It’s time to wave goodbye to my Chotts.
This is a unique opportunity to buy a very rare Laverda off-road competition bike in excellent, original cosmetic and mechanical condition – a machine well known in Laverda circles with an interesting history – PLUS a second, complete bike (for restoration or spares) – PLUS a stock of rare spares, most of them NOS.
This is the first bike (Chott 1).
It could easily be the only Chott in the world that is regularly used in competition events and should be of interest to collectors and classic off-road enthusiasts. It starts first or second kick, runs extremely well and is very easy to live with.
The 2TR is the later, much-improved version of the 2T Chott. It features a stronger frame, an improved piston and barrel design plus a high, enduro-style mudguard. Please note: this is not one of the later, Husqvarna-engined bikes. The 2TR motors were designed and made entirely by Laverda in their famous Breganze factory.
The R in 2TR stands for ‘Regolarita’, which is a popular off-road discipline in Italy, and this is a seriously well-specified machine by any standards, with a fully-enclosed drive chain, dual module Bosch ignition and a twin-plug head, beautiful Borrani rims and Marzocchi suspension all round. The 2TR frame also features a neat, 3-way adjustable headstock to give a choice of handling characteristics ranging from a very stable enduro geometry to a more nimble, trials-type setting. I have followed the previous owner’s advice and used the middle setting, which provides ample stability for riding briskly between sections but remains useful on tight, trials-type sections.
When it was launched the 2TR wasn’t well-received by the press because it was misunderstood. (I have original copies of several UK road tests and will include them with the bike.) It was highly praised for its high specification but criticised for not being fast enough for serious enduro work and too expensive for a trials bike. The truth is that is was never meant to be either of these things … it is a regolarita machine designed to cover long distances quickly, reliably and (importantly for me) comfortably, and then be capable of tackling various off-road sections and special tests.
In this role the 2TR excels. Chott 1’s previous owner and I have both used the bike regularly in The Motor Cycling Club’s long distance events such as the Edinburgh, Exeter and Lands End Trials and it has proved to be a superb machine for these events. Comfortable, fast enough and torquey with a decent tank range (about 100 miles) the 2TR carried it’s previous owner – a Laverda Club stalwart, friend of the Laverda family and well-known motorcycling journalist – to several Silver and Gold medals on these trials. Even though I am a complete off-road novice I came very close to winning an award in the 2014 Lands End trial – the bike performed flawlessly and was only let down by its rider! (Or, as my Dad liked to say, “the only thing that went wrong was the nut that holds the handlebars”.)
During my predecessor’s ownership Chott 1 featured in the press several times – Old Bike Mart and Classic Bike – and was used in other events such as the Colombres rally in Spain where it proved to be extremely versatile and reliable. For a bike of this type and age it is brisk and has excellent road manners.
It is thought to have been imported to the UK from Spain, and the previous owner acquired the bike from a very well-known member of the International Laverda Owners Club. Chott 1 with a dating certificate from the club and a letter of authenticity from Slater Laverda. The previous owner is a Laverda devotee, expert restorer and machine builder. When he acquired this machine he stripped it and was surprised to find that the motor had already been fully rebuilt. At that point all the seals and bearings were renewed where necessary and the motor was expertly reassembled.
Chott 1 benefits from the larger, 11-litre fuel tank rather than the 9-litre tank (as fitted to Chott 2). Either tank size was available from the factory during a short production run, so both are historically ‘correct’. I have used Chott 1 with both tanks, mostly to protect the rare and original 11-litre tank from damage.
I have follow the previous owner’s advice and run the bike on a 40:1 premix of modern, fully synthetic. This has worked well, both off-road and during the long road rides required during the Lands End Trial.
Chott 1 has nearly new hand-made NJB shock absorbers (fitted since 2010). Its original piggy-back Marzocchis are included in the sale.
It attracts attention and admiring comments wherever it enters an event. This is a chance to buy a very interesting historic off-road machine which offers that rare combination of being exotic but still very usable. There are very few Chotts in the UK and even fewer 2TRs. This model was never an official UK model but a very small number – perhaps as few as 10 – have been imported subsequently over the years. My example starts first or second kick, runs extremely well and is very easy to live with, being easy to maintain, with excellent accessibility. It could easily be the only Chott in the world that is regularly used in competition events and I am sure it will be of interest to collectors and classic off-road enthusiasts.
It has a number of very rare parts still in excellent condition – including the beautiful tank with its original tank-top leather toolcase and the side panel/number boards. I can well imagine that a new owner might be tempted to do some gentle restoration before tucking it up in a nice warm garage. However, I do hope they will prefer to continue to use it as the Laverda family intended – as an excellent classic greenlaner or long distance trials bike.
For a classic competitor on long-distance trials forward illumination can be a major concern on the night sections and I have done quite a bit of work to upgrade the lighting. The original alternator was rewound so recently it has not yet been refitted. I have also fitted an upgraded headlight. Many competitors augment their headlight with a halogen mountain bike light for the night sections and the bike comes with an excellent one (the battery fits neatly in the tank-top toolcase). There is also a second high capacity gel battery which I use only for LDTs. The original chrome CEV headlight is not fitted but is in perfect condition and comes with the bike. I have also fitted a modern micro-switch to the front brake lever to replace the failed mechanical unit originally fitted to the rear pedal.
There is a factory parts book with a full set of exploded diagrams and an original owners handbook. I recently had a small, lightweight, aluminium rear rack made to carry spare tubes, tools and oil. This, along with the rear ‘topbox’ you can see in some of the pictures (originally a camera case), also comes with the bike.
The bike is in excellent condition but please remember that this is a competition machine which has acquired what the previous owner quite nicely called “a patina of enthusiastic use”. The paintwork and plastics are all in very good order but the exhaust system does bear a few scars. The overall condition and appearance of Chott 1 is of a well-maintained bike which is fully ready for it’s next long distance trial.
This is the second bike (Chott 2).
It was imported in 2014 from Breganze (near the old Laverda factory) and includes many rare parts such as original instruments in full working order, as well as a good, strong motor. I bought Chott 2 as a parts machine but it is complete and I have ridden it round our large garden. Everything works, it has a good strong engine and the gearbox works sweetly. Really it is too good to dismantle unless absolutely necessary. So far I have borrowed the alternator (while Chott 1’s was away being rewound) and a fork slider to cure a mystery fork oil leak on the #1 bike, but otherwise the bike remains complete. It is probably only a set of tyres, a seat cover and some new rear shocks away from being ready to register for the road. Importantly, this bike includes a full set of instruments (which were an optional extra) along with the two very hard-to-find gears that provide drive for the speedo and tacho from the engine casings. It also has an original seat foam and base, though the cover is torn and split. I used its untidy tank and side panels in the 2014 Lands End Trial in order to protect the excellent items fitted to the number one bike. You can see these in some of the pictures of Chott 1. Other bits and pieces to accompany the sale: new clutch cover gaskets, a smaller-than-standard rear sprocket, the original rim locks (new ones fitted as a precaution only), and a NOS piston for a 2T (NB: not the same as a 2TR piston).
The sale also includes a number of NOS and excellent condition used spares. These were bought from Canada in 2011 at a cost of some £500, and include: a set of superb used instruments along with a NOS instrument mount and a pair of the very rare instrument mounting rubbers; a NOS rear mudguard and number plate mount; a spare ignition/coil module; a NOS Tomaselli throttle assembly and NOS grips; NOS CEV tail-light lens; and a pair of NOS chainguard rubbers.
Together these two bikes and the spares mean you need never worry about spares availability for your #1 bike – just get out there and use it! Alternatively this is an excellent opportunity to create a complete, restored 2TR and a second one for regular use.
I would prefer to sell as a single lot, but the right offer(s) might persuaded me to divide the bikes and/or spares.
I am selling to fund a Moto Guzzi Lodola ISDT replica project.