Disc bragging rights: Laverda 1, Lambretta 0

It has been claimed that the Lambretta motorscooter was a pioneering machine by having been the first production two-wheeled vehicle to have a disc brake. While I believe the Lambretta model C to be the distilled essence of what a scooter is all about, the typical Lambrettista has very high smugness-to-running-scooter ratio. It is possible that Lambretta’s reputation for pushing boundaries lends some fuel to this imbalanced view of the vintage small displacement world. So to help bring balance to the world, we present evidence to refute this oft-repeated claim to a technological first.

Recently, upon looking into the Laverda marque it came to light that they offered a two-wheeler — in production prior to the Lambretta TV series — that had a disc brake. In 1961 Laverda switched its Laverdino moped line from 4-stroke to 2-stroke.  Along with this advancement in technology came a pair of front and rear disc brakes.  If my memory serves me, 1961 came before 1962 and the claim that the Lambretta TV175 was the first two-wheeler with disc brakes is false.

Please feel free to discuss this topic and enlighten 2strokebuzz readers to any and all errors in this effort to challenge the Lambretta myth.

10 thoughts on “Disc bragging rights: Laverda 1, Lambretta 0”

  1. Here’s a nice site on the Laverdino…


    Besides wanting one, this site claims “around” ’61 the 2stroke disc brake versions were replacing the older version. Later in the text this is stated:

    “the production figures reveal the disappointing truth: 2.300 in 1964 and 2.750 in the following year was not enough.”

    These are Laverda’s own production #’s

    The ’62 TV175’s had wheels in the shops in ’62. Whether Laverda beat them to the floor in ’61 with a few bikes will take some more research. Obviously both firms were building prototypes before these dates. Which was first to production still is the question.


  2. The Laverdino website is linked in the article. That was the first one I came across. Great old pictures of the dual discs. Good spot on the earlier one but I’d call 2000+ bikes very much mass production. Hell, I don’t think you need many more for FIM Superbike/Supersport homologation today! I think to find the truth in the Laverda/Lambretta disc race, one may have to go to Compangalo to find out. Didn’t they help make the first Lambretta disc as well?

  3. I see the link the the Laverdino now. All the Laverdas are beautiful bikes. Yes, 2000 plus is quite significant. It’s just that Laverda claims those numbers for ’63 and ’64, after the ’62 release of the TV175. There is too much ambiguity to conclude one way or another with these articles which was first to market. Was ’61 R&D for the disc Laverdino or the first year of distribution.
    Yes, Campy did the Lambretta disc. There have to be a lot of people around who were there and know the truth to this one.
    I’ll bet they all speak Italian…


  4. I would just think the campagnolo people would be the best sources because they would be unbiased. Ask old Laverda and Lambretta sales or factory people and I’d think pride could get in the way. Either way, Campy wins!

  5. That’s quite a chip on your shoulder for a non-smug historian.

    Innocenti claims production of the first disk brake on a SCOOTER… the Laverdino is a MOPED.. disc brakes have been on two wheels since at least the 30’s.

    Relax, Lambrettisti are scooterists too.


  6. All Lambretta jabs are made ‘tongue-in-cheek’. But the claims repeated (as linked in the post) have referred to it as “first production two-wheeled vehicle”, thus the propagation of the ‘myth’. Good to know the truth that the people who went on to make Vespas really had the first disc brake. Thank you for your input!

    So in current FIM scoring: Douglas 25, Laverda 20, Lambretta 16 (results under review until some old man from Compangalo chimes in.)

  7. ok, i see your source now, this format is new to me so is hard to follow it all… anyway, they worded that incorrectly and there’s plenty more false lambretta information out there by people who want to be the “expert” on the matter. The tables showing the month and year a lambretta was made is another example.. they are all wrong because they don’t exist! Innocenti didn’t keep such records.


  8. ‘il primo ed unico scooter al mondo con freno a disco.’

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