Well the consensus seems to be that the starter solenoid shorted which caused the melt down. Really concerns me to think that this could happen at any time – not just on the Atlas but on my triples as well. Hmmmmm.
Anyways decided to send the starter motor off for inspection. It stank of burning and had some oil on the windings. The starter man said it was shorting out and that this would have caused the problem. The solenoid would be toast – it might work initially but having been shorted it was bound to fail again in the not too distant future. The oil wasn’t really an issue but new seals could be fitted. The good news was that it could be repaired – infact it cost the same as the RGA starter I sent at the same time which just had a dead spot in it.
I had another ebay fresh solenoid this time intended for a Kawasaki Z750. Having learned my lesson I decided to buy something more mechanical – a unit intended for a car. This had a good reputation in the car world and looked more substantial. I had to run an auxillary earth and drill an additional hole in the rear mudguard to fit it but otherwise a simple thing to fit.
In addition to the new solenoid I also had a fresh set of heavy duty starter cables made up. The car solenoid meant I needed some with a 6mm and 8mm fixing either end. I’d read elsewhere that getting new cables often improved things and I must say the larger bore wire seemed a good bet. The wire was fresh as well not aged and hard.