Fast Eddie's 1200

Here are a selection of photos throughout the build process. This project is the classic snowball job, as all it initially came to me for was to fit an ignition system. As such, the scope of work changed as one job led to another. I would have commenced this somewhat differently if I had known from day 1 that it was receiving a full rebuild and some light modifications.
It's been a challenge to say the least, but it's been great to be part of rescuing another Laverda from the brink.

Although cosmetically very rough and not running well, the bike was together. A bit of investigation in the primary case in order to fit new chains revealed severe damage to the crank end splines. At this point it was clear the engine had to come out in order to repair the crank. The snowball effect began here...
So the first job was to remove the engine and get the crank up to Redax Laverda in Brisbane to replace the left hand crank web which includes the drive spline. "While you're at it" it seems silly not to fully strip the crank, clean out the slinger plates, install new bearings and Carillo conrods for a bit of insurance.
Seeing as the engine was stripped it also seemed silly not to shout it a rebore, new pistons, and a head refurbishment...
Things were on ice till after the Island Classic, but in February 2013 it was started in earnest and the bike was fully stripped. The bike had endured a harsh climate for years and was in dire need of a serious tidy up, and well... while the motor's out it seems silly not to fix it up "while you're at it" right?
Some bolts were little more than finger tight, others overtightened to buggery, the rest corroded solid. My rattle gun would not release the swingarm pivot but luckily I had this pulse jet handy to use as a lever.
Most of the bike had a thick layer of greasy tar-like gunk over it, possibly sprayed with diesel to try to protect it from the elements? The front wheel added a layer of brake fluid and pad dust to the party as well. :)
Living in a comparitively mild climate, we are not used to this sort of thing! The bike seemed to have been in constant use and things like wheel bearings, head stem etc had been well maintained. However the external cosmetics had suffered from the elements and basically everything needed refurbishment.
Grease and grime half an inch thick with heavily etched aluminium underneath. The crankcases begin their long march to renewal.
The bike obviously hadn't had much in the way of oil changes, heavy oil sludge and staining inside the cases. This is AFTER comprehensive degreasing.
More internal oil sludge staining and crud buildup. The tar-like deposits would not come off the crankcase internal walls so I sent them out for Soda Blasting, which is very gentle and also water soluble so the media can be washed out afterwards.
This gloop was about 5mm thick across the entire sump.


Eddie had experienced trouble with the stand and it wasn't surprising - it had broken and been poorly welded back together at least once. It was totally crooked and was missing one bushing, the holes also heavily ovalised.
I cut off the damaged crossbar, removed all the elephant snot welding, sandblasted everything, and jigged the stand up at the correct width to get everything straight again.
The repaired stand.
A bit of frame bracing "while we're at it".
It does not show up all that well here but the external corrosion was still evident after soda blasting, which does not actually remove any aluminium material. To get the externals up to a suitable standard bead blasting was required.
The cases fully assembled with blanking plates over every opening. This allows to blast with abrasive media without any risk of leaving any behind inside - although I still clean multiple times after blasing. You can see here the corrosion damage still showing on the front of the cases.
To the left the cases have already been extensively degreased and soda blasted, the right shows how the glass bead really restores the lovely sand cast appearance.

Meanwhile all painted parts have been blasted to bare metal and brought back to life.
Back to the Breganzane shed and the buildup can begin.
First job for me is always the centre stand!
When the pile of parts begins to resemble a bike again it really feels like progress.
Tom The Wrecker stepped up to the plate with polishing, here he is half way through bringing new life back to the filthy exhaust system.

Crank arrived back from Red, fully rebuilt with lovely Carillo rods and a new crank web to replace the heavily worn drive spline. I stripped the gearbox and replaced the bearings and the 5th gear plus it's mating dog which was worn. Otherwise the box was in pretty good nick.
Getting ready for assembly in my new engine building room. Ceramic coated Ross pistons, rebore, and fully rebuilt head courtesy of Redax Laverda.
Bottom end laid out. It's a shame to close it up!
Another milestone moment when the cases go back together.
New bearings absolutely everywhere in the engine, even the sprag clutch etc.
Barrel on!

Shiny bits! The shinyness of the bits is inversely proportional to how you end up looking after you've spent an hour or two in front of a buffing wheel.
Head ready to go. The new valves were obviously very mysterious...
Head on, new Andychain Iwis camchain installed and it's time to degree in the cams.
Lovely new Maxton T260C shocks looking mean in black.
The carbs are stripped for refurbishment. Given the scope of work already completed, the Mikuni upgrade is on hold!
Various bits and pieces for the clutch and selector mechanism being prepared.
Meanwhile the painter has done a lovely job with the bodywork. We wanted something that was 70's and yet modern-cool. A variation on the Ford Cobra stripes was chosen, over a wicked electric blue inspired by the original 1200 "swoosh" colour (though this particular bike was the crimson version).
Eddie wanted to go for a more 'lightweight' look with the guards etc. Here's the bodywork mocked up in position with new badges, working on the shortened guard and tail light bracket etc. New rear light also.
Another week or so and it's starting to really come together. Boba's Carbon guard is mounted and off to the paint shop soon. Lots of other stuff complete or in motion. The end is at least somewhat in sight!