W/E 1st February 2015

Going home on a flatbed

Going home on a flatbed

Well disappointment as the Atlas comes to halt just outside Henley on my way home. Riding along it just spluttered to a halt and refused to start or at least when it tried to start it sounded like the timing was over the place – hmmmm. Anyways I spent 30 minutes or so trying to get it to go while Mrs A contacted the breakdown company attached to my Footman James insurance policy.

I can use either the AA or FJ and always go for FJ because they get to you quicker and don’t mess about just load it onto a truck and take you home. They understand that if a guy with a 20 year old motorcycle can’t get it to go with the assembled arsenal of tools then they don’t stand a chance!

That's buggered it up!

That’s buggered it up!

In the hour that it took FJ to arrive I’d managed not only to fail to get the bike to run but probably made things worse…I ended up touching the live feed on the solenoid to an earth wire out of the Sachse ignition – once the sparks had stopped the bike no longer spun the starter motor nor had lights on the Sachse backplate – damn!

Once home I decided the best approach was to declare the Sachse most likely dead along with the solenoid. I quickly set about removing these and hunted around for a replacement ignition. The original ignition had been replaced because the ignition boxes had failed. I dug out a spare setup from a Mark 2 (blue frame) Atlas to find that it didn’t use Motoplat but Bosch.

Two Bosch boxes along with the smaller (crap) Motoplat box

Two Bosch boxes along with the smaller (crap) Motoplat box

The ignition spinner and pickups are similar to the Series 2 Jota setup. They also mean that the ignition timing is pre-set which tho’ crude is simple.

Bosch ignition

Bosch ignition

The major complicating factor is that the ignition boxes fit onto two lugs on and beneath the top tube. I was to find that on the Mark 3 (red) frame the lug underneath the top tube has been left off so now my Bosch boxes are held by just one piece of 10mm threaded bar – it’ll be fine…

MK 3 lugs to hang the ignition boxes from

MK 3 lugs to hang the ignition boxes from

Bosch boxes in situ'

Bosch boxes in situ’

All connected up the starter still wouldn’t spin and bypassing the solenoid got it to spin but no spark. For some reason I installed the Motoplat pickups and spinner which connected to the Bosch loom and ignitor boxes – well I did it because the Mark 3 Motoplat pickups looked more modern than the original Mark 2 setup – what an arse fitting something because it looked prettier!

Anyways further investigation showed a bad connection to the RGS starter motor and a poor earth from the solenoid. I put in the original Atlas starter and repaired the earth which gave a reassuring click from the solenoid. As left it seems maybe the battery needs charging and fingers crossed once it is up to speed it will spin the starter again and who knows deliver sparks!

The lesson is though that with just one motorcycle when it goes down it is back to the hell that is driving a car into London…

On the plus side I have ordered the cylinder liners for the triples + had a great evening out with Alan Cudlipp, Grant and Scrumpy. Grant was delivering bikes from Spain so he’s tagged my second Atlas onto his inventory which means I can start to get this registered for the UK and avoid the horrific £5 per day fine for every day after the 14th day it entered the UK if left unregistered. I think it’ll take 8 weeks to get this second bike road ready so maybe soon I will have a contingency.

Nick 🙂

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