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The Future's Bright - The Future's Orange

Growing up in rural Wiltshire not only makes Jack a dull boy, it also leads to a ready obsession for anything other than farming. Ironic, then, that my obsession with Italian motorcycles was sparked by farm machinery-turned-motorcycle-manufacturer Laverda, when a bright orange SFC appeared a few yards from our front garden. It turned out to be the replacement for a near-neighbour's Kawasaki Z1: the story was in Benzina 1. I was hooked. Where the village's handful of car owners had been impressed by the Z1's automotive one-upmanship — "four carburettors!" they gasped - I was smitten by the sheer presence of the SFC. The praying mantis stance, the clear racing intentions and —let's be honest — the sheer balls required to ride a bright orange motorcycle that sounded like hell's gates grinding shut. My odd-jobs money started going on motorcycle magazines and polish for the bright yellow Puch moped I was still too young to ride. Legally, at least Those motorcycle magazines included stories by an advertising rep with the improbable name of Zed Zawada. To keep advertisers from suspecting bias, Zed wrote under the pseudonym R P McMurphy. Riding his Ducati 900SS Zed reported back from continental endurance races, weaving together tales of smoke from barbeques, the setting sun, the hangovers - but most importantly the heroism of the teams, and the horrific demands made of the motorcycles and riders. Back then the rules were pretty simple: you were allowed two riders, one motorcycle and had to race against a grid full of similarly committed lunatics for as many as 24 hours. No wonder Zed used that RP McMurphy identity: the name came from an asylum inmate in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, portrayed by Jack Nicholson Laverda went endurance racing with the 750SFC, painted orange to make it easier to spot at night. Piero Laverda had intended to paint the bikes yellow but, discovering a Honda team had beaten him to it, asked a local university the second easiest colour to spot at night. You can guess the rest. If you can’t the full story and more of Phil Aynsley’s photos are in Benzina 11 available via my shop . There was also a Laverda 750 buying guide in issue 9

#laverda #Italianmotorcycle #Italianmotorcycles #classicbike #classicbikes #classicmotorcycle #caferacerculture #motorcyclehistory #750 #750cc #bigtwin #motorcyclephotography

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