Week 2: 8th January

First proper weekend of the New Year and it’s oddly hard to motivate myself to start work. Before I could start on my broken Laverda’s I had to attend to keeping the Atlas ‘fit-for’purpose’. This didn’t involve too much work other than making adjustments to the handlebar muffs I’d fitted to anticipate the arrival of cold weather. Still waiting for the cold weather but anyways I’ve enjoyed riding in hard rain and not getting wet hands. The downside however has been the kill switch being tripped by the muffs so action was required. In true ‘bodger’ fashion I used a couple of cable ties that I’d found in the street. By pulling the muffs into place with these it seemed to reposition them and make them more secure – job done!

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Work on the Atlas continued with a routine charge of the battery and then when I turned my attention to the garage tidy up plan I got distracted by an old rotting Atlas silencer. I’ve junked the original silencer because it had rusted through and getting an original replacement proved impossible. Getting a ‘aftermarket’ end can was easy and I picked up a stainless item from Motad at the Stafford Classic Bike show – £60 with a strap sorted! The difficult issue was linking the new end can to the original exhausts but this was solved with a unit made by Startwin in Holland. 100 euro’s delivered! http://www.startwin.com. Anyways I was about to throw the old silencer in the scrap bin when I decided to investigate how it is constructed.

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The silencer is made up of four chambers. The first and third chambers have steel gauze wadding. In the third chamber the ‘pipe’ is separated so that the exhaust gases go into the absorbent material and exit via a different pipe. Seems very inefficient to me. The other thing I thought was how much space there is around the exhaust pipe running through this huge silencer. I was worried about small holes in the silencer where as in truth these probably weren’t leaking exhaust gases.

Anyways back to the plan to clear the garage. I know it is a bit boring but before I start pulling the bikes apart I need to have more clear working spaces.

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By the end I went off for lunch I had two clear benches, a new shelf and felt that just getting around the garage was so much easier!

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When you clear your garage you start to find bits and pieces which you’d either mislaid or remind you of the past. I came up with a selection of some of the bits I unearthed:

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Working round this bundle there’s the pillion footpeg I fashioned out of a piece of threaded bar and a ring spanner for the Atlas. Just below the ‘footpeg’ there’s a nut which fits into the Atlas cush drive to hold on the rear sprocket. The very worn rear sprocket is off the Atlas – why am I always so reluctant to throw old sprockets away? Two outer bearing races which I’ve dremmeled slots into so that I can insert a bar to knock them out when the inner has collapsed. Linked to this a rawl bolt used for knocking out wheel bearings. There’s a spring that can be used on the Turismo for the centre stand and the end portion of the side stand spring that broke on the way back from Gent last year. A sprag clutch roller that has been crushed and a RGS valve shim. On the RGS theme there is a stud which had been used to hold the upper fairing instead of the normal screws (funnily I might use this stud on the Turismo to hold the carb to the head…).

Just when I thought I was going to finish the day without actually making any progress on the bikes I decided to put in a final hour.

The RGS couldn’t be moved because the rear shocks were on the bench. I just needed to put the spring back on one shock, jack up the swinging arm and it could then be moved. It is one of those things that only takes minutes when you are in the groove but when you’ve not done any spannering for a while seems a big deal. Out with the spring compressor and within a few minutes I was back working on the RGS for the first time in over a year – job done!

Spurred on by this I decided to go a bit more retro and tackle the 100 cylinder head. I need to sort out the valves on this after SRM Engineering marked them while repairing a knackered plug thread. I might be onto some replacement valves but needed to check the size. I also need to pull out the valves to get an overall impression of the condition. I compressed the valve springs by simply pressing down with a 17mm spanner and hooking out the collets – 23 mm valve heads and overall condition of the seats was good. I can now see if it is possible to get the replacement valves…

Feels like I’ve made progress this weekend. Clearing the garage a bit has helped me to at least get around. I can now get bits onto the bench and work on them rather than having to grub about on the floor. Putting the suspension on the RGS means I can wheel it around so next weekend I will be able to give it a clean over and get to work. The 100 cylinder head was easy and now means I can start to bring that back to life – next stop an email to my ‘valve man’…

Nick 🙂

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