I just bought a Laverda 1200 which was originally a Blue 1200 Sport from 1979.
It has been restored a 15 years ago and was than painted black and gold as the 30th anniversary model at the time it had done 32000 kilometres.
It has been standing in a shed for the last 12 years and has done 363381kilometers.
Brought it home and after a good inspection decided it needed a complete restoration. Standing in a shed for the last 12 years did the bike no good.
Dismantled the bike in one weekend and started to build the bike from the ground up.
This is going to be a Laverda Mirage like the one the Slater brothers build for the British market.
Laverda's legendary Jota was a British creation. Slater Brothers, the UK importers of the day, added the heat. A few years later they did the same thing again with the factory's new 1200, turning the big soft tourer into a much more potent missile.
The Jota might have been the most famous of the Seventies laverdas, but the Mirage was in many ways the best of the bunch. Like the Jota, it was essentially a tuned-up version of the Breganze factory's standard triple. Slater Brothers, the British Laverda importers of the day, created the Jota by uprating the standard 3Cl triple with high compression-pistons, endurance race cams and aloud pipe, lifting the power output to 90bhp and producing a mighty machine that was a match for anything on the road or production-race track.
In 1978, when Laverda bored out the dohc three cylinder lump to 1116cc and fitted flat handlebars and a larger dual-seat to produce the softer, more practical model they imaginatively called the 1200, Slaters struck again. With no production racing plans this time they left the compression ratio at the standard 8:1, but added the endurance race camshafts and the Jota exhaust system, increasing performance considerably.
The Mirage was born.
"The 1200 was a soft and woolly tourer to start with, but the cams and pipes really transformed it," recalls Richard Slater, who still runs the business today although brother Roger has lived in America for many years. One of our dealers came up with the name Mirage. Laverda also used the name for other markets, but without the tuning bits they manufactured badges and did a bit of a marketing job on it.
Finally got them back
Now I have to start working on the electrical system.
Also see my other weblog: Laverda restauration.