Kruz Co Laverda SF 750 Scout
By James McCombe - 24 Jan 15
Sacrilege is a strong word. Taken literally, "the violation or misuse of what is regarded as sacred", it may well represent what some see before themselves on this very page. But before our beloved readers drop a deuce in the comments section at the sight of this rarefied Italian classic, take note of these two points: "When we met the Laverda, she was in boxes, many old boxes, 50cc handle bar, no seat, no tank, no brakes... actually there was a chassis, an engine and two wheels." and "We decided to keep the possibility to go back to the original look. To cut into a Laverda is like a piracy act. So no cuts on the frame, no welding, only bolted mods." With that in mind, unclench those cheeks and enjoy the rest of the article So it was with trepidation that Brice and Oli of Kruz Co. went about remodeling the Breganze beauty. A wide open brief from the client stating only that it should be 'made for two', meant the duo could focus on their own ideas rather than bending to a long list of wants. And so, with just an engine and basic rolling chassis the plan developed to make this a true blend of the old and new. Not fitting squarely into any particular genre of bike, it is it's own thing. It's no cafe racer, nor Brat or tracker; at Cosmic Nozem it was simply described as 'something different like a fake old one'. Perhaps stealing the word 'RestoMod' from the car world is most appropriate in this case. Being thoroughly sensible chaps, the engine was sent of to living Laverda legends Van Dijk's in Holland; arguably the most knowledgeable workshop for the Orange beasts in all of the EU. There it was treated to the full works, the rubber gloves pulled on and Gijs Van Dijk got elbows deep in big twin's bottom end. The fine finned lump came back to the Kruz better than factory fresh. Crackle black covers are the only external differentiator from a standard engine, the handsome block doesn't require further fettling. Without the original tank to hand and original items both rare and expensive, the big decision was what to replace it with. The intricately swooping 4-spar frame meant any tank would need the tunnel modifying to fit, so it was more a question of appropriate style. Eventually, a period correct Honda CB750 item was decided upon, blocky yet rounded, it transforms the Laverda from '70s race track refugee to country road cruiser. As expected the base need a whole lot of work to squeeze over the frame, but once fitted the spot-on proportions make it look like it grew there. The contrasting steely blue paint of the tank against the cherry red frame was an inspiration taken from Italian rival MV Agusta. A coloured frame is always a risk, but the beauty of the Laverda frame, in unmolested form takes it in it's stride and works with the sheet metal to form a gracious, classic silhouette. Simple side panels, hide the majority of the electrics under the seat, adorned with the original SF750 badges, the bike wears it's heritage with pride. But the new, simplified loom tucked neatly behind those panels speaks loudly at the work Kruz has done to sympathetically update the bike. In order to mount the lighting and rider controls without modifying original parts, a clever bracket stretches between the yokes to hold everything. A bespoke GPS speedo minimises trailing wires, the face plate bearing the Kruz Co. logo. It's a simple touch, but is one of those details that brings a build together. Every time you look down there's a reminder than you're riding a one-off, built just for you. An old Triumph 4-wheeler kindly donated it's headlight grill, along with the raised handlebars the mesh adds purpose to the look of the bike and hint of it wanting to dart down that gravel track you just passed. It was at this point that the idea of not touching the bike with a grinder or welder made things doubly hard. All those useful little tabs and brackets we take for granted to hold electrical components couldn't just be tacked on. Instead, using existing holes and some ingenious bracketry everything found it's home. Thankfully, Laverda's use of German and Japanese electrics over the more fickle Italian and British produce means that the elements are less likely to result in a embarrassing road side stop. The 2-1 exhaust system is cunningly crafted from the original twin pipe setup. Spliced and wrapped, the two former header pipes now collect and sweep down the left side of the bike into a subtle megaphone. It's a far more subdued look for the bike, working well with the street focused aesthetic and letting the big parallel twin cylinders sing in harmony. If the owner does fancy tackling a a gravelly path or grassy paddock, the Heidenau K60 tyres are sure to help the Laverda transfer the motion to ground effectively. Running gear was completely refurbished. Brakes and suspension received new fluids and seals, aluminium was buffed or powdercoated, and wheels were stripped, cleaned and laced. No need to be revolutionary here, the quality of the original components was very good and after a thorough service there was no need to go bolting on a set of USD forks. Kruz aluminium mudguards front and rear emphasise the scrambler-light look of the bike; this is a build that certainly looks better for having usable fenders. If those leather saddles bags are giving you whiffs of a gentleman's country steed, then their equestrian origin will come as no surprise. Found at a flea market, they look like something Laverda may have endowed a bike with for the discerning gent or lady as a factory option had they gone down that route. A frame was devised to locate from existing mounting points, lifting the bags away from the suspension and wheel. Quick and easy to bolt on and off, as one desires. Kruz try as much as possible to make their bikes easy to live with and easy to use. Maintaining the centre stand, side covers and producing a natural sit-up-and-beg riding position, it's a functional beast. The tank and seat come off with just two bolts; this really is a bike that would be no harder to live with than an original. Two hundred miles were put on before it found the outstretched hands of the customer; both Brice and Oli fell in love with the brawny charm of the big twin in that time. We can understand why. The classic lines of the bike have been captured by the lens of Thierry Dricot. We don't know which modeling agency the horse came from, but if anyone is interested we'll put you in touch. Catch up with Kruz Co. on their site or Facebook for plenty more on upcoming builds.