Laverda Parts Onlinehttps://damclassicracing.com.au/


The history and events of the Laverda Club in Victoria is long and varied, this webpage represents a condensed modern history from the perspective and involvement of DAM Classic Racing Pty Ltd in the development and support of the club(s) and friendship groups.
DAM Classic Racing (DAMCR) has supported the Laverda Club Victoria,  Club Laverda Victoria and Laverda Owners Victoria group with substantial sponsorship of events, contribution for fund raising and raffles for many years and has hosted this webpage on DAM Classic Racing and a similar page on the DAM Group website since 2007. As a Laverda Parts Dealer it continues to provide a central point of contact for Laverda spare parts worldwide and mechanical services to its members and owners of all types of classic motorcycles.

Many people have been instrumental in the formation and continuation of the Laverda Club in Victoria. This page cannot detail all their vital contributions or give the credit that is due for the hard work of all those who have played a pivotal role in the history of this fine club over so many years. Some have passed away leaving us with fond memories and tall tales, some have enjoyed their time as a Laverda owner and moved to other interests, a core group has stayed with the club since it's earliest beginnings. Anyone with knowledge of the early years and who would like to contribute details to make this page more informative please email us.

The Director of DAMCR Greg Parish ACS has been a member of Club Laverda Victoria since 1984, and an office bearer in various capacities at times when the Club was staging rides, track days and race meetings for its members and other clubs for several years. These were the heydays of club racing in Victoria when genuine Laverda SFC750s along with several 1000/1200s were regularly seen on the tracks around Victoria and South Australia. John NicklesHillary Heenan and Phil Peacock regulary organised members ride days at Winton Raceway. For several years from 1980 Phil Peacock raced his Laverda Jota 1000 with success in Superbike races at some of the world renowned racetracks like Calder Park Raceway, Sandown Park and Winton. Laverda was a current model bike and competitive. Phil Peacock remembers, "These were the days when we got paid prize money for racing. When I look back, if I finished in the top 5 places the prize money actually covered the cost of entry and tyres" Phil recalls. "Sometimes I found myself lining up with names like Robbie PhylisKevin Magee and Andrew 'AJAY' Johnson on the Syndicate Kawasaki Superbike.". When the Syndicate was retired Greg Parish obtained one of the sets of special grind cams for his Kawasaki Z1R based 1100cc superbike. The Australian Superbike Series beginning in the 1970's became a crucible for some of the best riders in world championship motorcycle history. The story of how it created the world’s longest-running and most successful race category is told in the book Race Across The Great Divide.

Vena Lavery, an accomplished mechanical engineer and rider, campaigned a highly modified Laverda 500 Montjuic that often won races against larger capacity Japanese bikes for two years 1984-85. His very loud Monty was easily recognised by its bright orange paint and external oil hoses from the crankcases to supply the overhead cams. The bike subsequently changed owners several times and while in need of some loving care was on display for many years in the National Motor Museum in South Australia.


After switching from Kawasaki to race Laverda Greg Parish wrote to the racing committee to suggest running a BEARS series, hoping that they would specifically exclude the Ducati 851. The BEARS (Formula European Championship) Series went ahead, but the committee declined his suggestion and the Ducati 851 was not excluded from the competition. The ensuing battle between the Laverda and Ducati for the title was colourful, filled with great battles for 2nd and 3rd places as the Ducati 851 easily left the field far behind but failed to finish on several occasions lifting the every contender each one place.


Greg Parish won the BEARS (Formula European Championship) Series in 1990 and finished 5th in the International WSBK Classics at Phillip Island on a modified Laverda 1200(*2350) that same year, both having substantial prize money. The final round of BEARS was staged at the iconic MacNamara Park Raceway in South Australia. This raceway has a rich history of fostering top class riders, many going on to the world stage to represent Australia in World Superbikes and MotoGP. The outside dining area of the clubrooms is paved with tiles commemorating past winners, sponsors and club members. Not withstanding the common spelling error in Greg's surname, it is great to see Laverda represented in the flagstones of that courtyard.


 

The Public Officer and Committee member of Laverda Club Victoria at the time Phil Murrell took to the tracks in the early '90s on his Laverda Harris Magnum II 1200. After several years of successful competition in Superbikes, Thunderbikes and BEARS, and with legendary Laverda tuner Ennio Bardalla working his magic on the engine he took on the best race teams in his class over of the 3 round/year series to win the prestigious Master Of Mac Park (Period 5) in 1995.


These were the days before computers and mobile phones started to play such a big part in our lives and the hardworking Laverda Club committee headed by Judy Woodruff and Antony Carberry produced regular hardcopy multi-page A5 sized Club Newsletters that were typed, printed, photocopied, placed in envelopes, stamps added and sent out to members in the mail. Email wasn't on the scene for most members until the mid '90s and immediate communications were done by landline telephones or word-of-mouth. Ride days and social events were organised with this method and held at various members homes and much enjoyment and friendship was enjoyed by the group, some with very young families at the time.

Extracts obtained from Victoria Consumer Affairs show that on their database in 1991 the club was still registered as Laverda Club Victoria. In 2002 new members took control of the club who didn't want to be held accountable for matters that may have arisen from the club membership activities, or fulfil the  responsibilities of incorporation of regularly publishing the minutes of meetings or the financial position of the club. Sergio Canale deemed that the paperwork involved with being incorporated as a club offered little benefit to the members ([sic] Dave Doyle Sept 2020) and the Laverda Club Victoria was officially deregistered on May 16th 2002.

A social group calling themselves Laverda Owners Victoria was named to distinguish itself from the former incorporated club but retained the bank account of Club Laverda Victoria and its membership list. Because the incoming leadership bypassed the provisions for corporate governance, financial accountability and other matters relating to the rules and membership of associations the group was no longer able to stage race meetings or track days and could not facilitate their own Red Plate Classic Registration scheme. The accepted club protocol of all positions becoming vacant for re-election each year was also abandoned. It was the end of a grand era.

Although DAM Group staff were not directly involved in decisions made by the new social group, as members and Laverda enthusiasts they recognised that 'Laverda Club Victoria' was a still a common search phrase on the internet so a webpage was launched on the the DAM Group website in 2007. Laverda riders searching for the social group now had a worldwide internet point of contact, a regular entertaining email newsletter was produced, the Laverda brand gained attention at Festivals, Race Meetings and Rallies and the membership numbers grew.

That same year club member Greg Parish working as a cinematographer was contracted by FIM (Federation of International Motorcycling) as Director of Lighting Data Acquisition to work with five times 500ccGP World Champion Mick Doohan and lighting manufacturing groups to formulate night-time tests to ascertain the feasibility of running MotoGP under lights. Extensive testing was conducted at Australia's Calder Park Raceway from sundown to 2am using road and racebikes with lights fitted as per 24 hour endurance racing and without lights in the usual daytime MotoGP guise. The tests used various innovative lighting systems optimised for safety in the event of potential impact, the rider's visual acuity at the extreme high speeds of racing and to satisfy the technical requirements of television transmission. The results were promptly and stringently analysed, and remarkably the first MotoGP under lights was staged the following year at the Qatar Losail circuit. The winner of the first night race in MotoGP history, the Commercialbank Grand Prix of Qatar in March 2008, was Australian Casey Stoner. In October Greg and Jimmy Parish were filming an international documentary about Casey for German Television DAZN and interviewed Stoner in the run-up to his the Pole to Finish win on home soil in the 2008 Australian MotoGP.

When the DAM Group launched it's first  online parts sales webpages in 2012 it included a PayPal Direct Debit facility for members to have their subscriptions automatically renewed. This facility was eventually discontinued in 2017 in preference for fee-free bank transfers.  Retired racers were encouraged to dust off their leathers and take to the tracks, and spectators were treated to the incredible sound of thundering Laverda(s) at full throttle again as members from Victoria, Queensland, NSW, Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia took to the circuits again. The resurgence of interest in racing Laverda was exciting! The DAMCR Laverda re-appeared on the tracks at the 2011 Australian MotoGP Historics after being inspired by the awesome appearance of the Legendary Spaceframe Laverda 1000 of Crispin Trueman with rider Blair Briggs aboard at Phillip Island the year before. Laverda Owners Victoria members were out in full force to support Greg Parish finishing 9th outright in the 2013 Phillip Island International Classic,  2nd in the 2013 Australian Historic Road Race Titles, and continued to entertain a strong club following in subsequent years finishing 3rd in the 2014 Australian Historic Road Race Titles while setting the fastest lap time of the series in the same year, 11th in the very competitive 2014 Phillip Island International Classic and unfortunately supporters watched in dismay as he crashed out of the final race with serious injury while in 3rd position of the 2014 Southern Classic Road Race Titles. Such was the support of Laverda Owners Victoria social group in those days that on more than one occasion they 'passed the hat around' to raise funds to help with the costs of keeping Laverdas on the track. These were great years for Laverda enthusiasts to see Laverdas racing against the top international competitors in classic racing from the UK, New Zealand and the USA.

DAM Classic Racing produced promotional flags to add a festive feeling to club events and presented one to the club with the Laverda Owners Victoria logo at the top. 

 

Any race meeting where a Laverda was to be seen on the track always provided the opportunity for this social group to ride together to share the passion, sometimes renting houses near the track locations, sometimes arranging camping sites. And always, the sight of a band of Laverdas parked together never failed to spark the attention of the motorcycling public.

In 2017 Laverda Owners Victoria feted Piero Laverda and his Laverda Corse team from Italy when they visited DAM Classic Racing in Victoria (video content).


A rally was held at the workshop of DAM Classic Racing for riders to meet Piero Laverda, the sole surviving brother of Massimo. These two men were the driving force behind the creation of the famous Laverda motorcycles that became the catalysts for long standing friendships and adventurous lifestyles for many people over many years. These bikes had represented a certain character of a person that created friendships and sparked romances that often became lifelong relationships. Laverda motorcycles had been the instrument of youthful, and now not so youthful, hooligans to burn off testosterone driven energies, created situations that still initiate laughter and fond memories of time spent with good friends, epic journeys around Australia, rallies and race weekends.


.Piero had brought the awe-inspiring Laverda V6 with him from Italy to the Eastern Creek Raceway in Sydney and DAM Classic Racing financed and organised the Drysdale 750cc V8 to be shipped north to run side by side with Piero riding the 1000cc V6 Laverda at the International Festival Of Speed.

A sight and sound like no other.


 


Specially embroidered business shirts displaying a map of Australia surrounding the event title designed by Angus Parish were purchased by DAM Classic Racing and presented to the Italian  Team to commemorate their visit. The Laverda Corse Team wore them every day for the duration of the event.




Laverda riders from Laverda Owners Victoria and all across Australia joined in the lunchtime parade around the race circuit. Never before had so many Laverdas been seen in one place in Australia. It was a grand sight, and sound. At the Gala Dinner for the International Festival of Speed Piero unveiled the Laverda SFC/4 and announced that Greg Parish from DAM Classic Racing was to be the first rider to officially test-ride this evolution of the air-cooled, fuel injected,180º parallel twin. Greg, with the Laverda Owners Victoria decal proudly on his helmet, felt very honoured to be selected to display the agile abilities and speed of the air cooled fuel injected Laverda 668 based race spec machine to the world and Australian Motorcycle News magazine reported the test with photos promoting the latest creation of Laverda Corse.


Laverda enthusiasts saw racing Laverda continue into 2018 when Laverda Owners Victoria members Maurice Turner (Laverda 1200) and Jimmy Parish (Laverda 1000) entered their 3 cylinder machines in the Geelong Speed Trials staged on a 400m continuous curved section of closed public road along the forshore of the beach. After reaching speeds well in excess of 200kmh the riders were presented with the finish line that demanded a very heavy braking requirement to negotiate the limited run-off area. Courage and skill was needed as much at the end of the run as during it.


Jimmy Parish had a background in enduro dirt-bikes and had little experience with road bikes when he entered the event and struggled to control the wheelie of the front wheel of the Laverda. After some advice in conversations with the experienced Maurice Turner, Jimmy set a new Drag Racing Record for Pre 1973 motorcycles at the 1/4 mile curved beachfront street track on the DAMCR 981cc Bol d'Or replica race bike. This record stands unbeaten.


 2019, being the 70th Anniversary of Laverda Motorcycles, was a grand occasion for his brother Angus Parish to set a Land Speed Record on March 5th (his 30th birthday) for Production Classic 500cc Class Motorcycles piloting a 1977 Laverda 500 (*1652) Alpina on the Salt at Lake Gairdner. This was the first time in the world that a Laverda had attempted a Land Speed Record on a Dry Salt Lake. Laverda Owners Victoria member Dave Doyle supplied the covered trailer and support equipment for the trip. A commentary of this record is published in the book MOTOS LAVERDA LES MOTOS MYTHIQUES DE BREGANZE (The Mythical Motorcycles of Breganze 1949-2019) by Jean-Louis Olive.


 

A few months later in July 2019 a number of Laverda Owners Victoria members travelled to Italy for the official rally and International 70th Anniversary Celebrations of Laverda held in its hometown of Breganze Italy. This was a major event for the marque and Australia was well represented. Some had shipped their bikes to Europe, some via England, to tour the European continent to Italy to take their their bikes to visit their place of birth. During the rally Piero Laverda announced to great acclaim the release of a new Laverda book La Diva, Laverda 750. It was said to be the largest gathering of Laverda enthusiasts in the history of the small Italian village.

At home local weekday country rides became more frequent and racing continued with members again entering their Laverda into the Geelong Speed Trials, the BEARS races at Phillip Island and in conjunction with the Australian Road Race Championships at Broadford Raceway of which DAM Classic Racing is a regular sponsor. Groups of Laverda club members from every State in Eastern Australia travelled to Broadford to watch the final round of the combined BEARS Championship race series and interclub event on 9-10 November 2019. It was a major event and an opportunity for members to see Laverdas from QLD, NSW and Victoria racing on the track at the same time and to celebrate a Laverda winning another Championship for the history books. The contingent of Laverda motorcycles rolling into the carpark created quite a spectacle and old friendships were rekindled under the banner of shared experiences of Laverda ownership.

Following a behind-the-scenes factional collusion by Canale and the Redax racing team to exclude DAM Classic Racing from interclub events during that 2019 Victorian Road Race Championships and BEARS meeting at Broadford, there was a sudden rearranging of the seats in the social group of Laverda Owners Victoria. Canale’s decision had clearly been a poor one. The title of president was passed to Dave Doyle at a Christmas gathering on November 30th while Canale continued to influence the social group via his newsletter and Italian holiday blog. It was a tactical move that now left Dave Doyle in the hotseat for the responsibility of group and the fallout from Broadford. This was the paradoxical closing chapter of 2019 in the 40 year history of solidarieata of loyal enthusiasts in Victoria. It had been an exceptional, event-filled, celebratory 70th Anniversary Year of Laverda Motorcycles.

Early in 2020 saw the social group become unsettled again for a time. Sometimes regalia advertised in the newsletter was produced as Club Laverda Victoria, sometimes Laverda Owners Victoria, and sometimes Canale promoting the email newsletter as being from the deregistered Laverda Club Victoria as the group struggled with an identity crisis following the divisions created at Broadford the previous November. Not only had the spirit of  Laverda Owners Victoria been damaged but the world had changed dramatically with the advent of the Coronavirus Covid-19. All group activities were banned, Government Lock-down measures restricted people to stay at home, only one person could leave the house at a time to shop or exercise for 1 hour and travel was only allowed within a 5km radius of home address. No race meetings were allowed, no club gatherings. Shops were closed, some businesses failed and many motorcycles came up for sale and changed owners. In September the Government created what was termed 'a ring of steel' around metropolitan Melbourne with police roadblocks in place to to prevent anyone leaving the city area in an attempt to stem the spread of the virus. There were a few independent souls  who managed to find ways of getting out for short rides on their Laverda but for most it was a time to polish up the bike and do repair jobs in anticipation of normality returning. Preparation and development of race bikes around the country continued behind closed workshop doors in anticipation of a relaxing of restrictions to open up racing events at the earliest opportunity and provide an opportunity for the club members to get out of town for a ride together.


By July 2020 the Laverda Owners Victoria newsletter editor Sergio Canale had escalated his personal campaign by removing the contacts and community service ads for DAM Classic Racing Laverda spare parts and repeatedly declined to advertise events organised by DAM Classic Racing or other local and international Laverda associations that were supported by DAM Classic Racing such as the 20th Anniversary of Laverdamania Association or the book published to commemorate this historic event, despite a direct email request to Dave Doyle from the French author himself. Canale also declined to act in the best interests of the social group’s members and refused to advertise the release of the 2020 revised edition of Tim Parker’s Green Book and the Swanpool Motor Festival. But Laverda events that were not included in the newsletter could still be found on the websites of CIMAA, DOCV, and DAM Classic Racing. It was a confusing time for Laverda Owners Victoria members and his actions created further division within the greater Laverda community. The social group’s newsletter began actively promoting outside businesses with discounts for coffee, clothes and other motorcycle brand dealerships, and featured the ongoing Italian holiday blog of Canale’s, but no information for the purchase of OEM Laverda parts or service in Victoria.

In November 2020 Canale verbally abused and threatened Greg Parish with physical violence at the workshops of DAM Classic Racing Pty Ltd and legal action was finally taken against Canale to limit his uninvited attendance to its workplace. Despite Canale’s personal acts against the best interests of Parish, DAM Classic Racing continued to support the greater Laverda Owners Victoria members and regular rides and events were privately organised by various members in addition to those of Laverda Owners Victoria. Much enjoyment and camaraderie was to be had at these events as well as at those organised by the core group. Certainly the past 40 years have seen some exciting and somewhat intriguing times for the original Laverda Club Victoria members since its de-registration in 2004 which resulted in the removal of the provisions for corporate governance, financial accountability and other rules for memberships of associations.

The beginning of 2021 was a stop start affair as Covid restrictions were lifted and then suddenly imposed again.  Laverda enthusiasts were regularly meeting in small groups for ride days social meetings according to the Government restrictions. The Curdievale Rally with the Guzzi Club was cancelled with only one day’s notice. Having 3 alternative dates to choose from the core committee of Laverda Riders Victoria selected the same date as the annual Swanpool Motor Festival sponsored by DAM Classic Racing. This choice forced the Laverda Owners Victoria members to choose one or the other to attend.





   

























There were 9 Laverdas at the Curdievale Rally while 14 Laverdas including several from NSW were among the 90 motorcycles and 430 other classic vehicles that gathered at Swanpool. Both events were hailed as a success and anecdotally created great memories for all who were there. Many riders lamented that it was unfortunate that they could not attend both events.

The current social group of Laverda enthusiasts in Victoria has seen a number of name changes and changed direction as membership emphasis and leadership has changed but the core committee of Laverda Owners Victoria still struggles to overcome the divisive influence of prominent Queensland Laverda personalities. The general members of Laverda Owners Victoria are above the individual machinations of the club’s core committee politics and encourages Laverda enthusiasts to join and be active in the running of the club. As an unofficial gathering of Laverda riders and friends the social group of Laverda Owners Victoria is a tight group of friends that continues to welcome new members via the DAM Classic Racing webpages and word of mouth. The collective members foster loyal mateship and the love of Laverda motorcycles. Rides are organised throughout the year by the core group and more often by individual Laverda owners, that cater for all riders and other events that include their families. Events such as joining with the Classic Italian Motorcycle Association (CIMAA) for free coffee mornings and hamburger nights, weekday rides and other special regional events with like minded motorcycle clubs held throughout the year, dart competition evenings and club meetings, the Curdievale Rally with the Moto Guzzi Club, and the annual Swanpool Motor Festival . An interest in Laverda is all you need when friends get together or go for a ride and all are welcome regardless of the brand of bike.
You can join Laverda Owners Victoria social group for $30 each 12 months to receive the newsletter, including Italian holiday notes, notification of their special events, rides, and rallies, and please check the NEWS pages of DAM Classic Racing for other events and promotions that are in the best interests of Laverda enthusiasts.
Please Contact us for details.