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I will not refer here to the faults which have been already pointed out in the general description of the bike (see "Road test" section of this site).

I would rather now try to focus on technical faults, those which are unanimously considered as a source of failure by the international community of Laverda enthusiasts (see ZANELIST forum topics).


A U.S. engineer and  also a Laverda  enthusiast suggests to modify the winding of the alternator.

In his opinion, the factory alternator is a source of various electric faults, like poor battery charging for instance.

You can view his website or read the following information:

1. The wire ends that connect to the voltage regulator have a propensity to burn which is caused by a higher than normal voltage being generated through the alternator winding.

2. The smaller in diameter the wire, the higher the electrical pressure i.e. voltage will become.

Furhermore, the magnet structure on the crankshaft appears to be of the hardy ALNICO variety AL (alluminum) NI (nickel) CO (cobalt), in short, a very powerful magnet.

High Voltage causes electrolyte to stress and go bad prematurely, or worse destroy your regulator.

3. His solution consists in rewinding the alternator with 14 gauge square magnet wire in the same direction and with the same windings per pole considering that square magnet wire allows for more electrons to flow per revolution of the magnet structure at a lower voltage and higher current flow.

Make sure the square wire lines up nicely and that there are no gaps in the windings.

He has NEVER had a discharge since he made this mod and that was last year !

Connection of 2 yellow wires

between the alternator and the regulator/rectifier

The standard factory connectors are not reliable and will sooner or later end up burnt or fried.

It is most advisable to replace them by better quality components (apply to your nearest dealer of radio and electronic supplies, he should have a solution for you !).

After having carefully stripped and twisted your wires, you will have 2 options to fit a connector:

1°) You simply put the wire within the connector and hold it tight with the little screw made for this purpose.

2°) With a soldering iron, you tin the wire end and the connector itself and solder both together.

Plug both connector ends together and there you have it !

Once in a while, check that plastic insulator of each connector (on the alternator side) has not melted.

If such is the case, you will most likely encounter unpleasant symptoms like erratic engine cutoff (it really gets on your nerves when overtaking a truck on a 2 lane road !)

Pay careful attention to the wiring itself : if both wires have lost their copper shine, the wiring has probably suffered overheating.

If your connectors keep on melting, you'd better think of a new wiring all the way from alternator to regulator/rectifier !

Side stand safety relay unit

When side stand is not raised, this relay device simply cuts off power supply to the electronic control unit commanding fuel injection and ignition (which we call the ECU), thus stopping you from running the bike with the stand being extended.

This same device can cause sporadic engine cutoff due bad connection or malfunction.

It is recommended to remove it from the bike and to replace it with a by-pass plug creating a permanent power supply to the ECU (see ALTO PERFORMANCE website)


Power is supplied by a standard spillable 12 V battery with a capacity of 18Ah (I ignore the size, the make and part number of the  stock battery).

Apart from the horn and lights, battery feeds the starter motor, the fuel pump and the ECU.

According to all well informed "laverdisti" (read" Laverda enthusiasts"), it is worth purchasing a maintenance-free dry cell 12 V battery with a capacity of 16 Ah (12V/13 Ah at least)  capable of good cranking power (minimum of 500 cranking Amps).

The ODYSSEY type PC 680 made in the U.S.A. by HAWKER ENERGY PRODUCTS seems to be widely valued.

Since I could not find any importing agent or distributor in France for this type of battery, I rather bought the GENESIS EP series 12V13Ah battery type G13EP  P/N 0770-2007 made also by HAWKER ENERGY PRODUCTS.

Due lack of space of the battery compartment (especially in width), I had to slightly sand  both sides of battery prior to install it.

It is advisable to proper maintain the battery condition and its nominal capacity to keep both the electric starter and the ECU operative.

A special battery tender for motorcycle shall be used (the ACCUMATE model for instance designed for HAWKER batteries and made by TEC MATE International Corporation in Belgium  or the famous OPTIMATE model), banning other car battery chargers which are inappropriate because of their excessive charging power.

The ACCUMATE battery tender designed for motorcycles includes accessories like a plug set in a waterproof holder to be connected to the tender on the one end and to the battery poles on the other end, plus a fuse for necessary protection.

The true benefit of such plug is to allow quicker and easier charging operation without the painful removal of the battery.


In case of a flat battery, do not use jumper cables to connect your flat battery to that of your car to start the bike.

In doing so, you would apply excessive cranking amps to your bike's electrics and you would likely ruin your regulator or worse your ECU (engine control unit) !

In such case, you'd be well advised to rather put your battery in charge using an adequate battery charger like the  Accumate or the Optimate.


The standard factory mounted DUCATI regulator seems to be faulty in the long run (see the above alternator heading) and should be wisely replaced by the NISSHO IWAI P/N SH673-12 unit made in Japan or the ELECTREX RR51equivalent made in England.

Ignition leads

The leads linking ignition coils and spark plugs shall be replaced by a set of better quality.E

Indeed, a cheap spark plug wire set is liable to produce electromagnetic interferences which can cause erroneous signals to be sent to the ECU.

Engine driveability problems will occur like intermittent cutoff and loss of power.

A faulty spark plug wire might also cause short-circuit (carbon deposit on wire end connector on the spark plug side is a token of a burnt lead).

According to well-informed "laverdisti", purchasing a set of MAGNECOR ignition leads like the 8mm ELECTROSPORTS 80 P/N 2011 is worth while (see link to MAGNECOR Europe website on my welcome page).

Spark plugs

To make sure ignition system is serviceable, standard spark plugs shall be profitably replaced with a quality set of PLATINUM or IRIDIUM type equivalent (either made by NGK or DENSO).

Product codes are the following:


 - DCPR 8 EIX for NGK IRIDIUM type (available as from the end of June 2004 in France)

 -  IXU 27 for DENSO IRIDIUM type

Electric starter

Starting problems may occur  and are reported by Laverdisti i.e. the Laverda enthusiast riders community.

The factory Denso starter motor makes a show of reluctance to crank the engine when you hit the START switch.

Many posts from Laverdisti can be found on the ZANELIST forum stating various failures (starter motor burnt out, starter jammed in drive mode for instance) and one of them even suggests standard Denso starter motor be replaced with a more reliable device like the original starter motor of the SUZUKI HAYABUSA for instance.

Our U.S. engineer and Laverda enthusiast (see the above alternator heading on top of page) suggests to improve the starter motor return ground:

1. The return ground to the starter is weak because the surfaces are usually coated with oil from exposure to the crankcase area. Oil is a dielectric (i.e. an insulator) and can work in between the 3 bolts holding the starter in place.

2. His solution consists in creating 2 new return grounds off of two of the bolts on back of the starter and giving them their own return grounds to the battery ground.

 3. Problems with the stock Denso starter motor originate in its too small diameter which gives less torque. If the starter were a half inch larger in diameter, it would solve the cranking problem.

picture of 750 SS Supersport


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This page was last updated on 05/25/2004

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