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The 1988 Laverda SFC 1000 features the trademark Laverda triple-cylinder engine. See more motorcycle pictures.

The 1988 Laverda SFC 1000 motorcycle was another major step in the evolution of a company that began a century earlier by building farm implements.

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Laverda's first motorcycle was a small, single-cylinder bike produced in the postwar era to test the waters of the market. It proved a raging success, and thus began the company's foray into motorcycle manufacturing.

At first, single-cylinder bikes were all Laverda produced. Then, in the late 1960s, the company ventured a vertical twin, considered quite a risk at the time. It wasn't until 1972 that triples were offered, and it is these three-cylinder engines for which Laverda is best known in the United States.

At first, the three-cylinder engines were fitted with single-plane (360-degree) crankshafts that produced uneven firing intervals and an ungainly exhaust note.

Later, the crank- shaft received staggered 120-degree throws, resulting in a smoother cadence and more power as well.

The 1988 Laverda SFC 1000 sport-touring model featured in this article has a 981-cc triple, and engine that amassed an enviable record in racing over the years.

Marzocchi suspension at both ends combined a comfortable ride with capable handling, while a trio of disc brakes along with an antidive compensator fitted to the front forks ensured safe, controlled stops.

Because it was not intended for export, the 1988 Laverda SFC 1000 motorcycle is a rare sight on U.S. roads. Yet, in many respects, it was better suited to American tastes than many of the exotic machines that found their way to these shores during the 1980s.

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