Laverda RGS1000 Corsa


Make Model

Laverda RGS1000 Corsa




Four stroke, transverse three cylinder, DOHC, 2 valve per cylinder.


981 cc / 59.8 cu-in
Bore x Stroke 75 x 74 mm
Cooling System Air cooled
Compression Ratio 10.0:1


3x 32mm Dell'Orto carbs


Borsch electronic 
 Starting Electric

Max Power

97 hp / 70.7 kW @ 7800 rpm

Max Torque

90 Nm / 66.3 lb-ft @ 7000 rpm


5 Speed 
Final Drive Chain

Front Suspension

Marzocchi air assisted forks

Rear Suspension

Dual Marzocchi air assisted forks, 5-way spring preload

Front Brakes

2x 280mm discs 2 piston calipers

Rear Brakes

Single 280mm disc 1 piston caliper

Front Tyre


Rear Tyre


Wet weight

253 kg / 558 lbs

Fuel Capacity 

22 Litres / 5.8 US gal

Consumption  average

32 mpg

Braking 60 - 0 / 100 - 0

-  / 130ft

Standing ¼ Mile  

11.8 sec /  112.7 mph

Top Speed

136 mph

Road Test

Group Test 1985 Motosprint

The Laverda lineage is that of a noble late arrival. The brothers Laverda built their first motorcycle, a 7S0 twin, in the 1960s. With success on the racetracks, it won them a reputation for high performance and good engineering. Then came the 1000cc triple, typified by the raucous and very rapid Jota. With its 180-degree crankshaft - two pistons up, one down -the first generation triple was also somewhat raw-boned. Some vibration, as well as an enigmatic exhaust note, was the inevitable result.

Laverda eschewed such compromise engineering as balance shafts, and made sure everything was well made and well screwed together. When they tackled the vibration in order to tame the wild thing they had created, they did so with a major re-engineering job.


On the current 'second-generation' triples, not only is the engine mounted in rubber, the crankshaft is now 120 degrees (with all pistons evenly spaced). It has smoothed out more than the exhaust note.

The RGS is the result, and the Corsa is its sporting incarnation; a bike that clothes the punch of three big pistons in the sleekest of sheaths.


The bike is, as far as possible, a two-wheeled equivalent of a designer Italian sports car, with a twin-camshaft rev-hungry engine and RG-Studios original and aerodynamic bodywork in the classically elegant mode ... a veritable Ferrari on two wheels. Tell that to a man who is experiencing the high-speed performance of the one-litre Laverda, and he will scoff at the insulated remoteness of a car-borne equivalent. One hundred and forty mph really feels like it when the wind is plucking at your back, and you can hear the distinctive wail of the robust three-cylinder exhaust note being swallowed up in your wake.

The process of civilization has given the RGS a quieter engine and a more subdued exhaust, to go with the new tailored image, not to mention new noise regulations of the 1980s. Not that that RGS is subdued. With 95 horsepower and a wind-cheating shape, it can run with the best of them, and top 140mph. The Jota's bad manners and vibration (as well as some of its urgency) have gone, replaced by a maturity that has broadened the power band to compensate. The later, smoother Laverda engine pulls strongly from low to high revs, and is well-mannered all the way.

Price as well as breeding separates the Laverda from the Japanese opposition. It is significantly more expensive, and in some ways rather old-fashioned. It has, for example, traditional twin rear shock absorbers, where its Oriental rivals have multi-adjustable rising-rate linkages operating single units.


The performance figures did not keep pace with the power war. The Italian factory at Breganze is too small to play that game. However, their market is among connoisseurs, who know that a bike with a good standing-quarter-mile time and a fearsome top speed is not necessarily better at traversing long distances at sustained high average speeds than a well-bred, well-balanced and amply powerful Italian thoroughbred.