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 £8 everyone was happy and I left with my ticket 🙂
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 in 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.