1971 Laverda 1000C
Laverda Triple Cylinder Prototype
With Phil Aynsley
The Laverda 1000 triple was first seen at the Geneva Show in 1969. At this early stage the motor was basically a 750 twin with an extra cylinder grafted on. It was still a single OHC design with the starter behind the cylinders and the belt-driven generator in front.
However by 1971 Massimo Laverda and Luciano Zen had massively reworked the design. It now sported a DOHC cylinder head with narrow angled valves, together with very substantial crankcases.
The original 120º crank was replaced by a 180º unit (the outside pistons moving together, with the centre piston 180º out of phase).
The new design was first displayed at the 1971 Milan Show, named the 1000C, and the bike I photographed is in fact this prototype, with engine number 1000 001.
By comparison to the production bikes that followed in 1972, it is quite unique with sand-cast cases of a different pattern, 750 instruments and handlebar, ignition key placement and even sand-cast Dell’Orto carbs.
The 180º motor was replaced by a rubber-mounted 120º in 1982 and after evolving through a total of 16 different models production of the triple ceased in 1986.