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My intention: to (re)build myself a road worthy 750cc whilst reusing as much of the original parts as possible. Mostly to learn as much as possible about motorcycle engineering and mechanics for use on future projects.

Background: I have come across an "opportunity" to adopt a decrepit Laverda 750 SF. I have found places to buy spare parts for the model, and I have found some schematic materials.

To boil it down to what I need your help with: material recommendations for fundamental motorcycle engine design and repair. I am lacking a lot of the required rudiments I will need in order to complete this project. Stuff that explains what purpose all of the engine parts serve would be nice though I can find this myself as I start taking everything a part bolt by bolt. Even better would be material that advises on how to go about restoring motorcycles, what things to look out for, how to comprehensively analyze what you CAN and CAN NOT do for aftermarket upgrades given certain mechanical constants about the project.

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    There is a very good chance that your question will end up being closed for being too broad. One way to go here, is to Google the high level overview of this topic, as well as looking for videos on YouTube. There are also books written on the very topic you are interested in. The kinds of things we can handle here are much more specific questions once you have these high level starter knowledge already under your belt. The answers to what you're looking for here are far too long for this format. But thank you for posting, and I hope you will ask your specific questions as they arise. – cdunn Nov 30 '16 at 12:42
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    The first thing to do would be to get a copy of the workshop manual. Here is a link to an example manual; motalia.net/product_info.php?products_id=233 This will contain all of the repair procedures along with information such as what oils to use and what torque settings. – Steve Matthews Nov 30 '16 at 13:59
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    You should probably check by the chat for open-ended discussions like this. You'll likely have many questions that are more specific as you continue with the project. Good luck! – Bob Cross Nov 30 '16 at 14:06
  • @cdunn indeed i will be posting more specific questions as I make my way through this. I have started the process of gathering and consuming related information on my own of course, but as with any project of any type experts atypically have amassed a wealth of resources and references that can be fairly easily linked. Was hoping to to streamline some of my research so that i didn't have to inevitably consume 70% more than i needed just to find the gems. But loud and clear, and more specific questions will indeed be coming. – Ryan McCoy Dec 1 '16 at 4:53
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    @RyanMcCoy I am predicing that this question will get closed. The writing is on the wall. I would normally have flowed to it but in order to provide a great answer it would have taken me a few days to really nail it down. Suggestion. Start asking small questions about the Laverda. "How can I paint the frame so it looks OEM?" "What is an acceptable coating for the forks when you refurbish them?" Just start picking away at the project through QA. I'll make a commitment to you to impart any knowledge I have for focused questions. I just don't have several hours to answer this. – DucatiKiller Dec 1 '16 at 20:19
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I will start by saying there is no single right answer.

Where to start will depend on what condition the bike is in now (does it start? Is there anything known that obviously wrong with it?) The time facilities and money you can apply, and whether you you want to get it running as soon as possible or whether you want to do a full nut and bolt restoration on it.

Personally i would start by:

  1. Clean it and assess its condition.
  2. Try to get it started.
  3. General maintence change oil, filters & fluids. Plugs, battery etc.
  4. Make it safe. Tyres, brakes, suspension etc.
  5. Make it road worthy. Lights, indicators, horn, exhaust etc.

Youll figure out what is needed pretty quickly.

The hard part with a restoration is not figuring out where to start, but where to stop. Do you repaint it? Re chrome parts? Do you keep it original or modify it?

In my opinion aiming to make it safe, reliable and roadworthy before any thing more ambitious is a good way of helping you focus on what is important and prioritise tasks and spending.

Good luck with your project. :)

  • excellent. I suppose much of this is "common sense", but having a knowledgable peer reaffirm this information is comforting. Thank you for your time! Chose your answer as it was the first of 2 before getting put on-hold (as the comments on my post warned haha). Cheers! – Ryan McCoy Dec 5 '16 at 3:39
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Ambitious first project but rescuing a beast from Breganze is worth the effort.

Number one tip: take too many pictures as you disassemble—priceless because even though I have completely rebuilt my own bike more than once (have a similar vintage Moto Guzzi Le Mans that I've owned for 30 years) I forget how stuff goes together.

Chances are that anything that's rubber is totally shot, that's all seals, hoses, most gaskets, …

So first thing is will the motor turn over at all. If it does, awesome.

Not intimately familiar with this bike but there will be a way to turn the crank with a wrench. Take out the spark plugs and see if it's frozen or not. If you can't get it to move, squirt a bunch of penetrating oil into the spark plug holes and ponder your life decisions for a while.

Read up on the workshop manual and there's probably a Haynes manual as well.

Chances are the carbs are totally gummed up. If it sat outside also full of water and zombie spore. They'll probably need to be ultrasonically cleaned.

Before you buy a bunch of new parts and stuff need to get these fundamentals figured out.

There are resources on these bikes and people who can help.

Fun fact, one of Evel Knevil's jump bikes was the Montgomery Wards version of the Laverda 750 called an American Eagle.

  • much appreciate the time you took to send me whatever knowledge you have. i believe it has been roofed since it broke down, but now I will be on the lookout for water and spore growth as i did not consider that at all until now. and the picture bit, i can see how that is priceless and will DEFINITELY follow your advice. again, much thanks! – Ryan McCoy Dec 5 '16 at 3:37

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