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 🙂


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