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.