Laverda 750 SFC

Laverda 750 SFC 1970s Italian sports bike

The Laverda 750 SFC was a production racer. Originally conceived to compete in endurance races, it went on to be a shining light on the roads as well. The ‘C’ in its name stood for competizione. And, while we are at it, the ‘F’ stood for freni – Italian for brakes. That referenced the improved drum sets, with which the SFC came equipped. Ceriani suspension sealed the roadholding deal – telescopic forks at the front and twin shocks at the rear. Always a good sign, the SFC won first time out. That was the Barcelona 24 Hours race – at Montjuic Park, Spain. The bike’s bright orange paintwork was a cinch to spot, even at night – for both spectators and pit crew alike!

On the road, too, the SFC was a scintillating sight. 549 SFCs followed on from the prototype. A certain commitment was required of the rider – since they were far from ‘ergonomically correct’. Low clip-on handlebars – and rear-set footrests – meant relaxation took a back seat to a racing crouch. And it was a single back seat, at that! At least the SFC’s smart half-fairing was a concession to comfort – keeping the worst of the wind off. And – certainly in handling terms – the SFC was eminently user-friendly.

Potentially, SFC riders needed all the handling help they could get. The bike’s parallel twin engine came with high-compression pistons – fueled by 36mm Amal carbs. A close-ratio 5-speed gearbox was fitted. Top speed was 125mph. An injudicious twist of the the SFC’s throttle, then, and a race-style posture may well have proved welcome. Better a little discomfort than finding yourself lying upside down. The SFC weighed in at just 454lb – but that is a lot to pull out of a ditch! So, the Laverda 750 SFC was a true Seventies superbike. It combined impeccable Italian styling – and the technical wherewithal to keep it that way. Hopefully!

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