W/E 31st May 2015

That don't look right

That don’t look right

So the aim this week is to get the Atlas ready for next weekend’s LCF rally, just south of Tours. I want to be able to write a trip report without the normal mechanical shambles. The list of tasks was not that long – fit the back wheel which has the new tyre on it, replace the sprocket and replace the headstock bearings.

Too tight a fit

Too tight a fit

I got a new Pirelli Scorpion Trail 130/80 x 17 and new from experience that it might be tight against the standard silencer. Sure enough it’s tight so I took the custom setup off Atlas #1. I didn’t think the old Pirelli MT80 was rubbing but once I had the silencer off there were the tell-tale marks of a tyre just kissing the silencer.

That's better

That’s better

This now means that when we set off for France we won’t have to go the first 50 miles shaving the edge off the tyre – hurrah!

Along with the tyre a new sprocket went on – I’m effectively throwing this sprocket to the wolves because the chain is okay as is the engine sprocket. So I expect a bit of rapid wear and will go through the lot (both sprockets and chains) probably before the Scottish rally in September. It is penny pinching but over 20,000 miles in a year the pennies soon add up!

The job I hate doing and put off ’til last was the headstock bearings. I just hate the shambles of wiring around the headstock area – so deep breath and in we go. Soon found that where the bike had been inactive one of the bolts holding on the front brake calipher and two of the smaller bolts holding the bottom yoke to the fork were seized. Today wasn’t the day to mess things up so a liberal spray with Duck Oil and the decision to do the job without totally dismantling the forks was made. The only real downside of this is that it makes pushing the headstock back into place heavy work however the use of a trolley jack and Mrs A made it relatively straightforward.

Trolley jack workaround

Trolley jack workaround

The bearings themselves seemed okay as ever it is the races that are pitted. I did my normal bodge when I’m tight on time and fitted all new in the top yoke but just new race in the bottom. I’ve also slightly overtightened the plot based on experience that is it loosens off after a 100 miles or so – I couldn’t face having to pull it all apart on Tuesday to ‘nip it up’.

Notchy steering?

Notchy steering?

As the Atlas only has 40,000 kms or so I’d expected to be the first to dismantle the front end but not so. The clocks were incorrectly mounted and one of the little sleeves that protects the plastic clock mount was missing – lucky I had a spare.

Little sleeve to protect the clock mount from the bolt thread - easily dropped on the floor and forgotten

Little sleeve to protect the clock mount from the bolt thread – easily dropped on the floor and forgotten

I decided to fit the correct front mudguard. I made up a couple of spacers which I assumed were missing from the front two mudguard mounts (to match those on the rear) only to find that this approach meant the mudguard fouled the radiators? Inspection of Atlas #1 revealed that Laverda only used two back spacers on the mudguard and effectively bent the mudguard upwards (it’s plastic remember) by putting none in the front! Jeez they were broke at the end hey?

The speedo mechanism is not totally broken so I tried to fix the twisted tang with two pack glue – it failed but the tang is hanging in there until it presumably catches once more and completely shears off (as the last one did).

Atlas #2 complete with correct front guard

Atlas #2 complete with correct front guard

So just the sidepanel to fit and France here we come…

Nick 🙂

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