Laverda in New Zealand - A History

I'm leaving a lot of this information to Chris Persson, past President of the defunct Laverda Owners Club of New Zealand, to fill in.  My knowledge in this area is sketchy, to say the least.

As a first cut, and from what little I understand, Laverdas first arrived in New Zealand via Eric Woods Motorcycles, starting early in the 1970s.  There were around 40 750SF's brought in by them, followed by the early 3C and Jota 1000 triples.  There were also some 1200s, by the time I purchased my first Laverda, a 1973 750 SF1 drum brake model, some time in 1978.  I had this bike for a year or so, then foolishly sold it, intending to go overseas, and not long after that lost touch with Laverdas, although still retaining a deep longing for another one.

Eric Woods eventually dropped Laverda when the new Zane opertion started and have moved to selling other makes.  All their old Laverda parts stocks have moved to Wolfgang Haerter in British Columbia in the last year or so.  In the late 1990's, with European Motorcycles of Christchurch and other dealers in the North Island importing a small number of the modern Zane factory bikes.  European Motorcycles imported three 668's and a Formula 650, for example.  To the best of my knowledge there may be as many as three Zane 750's in the country, a Carenta and a 750 Formula, as well as another 750 Formula which is for sale new at Red Baron Motorcycles in Auckalnd.

There are a number of non-New Zealand new bikes, including three of the legendary 750 SFC's.  One of these SFC's recently changed hands through the Motorcycle Trader. There is a 500 Montjuic replica, created by Mike Hill of Christchurch from a standard 500 imported second hand, and I have seen two LZ 125 Sports.  There is even a rumour of a Laverdino moped/scooter!

At present I am compiling a register of all known Laverda motorcycles in New Zealand.  The list is growing, and currently contains over 120 entries, so maybe there are that many or more Laverdas in the country, and maybe some of the entries I have are for the same bike at different times with different owners.  I need information from any New Zealand Laverda owners out there to help me improve the list, with the objective of eventually using it to form a new New Zealand Laverda Owners Club, or at least some form of 'virtual' club, to the benefit of us all.  Send me an eMail with any information you have about both your own bikes and any other Laverdas you know of - every little bit helps to build up the picture.

At this stage there are some useful Laverda resources available.  For example I have access to a complete set of factory tools for the Breganze 750s, as well as a copy of the "Green Book" technical manual and factory workshop manuals.  Other materials, assets of the old Laverda Owners Club, are also available for loan or copying.

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Copyright Steve Carr, 1999-2007