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Laverda Lynx 650: A New Marriage of Italian Style and Japanese Technology

Laverda Lynx

Suzuki, more than any other Japanese manufacturer, has freely sold its engines over
the years to other manufacturers – most notably Bimota. Now, of course, Cagiva
incorporates Suzuki’s 1000cc V-twin in its Raptor, and little Laverda has taken
Suzuki’s other 90 degree V-twin, from the SV650, and placed it in the new Lynx
pictured here.

Love it or hate it, the Laverda Lynx incorporates some significant design and
technology features. Most obvious is the frame, which is a combination of
aluminum beam and chromoly trellis. Laverda claims this frame serves more than a
design function being both light and stiff, and contributing to ease of maintenance
(the frame members can be disassembled to more easily reach engine components).
We think its really there for design purposes, and it is interesting (certainly
different).

Also very unusual for a new design is the chromoly swingarm. Virtually every
modern motorcycle incorporates an aluminum swingarm, and, again, despite
Laverda’s claims, we think this was done for style reasons.

The instrument cluster tells you everything you want to know, and perhaps more.
Tachometer, speedometer, odometer, engine temperature, time, and other readouts.
Again, these features are incorporated in an unusual, stylistic way (not your typical
Japanese instrument cluster).

The Lynx comes with stout, 45mm forks (non-adjustable, cartridge type), and huge
(given the bike’s relatively light weight of 374 pounds) 298mm, twin front disc
brakes operated by four piston callipers.

Of course, the heart of the Laverda Lynx is Suzuki’s 90 degree 645cc V-twin
motor with six-speed transmission. Universally praised by the motorcycle press in
Suzuki’s SV650, this powerplant is known for a broad spread of usable torque
and, for a 650, high peak horsepower.

So, if you want the light weight and fun of Suzuki’s SV650 (well, not quite as light,
about 10 pounds heavier) with more than a little Italian style thrown in, the
Laverda Lynx is for you. No word yet on MSRP or the date of its availability,
however.

One interesting side note… what does the 650 Lynx do to Laverda’s parallel twin
750s? The Suzuki motor is far more advanced, and perhaps even more powerful
than Laverda’s 750 twin. It seems to us that Laverda is either drawing customers
from its 750 twins with this new bike, and shooting itself in the foot, or planning to
phase out its 750 twins and replace them with Suzuki powered 650s. We’re not
sure which is the case, but, were we to buy a Laverda, we would much prefer the
Suzuki powered Lynx over any of the 750 models (at least from a powerplant
standpoint).