W/E 28th July


Well it might not be pretty but the Atlas fired up! Put the Leo Zimmerman sprag clutch on and then primed the engine by opening the throttle a few times and away she went! Did sound too bad mechanically – tho’ as it didn’t have a silencer on it was a bit fruity. Really pleased. Feels like the Atlas cut me some slack and offered hope of attending the Swiss LCS rally and completing the final ‘National’ rally to get the complete trilogy.

It’s funny isn’t it but everytime you go to start a bike after it being off the road I always get a kick out of the first time it catches and starts. I know how to put the puzzle together but don’t really understand the science behind it. When I used to work on my BSA A65 first time start up where always a problem – the timing side bush was too tight or the ignition or carb knackered so it was never a smooth ‘take off’. I remember years ago when Steve Winterton assembled my Jota and it started almost immediately. When I commented on this Steve just said ‘isn’t that what’s supposed to happen’ but even so it still gives me a buzz.

The Atlas had however been sat neglected so there was quite a bit of cleaning to do. The gold on the fork legs and swinging arm was flaking off and so was the engine paint on the cam box. Got to it with emery paper and a paint brush. It ain’t a smooth finish but it looks okay from 50 yards and will protect the metal until I can get round to doing a proper job in the winter.


The worst corrosion was on the back brake carrier which had just flaked away – it’s okay but I will see if OCT can provide a replacement. If I can get another then I think I will paint it as it seems too soft to cope with road salt. Anyways fixed the paint and then checked the horn and electrics. Found an old pattern horn that was on the Jota years back and this worked so on it went.


I am also looked at relocating the electronic ignition box because if it makes it back on the road I prefer not to run in with sidepanels. I like the stripped down look. I checked and the unit will fit under the seat without getting crushed so just need to get some velcro and away we go. Looking at the unit made by Volker Sasche made me think of him and the tragic waste of life and loss to the Laverda community. Here was someone breathing life back into many a tired Breganze beast – RIP.


The only part of the electrics that needs work is the damned indicators. They are always useless on Laverda’s but I prefer the look of them on so will have a play during the week.


The front brake ‘bobbins’ seem worn – there is a lot of movement in the floating disc. I see that replacement oversize bobbins are the way to go but I’m hoping they’ll struggle on for a while. I don’t understand this bobbin stuff and need to have a good look before deciding how to solve the problem.  I think replacement discs are hard to come by.

So a successful weekend – hope to have it all ready for roadworthiness testing by next weekend…then I can start to pull out the engines in the RGS and RGA. Will it ever end?

Nick 🙂


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