While Laverda had produced some ‘off-road’ models in the ‘50s these were basically 75 cc road models with minor changes. The mid ‘60s saw the 125 cc Regolarita – a four-stroke single with a little more off road cred.
The company decided to get a lot more serious in the ‘70s when they showed the 250 cc Chott (named after a region in northern Africa where the bike was tested), at the 1973 Milan Show. The bike entered production the following year.
The Chott featured a completely new 246 cc two-stroke motor, designed in-house. Dual ignition with twin spark plugs was fitted. Very obvious was the use of magnesium alloy for the engine cases, brake hubs and chain enclosure.
The steering head angle could be adjusted to three angles – 25, 27.5 and 30 degrees. The Chott was good for 26 hp at 7600 rpm and had a dry weight of 108 kg. The bike seen here is in completely original condition.
Due to its sophistication and price the Chott was not a big seller so was replaced by the more basic 250 TR2 in 1976. It was much the same as the Chott but without the magnesium parts; had no speedo and used plastic body work rather than metal, resulting in a lighter weight. It was discontinued the following year with less than 5000 of both models produced.
Rather than giving up on dirt bikes and concentrating on their 1000 cc triples the company decided to double down for their next model – but I’ll go into that in the next column.
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