Terry Prince chassis Laverda 3CL, with Egli forks, Lockheed calipers & more…

Over the decades I’ve been photographing motorcycles some bikes stick in the memory more than others – this is one such machine!

I shot the bike way back in 1992 and wasn’t aware at the time of the bike’s chequered past, just that it was a really neat thing!

Here’s the story (with thanks to Geoff Seddon and Terry Prince)…

Terry Prince was Fritz Egli’s workshop manager and was with Egli from when he started up in 1965 until Terry left in 1973, later moving to Australia and becoming well known for his Vincent frames.

In 1984 he was approached by a long since defunct bike tuning company (of reputedly dubious reputation) to construct five frames to house Laverda 1000 triple motors. The main aim was to contest the Bathurst Arai 500 endurance races.

Terry duly constructed the frame jigs from scratch (neither he or Egli had made frames for the Laverda triple before) and built the first chassis. It was fabricated from 20/20 cold drawn 1 inch tubular steel with a 4 inch diameter top tube, all bronze welded in typical Egli fashion.

Wheelbase was 1400 mm, 60 mm shorter than a stock Laverda and the complete bike was estimated to weigh around 170 kg. Steering angle was 27º.

A cantilever monoshock rear suspension using a Boge shock was paired to a set of very impressive looking Egli Racing 38 mm front forks.

Perhaps the most obvious feature of the design was the fuel tank positioned under the motor in an effort to lower the centre of gravity. This then dictated the high level run of the header pipes.

A highly tuned Jota motor was fitted but that turned out badly at Bathurst in 1985 with crankshaft problems causing oil leaks. The scrutineers were also reluctant to approve the fuel tank location but eventually relented.

Terry with the bike prior to its appearance at Bathurst (photographer unknown) – Running the underslung tank

This brief, unsuccessful appearance was the sole ‘serious’ race outing for the bike apart from a few shakedown tests at Oran Park.

Terry Prince Laverda 3CL – Egli Racing forks and Lockheed calipers

It then disappeared from view (quickly followed by the tuning business), with Terry not being paid for his efforts! Needless to say the other four frames did not happen.

Fast forward to 1991 when the bike appeared for sale, still in racing trim but without the underslung tank. A stock 3CL motor was now fitted. The majority of the good gear – the forks, Lockheed racing calipers, Magura controls etc were all still there.

The new owner commissioned a Newcastle firm to get the bike into road trim which entailed making a stainless steel instrument panel and fitting a Veglia speedo and KTT Services tacho.

A headlight and tail light were sourced and connected to a pair of batteries housed in the seat hump. Other work carried out included moving the seat forward 100 mm, manufacturing new caliper mounts, fitting a new Foran muffler and many more items to enable registration. At the time I photographed it it was running with provisional rego.

It would be interesting to know if the bike still exists today, 30 years later  – the memories certainly do!

Source: mcnews.com.au