With an engine that looked much like that of the Honda 305 Superhawk, the first Laverda big twin was the 650 introduced in 1968. Keen to make an impact in the American market, the 52hp 750 GT was introduced the following year, and this in turn was followed in 1970 by the sportier 60hp 750 SF – SF standing for Super Freni or Super Brakes. (Earlier models had relied on a Grimeca drum at the front, but the new 120mph SF used a twin-leading shoe system designed by Francesco Laverda.) The 750 SF achieved notable success in endurance racing in 1970, and the bikes improved incrementally. But so did the competition, and so by the end of the year Laverda was planning a production racer version.
The 750 SFC, for Super Freni Competizione, was launched in May 1971. With a bright orange fairing and new bodywork, SFCs were hand built in small batches by a small team with little regard to cost. The reworked cylinder head had bigger valves with polished rockers and new cam profiles, and 36mm Amals replaced 30mm Dell’Ortos. A close-ratio 5-speed gearbox was fitted, and the crankshaft and con-rods were carefully balanced and polished. Power was rated at 70hp, with each engine dyno-tested to ensure output. The SF’s frame was strengthened with gussets, and the front brake was either the standard Laverda item or an optional Ceriani four-leading-shoe unit.
The replica SFC here is a tribute to the first SFC series of 1971. A very accurate reproduction, it’s been built with high-spec valves and cam, race exhausts, the correct carbs and Laverda 2LS brake with alloy rims, and the correct footrests, linkages and plates. The SF frame has been strengthened (as per the SFC), while the rear suspension units are of a more recent piggy-back reservoir design.
This Laverda is a fine recreation of what was one of the most successful 4-stroke racers of the early 1970s, and what is arguably the most beautiful motorcycle of a generation.