Week 14: 26th March

First ride out on the 100 since the National Rally in June 2011! Having put the head back on last week I decided to see if it would start…and it did! Out with the spanners to go round the nuts and bolts, ignore that the back light and horn didn’t work, drain some year + old petrol out of the RGS (one way round the current UK fuel shortage) and it’s off to the Banbury ILOC meet.


The 100 ran OK and it wasn’t ’til I was a few miles down the road that I remembered this was the first time out on the new valves. I think a combination of freshly lapped valves and a new spark plug thread made it feel stronger than I remembered. A fresh spring day and a round trip of 80 miles made for a great ride out.

The ILOC meeting had just four Laverda’s – a 668, two RGS’s and the 100. The RGS’s are both immaculate. Alan Cudlipp’s has won numerous ‘high mileage concours’ awards at ILOC meets despite having over 130,000 kms on the clock. In all that time the only thing it has needed is the infamous outrigger gearbox bearing. Rob Bradbury’s RGS is the bike owned by Neil Todd – easily distinguishable due to the Mirage tank stripes on the side of the fairing – looks neat. The bike now sports RGS had Mikuni carbs. These need a bit more setting up but are claimed to outperform the Dellorto’s. I was surprised at how much smaller they appear. This modification is my favourite type – a good idea but one that takes an experienced eye to spot (I didn’t).

I was amazed to hear that both Rob and Alan claim 40 mpg. Fair enough they both know their bikes so if my RGS ever runs again I shall have to investigate why I never seemed to get more than 35 mpg.

We sat and talked Laverda nonsense for a couple of hours before heading our separate ways.

The Atlas did a full week’s commuting to London, although on Tuesday it needed the help of AA roadside assistance…a minor problem with the electronic ignition wiring block coming adrift but I forgot to pack the right size allen key to get the sidepanel off so had to wait for help (what an arse)! It was a 2 minute fix followed by the tedium of 20 minutes  listening to the AA man tell me all about his T140 and Harleys…hmm.

Put a bit of work into the RGS. Cleaned up the rear end of the bike and rubbed the frame down a bit ready for a coat of Hammerite – thought I had a tin somewhere but couldn’t find it amongst all the junk in the garage so that will have to wait until next weekend…

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