Here we go again with poor starting on the Atlas. I’d kidded myself that this engine was good and it wasn’t going to get weird but no. I think the culprit is the battery which is starting to fade but it doesn’t take much to make the bike go from a one touch starter to something that labours the motor. Trouble is this loads up the sprag and all of a sudden this is knackered. I didn’t have enough oil on the shelf to allow an oil change so I’ve charged the battery and will attend to it during the week.
I have had the Atlas on the bike hoist to look at the timing. The engine sounds like it is ‘pinking’ at certain revs – though only on the left hand cylinder. I got a few turns on the inlet rubbers so maybe an air leak is to blame – the ignition timing checked out fine. I think tinkering with this and getting poor starting are separate things but I’ve put them together in my mind.
I have had some success with the Atlas in that I picked up another front disc locally. I am still waiting on the one I ordered via ebay but a few emails sourced this alternative. I went on fine and on fitting it I have taken out a couple of spacer washers which I think the previous owner installed to try and accommodate the wear in the old disc – least I think that is why they are present as there doesn’t seem to be any need for them as the disc pads centre themselves. We’ll see. When I picked up the disc from a Cagiva Elefant owner he showed me a neat conversion using a disc from a FZR1000. Disc goes straight on and you mount the standard calipher on a 6mm plate. The calipher apparently ‘shaves’ the spokes with its new location so you need to file a mm off one edge. I’ll get a photo but it all looked fine because the front wheel being 19 inch means the larger disc doesn’t look out of place. Reports are that this mod’ transforms braking. The other tip I picked up was to fit EBC FA120 kevlar pads – good feel and kinder to the disc – got a couple of sets from https://www.motorcycle-road-and-race.co.uk/ at just £15.71 a set.
I’ve almost completed my National Rally route – looking forward to riding in the north east round Hull. Sods law that the damned starting is going weird but also a useful reminder to by some puncture repair gear as Friday saw me stranded on the M4 waiting for a van to take me home. No big deal – nice evening and managed to climb down the embankment and sit by the Thames while I waited for rescue – but a bummer if you’re hunting down miles for a rally award. I’m advised the OKO stuff + pump should provide a ‘get out of jail’ card.
Away from the Atlas my attention is turning toward the RGA. I’ve got the welder lined up for the frames but he wants them shot blasted before he starts work – I know of a shot blaster so hope to get that in motion this week. I’ve also started to clean the shite off the engine – man that’s a dirty job. I’m going at it with something I picked up at the car parts shop + parafin and a toothbrush. We’re getting there and maybe it’ll end up getting blasted but that means everything has to be dismantled to the enth degree so I’m resisting that route for now.