W/C 26th May

Skipped last weekend for family outing to Devon (nice). I did get nice feedback for the Welsh Rally report including a great piece of video showing Hande from Finland out on the dirt tracks round his neighbourhood:


Brilliant stuff – puts my riding ability to shame! See

Still the need to prepare the Atlas for the trip down to LCF rally at Gorges du Verdon on the 28th May meant the bent screwdrivers and big hammers needed to be pressed into action.

Gearbox return spring installed

Gearbox return spring installed

I’ve been riding around with a broken gearbox return spring for the past two weeks so that was the first job on the list. I learned that the spring is the same as on an RGS and that you can fit it without removing the clutch. I also learned that the clutch retaining nut is left hand – turned out I didn’t need to undo it (but I tried) so just log that in the memory bank for when it does need to come off. Fitting the spring is fiddly and I had to bend the end of the spring slightly outwards to get it to locate. The gearbox now works – although it can still require a bit of time to move between 3rd and 4th – not noticed this on my previous Atlas so perhaps there’s some wear in this gearbox but now I also know that I can get through the gearbox with a broken return spring so don’t have to worry that this £5 item could leave me stranded.

Hairline crack - nothing to worry about...

Hairline crack – nothing to worry about…

While I had the case off I saw that the primary cover is cracked! It’s a hairline fracture and doesn’t appear to leak. When I next take the case off I’ll put some araldite along the crack and forget about it. Talking of oil I also put a fresh gasket on the primary case and it’s sorted the small oil leak I’d had since fitting this engine. The old gasket had gone brittle.

The final thing of note in taking off the primary case was that due to the Sachse ignition there was no need to re-time the engine – just put the ignition spinner back in place and the timing was as before. So better ignition and something that saves time when you have to take the primary case off.

Along with a the broken gearbox spring I’d also been riding about with the wheel out of my new Atlas to get round the need to fit wheel bearings. The problem was the huge tyre that came with this wheel – turned out to be a ‘5.10’ – which tells you how old it is and doing a conversion to metric shows a profile of 130/90 whereas the ScorpionTrail I run is a lower profile 130/80. Remember standard size is 120/80 so that was a big tyre for an Atlas!

5023 R2S rear wheel bearing

5023 R2S rear wheel bearing

The new wheel bearings (5203 2RS) raised eyebrows down at the bearing factor. The bearing is a radial which means the ball fits into a track. Apparently these types of bearings are normally used in industrial machinery involving high revs and both side and downward thrust – not something required in a wheel bearing. Also the standard Laverda application is an unsealed bearing – I’ve therefore upgraded to the 2RS and dispensed with the auxillary oil seals fitted as I suspect the outer seal just traps water leading to failure. Remembering back the three years since I fitted my last set of bearings I remembered I had to put additional shim on the bearing spacer tube – that can’t be right. This time I therefore paid attention to ensuring the bearing housing surfaces were clean and made sure the bearings were ‘fully home’ – no need for the shim.

Hmmmm these need replacing...

Hmmmm these need replacing…

With the back wheel out I checked the brake pads (there was a squeal coming out the back sometimes) and sure enough the pads were shot – down to the metal on one side. I rummaged around and find some serviceable items from my spares stock but these will need replacing when I get back from France.

Front brake disc retaining pin

Front brake disc retaining pin

The front brake lever has been a bit spongy and sure enough the fronts needed replacing too. Lucky I had a new set under the bench and lucky also that I found the brake retaining pin was missing it’s split pin – hmmm wouldn’t have been good to lose that on a steep downhill descent in the Alps…Inspecting the front end also shows some play in the front wheel bearings. I only had one spare bearing but inspection shows the wear is not terminal so will get some bearings ordered for my return.

New chain and sprockets completed the job. What could possibly go wrong…

Nick 🙂



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