8. Laverda

Laverda Motorcycle

Laverda cut its teeth with small-displacement, single-cylinder two-strokes but attracted international attention when it announced at the 1967 Milan show that it would be constructing a big bike powered by a 650cc parallel-Twin. In 1970 Laverda won its first production bike endurance race and in 1971 the SFC was launched. The SFC was known to be one of the fastest street-legal machines of the early ’70s. During its six-year production run Laverda only constructed 549 SFC models, making the bike rare today. All of its success couldn’t keep Laverda alive and in 1985 the company closed up shop. Since then there’s been multiple Laverda rebirths but thus far nothing has stuck. Piaggio acquired the rights to Laverda when it bought Aprilia in 2004 but has expressed no intention to develop the brand.