Week 12: 12th March

Started off the week with a couple of VFR days. Had to renew my insurance and switch companies to get a better deal. The insurance is based on the newest bike so the Honda is limited to just 5,000 miles. As I had two ‘unlimited’ days left on my old policy I decided to use them up.

The upside was that I had a bit of breathing space to fettle the carbs on the Atlas which amounted to just unscrewing the pilot jets by quarter of a turn. This did calm the popping in the silencer at low revs but didn’t improve starting noticeably and by the end of the week it was beginning to misfire if held for any length at 7,000 rpm. Finally as the weather has got milder the muffs came off – felt very different without these cumbersome, but very useful accessories!

I was determined not to just spend another weekend devoted to the Atlas – time is beginning to press on getting other Laverda’s running.

I ground the new valves in on the 100, put the head back on, decided 12 lbs was enough on the torque wrench and installed a new spring and ball bearing in the gear indicator mechanism (this got lost last June on the National Rally). In putting the head together I may have overtightened the bolts holding the valve shaft – not sure but the second one home felt a bit ‘cheesey’ – hmmm more of the same was to followed.

Checked out the valve clearences and set them at 10 either side and flushed with success put the rocker cover on, petrol tank and exhaust system. I rested the seat on and was just happy to see it all together after 9 months! I may try and start it over the coming week – there is no reason I can remember why it shouldn’t run…

I put 300 ml of 10w oil into the RGS forks and reinstalled them. A 15 minute job but it felt like progress. At the least the forks are back in.

I did have to spend time on the Atlas and the downside was the right hand plug felt like it cross threaded when I pushed it home – damn! Decided I couldn’t face up to it so tightened it up and left it for another time. If it is anything like the 100 one day it will just blow! Had to continue to try and get the damned bike to start and think I am still chasing shadows. I installed the original .58 pilot jets which got rid of the banging in the exhaust. Funny enough I think the information on the Atlas registry is wrong in that I think .52 pilots are too small. The previous owner had the larger 162 main jets and .58 pilots. When the bike eventually started (and that sprag sounds sick again) it ran well. I installed a new throttle cable and that probably made it feel better than it actually is.

I’m losing motivation with the Atlas and this is leading to mistakes like cross-threading plugs. Not sure how much more energy I can invest in the damn thing, maybe it is time to take it to someone who knows what they are doing?

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2 thoughts on “Week 12: 12th March

  1. Hello Nick,
    A compliment for the interested stories about Laverda’s.
    Self i ride a laverda atlas and with pleasure! only the rearshock is verry bad and is’nt nice to ride now.
    I asked Robert v.d Breggen from Eindhoven Holland and he had the advice to ask you about Hagon Shocks for the Atlas.
    Do you know where i can buy that shockabsorber ?
    The original shock is not to be rebuild, i have also an Atlas 50!! and that shock was posible to rebuild by a local motorcrossspecialist.
    I hope to get a positive answer and thank you much!
    Frank van Gerven
    Mierlo Holland
    laverduc1@hotmail.com
    0031615842630

    • Hi Frank,

      Hagon in the UK do a straight replacement for the Atlas.

      It is a quality product with pre-load and rebound adjustment and costs around 350 GBP. I have used this shock on my Atlas for over 2 years now and it has come in for hard use – one up and with a pillion – so I can recommend it. If you are interested I can make enquiries on your behalf – I could even deliver it in Sept as I plan to be at the Belgi rally.

      Email me on alcock_nick@hotmail.com to take this further.

      Nick 🙂

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