1980 Laverda Montjuic/Formula 500, 496cc. Registration number YTR 262V. Frame number 2349. Engine number 2447.
In 1977 Laverda launched the Alpino a 500cc, 180-degree 4-stroke parallel twin, unfortunately it was very expensive and sales were slow. In order to promote it they launched a one make race series, the Coppa Laverda, or Laverda Cup, for which the company introduced a new variant, the Formula 500. To boost performance, Laverda equipped it with S1 high-performance race cams, 10.5:1 forged pistons, a larger oil pump and a close-ratio gearbox. Clip-on handlebars, rearset pegs, a race fairing and a one-piece moulded petrol tank/seat/tail section were added, as was a race exhaust system.
The Coppa Laverda proved to be hugely popular and ran for four years in Italy, from 1978 to 1981. The series involved six rounds, and was duplicated in Belgium and Germany. The factory also entered Formula 500s in the 24-hour endurance race at Montjuic Park in Barcelona in 1978 and 1979, winning the 500cc class both times, and Laverda’s U.K. importers, Slater Bros., entered six Formula 500s in the 1980 Isle of Man Formula 2, winning the team prize.
It is believed between 175 and 200 bikes were produced.
YTR has confirmed Slater history as Montjuic frame number 2349, imported in March 1979 and allocated to the Slater race program and ridden by Peter Davies for the season, at the end of which it would have been sold into the trade. He came 9th in that seasons Isle of Man Formula 2 TT on this frame, which had a Formula series 1 body and a Montjuic Mk1 fairing. The Formula 500 engine, number 2447, was imported in July 1979 and allocated to dealers Avon Bikes, Bristol.
When the bike was registered with DVLA in 1980 by Slaters both the frame and engine were together and it was sold on. In 1982 it had changed colour to maroon and gold with a new owner and our vendor bought it in 2012 as a basket case as a retirement project.
The whole bike has been restored between 2019-21, the frame and wheels powder-coated, the bodywork came from Germany, being painted and detailed as per the 1979/80 season, the engine parts were supplied by Keith Nairn, of Laverda Scozia, Richard Slater and Van Dijk, Motoren in the Netherlands. The engine work was completed by Keith Nairn, to include inspection and check of crank, re-bore of new pistons, fitting of new valves, re-cutting of seats and buckets, fitting of new clutch spring and all plates. The bike is believed to have a Formula close ratio gearbox fitted.
In August 2020 it passed it's daylight MOT test and has had some shakedown miles put on it, final setting up would be recommended.
Now for sale due to a medical condition which precludes riding it, it is offered with the V5C, 2020 MOT (historic class so exempt), Slaters letter of authenticity, copies of Laverda dispatch records, copies of period photographs, receipts for the engine work and other related literature.