North America's Exclusive Restoration Workshop
SFC 17095 was found in a storage unit where it had been put away for nearly 20 years.
The original owner was a Harley Davidson
dealership in the Southeast. In 1974 it was uncool to be road racing a Japanese
and many Harley guys would race Italian machines from Ducati, Laverda and MV Agusta.
17095 was overrevved on its first outing causing the wrist pin to pull out of the piston, a common failure of SFC’s seeing track duty.
The engine failure sent the machine and rider to the tarmac grinding away the generator cover, part of the oil filler cap,
destroying the fairing and damaging the seat and tank. The odometer shows only 2 miles from new.
It languished in the back of the Harley shop and was purchased by a fellow who repaired the fibreglass
and resprayed the tank and seat. It was then purchased by the fellow who put it away in storage to someday rebuild.
I had the opportunity to rebuild the machine for the present owner. This is the abbreviated story of the resurrection of SFC 17095.
First the machine was reduced to the frame, wiring harness and
frame mounted electrical components.
Next the years of dust and debris from the crash was painstakingly cleaned from the frame with a mild cleaner
and a used green Scotchbright pad to bring back the original patina of the zinc finish.
Next up the headstock bearings were renewed and the yokes
reinstalled. Forks received a complete disassembly,
and a thorough cleaning along with polishing the fork legs, and rebuild with new seals and BelRay HV-10 fluid.
After dismounting the original Pirellis the
wheels were cleaned, polished and received fresh bearings before new Avon
vintage race spec tires were installed (110/80 front and 130/650 rear).
The swing arm was removed, cleaned and reinstalled with fresh grease to lube the pivot.
The swing arm paint needing no more than a gentle polish to bring out the colour.
The brake system was treated to a complete
overhaul with new kits for the master cylinders and calipers
which also received new pistons. New stainless hoses were fabricated to original dimensions.
The original front master cylinder cap, being only lightly scarred, was retained and NOS handlebars
replaced the originals which evidenced minor corrosion.
Instruments were given a good cleaning with the backs being polished to a like- new lustre.
Front fender and side covers, retaining the original paint,
cleaned up with a bit of polish but the seat and tank required refinishing,
to match the original colour, along with a used original fairing. A new seat cover was made using the original as a pattern and installed.
Now the chassis was again a roller. It was time to turn
attention to the engine. The engine was completely disassembled.
Someone had previously removed the pistons. One could see markings made on the crank web and
dents in the windage tray as evidence of the piston coming apart.
Crankshaft was checked for true and identified as a correct part as were the gearbox components.
Crankcase was thoroughly cleaned and all reassembled with new
seals. Piston liners cleaned up with a light honing
and new SFC spec Asso’s were fitted. The cylinder head was cleaned and disassembled with the valve seats
given a fresh cut and the valves checked for true and lightly refaced. Camshaft correct and, along with the rockers, in perfect condition.
Engine received final assembly with the side covers polished
to a bright finish. With valve lash and point gaps set to spec
the engine once again graced the cradle of the frame. Carbs were cleaned and kitted and the original two into one race pipes
cleaned and all reinstalled. A nice used original rocker shift was installed and everything looked good to go.
A quick trip to the local airport to round
up some 110LL aviation fuel and it was time to hear it howl.
And, howl she did! What a glorious noise.
17095 was finished in time for the 30th
anniversary birthday bash up in Connecticut so away we went to join
five other SFC’s and a tidy replica along with a host of other Laverda and the usual assortment of Italian sport machines.
The new owner collected it there and rides it this day on the back roads of New Hampshire.
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