cylinder motor which was developed by former Fabio Taglioni disciple, and MV Agusta employee, Giuseppe Bocchi. Bocchi did good work on the motor making it just as powerful, but smoother, as its iconic 180° predecessor, this time rubber mounting it in a development of the familiar loop frame. The RGS featured a unique integrated fuel tank with filler flap in the front of the Bayflex, rectangular headlamp, half-fairing. The dual seat's rear was covered by a removable hump. RGS, Massimo Laverda once suggested, stood for Real Grand Sport.
The 1984/1985 RGA (and RGA Jota) was a mechanically similar, less expensive version without the unique RGS features. It carried a conventional fuel tank, no seat hump, and a bikini-style fairing surrounding a round headlamp. It is not recorded what RGA stood for.
This RGA was imported into the USA by Slater Brothers in the fall of 1984 and shipped to loyal Mannheim, PA dealer Fred Heistand Motors and modified to RGA Jota Special specification for display at the International Motorcycle Show in New York City.
The RGA Jota Special was created by then British Laverda importer, Keith Davies of Three Cross Motorcycles. Davies' intent was to recreate the "old Jota 180°" performance by modifying each motor to RGS Corsa specification and adding a twin-round-headlamp, Laverda Orange, Sprint (brand) fiberglass full or half fairing. After the show this bike was consigned to Ham's Motorcycles of Connecticut who set about its race preparation. How many RGAs were made is unknown and but what's clear is that RGA 1000 Jota Specials number less than a couple of dozen.
After some years languishing, this very rare RGA 1000 Jota Special for that's what it surely is - has been thoroughly re-worked using all the "hidden fixes" of upgraded clutch, stock (not Corsa) F4 cams, Moto Witt DMC II digital ignition, upgraded starter motor and relay, and "big" battery among others, and is reported to be easy to start and to run well "even below 3,000 rpm". In other words it makes all the right noises in the right places. (Included with the motorcycles are some of the stock parts, owner's manual, and various accessories.)
- Please note that the correct frame number for this motorcycle is LAV1000RGS12398 and its title is in transit.