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Stuck on the Lav


CSB acquired a stunning Slater Laverda Jota 180 Mk 1 that had originally been restored in Cornwall by an enthusiast who is no stranger to Laverdas. Although spotless, the old girl didn’t want to run properly and could only be ridden in first gear.

On investigation in our workshops we found the accelerator pumps in the carburettors gummed up. Wiring connectors at the headstock had been transposed because, although carefully marked before disassembly, whoever marked them didn’t realise where the two parts separated and had put both marks on the same side of each joint!  We also found the loom badly routed and pinched. This resulted in some very strange electrical anomalies.

The next problem encountered was that when run up, we found that the engine really was noisy and unhappy, with symptoms sometimes suggesting carburation and sometimes ignition. A strobe showed the ignition of one cylinder was going from fully retarded to fully advanced, whilst the other two cylinders were starting at fully advanced and going to fully retarded! A good blip of the throttle resulted in the Italian equivalent of a forty-one-gun salute. After much head scratching, a careful investigation eventually revealed cracked magnets in the ignition rotor, giving spurious north and south poles. An expensive German made generator/ignition unit finally brought the beast under control although, as always, it was not a simple fit. The gearbox was then investigated and the reason for it only changing up was found to be an incorrectly fitted spring.

We are delighted to say that this exquisite bike now goes as well as it looks.