W/E 27th May 2013

A week of activity which has been about moving projects forward rather than getting them done. Went back to see the fork bush man and discussed the correct sizes. In discussion with him I finally understand how the fork bushes work. They are both the same length but the top bush sits in the top of the fork slider. All the wear on this bush occurs on the inside of the bush. The correct measurement is 30.85mm OD and 27mm ID. The botton bush wears on its outer side and sits on the lower park of the stanchion which is stepped. The dimensions for the bottom bush is therefore 30mm OD and 26mm ID. So these are being worked on plus the sprockets.


I left the bush man with the 14 and 45 tooth 420 sprockets. At the same time I have posted the 13 and 47 set over to Nametab Engineering. My hope is that the bush man does the job but if he doesn’t then Nametab is my fall back position. I figure it is easier to hassle the guy who lives down the road than the guy on the end of the phone. We’ll see.

To get the second engine sprocket off I had to take the magdyno case off the 100 engine. Lucky it all came apart easily so fingers crossed it will similarly go back easily.

Took measurements off the piston rings and sent them to an ebay contact in Italy. I think the compression rings are supposed to be 2mm thick and the oil scrapers 3mm. Fingers crossed that I can get spares but replacement rings are not critical in the way sprockets and lapping in the valves is.


Had to work on the RGS back light. I went to check it out and found the original back light lens was missing – damn all that rain made the insulation tape bodge fail…So although I had the LED making it legal I decided to see if I could fit the Honda CB450 unit I got at Stafford for a tenner. Aside from the wiring I had to bend the mounting brackets to accommodate the fixing bolts which are ever so slightly closer together.


It all worked a treat and the back light seems brighter now the light isn’t going through both the LED cover and external cover. The light looks very similar to the original Laverda (CEV) unit but it is a bit bigger which will mean the seat cowl won’t fit. Also to the trained eye the light is bigger and less elegant. Aside from this I gave the RGS screen a polish up and put the ‘Welsh National Rally’ sticker on it to honour the most recent achievement.


Presents have been flying in from all areas – front and back wheel off a slabby Suzuki GSXR, Brembo four pots off a Ducati 900SS now sit alongside the sprag recently acquired for the Atlas off a Duacti 600 Monster.

Finally managed to get some time to drain the oil out of the Atlas ready for a fuller inspection in the coming week. I think I will send the carb off to Dellorto for cleaning and see if I can bodge the mainshaft to last the summer, if I can get the sprag to work. I say finally but it was finally because in between all the Laverda work I started to put new chain and sprockets on the VFR…All go but if I can keep this work pipeline going who knows we could be another Laverda up before too long.

Nick πŸ™‚

W/E 19th May


Well the thrill of having the RGS back continued until Wednesday when the bolt holding the fairing to the headstock broke. Thought it was going to be my first full week back commuting on a Laverda but it wasn’t to be. Had a look at this and whilst it’s happened before I was a bit surprised. I suspect it happened because I had the bolt facing the headstock which meant the shank wasn’t taking the load. Might not be the reason it broke but second time round I have put it in with the shank taking the load. I got a new bolt from the local KTM shop who also supplied a metric fine, lock nut off a KTM gearbox sprocket. The lock nut fitted a treat as it fitted inside the silent bloc bush like it was made specifically for the job.


Took the time to change the oil and adjust the rear chain – the chain is non- o ring and I suspect it won’t be with the RGS for much longer. I’m only keeping it so use up the old sprockets…Current mileage is 183,192 kms.

In addition to this I won a set of Suzuki slabby wheels and cush off ebay. I’ve been inspired by Richard Jones RGS and decided this upgrade is something to incorporate at some date in the future…no doubt a long time in the future….

All was going well until Sunday night when I lost the damned petrol cap key so it’s back on the VFR…


Started work on the Turismo – have a month before the National Rally and it is down on power and blowing oil. Getting the engine out of the frame and dropping the forks out took a couple of hours. I then loaded up the car and headed down to see Dean in the New Forest to get his opinions. Dean thinks the rings are worn as they hang on the piston. The bore looked good and has .02mm of wear which we think is okay. The main reason for poor performance however is probably the valves, specifically the exhaust valve that wasn’t seated properly. Interestingly the inlet seemed okay but the end showed signs of being hammered and will need dressing to pull though the valve guide.


We also looked at the forks and the new bushes I am having made up in nylon. I hadn’t bothered with measurements – just gave the machine shop some old bushes…Anyways now know I need to get two different sizes made 26 and 27 ID both with 30mm OD. This should be simple enough to arrange but cleaning up the headstock bearings might be more tricky.

The other interesting part of visiting Dean was to check up on how he is progressing with the rebuild of his 100 Sport – with a month to go he has a few jobs of his own!


Dean also has the majority of a 75cc Laverda. It was interesting to see how many bits off this engine will fit straight into a 100 – spare three speed gearbox and clutch…even the cylinder head apppears to have the same size valves and aside from the stroke the crank looks like it’ll fit.


Finally I’ve ordered 420 sprockets 13/14 and 45/47 sizes to replace the originals. I’ve gone for 420 as a more common chain size and been given the name of a company who can machine them onto the original centres. I need to get onto this because this job may have to go into a queue and although I have a month that’ll soon disappear.

Made minor progress on the Atlas when I took delivery of my Ducati sprag clutch – hopefully this’ll fit. Next weekend I will hopefully be able to put some hours in on the Atlas as this also needs to be fixed in a month.

Ohhh it’s all getting a bit hectic


Nick πŸ™‚




Fork bushes 26 ID and 27 ID – 30 OD

W/E 12th May


The icing on the cake was a ‘Silver Award’ in the Welsh National Rally. Full report to be posted in the ‘Trips’ section of the site.

Gettng to the finish line however involved a final push in the garage to get the RGS to the start line. The first thing was to make sure the bike passed its roadworthiness (MOT) test. I could see this slipping away from me but by Tuesday I’d come up with an alternative way to power the horns and front brake light. A saviour however in the form of Tony Winteron paid a visit on Wednesday to lend a hand – rode his RGS from Leicester to do a days work in London and then headed over to Didcot before heading home at 23.00!


Tony’s arrival made it seem more likely I’d make the rally. Tony went through the wiring and traced a break in the wire going to one of the horns. As this wire is part of a circuit also feeding the front brake light fix this and things fall into place. As a result my rather dodgy (but working) wiring was removed including an auxillary horn button squeezed onto the bars. While Tony worked on this I mounted an LED unit into the original back light housing so I had a back light that wouldn’t keep blowing due to poor bulb connection. I also fitted a clutch lever off the RGA as Tony advised. Finally Tony re-routed the throttle cable and it was time for a coffee and then his ride home to Leicester – he got in at gone 1 am and was at work next day!

Time was tight so I’d taken Thursday off and booked the MOT for Friday morning. I set to fitting the instrument console and bodywork. Removed the indicators, centre stand (worn bushes) and found a spare spring link (on the garage floor) for the chain. I was ahead of the game so re-arranged the MOT for Thursday afternoon. I was quite pleased at how well the bike buffed up and admired its lines in the spring sunshine.


When I arrived for the MOT I found the damned front brake light wasn’t working – the MOT man took quite a pragmatic view of the Laverda and asked if they fitted a front brake light…to which I replied ‘No’. I think this was the required, albeit less than honest, answer and we moved on. Another hiccup when the key got stuck in the petrol cap but as it meant I had to buy an emergency cap which rushed me Β£8 everyone was happy and I left with my ticket πŸ™‚

It was great to be back on the RGS after more than two years. The front brakes were really poor and it was a heavy beast to haul around. On the other hand it was very low and felt balanced but riding home it was clear the bike wasn’t running on three. I’d bought myself time so it was off with the carbs to check for blockages – everything looked fine, though I did adjust the mechanical balance. I checked the plug caps and thought maybe the centre one was a bit loose on the HT lead so clipped the end and refitted. Tank on and it seemed we had a triple – hurrah!

Friday and all that was left was to check the oil level – oops so a dash to get some Morris 20/50 and all was well. At 16.00 Mrs A and me rolled into Llandridod Wells aboard the RGS and ready for the next days rally. En-route the RGS had some lock wire wrapped round a rattling nearside mirror – which seemed likely to fall off (I later remembered it did this before it was taken off the road but left it on ‘just in case’).


Sunday dawned and a little tightening saw the starter motor revived – so no early morning ‘bump’ for Mrs A(oooh eeerr!). On the way home the front brakes improved – I felt something give inΒ  the bars which I can only assume was the master cylinder unclogging itself – and now there was some feel. That was the plus side but on the minus side the starter motor needed tightening again and the middle exhaust pipe appeared loose. Still all part of the ‘roadhardening’ process which will take place over the next couple of weeks in preparation for the LCF rally in Clisson.

Nick πŸ™‚


W/E 7th May

Well started the week needing to fix the following – those struck through are done:

  1. Put front mudguard, fairing, instrument console, sidepanels and seat on
  2. Get the brake lights, horns and indicators to work
  3. Fix the choke lever back onto the underside of the clutch lever
  4. Fit a new battery
  5. Refit the speedo cable

So it ought to be running – wrong!

Done a lot of fiddling with the horn on the electrics side and thought through how to wire in an auxillary horn switch and this fixed that problem. I have the rear offside indicator working but power to all the rest so don’t see that as particularly outstanding. The problem with the indicator seems more about the handlebar switch – clearly this cluster hasn’t benefitted from being stood for two years. Anyways having got all the electrics done I summoned up the courage to hit the start button only to be met with just a clicking solenoid. From this I suspect the starter is stuck so will attempt to fit another off either the Jota or RGA. The other thing I noticed is that the back light comes on when I hit the starter so the bad earth is still in there somewhere…On the plus side Tony Winterton has offered to come by Wednesday evening so maybe all will be ready for the Welsh rally…

Fitting the front mudguard makes it look almost there. The other thing I checked was the float bowls and fortunately I’d obviously drained them as the one I dropped was dry – hopefully that will mean no carb issues once it is turning over? I also pumped the back brake a little so I think it is now in tolerance for the MOT. So watch this space for a Welsh Rally report – hopefully on the Laverda…

Won a sprag clutch off a Ducati to fit onto the Atlas. Phil Cooper tells me this will work (although Alan Bell says not) and at Β£21 all in it seemed silly to pass up the chance. Although the RGS still isn’t ready my thoughts are now turning towards getting the Atlas ready for the 2nd Atlas gathering in July.

Finally got a selection of fork bushes back to try out on the 100. The original is worn so my machinist gave me three sizes to try before he creates a final set.

Nick πŸ™‚