The Laverda Motorcycle Company was founded by Pietro Laverda Jr., his brothers Francesco, Giovanni and Giorgio, and Luciano Zen in the year 1948 in which they designed and built their first prototype motorcycle.
The little motorcycle showed a lot of promise and so in 1949, the Laverda motorcycle name was officially incorporated. Over the next few years, Laverda became known for building small capacity, high quality, durable and relative innovative motorcycles for their time. To prove this, Laverda began to modify and race their motorcycles in distance and endurance events.
Over the next couple of decades, Moto Laverda would produce newer models with larger engines that had a higher capability. Off-road, trial and motocross motorcycles were produced in with other manufacturers like Zundapp, BMW and Husqvarna. The real development of their motorcycles was in their street models, which had begun to earn a high reputation as classy, low maintenance and quiet motorcycles.
In the late 1960s, Laverda began the design of a totally new breed of large motorcycle that they planned to build around an all new 650 cc engine.
The new breed of larger capacity Laverda motorcycles were debuted in 1968 and although they were not an extreme sport motorcycle by any means, it had the virtues that Laverda had become known for. This motorcycle used the best components available at the time and thus eliminating the problem all other British and Italian motorcycles had at the time.
The birth of Laverda as a brand to compete against was with their introduction of their GT750 which appeared in1969. These motorcycles came with very slight modifications to their specifications and components, but the definite increase in capacity was felt instantaneously.
In the search for more power in the face of their Japanese competition, Laverda developed a three-cylinder motor which debuted in their new model in 1973 and was immediately recognized as a modern motorcycle as it was configured with a conservative layout which had shed some of their more exotic designs.
By the 1980's, against the fierce Japanese competition, Laverda attempted to update its production line by introducing a luxury tour bike in 1983 but it was too little too late. The engines and technologies were 10 years out of date, and over priced as compared to the advanced Japanese motorcycles.
In 1985, Laverda ceased production over the difficulties of their Japanese competition, but in 1993, a millionaire named Francesco Tognon bought the entire company and saved Laverda from disappearing into the chronicles of motorcycle history by attempting for the first time in almost a decade to rebuild the Laverda name.
Laverda was purchased by Aprilia in 2000 and was restructured once more and incorporated into the Aprilia Group. Aprilia created a new Laverda division which began to import low cost Asian scooters and quads and then selling them as a Laverda.
After Aprilia was sold to the Piaggio Group, the Laverda name simply vanished and is no longer produced anywhere in the world.
Original Authors: Nicholas
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 07/06/2008