W/E 23rd June

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Made some progress on the 100 – but have a way to go if I am to get the Turismo ready for the National on the 7th July…As usual you start out with loads of time, waste it and then end up running around like a fool!

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Spent time plotting the route to a Special Gold Award which is 540 miles and 21 checkpoints in 20 hours.  As you have to hit the maximum number of checkpoints possible you have to locate as many 25 mile interval checkpoints as possible (18) and then top up with 30 mile interval checkpoints. The other consideration for me was to go to the east side of England because it is flatter and therefore may be easier on the Turismo. The other ‘tip’ I’d been given is that some of the checkpoints are considerably less than the stated (offical) mileage apart. This proved to be correct and my offical 540 mile route is only 466 miles! The Special Gold is on but only if I can average 30 MPH…Think I need to plot a Plan B for Gold (500 miles) and Plan C for Silver (400 miles) and maybe check what you have to do to get a day award…I really hope I can get this Special Gold and next year have a lazy ride out on the Atlas or one of the triples.

Got cables back from Venhill – ‘Featherlite’ super smooth cables for the RGS, Atlas and even the Turismo. The bad news was the price – £166 for six feckin’ cables. I couldn’t believe it. The two inners for the Turismo were produced at a whopping minimum fee of £10 a piece – they are bicycle cables for goodness sake. Things change over time and whereas I just sent ’em off to Venhill as always this time the price has moved on and next time I will look elsewhere…

Got the sprockets back from my local engineering firm and they made a mess of the beautiful Laverda hub by taking off all the original iron work leaving some shabby Jap’ sprocket in its place. Still no big deal I guess, at least I now have sprocket options as I have a 13 and 14 tooth engine and 45 and 47 rear. I expect to run a 14/47 comination as this will give the higher gearing of the Turismo but with smoother chain run (apparently a 13 tooth is prone to chordal velocity variation).

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Some success on the piston front as I have discovered a Honda CH125 piston is similarly 52,4mm. It is only a three ring piston and has a slight dome but if all else fails it could be a starting point? I am worried that the engine is going to blow oil out of the breather if I don’t come up with a solution. The exhaust valve has a very poor seal so maybe this is the cause – dunno but won’t find out until next week when it is all screwed together.

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Tidied up the headstock races. Dean had advised me that you can dress these some wet and dry. As he said it’s not ideal but they are soft enough and it is better than having notched steering. I was surprised how much I managed to get out and after an hour it all felt smooth to the touch and ‘good enough’. The picture shows there is still marks but it is a hell of a lot better than before and as I say smooth to the touch so ‘good enough’. Off course once we assemble the forks that will be the real test…

Mrs A took a trip over to Dellorto in Pangbourne to pick up the refurbished Atlas carb. Had a chat with them before she left and had a happy quarter of an hour talking carbs. Apparently the Atlas is the only motorcycle to have one of these fitted as standard (apparently H-D owners fit them as a performance mod’) and Laverda for some unknown reason specified a carb that normally goes on a turbo car? Anyways there was a need to replace one component which might have contributed to poor starting but otherwise it passed inspection. I discussed fitting K&N filters so I could get a bigger battery on the bike and the chap said increase the main jet by 10% – so I’ve a couple of those on the shelf for if my plans ever come to something.

The overhaul cost about £230 including the extra jets and one piece replaced. It has new gaskets throughout and a new needle valve and seat. It also looks like new. Now that ain’t cheap but now at least I can tick the carb off the list of possible reasons why the damn thing doesn’t start (oh yes I was advised not to use the choke but to prime it with a couple of twists of the throttle)!

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The RGS replacement crank (out of a 120 Jota) is now in Scotland awaiting evaluation. On Sunday I picked up my 180 Jota crank which had been sorted out some time ago and was just waiting to be picked up.

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The crankpin that was marked came home and as you can see it only has a small mark on it – enough however to ruin the big end very quickly. Lucky escape that I never ran it in this condition.

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While picking up the crank I also bought  a replacement rear wheel. The original was butched by a tyre fitter many years ago and the ebay replacement was found to have a flat (after I’d powder coated it of course…). The third wheel I’m happy to say looks perfect. The only problem now is I think I have all the bits required to build a series 2 Laverda Jota…trouble is it’s just that ‘all the bits’ – now where did I leave that diagram…

Nick 🙂

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