Author Topic: Laverda Jota Ownership, second time around. (ramblings)  (Read 219377 times)

Offline cbertozz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2167
Laverda Jota Ownership, second time around. (ramblings)
« on: December 04, 2016, 22:28 »
As I am just getting up to speed with owning my 180 Jota the second time around (the first being 25 years ago) I thought I'd create a thread to contain my ramblings as well as the usual posts elsewhere on topic, as in the past I've found this a great way to keep track of everything that I've experienced with the bike, and it means you can easily ignore. Apologies for the repetition here but wanted to make the thread complete. There seem to be few new owners who have no experience of these bikes coming into ownership but for those that there are might find it useful/interesting.

My love affair with Laverda started as a child in Northamptonshire, a small village called Stoke Bruerne, where a pair of Laverdas, one orange, one green, would park up each year by the bridge. That image was clearly seared on my consciousness and surfaced when I pulled back the dust covers on this bike after finding it in a sorry state in an 'under-the-arches' garage in South London in 1991 after being towed there after my Guzzi Le Mans broke down. I managed to secure a part exchange after much haggling and after confirming it was indeed a 180 Jota engine (had them open the thing up and show me the 4C on the cams - can't believe I did that!). I commuted around the UK for a couple of years, riding London to Brighton and Northants to London in all weathers until the bike expired in late 1993 and I was without the cash to revive it (just married, first house etc), so it went into storage until 2001 when we emigrated to the UK. At that point I took it to Slaters who got it back in working order. I rode it for a while here in Australia before selling it to a member of this forum where it stayed for 15 years, the last 10 off the road (the lucky man had two Jotas) being gradually restored with the engine rebuild done by Redax.

I should note that I have no mechanical experience or skills beyond the basics I have picked up over the last couple of years racing in the Moderns class. I have learnt to do more in the last month or so of Laverda ownership than I have in my previous almost years of riding, and I have been graciously assisted by the members of this forum who are generous with their time and experience obviously gathered over many, many years.

The only picture I have off this bike from the first time around. My son is now almost 21.


As it is now


« Last Edit: December 04, 2016, 22:31 by cbertozz »
1978 Laverda Jota #6041
First owned in 1991, reacquired 2016.

Offline cbertozz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2167
Re: Laverda Jota Ownership, second time around. (ramblings)
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2016, 23:06 »
So the things I have learnt to date, or have had to grapple with.

Rear Suspension - the bike has Gazi rear suspension which has a lot of damping adjustment but the length of the shock means the centre stand isn't 100% stable. I've got them as short as they can go but will need to shorten slightly again for the stand to be 100%. Other than the fact that I have minimum preload on to keep them as short as possible they work well, and have highlighted the need to get the front sorted.



http://www.gazisuspension.com/sources/images/products/main/HyperX_01.jpg

Front suspension - the bike has Sportsvalve gear fitted which gives rebound and compression damping but there's something not right with the forks. They are way to stiff and don't really move when riding, making the front a little skittish. It is no doubt a function of age so will get them stripped down and looked at, something for someone more skilled than me. I suspect the front needs putting back together carefully, and that even the mudguard is part of the equation as its pretty solid!
Once sorted then the adjustability will be great to fine tune, shame the caps don't fit under the Jota Bars (worth noting as I paid extra for these).
http://sportsvalve.com/sports-valve-fully-adjustable-damping-control/


The clutch has a an EasyClutch mod by Greg Parish at DAM Laverda, and was the first mod I did to the bike. It seemed like a good value and quick mod that would allow me to ride with comfort and I don't mind the look at all. I can't be doing with all the macho shit about the original lever - I did that years ago and it was a PITA then and I'm glad such a low impact, low cost conversion is available. If I feel flush I may get a hydraulic version down the line.
http://www.thedam.com.au/The_DAM/DAM_Laverda_Easy_clutch.html

The Gear selector return spring on the Shift foot broke shortly after taking ownership but I was able to source one from DAM and it was fixed in a few days. The fact I've been able to learn something about the bike in the process is great, never having opened any sort of case on a bike before, albeit this is really just an outside case and no too messy. Learnt that I can lean the bike on its side and work on the selector without having to drain the oil which was a tip I saw somewhere on this forum. The eccentric in the gearbox selector was another interesting voyage of discovery, and setting that has helped improve the gearbox considerably. Have been fine tuning to try and get it perfect but having some issues trying to lean bike and get back wheel off the ground! Managed it once but have struggled since. Anyway hopefully no more needed in that direction. Making sure the mark on the inner gear and the gear selector spindle was another learning. Hoping this is pretty much sorted now.

The Jota bars, I like the look of them but seriously considering clip-ons. I have adjusted them down to how they were originally, much more aggressive stance, but with the stiff front end it didn't feel good so put them back to straight up. Once the suspension is setup properly at the front I will have another look. I put on some new grips but they are too short to cover the throttle tube so back to the drawing board to find a set that work, otherwise will just have to refit the old ones which I believe were Suzuki. Someone I am sure will have a suggestion and I'll post about this later.

Instruments - I have a kit from CB750faces which looks great, just have to find the time to remove the clocks and get all the bits and pieces put back together. Minor annoyance is the bouncing speedo needle but I'll get that looked at when I get the clocks done.

The side panels I could have got from a variety of sources but not having done my homework I ordered from Europe when there were some here in Oz with Redax, and probably others. Anyway... Incidentally I sourced the badges for the side panels and tank from Badge Replicas, and the quality is great http://badgereplicas.com.au/

Some other things I have had to re-discover like adjusting the rear wheel - although I could not for the life of me see how I could loosen the rear caliper properly, I could get at one nut but not the other. I used an old-school method with the string around the back tyre and it worked well, the rear was out of alignment and using this method and a digital measuring caliper I was able to get it straightened out and the bike feels better already.

Anyway that's about it for now.





1978 Laverda Jota #6041
First owned in 1991, reacquired 2016.

Offline Vince

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8061
Re: Laverda Jota Ownership, second time around. (ramblings)
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2016, 00:17 »
2 things, Jota Bars are a great idea that has some issues in the real world. The adjustment is pretty course and mine would always be just 1 click out. Do yourself a huge favor and get the Bushman Lawton Kawasaki side stand kit,cheap as chips including the Donation to Charity Joe make. It's so much easier than the centre stand,and more stable. I keep the centre stand on the bike for maintenance but use the sidestand 99% of the time.

Offline Laverda SF

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2698
Re: Laverda Jota Ownership, second time around. (ramblings)
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2016, 00:43 »
Don't expect me feeling sorry for a Sick Puppy. Either you ride a Breganzie or you don't ;o)

Perhaps I should not have said that!
« Last Edit: December 05, 2016, 00:48 by Laverda SF »

Offline martymoose

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1876
Re: Laverda Jota Ownership, second time around. (ramblings)
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2016, 01:07 »
Gidday,

Sorry if i missed it but what part of Oz are you from?

Lots of things you can modify and play with but a skittish front end sounds like an accident about to happen!  Get the front suspension sorted asap! 

I spent a lot of time effort and money on the front fork of my 3C, still not as good as the standard marzos on my 120 Jota.  If in doubt return to original and start again.

Cheers

Marty
Cheers from sunny Sydney

Offline Laverda SF

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2698
Re: Laverda Jota Ownership, second time around. (ramblings)
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2016, 01:45 »
Sorry Marty but I'm not from OZ.

Offline cbertozz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2167
Re: Laverda Jota Ownership, second time around. (ramblings)
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2016, 02:02 »
There can't be two MartyMooses can there? Are you based in Perth Marty?

I've got Paul at RetroMoto in Fremantle taking a look at the forks today - as I agree, it's a big problem.
1978 Laverda Jota #6041
First owned in 1991, reacquired 2016.

Offline cbertozz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2167
Re: Laverda Jota Ownership, second time around. (ramblings)
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2016, 02:08 »
Don't expect me feeling sorry for a Sick Puppy. Either you ride a Breganzie or you don't ;o)

Perhaps I should not have said that!

The fact that I've chosen to own this bike for a second time should tell you all you need to know.
1978 Laverda Jota #6041
First owned in 1991, reacquired 2016.

Offline Vince

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 8061
Re: Laverda Jota Ownership, second time around. (ramblings)
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2016, 02:18 »
Martys in Sydney, if you saw him you would know why the nickname.

Offline Dellortoman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12295
  • My wolf mate 6/5/1996 - 3/1/2011
Re: Laverda Jota Ownership, second time around. (ramblings)
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2016, 02:36 »
if you saw him you would know why the nickname.

Yes, he should have something done about those antlers.
Location: Tasmania, Approx 4253S 14723E

Offline martymoose

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1876
Re: Laverda Jota Ownership, second time around. (ramblings)
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2016, 03:49 »
Not you Ron, i already know where you are!
Cheers from sunny Sydney

Offline cbertozz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2167
Re: Laverda Jota Ownership, second time around. (ramblings)
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2016, 10:29 »
Off to the local Laverda specialist... couldn't get more retro than that shed.

1978 Laverda Jota #6041
First owned in 1991, reacquired 2016.

Offline cbertozz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2167
Re: Laverda Jota Ownership, second time around. (ramblings)
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2016, 15:48 »
So apparently my stiff fork issues were caused by three issues:

- too much fork oil (100ml too much)
- spacers below the sportsvalve that was preloading an already heavy spring
- Fork legs that were being splayed by the spacers and aftermarket discs that were making contact with forks - not sure what happpned here but we've sorted it now.

So the forks should work beautifully, although I won't find out till Friday.

I've asked the guys to grind off that collar on the throttle tube so we can get the Madura grips to fit.
1978 Laverda Jota #6041
First owned in 1991, reacquired 2016.

Offline Dellortoman

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 12295
  • My wolf mate 6/5/1996 - 3/1/2011
Re: Laverda Jota Ownership, second time around. (ramblings)
« Reply #13 on: December 07, 2016, 00:30 »
Blimey. Whoever set up your forks before needs a good bum-kicking.
If it was you, you'll have to ask a mate to do it  :D
Location: Tasmania, Approx 4253S 14723E

Offline cbertozz

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2167
Re: Laverda Jota Ownership, second time around. (ramblings)
« Reply #14 on: December 07, 2016, 08:40 »
Blimey. Whoever set up your forks before needs a good bum-kicking.
If it was you, you'll have to ask a mate to do it  :D

I'm not brave enough to take the front end apart. It's all good, this is the sort of stuff that you work through when you get a new bike, it's always a work in progress and the bike has actually been nicely put back together for the most part and now its basically finished.
1978 Laverda Jota #6041
First owned in 1991, reacquired 2016.