Back in the late 1960s Moto Laverda had got into bed with a Californian ex-Marine Jack McCormack who had co-founded an innovative marketing company, which chose the brand name American Eagle, to distribute motorcycles, water and snow craft. Laverda led with its newly launched Hondaesque overhead-cam 750 parallel twin sport bike.
This 750 GT is an early example of the period-fast sportster forever known for its excellent handling and braking. These big Laverdas have proven unbreakable for they offer easy, uncomplicated maintenance. Heaviness maneuvering in the garage is matched by lightness on the road. All Laverdas of this period had matching frame and engine numbers; “1648” puts it somewhere towards the end of 1968’s production which ended in July each year. It has the McCormack North American model plate riveted to the frame. That alone doesn’t clarify whether it was ever an “American Eagle” – activated by a simple change of tank badges – or has forever been a “Laverda.” McCormack imported both ways.
“1648” has lovely patina with great presence. It starts, idles and runs very well. Any future guardian will find themselves riding more and polishing less!
It is neither strictly complete nor strictly original – stress on the strictly. Missing is its chainguard and front right-side brake cover. Aftermarket are its mufflers, rear shocks, front brake stay, seat cover and headlamp glass. And plus it has an oversize rear tire and the front fender has been shortened and handlebar cross-brace removed. But there is a mystery… Whatever happened to its two original Smiths gauges? One, the speedometer, found its way into the original headlamp shell (supplied by Bosch) a la BMW replacing a molded “Laverda” plastic cap. It would be neat to think that this 750 GT might have been a prototype, in reality however, its serial number is most likely too late for that short of any other evidence.
Make no mistake, however, this is a rare, early example of perhaps Laverda’s finest achievement, their 750 twin.