With just 210 examples built over three production batches between 1978 and 1980, the Formula 500 is one of Laverda’s rarest machines. This example was restored by Trevor Dunne of Ducati Santa Barbara and was featured in a 2014 issue of Motorcycle Classics.
For more information on the Formula, check out this article on Motorcycle Classics (again, which features this exact bike!) That story mentions that the Formula 500 was an evolution of the Zeta 500, a bike that did not sell well at all:
“Unfortunately for Laverda, the new 500 was a commercial failure, in large part because of its premium price. When the 500 finally hit the market in 1977, a Yamaha XS500 listed for $1,550, while the Zeta would set you back a whopping $2,995. And even at that price, company head Massimo Laverda was on record as saying the company lost money on every one they built.”
Laverda’s solution was to create to revamp the Zeta into a racer that was called the Formula 500, then create a spec-racing series dedicated to the model called the Laverda Cup. The motor produced approximately 50 horsepower, but the impressive figure was a wet weight of just 339 pounds. All Formulas were sold with street legal components (speedo, lights, mirrors, etc) separately so that bikes could be registered for the street, but few owners bothered with it.
This example is offered only on a bill of sale, and the seller acquired it last year to race in AHRMA though no results are discussed. It was “recently freshened up by the leading Laverda expert here in U.S.” but no details are provided. The sale includes “a custom exhaust that will fit with a Montjuic body kit, plus a new set of tires and other bits.”
Find this Laverda for sale in Williamsburg, Virginia with a BIN of $24,900 or best offer here on eBay.