Laverda 500 – the twin that came oh, so close

The Laverda’s beefy motor was enlarged to 600, 650, 688 and finally 750cc.

Classic motorcycles from Italy tend to polarise opinion perhaps more widely than just about any other country of origin.

The oft-spouted negatives are that they are woefully unreliable, desperately uncomfortable, electrically cursed, have rock-hard suspension and are fragile beyond measure.

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The positives are generally agreed to be that the same machines hold the road like limpets in a storm, make sounds like no other, have astounding performance and look a million dollars even when covered in road grime.

The truth is roughly somewhere between the two, yet if there was ever one Italian manufacturer which did its utmost to produce commercially competitive motorcycles that went beyond the usual stereotypical generalisations, it has to be Laverda.

Read more in April’s edition of OBM

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