Laverda Jota

In 1976 Laverda produced a high-performance version of the triple-cylinder 1000cc platform it had introduced a few years prior. To combat increasingly stiff competition from a gang of new Japanese multi-cylinder superbikes, the spiced-up Jota (named after a fast Spanish gypsy dance in triple time) got wider racing cams, bigger carbs, a close ratio gearbox and a modified race exhaust.


The bike was proclaimed the fastest production bike of the year in 1976. To their enduring credit, Cycle News actually confirmed that accolade in a road test, pinning the bike at a flat-out 140mph.

The reviewer called it a “tough, brutal and uncompromising machine.”

“The clutch lever is numbingly stiff while the five-speed gearbox needs a positive change if any progress is to be made. The brakes—twin 11-inch Brembo discs at the front, a single disc at the rear—are fierce and positive. The net result is that the Jota is a taut and frill-free machine, definitely not the kind of bike for a gentle Sunday afternoon ride. The engine begs to be revved and the handling makes it difficult to resist throwing the Jota round every bend.”

Laverda Jota


Start Here: Intro 70s Italian Superbikes

The Ducati Story
Ducati 350 Mark 3-D (1968-1972)
Ducati 350 Desmo (1971-1972)
Ducati 750S (1972-1974)
Ducati 750SS (1973-1974)
Ducati 900SS (1975-1982)
Ducati Darmah (1977-1982)
Ducati MHR (1979-1984) 

The Laverda Story
Laverda 750S (1969-1970)
Laverda SF (1970-1976)
Laverda SFC (1971-1976)
Laverda Jota (1976-1983)
Laverda Montjuic (1979-1981)

The Moto Guzzi Story
Moto Guzzi V7 Telaio Rosso (1971)
Moto Guzzi V7 Sport (1971-1974)
Moto Guzzi 750S (1974-1975)
Moto Guzzi Lemans 850 (1976-1978)

The MV Agusta Story
MV Agusta 750S (1971-1974)
MV Agusta 750 America (1975-1977)
MV Agusta Magni 861

BonusThe Benelli 750 Sei

Illustrations: Martin Squires
Studio photography: David Genat
Bike owner: John Bloy