If there’s one company that symbolizes the style of the new wave custom scene, it’s the Wrenchmonkees. Their motorcycles are raw, simple and pure—the legendary Danish design aesthetic applied to two wheels, and roughed up a little.
An early ’70s Laverda 750 given the Wrenchmonkees treatment sounds like a marriage made in heaven. And the boys from Copenhagen have certainly delivered the goods with this fabulous 1972 SF1, built for Estonian musician (and Laverda enthusiast) Leslie Laasner.
Laasner sounds like a dream client, giving Per and Nicholas and co. ample time and leeway to create their magic. After all, the Laverda is over four decades old, and required a complete strip-down and rebuild before the Wrenchmonkees could apply their signature style.
“There are often surprises when you strip down an old bike,” says Per Nielsen. “We’ve always loved the aesthetics and beauty of the Laverda engine, but the frame surprised us too.” Over nearly two years, the project took shape.
The unusually reliable (for a 1970s Italian) engine was left in stock condition, but given a complete overhaul and treated to a new electronic ignition system using Dynatek and DMC components.
The major work is in the suspension, with the rear frame and swingarm heavily modified to take a Yamaha YZF-R6 monoshock setup. The stock front forks have been lowered 30mm and fitted with Wirth progressive springs for improved roadholding.
The Wrenchmonkees decided to retain the beautiful drum brakes, but restored them—and laced the stock hubs with stainless spokes to new 18” aluminum rims coated in semi-gloss black. The tires are now Bridgestone BT45.
The most obvious visual changes are the hand-made tank, a one-off created from aluminum, plus the seat unit and front fender. The stainless steel 2-into-1 exhaust system is also a one-off, hooked up to a Spark muffler.
Other treats include clip-ons and grips from Milanese specialist Motocicli Veloci, and Tarozzi aluminum pegs. The Wrenchmonkees have also fitted their own 4.5” headlight up front, with a Motogadget Tiny instrument just behind. There’s a custom aluminum battery box, and just to be on the safe side, a complete electrical rewire.
I didn’t think it’d be possible to improve on a stock 1970s Laverda, but after seeing this machine, I think I’ll take the Danish version.