Used Bike

Classic Scrap, Class of 1981 - Laverda Jota v Honda CB1100

In one of the most fascinating periods in the modern superbike era, two exclusive and exotic race-bred motorcycles pass fleetingly on the showroom floor before going their separate ways.

Click to read: Laverda Jota owners reviews

Click to read: Honda CB1100 owners reviews

Ever since a British Laverda importer had unwittingly created ‘the beast of Breganze’ by building a UK only limited edition ‘R’ version of the already much-loved 3C, the motorcycling world had come to hold the brand in such high esteem that it seemed impossible during the mid to late ‘70s that even the hard working, technology obsessed japanese could muster anything to threaten the ‘Fastest Bike in the World’.

Depending on your viewpoint, the Jota (named after a Spanish folk dance) was a toned down version of the 3C endurance racer or a tuned version of the 3C road bike. Either way, the modifications – including hot cams and high-compression pistons as used in the race bike – created the monster that was speed tested at 140mph, and subsequently, one of the most iconic legends in the history of Italian classics.

Laverda enjoyed success and adulation in equal measures but were guilty of resting on their laurels while Honda were developing new machinery at a feverish pace. Their obsession with success in racing led to the need for a high-spec homologation special in order to compete in the street-legal endurance race series that were springing up at the time.

Although there were events in the UK and South africa, the boys at Honda deemed the prestigious Australian Castrol Six Hour important enough, or a good enough excuse, to develop a no-nonsense, no expense spared limited edition jaw-dropper. Not unlike Roger Slater and his 3C Jota experiment, Honda went into production with a heavily modified CB900F to create a machine that stopped the world in its tracks. Of the three versions that were made, this semi-faired 1981 RB was the first followed by the fully faired red/white/black RC in 1982 and the final Red/White/Blue RC in 1983. Production was strictly limited to a total of 1050, 1500 and 1500 respectively for all markets.

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