W/E 1st December

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Welcome Atlas # 1421 (the 421st of just 450) with 37,000 kms on the clock!

It has taken a week of hibernation while I cleared room in the overcrowded garage for me to take a look at what I bought. My current Atlas is #1405 so just think they could’ve been in Breganze at the same time! Close cousins. Anyways despite the years of dust I can see that this bike is largely untouched. The only pieces that I can see that are missing are the mirrors, chainguard and the wrong front mudguard.

The previous owner thought the mudguard was standard but it is just held in place with four jubilee clips and if you stand back you can see it is the wrong diameter. Having said that it doesn’t look that bad but I do have a spare genuine guard in the box of bits that came with it so will probably return it to standard. I also have a chainguard so that problem is also solved and as for mirrors – well I don’t run my bikes with mirrors that is it all sorted.

The colour scheme is an odd mix of red and blue which looks wrong but looks how it was sold. I am also told that the rear shock is a white power item which hopefully means it is in good order.

The spares are what is left over from a collision involving a Mk 2. The tomb raiders have been at work and it is missing the carb rubbers and junctions to the air box…but not the carb. It also has had the starter motor removed.

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It looks to me like I could just put this engine into 1405. It isn’t a hydraulic clutch motor but this isn’t a barrier as I have the bits to run either set up. What I have thought however is to try just try just changing the carb on engine #1405 and then if this doesn’t work put the whole motor in. Still whatever I am counting on this second engine breathing life into 1405 so I can at least consider the LCF AG in January.

It wasn’t all Atlas this weekend as I continued to pull down the RGA. The frame would be bare but I am having trouble get the main loom connector apart and also see I have to take the hydraulic hose off the clutch as this is threaded through the frame. I have started over again with the Duck Oil to try and get the front engine mount off. However I do have the engine on a block so it doesn’t matter if the frame takes a bit of time to come apart.

Nick 🙂

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24th November

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No progress on the triples but another batch of Atlas’s arrived after a quick trip to Belgium. Mrs A and I left for France on Friday evening, spent the night in a Formula 1 in Calais and then travelled over to Belgium and back home on the Saturday. Although it was a whistle stop visit it was just nice to be back on the Continent – driving down the E40 into Belgium is always a nice experience because it always means I’m off on an adventure. Clear roads and wide open spaces such a difference to the road chaos of south east England.

I now have another red Mk 3 plus a lot of bits from a blue Mk 2 that was involved in a head on collision a few years back. Too soon to have gone over either the complete bike or the bits but I can see the Mk 3 is missing the chain guard. The prize from the Mk 2 is the engine which is complete except for the carb – apparently this was a going well before it hit the accident so fingers crossed I can just replace my existing Atlas motor with this one. That would give me a running Laverda for the time being while I work on the triples.

The bikes are still in trailer waiting to be unloaded so pictures and analysis to follow next week. Now I just have to work out a way to fit it all into the garage…

Nick 🙂

W/E 17th November

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It’s out!

Couldn’t believe it but returned to the engine and to my surprise the nut on the end of the engine stud just moved very easily and within a short period the nut was off and the stud out through the hole in the unused mounting block. Simple as that! I have been spraying it quite regularly with Duck oil and last week gave it a dose of heat so it seems my patience has paid off.

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Mrs A was enticed down into the garage and we managed to lift the engine out of the frame leaving the front engine silentbloc attached to the frame and the lower silentbloc still on the engine. Before lifting I jacked the engine up at the front so the front mounting cleared the silentbloc and after this it was pretty straightforward.

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Some spanner twirling saw the front wheel and forks out so it is 90% stripped.

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There is lots of engine oil and crud everywhere – started to clean it up but I’m seriously considering taking it down the local garage for a steam clean session.

Still a long time but at last progress! It’s got me thinking however that maybe the thing to do is take the RGS down now so I have two engines and two sets of cycle parts to work with at the same time – economies of scale?

Nick 🙂

W/E 10th November

Back to the friggin’ RGA front engine bolt and still no joy. I put heat into it but can’t get a proper grip on the shaft to hold it while I turn the nut. I can’t get a small set of mole grips in there and pliers just aren’t strong enough. So I have to work out a plan to hold it firm while I undo the nut…and in the meantime continue to spray duck oil onto it. The front stud that passes through the silentbloc is still solid despite being given a daily dose of duck oil. Still the good news is that I managed to resist the temptation to hit the bolt with a hammer!

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I decided to use the time in the garage to get the air box off plus some other bits of mudguard around the battery box. The air box bolts are part of little rubber bushes and where they are seized what happens is that they just turn but won’t free up. The good news is that they are held in place by slide in slots to the frame so you can legitimately tap them out with a drift and hammer. The final portions of the rear mudguard came apart surprisingly well – the nuts had taken all the muck off the road but still undid with no problem.

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Having the battery box section all cleared makes it feel like progress. I have left the forks and front wheel in for now but as I left it I wonder if taking the front end off and balancing what remains on a box might be a better way forward. In this condition I would be able to turn the whole unit upside down which would give far better access to the stud that I want to grip. Hmmmm…..

Final bummer was that I noticed last week the exhaust on the 100 was swinging loose so I decided to tighten it up. Well the exhaust would tighten a bit but the problem is that the downpipe has cracked away from the exhaust flange. A minor annoyance but another thing to fix.

Nick 🙂

W/E 3rd November

Well been off on holidays for a couple of weeks but managed to get back down the shed.

I’ve sort of given up on the Atlas for now as I tried to get it going just before going away and it still won’t start on the button. Last time round I put it away and went back to it after 6 months and find a renewed enthusiasm so hopefully that’ll happen again.

Carried on with the RGA strip down but ran into a problem with the front silentbloc engine mount stud seizing meaning the engine wouldn’t come out. Tried using WD40 and a big hammer but no joy. Walked away before any damage was done and used the time to try and think it through.

I decided that getting the silentbloc mount off would take some doing so resolved to look at just undoing the two bolts that join the engine to the silentbloc bracket. This way I could leave the silentbloc in situ and work on it once the engine was out.

The odd thing was that although the bike is registered in 1984 it has the engine boss on the front which meant it was produced when a series two engine could either be a 180 or 120. This suggests to me that the motor was old stock crank cases which is probable considering Laverda were in dire financial straits back then. What I also noticed was that the left hand boss had a hole drilled in it which I presumed was for a 180 engine fitment.

Still giving yourself time to think is always useful and it finally dawned on me that the hole was there to slide a stud through – the lower engine mount is not a bolt but a stud with a nut on either end. Checked this out and yep that is it…only problem is that in undoing the nuts one has been left on the end of the stud so I will have to return with some mole grips to hold one end in order to get both nuts off and slide it through the hole. A job for when my eyes aren’t so tired. The plan however is hatched and is a testament to walking away before the hammers take over and the power of reflection.

The other thing about working on the RGA is that by this time Laverda were using flange nuts – so the bolt head is 13mm but the nut 12mm. Similarly a 17mm bolt head is twinned with a 14mm nut. Novel to be using 12 and 14mm spanners. I may well look into getting a stock of these nuts for when it is time to build it back up.

Nick 🙂