Hmmm we’re now into the third month of 2014 – time is rolling along and progress is slow.
To get some action going I put the RGS, RGA and Jota wheels into the local KTM shop to have the old tyres removed. This is the first step of having them restored via shot blasting and painting. The young mechanic was not very complimentary about how difficult it was to get the tyres off! It cost £60 to have 8 tyres removed (and 6 tyres sent for disposal). That’s a lot of money but then again the time and skin saved made it worthwhile!
Final touches on the Atlas included installing the spare wheel with a good tyre. Did this and went to set off Tuesday morning only to find that the spare wheel is buckled! Ahh well a trip back to the KTM shop to have the tyres swopped over and we were good to go!
Used the Atlas for work on Thursday and Friday and then took my daughter for a spin through the Oxfordshire countryside on Saturday – it was a joy to be back on the road with a Laverda. The Atlas is great fun, albeit a little slow. The rev hungry engine is quite intoxicating especially with a loudish silencer. Best of all however was the even tickover and general good habits of the engine. It is better than the original motor ever was. On the road I have been wrestling with an oil leak from the alternator cover – the bung that seals the engine where the alternator wires exit has gone hard with age. I ‘think’ I’ve cured the problem with blue hylomar. I don’t care if it looks a bit naff so long as the leak goes away.
Issues with the rear wheel continued however when on Sunday I decided to go round the bike having ridden it for a couple of days. Spinning the back wheel showed it to be binding and further investigation comparing the configuration on the new Atlas revealed I’d put the spacing washers in wrong…(two washers all on the drive side by the cush drive) Thing is I’ve been doing this for over a year! The wheel spins more freely now and I’m looking forward to the ride to work tomorrow and to see if we’ve a bit more oomph now the bike isn’t being held back!
Going over other parts of the Atlas meant I repaired the rear indicator that I broke on the Scottish Rally with a part from the Belgian spares hoard. I also re-tightened the exhaust flang nuts and replaced one with a brass original that came to light in the scrap bin – I recently bought 50 M7 brass nuts from a 2CV specialist but I’m using them as needs be and not wasting them.
I also took the first step to getting the Turismo road ready again. The bike hasn’t been touched since last June when it achieved the Special Gold Award in the National Rally. It returned from the rally with a cracked exhaust and a gearbox that wouldn’t quite connect 2nd gear so that it held under power(?).
The exhaust was welded up (the welder wasn’t pleased because there was not a lot of good metal left) but I looked a bit further to think through why it cracked. Looking at the system I think there are two causes; firstly the exhaust is only held at the head and via a canvass strap on the silencer. The canvass strap is supported by two pieces of metal to limit the amount it can sway from side-to-side. I’m going to investigate ways to make this more rigid…This brings me to the second probable cause which is the engine is rubber mounted and these mounts are in a shocking condition. They hold the motor but I am considering going to a rigid mount as featured on the earlier (single sided brakes) models.
Final piece of news is that the front engine mounting bolt came out of the RGS! Like the RGA this bolt was seized so I have been feeding it Duck Oil on and off. Anyways I thought I’d eventually end up pulling the engine and leave the front mounting in the frame but this was proving difficult because unlike the RGA the engine bolts were in bad shape and the nuts rounding off. In frustration I decided to give the front pin a tap with a hammer and it moved! So by next weekend we should have two triple engines on the bench…