01 headlight before

This is what’s inside a standard Jota headlight. The Scotchblocks are original equipment!

switchgear damage

40 years of wear and tear. This is the starter button wiring. It always seems to get more knackered than the wires on the left hand switchgear

earth cable

New high-capacity battery cables with the most direct connections

Andy’s Laverda Jota

Andy’s bike was a runner but used the original Bosch ignition which has a violent advance curve. He wanted a new, smooth ignition fitting, and a check on the condition of the rest of the electrics. A few lights weren’t working and there were some exposed wires here and there.

After much discussion we agreed a total rewire would be best for long term reliability.┬áAs for the ignition, the best value upgrade is Ignitech’s programmable kit, paired with suitable 3 Ohm coils. We ordered two Dyna coils ÔÇô one single plug for the centre cylinder, and one twin plug for the outer two.┬áThe Ignitech comes with a stock curve installed, so you don’t have to do the programming bit if you don’t want to (Andy certainly didn’t). Fitting the coils means making up suitable┬ámountings and although the Ignitech system can use the original Bosch pickups we fished the flywheel off to┬ácheck on the charging cables (they were full of oil and the heat resistant sleeve was knackered).

The bike needed a┬álot of prep work,┬ásorting old repairs, relocating new parts and putting damage right.┬áThe loom itself came together nicely; Laverdas are logical, solidly-built bikes and pleasing to work on. I added two fuses plus a main one because that’s all there was room for. I also wired the starter to earth through the neutral switch, as Japanese bikes were already doing in 1977.┬áSome owners complain about weak charging from the single phase alternator, and you can buy uprated coils. But┬áAndy doesn’t do much town riding and he’d never had an issue, so we left the alternator standard. The charge warning light blinks out while the engine is still turning over on the starter, so it seemed reasonably healthy.

The engine fired up instantly and pulled smoothly from tickover. Snatchy Bosch ignition curve banished!



Work in progress

04 new coils

New Dyna coils sit on a custom plate with custom spacers


Red charge warning light fires up for the first time in many years


Finished and sounding great: the definition of brawny