1969 Laverda American Eagle: Thanks Jack!

laverda

In the spirit of featuring the occasional motorcycle barn find, this 1969 Laverda American Eagle found here on eBay caught my attention. These Italian-made bikes have an interesting story, especially considering they rose to prominence for their racing abilities and raw speed. An American named Jack McCormack imported the Laverda 750 under the brand name of American Eagle, albeit for only a short time in 1968 and 1969. The 750 lead to the creation of the 750S and 750 GT, which reflected the evolution of the company into a serious sporting bike with 60 b.h.p. and features like disc brakes and alloy wheels. Before stumbling upon this 750, I knew very little about the manufacturer – but considering its heritage, I now very much want this motorcycle! Have any of you owned a Laverda or an American Eagle? Let us know in the comments below.

Fast Finds

Comments

  1. cory

    Nice looking bike. Parts availability is pretty slim, and late sixties Italian build quality leaves a bit to be desired, especially electronics

    • DavidF

      Laverda were one of the better build quality motorcycle manufacturers, using top quality components, especially the electrics which were outsourced. Spares availability today are pretty good as well and there are two main websites which are very useful sources for advice, information and support.

  2. geomechs geomechs Member

    It’s interesting that the Japanese always seem to be copying the designs of someone else. This appears to be a case where someone else is copying the Japanese. That is unless Laverda had this same design back in the 50s and Honda copied it in ’59 when it introduced the Dream. To me it looks like an overgrown 250/305 Honda. Whatever the case, I’m sure that in its day it went like the proverbial scalded cat.

    • jim s

      yes i too think they look like a honda dream.

  3. Doug M (West) Member

    I have a friend that teaches hi-school shop class only an hour away from this one. He has a Laverda… has had it for years. Just finished a complete restoration. Very rare bike. He absolutely loves them! I think they are worth some bucks!??

  4. krash

    A friend had a motorcycle dealership and was selling off his own collection of rare and unique bikes about 10 yrs ago….among the 150+ bikes were 3 Laverdas, 2 in decent shape but a 1970-71 with only 7 miles on it that looked like it just rolled out of the factory…

    I could have bought it prior to the auction because for years I had access to all of his bikes, just never paid close enough attention because I’d always thought that he was never going to part with his colloction…

    bidding quickly became ridiculous, and I quickly lost interest…

    shoulda-coulda-woulda-didn’t

  5. Paul in Calgary, Alberta, Canada

    thanks to a few dedicated suppliers around the world, and the internet, including the web site/forum that I originated over a decade ago http://www.laverdaforum.com information and manuals are readily available. Parts availability is excellent, easier to get parts for, all parts, than a mid 70’s Japanese bike. Interesting bike. I own three Laverda triples that I have fully restored.

    I met Jack McCormack in Los Angeles in 2005 at the North American Laverda Owners Club gathering that year, which included track time at Willow Springs. Very interesting guy, his American Eagle venture was a tiny blip in an amazingly varied career.

    contrary to Cory’s initial post here, the electrics were a strong point, using German and Japanese components, and everything on these old Laverda’s was built to a quality rather than a price. In North America the best parts source is Wolfgang Haerter at http://www.laverda.ca/ who can reasonably be expected to have pretty much any conceivable part to fully restore this bike to its former glory.

    Like 1
  6. John

    Two owners-

  7. jim s

    seller has 2472 listings on ebay right now. seen a few but never owned or rode one. i hope this goes to someone who will get it back on the road. i once was at a battle of the twins race and a Laverda had made it all the way to the warm up grid for the first practice before being turned away because it was the 3 cyl model!

  8. Joe Howell

    Sure does look my old 305 Honda Scrambler’s (CL77) engine on steroids.

  9. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Many years ago my buddy Hap Pikarski had a small cycle shop in Janesville Wi. He sold Laverdas, or tried to. He had a beautiful black 750, I believe it was a triple. He let me ride her once. Fast and a great handler, compared to my HD chopper.

    • Tony

      that was my uncle

  10. John S

    Had a country overnight ride on a mate’s 1200 Laverda triple, around 1981. Was easily the fastest accelerating thing that I had sat on at the time. The Laverda left my Ducati 860 GTS for dead. 60 to 100 MPH came up in what felt like no time at all. Overtaking on single lane roads became a YGTBKM game.
    Good times.

  11. Tony

    my uncle, Henry Piekarski “Hap” had a Laverda dealership in Janesville Wisconsin in the 1970’s for a short time.

  12. matt

    I have 69 laverda AE 750.. Possibly for sale. Been in heated/cooled storage for at least 15 years. No rust, very good condition. If interested email and I’ll send some pics…

    • mike

      Can I ask what the frame/engine numbers are ? and does is wear the mcormack imports tag on left lower frame plate? My eagle in 2584. It will hit the roads again in 2019 for the first time in at least 20 years

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