W/E 29th March 2015

Woke up this week and discovered that having got customs clearance for the second Atlas getting it ready for the road is simple – just need to get it through the MOT (roadworthiness test) and send off the papers and sit back and wait for the registration number.

With this in mind spent a large part of Sunday going through the second Atlas checking out what needs fixing. The only thing that appears to be missing is a chainguard and off course for the roadworthiness test I can borrow this off the #1 bike. Similarly I will borrow the tyres (wheels) and an old chain from the 180 Jota that I took off many, many years ago (the 180 Jota has the same 106 link 530 chain),

Dropping the oil showed it has been laid up with fresh oil in the sump and I think I will just spin the engine with the plugs out to make sure there is oil round the engine before I try and fire it up.

The Welsh National Rally is looming up fast (1st week of May) and a concern is that should anything go wrong with #1 then I’ll be stuck. I can kind of live with failing at the final Scottish National Rally as happened last year but to fall at the first post of a ‘Three Nations Award’ is not acceptable.

Atlas #1 has given good service through the week – I’ve deliberately kept off the back brake (which retains the lockwired pad pin) and not worried about the lack of speedo or high beam LED spot but will have to step up and get these going for May. A reassuring thing is that in the 500 miles covered during the week oil consumption has been steady at 500ml – I can live with this so long as it keeps going.

Having to get the second Atlas out meant I had to wheel the little Turismo about – hmmmm not much to get this one going…

Nick 🙂

W/E 22nd March

Spring has sprung

Spring has sprung

A gap in posts not that sure why but I’ve picked up the pen again as there are a few things to report back on.

The RGA cylinder head has been refurbished with the valves, seats and inlet seals replaced or refreshed. Dithered but decided that rather than use the honed bores for the RGA I’d put in the new liners and have them bored to the very good second hand pistons I’d acquired. The Atlas is running honed bores and it’s drinking rather too much oil and will need a strip at some stage. So once the RGA is together it should all be good.

Refurbished head

Refurbished head

At the same time as the cylinder head came back I also got the wheels returned. I’ve had the holes where the valves poke through machined with a flat so that a tubeless valve sits properly. I’ve run all my triples tubeless for some time but the valves have also been squashed tight to prevent leakage – this simple solution makes the rim good for tubes or tubeless.

Valve modification

Valve modification

There’s much cleaning to be done now as the race is on to be ready to put all the parts together once the barrels are home. I’ve got myself a parts washer which I decided to use without protective gloves – man immersing your hands in paraffin for a couple of hours leaves them burning the next day! The other issue still unresolved is how to and whether I will  be able to pull the front engine mounts out of the frame. Still no movement so it may well go back together with just a fresh lick of paint…

Spring sprung and the muffs have been removed from the Atlas. This ‘spring equinox’ event coincided with the battery crying off and the bike being knocked over in the car park at work! First off the battery gave up when having parked up at lunchtime I returned at the end of the day to find a dead flat battery just like I’d left the ignition on. Battery kind of limped back up to full charge but when I went to re-fit it got sparks as I went to tighten up the terminals. Lots of suggestions via the net led me to determine that either or both the alternator and rectifier were shot – the alternator shows signs of a short circuit. Fortunately I had spares in the shed and a replacement battery courtesy of the Harley Davidson 1 year guarantee saw us good to go…except that the bike got knocked over in the car park!

Cracked fairing - damn!

Cracked fairing – damn!

Damage was limited to the right side and included a broken pillion peg mount, number plate, alternator case (scuffed but also cracked as I found when I took it off to sort out the alternator fault), fairing, screen – with oil we’re looking at around £400!!! At least the parts seem to be available and now we start the long journey to get the cash off the companies insurers…

So if that wasn’t enough I’d just come to a halt following a spot of lane splitting on the way into work. Went to pull away and something was jammed and the back wheel locked. I rocked the bike back and forth but nothing doing. Started to literally inch my way across three lanes of traffic – it might have helped folk get on their way if they’d got out of their vehicles to help but no – guess they were too busy with their iphones. Anyways help came in the form of a Suzuki Bandit rider who picked up the rear end of the Atlas and we got it off the road – you’re never alone on a motorcycle has some truth hey 🙂

Lock wired calipher pin

Lock wired calipher pin

Anyways gearbox checked out and the culprit turned out to be the rear brake calipher that’d lost it’s pad pin. Had this before on a triple where the body wears, pin rattles until it is loose enough to make a brake (sic) for freedom. The inside pad had dropped down and been happily wearing away on the disc carrier but when I stopped the pad jammed. I don’t like to think about what might have happened if it had jammed at speed!

Chamfered brake pad...

Chamfered brake pad…

Couple of minutes with a screwdriver and few more repeating to myself ‘I will not use the back brake’ and I was back in the game.

Finally the top pic is of me out with Mrs A and Catherine, my eldest, on her SR125. Done a couple of ‘training sessions’ and she’s doing well. Funny seeing her whizzing along and getting nods from oncoming motorcyclists – nice to know she’s joined a very exclusive club and maybe one day she’ll be riding a Laverda.

Nick 🙂


W/E 1st March 2015

Blimey it’s March!

Well progress continues but nowt worth a photo unless you’re interested in seeing me in the dirt fitting a fresh chain and sprockets to the Atlas, It had all got real bad and I can see the beginnings of a wearing mainshaft as the sprocket lock washer begins to wear its groove. Hopefully I won’t be relying solely on the Atlas for too much longer.

As well as chains and sprockets I had hoped that the new speedo sensor would give me back my speedometer but no, nothing! The main lights decided to play up on Friday – yep they’re on, nope they’re off kind of thing but had settled down by the time I got home. I’m hoping a squirt of WD40 in the switch will effect a cure.

Sachse ignitions returned the box that checked out fine along with a replacement pickup which seems to have been the cause of the breakdown a while back. The service from Sachse was excellent so the whole gig comes highly recommended. At the moment the Atlas jerks along on the bosch Mk 1 arrangement I found in a pile of bits.

Atlas progress also came in the form of a letter from HMRC to say that I have no taxes to pay on the bike bought in from Belgium. Now that is out of the way and I have located the registration papers I can get on with getting Atlas #2 ready for the road.

Still waiting for the head to be ready for the RGA but once it’s done we can build us a triple motor…of course there’s still a lot to do on the cycle parts and wiring but that won’t take long will it…

Nick 🙂