It’s not entirely original: the original bike had a Jota-style tail unit, and it wasn’t orange

Corroded wires on the new old stock tail light connection: no electricity is getting past that

These little mushrooms are the bulb contacts. You can see how putting in a bulb would stress the soldered part of the wires

I soldered on a standard cable, with no exposed strands

Here’s the other one. They move in and out on their springs without stress

Punching new holes for the wires in the rubber cover is a ticklish task. Fortunately I got them in roughly the right place

Roger’s Laverda 500 Alpino

Roger Winterburn’s third Laverda twin is this fairly standard 1978 Alpino. It’s a light, stylish road bike, beautifully simple in concept and design. But they cost a fortune back then, so there ain’t many around now. You’d be hard pressed to find a better one than this anywhere.

Roger’s made a few alterations to the original spec – orange paint, a sports seat, modern switchgear (which is probably replica Domino), Sachse ignition and a small mirror. He and partner Elaine are still mulling over the wheels. The gold powder coating isn’t quite right, and they have got some white ones to try too. The orange tank and panels are also slightly different from Jota orange, but they follow the colour of the powder-coated swing arm and yokes.

Although Roger had built his Alpino to the usual immaculate standard there was an interesting issue with the NOS (New Old Stock) tail light. It uses stripped wires, soldered to the main bulb contacts. After a few decades on a shelf the soldering flux had eaten the wires, so the light didn’t work. I really didn’t fancy trying to replicate such a Heath Robinson system, so I figured out a solution that was more like a Japanese tail light design.

It’s a lovely bike, not that different in balance to today’s parallel twin middleweights.

New high capacity battery leads, solenoid, flasher unit. The big Deutsch plug mirrors Japanese practice in the 1980s: put all the ignition wires in sealed connectors

Sachse ignition pack above old school ceramic fuses. The big pipe and fitting is an engine breather

New coils fit in the original coil brackets. Very simple and neat

Indicators are designed to earth through the frame, which is asking for trouble. I added an earth wire to make sure they work, and keep working

1970s Italian motorcycle design: pleasing

Pattern Domino switches, classic clocks. All very tidy

A sweet little thing – although Roger’s not convinced the gold wheels are right