The British have long mixed and matched motorcycle engines and frames, the Triton, Tribsa and similar mongrels have been running the roads for decades, leave it to a Frenchman to bring Italy into the mix. Daniel Delfour liked Nortons quite a lot and thought about building a track day special with Norton power, something like a Seeley or Rickman. Coming across a Laverda 650 trellis frame he liked it immediately and wondered if a late model Norton Commando 850 twin would fit. It wasn’t easy, but the bike you see here is the cross bred result, the Ala Verda 850.
The Laverda frame accepts the engine with no room to spare. The Commando engine has been massaged to yield 72 horsepower, the upside down Paioli forks and rear shock do the suspension work with Brembo discs all around. Total weight comes in at a very svelte 341 pounds.
The bike’s a beauty and certainly no “add a part” special, this is a handcrafted piece that looks right. Daniel heard about the Legend of the Motorcycle show from several friends who suggested he bring it to the U.S. and enter. He did just that and the bike was a hit and it has been featured in several publications, I found it myself in the Nov/Dec 2008 issue of Motorcycle Classics.
After seeing this Laverda frame, those old featherbed Nortons suddenly look a bit dated. Nice work Daniel, very nice!