Hot on the heels of the RGS posted by Tad D on Sunday, here is a very lovely 1999 Laverda Formula 750s Formula edition for sale on ebay UK.
I will admit to being biased about the bike posted below; its one of my personal favorites. The Formula editions were the top of the lineup bike of the Zane era, with upgraded camshafts and race-spec ECU chips. These upgrades were in addition to the 750 series standard kit of a Nico Baker designed frame, marchesini wheels, letterbox gas tank, brembo brakes and carbon fiber goodies. Plus the black and orange bodywork (which was the original livery/paint scheme offered by the factory) is attractive but not outlandish; not as monocromatic as a Ducati 748 but not as graphically eye bending as a Vance and Hines edition Yamaha FZR.
While reviews declared the parallel twin powered Laverda to be an equal to or better than its competion (such as the Ducati 748), the Formula edition only lasted for two years. The effort was hampered by a nearly non-existent marketing budget, squabbling ownership and typical small manufacturer production concerns. On top of this, the the Zane-era laverda's developed a reputation for crank problems due to oiling issues at high mileage. The entire concern fell apart in late 2000 and entered bankruptcy and while an attempted rescue by Aprilia raised hopes for a bit, Aprilia itself was soon acquired by Piaggio and the marque was shelved in 2003. The result is that the 1999 and 2000 series Formula are considered to be the last true race spec Laverda's produced.
Condition of this particular formula looks excellent, with only some small aftermarket parts such as a double bubble screen, footpeg ends and handgrips appearing to be non-standard/OEM. The only issues I see in the pics (other than the aftermarket pieces) is a bit of paint being off the wheels and the very edge of the lower fairing, both typical items for an italian bike of this era. Also the speedo is cracked but the seller indicates a replacement is available.
Regarding maintenance, the seller states that a recommended upgrade to a stainless oil filter and oil upgrade to prevent the aforementioned crank issues has already been done. The seller is also an active poster on the yahoo zanelist forum and appears to have a nice 2000 series formula still tucked away in the garage, so the knowledge of what it takes to maintain the bike would seem to be genuine.
Here is some other things the the seller mentions in their ebay post
- Battery is fine and charges, lights work and indicators flash, never failed to start.
- Have previous MOT's, a stamped service book and the original owners manuals, both for the bike and Paioli suspension. I'll put a new MOT on it too.
- One of the pictures shows a crack on the speedo face. I have another set of clocks that I can throw in with the sale should the price be right.
- There is also a small amount of flaking to the wheels, an unfortunate side effect of aluminium wheels. These can be re-powder coated for around £80-£100 per set.
Is this bike worth the 4000 GBP asking price? Actually I think its worth more, given its condition and rareity. Prices are definitely starting to creep up on the Formula editions, with the 2000 series really jumping up lately. 1999 versions of the Formula like this one are are essentially the same bike with different bodywork and this one looks to be in very good condition.
Overall I think this is a great opportunity for a collector or laverda fan in the UK to obtain one of the final "true" laverda bikes. and perhaps enjoy it a bit or tuck it away in a collection and let prices keep appreciating. Long term I think this one will definitely be more treat than trick.